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Sunday, June 12, 2011

what's taking so long?

It seems like a million years ago that recording the new CD began. Actually it was November 2009. A very confident Red Plastic Buddha took up residence at Joyride Studios on a warmish November day, and I remember sitting in the control room as engineer Brian Leach and his assistant Chris Powley got Dav's kit miked. There were issues with the use of a second floor tom and getting the tones just right.

Dav and Matt sat with Pam in the recording room and I could hear Pam laughing as Dav held forth on the difference between a 'gourmet' and a 'gourmand', all the while wolfing Doritos by the handful. Matt was trying to interject and keep Dav from spilling snacks all over the floor, but he wasn't doing a good enough job of either. Todd was pacing between rooms, talking on his cell.

'Here we go again' I thought. I felt like a man about to jump off a cliff into the darkness. And I was.

The ensuing months have seen a lot of changes for The Red Plastic Buddha. Early on we learned that Todd was about to become a father and would be leaving the group. His contributions were sandwiched in between work, school and his internship as a counselor. Somewhere in the process Matt finally decided that he was leaving the band as well. Too many bands, too much responsibility, and a loss of belief in the path led to the big life decision.

But as I watched my crew being swallowed up and lost to the changes of life, I was also watching the flower of this recording come to life. There just wasn't time to feel bad about what we were losing. We were gaining something amazing.

On weeknights and weekends, as schedules and time would allow, (the truly amazing) Brian Leach and I recorded, laughed, invented, experimented and juggled ideas, sounds and musicians as the recording took on a momentum of its own. One of us would start a sentence, and the other would finish it. There were so many 'eureka' moments, I came to expect miracles around every corner (and I was rarely disappointed or left waiting long). Nearly every experiment we tried worked. Every guest musician we brought in - Chris Tiritilli (sitar), Mary Weingartner (violin, viola) or the lovely Jennifer Williams (backing vocals) - came in at the top of their game and contributed their own unique and amazing gifts. And then, as if from nowhere at all, All Out Revolution was complete. Glorious and amazing, standing like a new ship pointed toward the stars and beckoning to her crew ...

Months of details have followed. Starting a new record label simply added an exponential number of 'to do' projects to the album check list. Graphic design, legal & licensing issues, photography, marketing projects, writing and promotional groundwork have blurred into a giant wave I ride like a cork, never really sure exactly where I am in the process. Occasionally I catch site of the land or the stars and note progress or adjust course.

 But now, new crew members Eric Ahlgren (keyboards and vocals) and Carter O'Brien (lead guitar) stand ready at their posts, confident, capable and ready. And as the final details softly but surely slip into place I can at last look forward and say ...

here we go again.