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Be the Mule Blog

New A Love Electric, Applehead, Recording with Medeski, And Airplanes in Snow

I am on a plane going to Aguascalientes from Mexico City after leaving New York City this morning. We had a small rental car in New York City, Hernan and I, that suffered greatly in the 8 or so inches of snow that came last night. 


We recorded in a beautiful studio called Applehead, just outside of Woodstock for a few days and I was to play at NuBlu last night, but the snow, augmented by weather channel hysteria, stormed the gig out. I had about six amps to record out of at Applehead, all little and old, the two adjectives I desire most in choosing an amplifier. Great sounds, old ribbon microphones through a Neve console. Perhaps its a cliche now, but thats the sound I love. Everything has a little more blood to it.


 John Medeski came and recorded keyboards for a day as well. B3, acoustic piano, Rhodes, Wurli, and Clavinet. Mellotron got the most use of all. The mellotoron is a 60's era 3 octave keyboard. I don't know how it works, but its honest and a little twisted, like the best of us.


John offered to track on this record when he was down in Mexico last March to play a few shows with us. I have taken workshops with him over the years and became close with MMW. It was a joy to be able to play with John, and when he mentioned he would track on our record - not for hire - I took it as an opportunity to work on writing the best I could, every day, for the past 8 months or so.


I ended up with close to 80 songs, a lot of song fragments, and many little ideas scattered about suitcases and apartment floors. I have tracked about 5 rounds of demos at home, Hernan's studio, and with an iPhone on the road, then sent them to the band. Each time songs get cut, or combined, or mature. I love the process, this is where the living happens. Songs are what interest me most right now, ways to push and play within that tradition. Beautiful creation, the song. 


We ended up tracking 12 songs completely that will make the next A Love Electric record. I'm really happy with it. Im not sure I've ever felt that. Generally I know its not as good as it can be. I cut corners somewhere in the writing or recording. This time I took great care to not feel that way. I need to say some things and don't need to say others. I think this music will honor that very simple idea.


Share it soon. 

Thanks for coming by and embracing what we do. Thats the only way its possible.


Here is a photo of the amazing Mario Rodriguez in the Costa Rican rainforest.





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