Back about 14 months ago, on the day Peyton Manning played his last football game before retiring to the advertising business, we wrapped up the recording session for our second record, Shine. It was a whirlwind session in which we laid down eight tracks in five hours, in part just to see if we could do it, but mostly because we had the studio for only one weekend and had to get it done.
So we found ourselves hunkered down all day Saturday, eight people recording at the same time, in four separate rooms, without a click track in our headphones to help us keep time. It was loose and organic, though nerve-wracking, as we had never attempted live recording, but it came together. Sunday we added keyboards, background vocals, and overdubs, and we left the studio elated. We're almost completely finished with this record!
So we thought.
In the intervening months, we mixed, moved the master tracks elsewhere for more mixing; did promo pictures and videos; send the whole thing to California to be mastered by a top-shelf company, one that has worked with some of the biggest names in music; scrapped the artwork; had the final product pressed; played gigs to earn more money to put into it; pulled our hair out, occasionally; finally found artwork; located the artist who took the cover photo we wanted to use and arranged permission, lo and behold, it's here.
It was a learning experience, for sure; everything was new to us. So, it's our new old record. Old because it has an old sound to it. We recorded on fine old equipment and instruments: a National Steel resonator guitar, '53 Les Paul, Vox and Gibson amps, an old Hammond B-3 organ with a full Leslie cabinet, just to name a few pieces. The songs are classic and rootsy in their composition, the perfect collection of songs for the vintage equipment to which we were privy.
And that's the new part, too: the songs. Our first record was basically a mix of blues and Americana country, with a little soul sprinkled in. This is rock & roll, just good ol', straight-up, put-the-needle-on-the-record rock & roll. Accordingly, we did a limited pressing of vinyl, probably the most exciting thing we've ever done. To see the artwork on this jacket, hold the vinyl in our hands, place the record on the turntable, set the needle, and hear our work emanating from the speakers is an unmatched musical thrill.
Of course, this isn't the '70's, so each record comes with a download card, so you can take it with you and bluetooth it into your car stereo. Not retro, but very cool.
And it's coming out this Saturday, April 22nd. National Record Store Day. Also the day we play our favorite gig of the year, the world-famous Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale, which was the first gig we ever did as Mississippi Stomp.
Talk about coming full circle.
So, this Record Store Day, download, order, or come to Clarksdale and buy, straight from us, our new old record, Shine. We're very proud of it, and we hope you enjoy it.