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William Hayden project

Friday, March 4, 2011 1:56 PM American Samoa Time

Since in my last post you learned that it’s still going to be a little longer until my new album is released, I wanted to tell you what else I’ve been doing musically over the past year. It’s another album I’ve produced, and I’m really pleased with it and proud of the work that went into it.

The artist’s name is William Hayden, and the project is pretty unique. I met William one random day in Durham, NC. He was looking for someone to record/produce/mix a couple of songs for him, so I gave him my info, and shortly after that, we did one song together. Dale Baker played drums, and we recorded him in Dale and Carole’s house. (incidentally, Carole is an amazing visual artist.)

Anyway, “a couple” songs turned into ten songs, and we did a whole album together. We recorded some of it in Durham, but I did most of it here at the studio in Alega, American Samoa. The album is unique because the talented Mr. Hayden does not actually sing. He asked me to do that for him. Generally what would happen is that he would bring in lyrics, and sometimes a general melody. I would then pull together the vocal melody and phrasing from his suggestions. Then we’d lay down some basic scratch tracks, and then build the song from there. I ended up playing a lot of guitar and bass, as well as doing drum arrangements. William would work on some parts at his home studio, send them to me via Dropbox, I would import them into my sessions and build on them, and then I’d send him a mix.

It was a really cool process, actually. Harnessing the power of the interweb to produce an album literally on the other side of the planet. Pretty wild.

Anyway, please go check out Hayden’s website and listen to the project. It’s gotten really good reviews so far from the likes of Annie Reuter (Rolling Stone and MTV.com featured reviewer). That’s exciting!
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Album updates

Friday, March 4, 2011 1:02 PM American Samoa Time

Hi everyone,
OK, apologies are in order. I let things go far too long without a progress report. I had originally planned for a December release for the new album, but obviously that didn’t happen. Honestly, it didn’t make sense for it to happen, since I’m still living in the Samoan islands. That could feel a little like, “if an album is released in the jungle, and no one hears it, is it really an album?” Or something like that. Very Zen.

Anyways, I am still here living in the jungle, and it’s only quite recently that we’ve figured out the leave-date, which will be at the very end of this month. So I’m trying to finish up the album by then, and it looks like that will probably happen. I’m polishing up the mix for the tenth song right now, in fact. I still have a couple more songs I’m trying to throw at the project, just to see if they stick. Hopefully at least one of them will, if not both. One is a cover of a Bob Dylan song called “Chimes of Freedom.” Dylan has really sustained me throughout the course of the past 4-5 years, so recording one of his songs feels appropriate to me.

So the album has been a bit delayed, and I’m guessing that before it’s all said and done, we’re looking at a late Spring release. Probably late April/early May. I’ll post all the details here once I have a firm release date.

As always, thanks for listening, everyone.
I’ll be in touch soon.

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