This record was made in the Winter of 2014 at 42nd Street Studios in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with Marc Loren engineering and co-producing.
The main guitar is a mahogany-top 1972 Guild D-28, and a 1941 Epiphone Olympic archtop was added here and there. The guitars were recorded with a Neumann U-87 placed over-the-shoulder (using the pres of an ORAM Octasonic 8 Channel Precision OPTO) and an AKG 451 at the upper neck (using an UREI LA-2A). Most vocals were performed together into opposing Neumann U-87s (using a Great River MP-2NV) in the studio’s live room. One More Song vocals were recorded individually so Nic could be alone while she sang about her Dad.
All instruments were played by Chance Meyer. All pretty cowgirl boots were worn by Nicole Noël. All Irish whiskey was gone by the end.
The songs were written in the space of a couple months, except for Oh, How We’d Sing (lyrics), which had been hanging around for a long time in one form or another.
Starting From One (lyrics) was inspired by a friend of ours going through a rough moment in his life, but from which he emerged quickly and with a new sparkle in his eye. Drunk and Disorderly (lyrics) might as well have been a loosely biographical tribute to him as well, but it wasn’t. And he’s a cat guy anyway, not a dog guy.
Turing’s Song (lyrics) was written, of course, about Alan Turing, and how, after altering the course of history by breaking the German Enigma Code during World War II, he was prosecuted in Britain for being homosexual, by the very people who enjoyed the way of life he’d helped to preserve. He was sentenced to chemical castration. While there are differing views about his death, it seems the most widely held view is that he—in keeping with his favorite story, Snow White—ate a poisoned apple, which he’d injected with cyanide he had on hand to use in an experiment. The irony of the man who solved the greatest riddles and broke the greatest codes of his time not being able to solve the mystery of how to reconcile what was in his heart with the world around him is so striking. We hope the song is a nice tribute to his life.
Drunk and Disorderly and Oh, How We’d Sing were both first takes in the studio.
Magpie (lyrics) is a response to the question we get so often, Are you a couple? We’re not. Or perhaps the better answer is only in a musical sense. We’re married to Julie and Erik. They’re great. Incidentally, Julie is actually around 5’6”, not 5’4”, but the line sounds better that way. Writer’s liberties.
In a sense, Nightbird, Nightbird (lyrics) addresses that question as well. It’s about what it’s like to find the right song and the right one to sing it with. There’s nothing like it.
One More Song (lyrics) is about Nic’s Dad, who was a jazz musician and somewhat of a tormented soul before he passed away at 62. He was a great interpreter of old standards like Someone to Watch Over Me, so we wove that song into ours. Chance wrote One More Song as a gift to Nicole, based on what he knew about her Dad. It made her cry. A lot. It was a terrible gift. But also maybe the best one he’s ever given someone.
A Thousand Ways Down (lyrics) is about looking back on the sorts of moments that have unforeseeable significance in a life and might have subtly altered its course downward, and celebrating those forgone.
Countyline (lyrics) ponders the imagery of small town America, and the desire to escape the ennui of everyday life.
Them Blackjack Hills Are White With Snow (lyrics) gets to the heart of the old time music we want to elaborate on and is written strictly in that style, without the modern elements we merged into the other songs.
There’s not much to say about If I Should Fall (lyrics). It’s a love song.
Little Wind (lyrics) is a lullaby.