sausage sampler

When we’re working out new songs the process can be just as entertaining as the finished product. It was fun to find and edit snippets here that showed how songs could start out as rhythms or melody lines and just run away from there. And it’s fun to see the comedy that initiates some rehearsal pieces and the fun that ensues.

change is gonna come

We don’t have a lot of places to play these days, especially since we want to make sure we keep social distance and only play outside. The good news is that Tim has a patio where there’s shade and a nice breeze. This has been a great way to get together and work on things, new and old. It’s amazing how much easier and more fun this is when we’re all together.

Occasionally we put stuff on our YouTube channel. Mostly, this is just Adam playing around with video editing, anticipating how to run classes in the fall. But it’s also fun to collect the video and have some record of what we’re working on and where we left off.

Most recently, we just felt the need to work on this. Caryn borrowed from Aretha Franklin who’d borrowed from Sam Cooke. It felt right for the moment, a long time coming, and one that will need to extend for a while to come. And we’ll keep playing it. Someday, we hope to play it for you in person.

lovesong

Some of what we’ve been working on lately is completely new, and workshopping it online via separate tracks and separate basements has been a real challenge. But recording this track that we’ve already played live was way more straightforward. To me, it feels like something that would be played in a jazz club below street level, martinis and red-globed candles hosted on little round tables.

Lovesong — reappropriating The Cure for a jazz club

people get ready

We have a few things in our demo recording pipeline, but none of them feel right at the moment.

Instead, we want to share this older demo recording, what was really just a soundcheck in the studio and a completely different take from our live performances of this song. People Get Ready implores us to get on board, no ticket or baggage required.

People Get Ready, studio soundcheck

The music we’re privileged to play is built from jazz and blues traditions that were crafted in slavery and servitude, as well as the civil rights movements that are unfinished. We’re grateful to have the music; and we’re responsible to hold true to its message.

I only ever loved your ghost

Here’s offering number two from our pandemic demo sessions — tracks recorded in separate homes and pasted back together. Unlike our pandemic debut (Don’t Get Around Much Anymore), this is a song we’ve played before in front of audiences. Still, it takes on a different character when we’re isolated, and we were able to play around with the dynamics. In some ways it’s a better fit for quiet isolation than a late Friday night at the bar.

Stick around past the first verse into the second and see if you have the same reaction that Anna did.

I Only Ever Loved Your Ghost, by Jens Kuross, performed by Standards & Substandards
Anna, a socially distanced and disaffected college student, responds enthusiastically as the second verse surprises even her jaded sensibilities in this troubled time.

I Only Ever Loved Your Ghost is composed and originally performed by Jens Kuross. Here’s his version, which is worth listening to for comparison and because it’s simply a great song.

Jens Kuross performing live.

We learned about this brilliant piece when we were in The Proper Way studios and Scott Rogers had us listen to it. We started playing through the chords along with the recording and we loved it from that first moment. Shane Osguthorpe of The Proper Way did this Tom Waits-esque version. Again, it’s a fun comparison of what this song affords, but it’s also just fantastic in its own right.

Sublime version from The Proper Way.

We’re still working in our isolated corners, rehearsing new stuff for some future day as well as laying down tracks that we can share. We hope we hope we have a few more samples soon.