So Headlights and Goodbyes EP is complete and as I look into the rearview mirror I acknowledge this life and it’s richness. The good the bad. The coming together, the moving apart. Tis a journey indeed. Originally conceived as an album it morphed into an EP. As in all my creative projects I try to let intuition rule and let go of the steering wheel. Case in example was the completion of the title track Headlights and Goodbyes. As it was being mixed by Paul Pilsneniks in a bedroom in the hills of Byron Bay. Unbeknownst to me his co-resident Jeff Martin (from The Tea party - one of Canada’s all-time favourite bands) happened to be listening and heard a specific sound and offered to collaborate. Basically he knocked on the door as my guitarist and one of my closest musical allies & friends Mark Heazlett was laying down a final rhythm track and said “After you finish that Ronny Woods guitar I would like to lay down some B-Bender if you like?”. Here is Mark laying down the rhythm to Headlights single:
I then had to quickly write down a chord chart and explain my non-musical approach to somehow justify this shitty chord chart. (i.e., no formal music training and I even put it in the wrong capo WTF! ). He handed me a guitar (one of about 30 lying around) and said “no pressure but this is probably one of my favourite guitars so don’t drop it and I have a job..can you write a chord chart for the song. I grabbed the guitar tightly and scribbled down what I knew about the chords to the song. B-Bender is a very unique guitar (I later learned). I had never heard of a B-bender so asked about its origins and its unique design which presents an octave bend on the B string I believe using the guitar strap connection. A very unique style is required to playing it well. When I heard the sound I was sold. Here is Jeff playing the track.
After that I ended up getting him to play on five of the tracks. It was an opportunity and I just ran with it. Serendipity is a mistress I like to follow. Here is him laying down some guitar for Run Aground. So many licks left on the cutting floor.
The treasure chest which is a song about growing old but staying young at heart has a country bluegrass feel. Mark add some country tones at my place.
I asked Jeff what he wanted to play over the top and this is the audio of the unedited first take he did, only hearing the song a couple of times.
It is a cliche but in some ways the process of recording and sharing music is the real pleasure for me. Its just one recording in one moment of time. I always like to experiment with the form thereafter but when I listen back to the songs I see the stories in my rear view mirror and then I move on.