Somehow, two whole weeks have already passed since my summer show season ended. This whole year has been a crazy ride of one awesome musical experience after another: recording, playing a packed gig calendar, relaunching my YouTube channel. It’s been amazing...but also a lot to process. With everything that’s going on, I figured this is a good time to take to the blog, and lay out all that’s happened and all that’s to come.
The biggest music news, of course, is probably the YouTube stuff. Throughout the month of August, I released 12 live videos of original songs, many of which had never before been recorded. I’ve always been a “live musician”—the shows are really where my passion lies. So, needless to, “Live at the Depot” was a blast to share, and I’m stoked to finally have some performance footage online. If you haven’t checked them out yet, all 12 videos can be found grouped in this convenient playlist.
Those videos weren’t the only ones recorded, however. A total of four full shows were taped this summer. And while my sets were largely comprised of original music, plenty of favorite covers made appearances as well. Like this one:
There are quite a few videos that I’m pretty happy with, and will be sharing on the YouTube channel in the coming months. It’s a great time to subscribe.
The other main project swirling around the batcave at the moment is recording. Early this year, I went into the studio and cut a six song EP. Since then, the tracks have been bouncing back and forth for mix adjustments, but due to other schedule commitments and general life craziness, the progress has been slow. Things are moving forward, however, and I hope to be able to share something from the EP before the end of the year.
Really though, the most exciting thing that I have going on right now isn’t a music thing at all...it’s that I’m getting married in two weeks! Planning a wedding at the same time as playing my fullest show calendar ever has been challenging, but I’m fortunate enough to have a partner who has been incredibly supportive and understanding of my strange work schedule these past few months. It’s been a SUPER exciting, wonderful time...and has also taught me an awwwwful lot about time management.
All that being said, now that the dust is settling I’m going to be taking it easy on music for a few months to work on some other projects, dig into the recordings, and lay the groundwork for next year. All won’t be totally quiet—I’ll still be releasing those videos on YouTube I mentioned. So if you want to stay up to date with the going’s on, that’s where the action will be for a while.
I’ve also got one other secret special project in the works...and since you took the time to read all the way to the bottom of this lengthy post, I thought I’d leave you with a hint at the shape of it.
Till next time!
...and so little time! Things have been quiet on the blog for the past couple of months, so I figure I'm about due to give you an update on all the going's on here at the DeVita music factory. And my, have there been going's on.
The name of the game at the moment is gig, gig, gig. This summer has been a pretty exciting one so far as the music has been concerned, because my concert schedule is about the fullest that it's ever been. So far this year I've played 14 shows, with another 17 to go over the course of the next month and a half. I've had some awesome times playing at R.S. Taylor & Sons Tap Room, the Argyle Brewing Company Depot, and Backstreet BBQ and Tap Room already this summer, and will be returning to each of those venues one more time near the end of August to finish out the season. Between now and then, of course, there shall be street performances aplenty in Lake George as well. As always, you can find a list of all my upcoming dates on the Shows page.
One of the other most exciting things I've got churning away here right now is on the video front. I've played at the Argyle Brewery twice so far this year, and they do this awesome thing where a freelance video specialist comes in and records the shows, then live streams them onto concertwindow.com. But while that's been a very cool thing in terms of giving people who can't make it all the way up to the ADK foothills access to the shows on the day of, what's far cooler in my not-so-unbiased opinion is that I now have full recordings of both of those shows. What that means for you is that over the course of the next few months, I'll be uploading a ton of new content to my YouTube channel, so if you haven't subscribed already, now is a great time to do so to make sure you don't miss out on any of the new stuff.
Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention the album too. The work is ongoing on that front, and I don't like to talk overmuch about works that are still in progress. With how crazy the concert schedule and everything else has been, work has been a little slower on it of late...but I do still hope to release a single this year at the very least (and if the gods are good, the whole-damn-thing).
I think that about covers it for now--though I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting. Time management has been kind of a massive undertaking for me for the past few months, because I've got irons in about ten different fires at any given time. But that's the life of an independent artist, right?!
Over the course of two days last weekend, I spent around seventeen and a half hours holed up in the studio recording a new release. Not only was this my longest continuous stretch of time recording, but it was also my first longer release where I was the only person playing...well, everything. I feel like I learned a lot, and wanted to fill you in on what I've been up to.
The short version is that I officially have a new release on the way (yay!). It consists of six songs, some of which are brand new, and some of which are old favorites from my catalog which never got a proper studio treatment. Clocking in at just under a half hour of music, it's sitting pretty much right between a more traditional album and an EP length release. So yeah, 2019 will be a year of new music!
Given what an awesome and unique experience recording this album was for me, I wanted to go into a bit of detail about what it was like. So, the longer version...
Starting on Sunday morning, I recorded from around 10am to 10pm. During this first day, I hammered out all of the main guitar tracks, as well as vocals for four of the songs. Then on Monday I woke up at 8:30am, and by 9 was back in the booth cutting more vocal tracks. Recording vocals in the morning is always a challenge (unless of course you're going for deep "morning voice" takes), but when the songs require belting, it can become downright nerve racking.
Luckily, everything came together, and by late afternoon, the rest of the vocals, lead guitar work, and preliminary mixing was finished, and we called a wrap on the session.
Preparation was absolutely key to making this studio time the success that it was. Originally, the plan was to record this album last year, but due to a freak blackout and packed schedules, the session got pushed back. As a result, I spent around fourteen months honing these songs to a razor's edge with the express intention of recording them in mind. I demoed each one out on my iPad's Garageband app, and then, not trusting that I could remember everything exactly, I brought that to the studio with me. After all, I don't sing harmonies to my own songs regularly, and when I'm performing I only have one set of hands to play the guitar.
Tuns out that bringing the iPad ended up being clutch. There were a handful of times when being able to pull up my demo sessions and soloing out a specific line I was trying to remember saved a ton of time.
One of the other things that made this experience so great was being able to work with another musician behind the board. I first met Frank Migliorelli a few years back when I performed at one of the Singer/Songwriter nights he hosts at the Green Growler in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. He did an excellent job producing the songs, and being able to bounce ideas back and forth brought a depth to some of these tunes which really pushed them to a new level, as well as got me doing some completely new things. Two of these tracks have a resonator guitar on them...an instrument which I never played before this weekend. And in some places I used a lighter pick (0.46mm thick, as opposed to the 1.14mm heavy picks which I swear by with religious zeal) to get a brighter tone. You wouldn't believe the difference that half-millimeter makes.
Now comes the exciting work of final mixing and mastering, crafting the release plan, and all the other elements that go along with unleashing music into the world. I'm in the midst of planning an album release show, as well as prepping for the summer gigging season (new shows are up on the calendar!), so it's a pretty busy time here.
As of right now, it's looking like this album is going to have an early summer release. I am psyched with how everything is shaping up--I think it's some of the best music I've made to date. Can't wait to share it with you!