The Making of Trip Note

The idea of a career retrospective started to take shape with the transfer of my 8 track tapes to Cubase in the fall of 2014.  By archiving and getting some of that stuff into my computer, I was able to discover some things I didn’t know I had, remix others and add to some.  As the next few years wore on, and with the start of my Podcast ‘Live From the inSync Asylum’, Trip Note: 1978-2018 started to come into focus.  So here we are 7 years later, and Trip Note is done and released.  It’s now  4 double albums featuring 66 songs and over 5 hours of music, nearly all of which have never been released before, or heard in the versions on the albums. 

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that even I was in my prime at one time.  And in this collections 40-year-span, 1980-1995 was a particularly productive stretch, and largely unavailable until the release of Trip Note. 

I drew upon all the media I have access to –  half-inch and quarter-inch Reel-to-Reel tapes, Dat Tapes, Cassette Tapes, Old Mixes and backups on CD and Disc Drives.  The challenge was trying to find a reasonably consistent sound quality.  Anything that could be remixed, was. The original recordings were of all kinds of quality, including pretty bad quality! But as they say – it is was it is.  I know this collection is really for me – If I want to hear something old – it will now be easier to find and with a consistent high quality sound.  The first few years of my recordings were done using a pretty primitive setup.  I had a cassette deck, a mic, some cables and some kind of splitter box from Radio Shack.  I then started borrowing cassette decks from my friends, and bouncing tracks back and forth between them.  The noise builds up with that method, but I got some music out of it.  It would be years later before I actually had a reverb unit, but the earliest recordings use my old Fender Twin Reverb amp or an old Traynor PA mixer head for reverb.  I guess my original monitoring situation was my stereo at the time or headphones –don’t remember.  Not sure when direct recording started  – probably when I got a Tascam 4 Track and a Teac Mixer.  That later became an 8 Track Tascam 38, and an 18 channel Ramsa mixer. 

My use of computers and sequencers started in the early 90’s, when my friend and keyboard player Doug Ortega lent me an old IBM DOS machine to run early versions of Cakewalk. That led to SMTPE time code and syncing the PC to 8 track. I think it was 98/99 when I switched to Logic Audio and recording audio to disc for the first time. It’s been that way ever since…

Check out the Trip Note category, for my individual posts and comments on different songs and the four volumes, as well as recent podcasts. Also be sure to check out Trip Note in the store. Enjoy! 

Vol. 1Musicians/Written/Recorded/Album
1Here 04:07B19791986Live Craw
2Reflect 03:52A19782000Unreleased
3Trip Note (Acoustic) 01:19A19791980Consumer
4Trip Note 02:09B19791986Live Craw
5All in the Cards 02:17A19791979Consumer
6Nothing to Lose 03:12B19791988Drunk Man Live
7Starring (Shaky Air) 06:06A19791995Unreleased
8Raped 07:54A, D19791980Consumer
9Nightmare 03:32A, D19781979Consumer
10Underground 05:06A, D19791980Consumer
11Beauty and Tension (Acoustic) 04:11A19801980Consumer
12Beauty and Tension 06:23A19801981Metallic Scorn
13Baby Blues 02:46A19801980Consumer
14Misty Gazes 04:56A19801980Consumer
15The Present 06:11B19811990Unreleased
16Crazy Wind (Live) 03:15B19821988Drunk Man Live
17Crazy Wind 04:40A19821982Silent Tears
Vol. 2
1You Told Me 02:59B19831986Live Craw
2Caught By Your Heartbeat 03:40A19831986Vital Sines
3Raindrops 05:59A19821986Vital Sines
4Your World And Mine 04:43A19831983Abstract Attack
5Make It To The Weekend 03:51B19831988Drunk Man Live
6The Emperor Has No Clothes 04:29A19831983Abstract Attack
7Heading Down 05:41B19841988Drunk Man Live
8Abstract Attack 05:33B19831986Live Craw
9Metallic Scorn 07:03A19811983Acquiesce
10Given Moment 05:40A19841984Petty Tyrant
11Life Forces 04:59B19821988Drunk Man Live
12Off the Wall 04:27B19831986Live Craw
13In Trouble 04:30A19831986Holding Patterns
14Just A Matter Of Time 04:26A19831983Common Ground
15Daddy’s Little Girl 04:36A19841987Holding Patterns
16I’m Still In Love With You 05:19A19842000Unreleased
Vol. 3
1Get Close 03:20A19851999A Matter of Time
2More Than Today 03:26A, C19851985Inner Dialogues
3Settled Down Too Young 07:26A, C19851985Inner Dialogues
4Loaded Question 05:23A, C19851985Inner Dialogues
5New Day 02:40A, C19851985Inner Dialogues
6Embrace the Night 03:22A19851985Vital Sines
7Down for the Count 03:30A19871987No Poetry Allowed
8When I Fall Apart 03:15A19871987No Poetry Allowed
9Civilized Man 04:52A19871987No Poetry Allowed
10Every Little Thing 04:41A19871987No Poetry Allowed
11Blend With the Night 05:22A19871987No Poetry Allowed
12Regard the Light 04:58A,C19881988In a Blue Night
13In a Blue Night 04:16A,C19881988In a Blue Night
14Wistful 02:23A19881988In a Blue Night
15I Talk to Jesus (Acoustic) 05:39A19882007Unreleased
16Far Away 05:41A19881989Lost in Babylon
17I Need You to Love Me (Acoustic) 04:56A19892007Unreleased
18Put Your Love in My Hands 04:14A19931993Single
19Phone RapA19911991Unreleased
Vol. 4
1I Can’t Get Along Without Her 05:00A19932008Unreleased
2Whisper Falls 06:07A, C19932017Unreleased
3Blueasia – Out of My Mind – Liar 06:03A, C19931993Unreleased
4Sign of the Times (Acoustic) 05:19A19912007Unreleased
5Little Johnny (Acoustic) 05:34A19922007Unreleased
6Crying 07:26A19951995Fighting Gravity
7One Heartbeat at a Time 06:23A19981998Fighting Gravity
8In Trouble (2014)A19832014Single
9Middle of Nowhere ( Acoustic)A20152015Unreleased
10Living with Fiction (Stripped MixA20152015Unreleased
11Hard to Let Go (Stripped Mix)A20142015Unreleased
12Teach My Heart (Stripped Mix)A20172018Unreleased
13When You Tell Me You Love Me (Stripped Mix) 05:34A20172018Single
14Itkumtwoez 04:32A19781978Unreleased
Musicians
APaul Kitchen: Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Lap Steel, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Percussion.
BPaul Kitchen: Vocals, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Drums, Percussion.
Doug Ortega: Keyboards
Scott Rishebarger: Drums
Mark Rishebarger: Guitar
CDoug Ortega: Keyboards
DScott Rishebarger: Drums
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The Making of Potshots From Over the Hill

This is a special album to me. Something I have been tinkering with for the past six years. A reimagining of some of my best unreleased songs. ‘Potshots From Over the Hill’ (Potshots) is a double album featuring sixteen new tracks updated for 2020, recorded across a 36-year period. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein project as well, presenting me with a bunch of technical hoops I had to jump thru. All in all I’m happy with it, and think the finished product holds together well.

For a little history: In September of 2014 I was in the inSync Asylum Studio B and had begun transferring my old eight track half inch reel-to-reel tapes into Cubase – my DAW of choice. The original intent was twofold – one to preserve that work, and two to maybe remix and release some of that music someday. Most of my 8 track recordings were on a Tascam 38 and were recorded July 1983 thru October 1993. As I approach my 63 birthday, I certainly realize that time is marching on. Considering my 40 plus years of writing and recording music – most of it original songs; I realize now that I was most likely at my peak during that ten-year stretch. Little of this work has been released into the digital world and has not been heard by most of my audience.

Something interesting happened with the transferred audio, and I’ve discussed this on my Podcast and utilized it in my last two releases – Magic Moon and Live From The inSync Asylum: Vol One. Both albums have tracks that I call Retreads – reel-to-reel tracks that I’ve brought into my current studio setup, and started working on as if they were modern day tracks. For more on that process, check out my Podcast as well as the making of docs for those two albums here and here.

The Basic tracks for Potshots were recorded in 1983-1993, with new overdubs added in 1997, 1999, and 2014-2020. For example, the song ‘You Define Mystery’ has parts recorded in 1988, 2014, 2018 and 2020. As I’ve discussed previously, one of the biggest challenges bringing all these different eras together was not only the different bit rates, formats, tempos, etc. but the need to correct the pitch of the different parts as well. Only one song has been released previously – ‘Baby Blues’, in a different version from my 2001 album ‘A Matter of Time’ – though I stole a guitar part from it and added it to the new version, whose basic track was recorded live to tape in 1991. ‘Crying’, another song from that same live to tape session in ’91 has never been released in any form or version, even to my close friends. My goal was to make these songs sound like they were recorded at the same time. Without the technology available today, this kind of digital voodoo would not have been possible. Pretty much all of the tracks have new bass and drum parts added. For me, the drums and drum machines on the original recordings are what makes them sound dated, so they had to go or be layered in with the new drums. Six songs have the original vocals, while the other 10 have new vocals. Most have the original guitars with new guitars added. The same goes for the keyboards.

Check out the image below from the compact disc release, to see the recording dates for each song.

This caps off a busy five year run for me, where I came back to music after a nearly 15 year break, and released six albums and eleven singles. As always, I’d love to know what you think of the new album. Till then, stay well, wear your mask and Happy Holidays.

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The Making of Live From the inSync Asylum: Volume 1

In May of 2018 I did my first Live From the inSync Asylum (LFTIA) podcast.  By August of that year, I realized it was not sustainable, and did not do another podcast for nearly a year.  I’ve been doing an episode here and there ever since, but still knew I needed to do something to make it not only more interesting for me, but sustainable.  In February 2020 I finally did a live performance video of Sign of the Times.  At that time, the corona virus was somewhere off in the distance.  A month later we were starting to ‘shelter at home’ across the U.S.  Not long after that, many musicians were performing live from home – and I had finally found what the podcast needed. As of this writing, I’ve done 17 LFTIA videos.  When I released the ‘In Trouble’ double single in late March of this year, I said it was from my upcoming album.  This is not that album. It wasn’t until a few weeks back that it dawned on me I had another new album if I wanted one, sitting right there on my hard drive.  After spending a little time remixing and mastering it, I think Volume 1 is a pretty special collection of songs, and a definite sign of the times. It’s also the first collection of songs I’ve ever done where you can watch the whole thing on YouTube. Without the unfortunate Covid-19 outbreak (which is still in full force in much of the world), this album would not exist.

If you have listened to the podcast, you’ve heard me speaking of my Trip Note project – a 40 year retrospective of mostly unreleased songs spanning 1978-2018.  It’s currently sitting on my hard drive – a four album set of approximately 50 songs.  I figure if I released it, it would sink immediately out of site, so I don’t feel much pressure to let it out of my possession just yet, but you will continue to hear some of it on the podcast from time to time. At the same time, I have been taking some of those old tracks that were recorded on 8 track reel-to-reel and bringing them into my current studio setup, and messing around with them – detecting the tempo, removing parts, adding new parts etc.  I’ve done the same thing with tracks like ‘I’m Still in Love With You’ that were recorded in Logic Audio on the PC 20 years ago.  I call these tracks Retreads.  Several tracks from my most recent album Magic Moon are such tracks.  This retread process came in handy during the lockdown.  I decided I wanted to use backing tracks on some of the live videos – most of them actually; and pulling up an old basic track and bringing it into the present wasn’t so hard to do.  And it created some interesting concoctions – ‘I’m Still in Love With You’ for example has tracks recorded in 1984, 1999 and 2020.  It’s pretty cool playing along to something you recorded 36 years ago…

As for rules, I had none really.  For this album I wanted the tracks to be what was on the video, with no new overdubs.  I did edit a bit to clean up the squeaks and squawks etc., but no overdubs.  Some of the performances are comps of multiple back-to-back takes however, and sometimes quite visible – hair down, hair tied back, etc.  On ‘When You Tell Me You Love Me’, I think I did two takes with the melody maker, before switching to the Taylor in one final take, which is what you see in the video.

The last time I played live with a band – even if just in the studio, was around 1989.  In general, I overdub parts and don’t play and sing at the same time. This was itself a bit of a challenge initially – coordination, breathing, the words and chords etc.  Hopefully that trauma isn’t visible in the videos, but it was there – believe me.  Despite that, it resulted in something kind of relaxed and focused sounding to me, so I seemed to settle in, whether I knew it or not at the time. 

Another odd thing happened early on.  You may notice that ‘Sign of the Times’ is the only video where you see me wearing headphones.  Since the beginning, I’ve worn headphones on pretty much every vocal I’ve ever recorded. Same goes for mic’d amps and acoustics too.  But when I wear headphones a lot nowadays, it stirs up some ear issues – Tinnitus for one. But this time around I had vertigo a couple of times as well, and decided well that’s the end of that.  I researched recording without headphones – letting it bleed like Elvis did, and found that the Shure SM7B that I use for vocals didn’t pickup that much background stuff, so I started to doing that and it worked fine. I just monitored the guitars (which for the most part were direct), and just listened to my vocals in the room – no monitoring.  Worked out OK, though there are a couple spots you can hear hints of some parts that are no longer on the record, after I later muted them in the mix. Oh well…  Here is some detail on each song…

The Present

Recorded 6-2-2020. I wrote this song in the fall of 1981. I was 23 years old. It was originally recorded in ’81 on a collection of songs called ‘Metallic Scorn’. The backing track for this live version is from around August 1986, and from what I can tell never finished. I added drums and strat the day before the live take, but kept the synth bass and jangly electric parts from ’86. I was 28 years old at the time.

Crazy Wind

Recorded 7-9-2020. The 17th date on my ‘No Rhyme or Reason Tour’. I wrote the song Crazy Wind 38 years ago. It was included on an early collection of songs of mine titled ‘Silent Tears’, which I finished in July of 1982. It took me a bit of time to figure out how to play this song now. The recordings from back then are in tune with themselves hopefully, but not so much my digital tuner today. If you want to hear the earlier recording, check out Episode 11 of my Podcast. For the backing track for this, there was nothing from the 1982 recording I could use, so I recorded Guitars, Keys, Drums and Percussion for this prior to doing the live take. It’s a quirky catchy tune – be sure you want it in your head before listening…

Petty Tyrant

Recorded 5-1-2020. I wrote this song in 1984, and it’s the title track from the album of the same name. Last time I played it was around 1988. It was inspired by Carlos Castaneda, but it sounds like a Buddhist take on the ego to me now. Interesting.

I’m Still in Love With You

Recorded 7-1-2020 I wrote I’m Still in Love With You in 1984. It was originally on a collection of songs called ‘Petty Tyrant’. In 1999 I attempted another version of the song, intended for my ‘A Matter of Time’ album, but for whatever reason didn’t include it. At that time, I was using Logic Audio on the PC. I’ve only recently figured out how to piece those tracks back together, and get them into my current day DAW Cubase. For the backing track of this live version, I used mostly the ’99 track, but tweaked, stripped, added beats, drums, guitar and keys. I then imported the Prophet 600 synth bass track from the ’84 version. I did four takes of the song adding live vocal and strat – two of which broke down halfway thru. This is a comp of take 2 and 4 – the complete takes.

Embrace the Night

Recorded 5-14-2020. I wrote this song in 1985. It was originally from a collection of songs called ‘Vital Sines’, and i later recorded it on ‘A Matter of Time’.  The lead guitar/vocal at the end is from another take.

I Can’t Get Along Without Her

Recorded 5-20-2020. I wrote this song in 1992. It was originally released in ’93 on my ‘And We Dream’ album. There’s a 2007 version on my YouTube page you may want to check out too. I first attempted this acoustic version in 2014, and tweaked that to use for the backing track. It’s one of the few songs I’ve played Cajón on.

Civilized Man

Recorded 6-6-2020. I wrote this song summer of 1987. I was 29 years old. It was originally recorded in ’87 on a collection of songs called ‘No Poetry Allowed’ (unreleased, but remains one of my favorites). The backing track for this live version is from that time frame, and recorded on a Tascam 38 on half inch tape. Very little remains in this live version – a little bit of one keyboard track. Other than that, I added drums; guitars, bass, b vox and a little keys a couple days before the performance.

Sign of the Times

Recorded 2-23-2020. I had been messing around with the idea of adding live video performances to my Podcast. Rough around the edges, but a start. Check out the podcast!

Out of the Blue

Recorded 4-24-2020.  With lockdown in force, this song popped into my mind and I had to do it.  I took the basic ‘Living with Fiction’ track and stripped it down a bit – I think I changed the drum kit – not the beat.

Running down This Road

Recorded 6-19-2020. The 15th date on my ‘No Rhyme or Reason Tour’. Running down This Road is from my 2015 album ‘Living with Fiction’, released on my 58th birthday. It’s one of the only songs from my long dry spell, and actually was started in 2009 I think. I found my way out of a dark stretch, and ‘Living with Fiction’ was the vehicle. For the backing track, I took the album track and stripped it down, changed the drum kit and added a couple new loops at the end. Live vocal and guitar on 6-19…

Kind to Myself

Recorded 4-9-2020.  This is a special song to me.  I had just recorded the Inner Light, in response to a challenge by Dhani Harrison and Olivia Harrison on Instagram, to benefit the Material World Foundation.  I did it seated at the PC, so tried the same approach with ‘Kind to Myself’.  I used my baby Martin guitar – probably should have used the Taylor, but it turned out OK.

When You Tell Me You Love Me

Recorded 6-13-2020. The 14th date on my ‘No Rhyme or Reason Tour’. This was the lead off track to my most recent album of original music, 2018’s ‘Blue Tattoo‘. It was a pretty dark album, as it was recorded as I turned 60. You can read more about it here. The backing track for this was from the stripped mix released in 2019, and stripped even further. I added new percussion loops at the end, plus the live vocal and acoustic.

Download/Stream the new album here

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The Making of Magic Moon

In 1970 Paul McCartney and Emitt Rhodes released solo albums, where they played all of the instruments.  I was 12 years old.  I thought that was so cool. And in 7 years or so I was finally trying to learn how to overdub myself, initially bouncing tracks between cassette tape decks. I was hooked!  I progressed to 4-Track, then 8-Track tape before moving to the Mac and then the PC.  42 years later, I have largely performed a lot of my music by myself, playing all the instruments, engineering etc.  Now that I’ve turned 62 and released my 24th collection of songs ‘Magic Moon’, I look back on the McCartney and Rhodes influence, and I certainly see the effect it had. 

Since 1977 I’ve primarily recorded my own songs, but in 2016 I released a David Bowie cover song which lead to my first full covers album, Wheelhouse.  As it turns out, some of these covers are now my most played songs on the streaming services.  So, in my mind, they’re bringing new ears to my music – which is a good thing.   

For the past 5 years or so, I’ve been slowly assembling a 40-year retrospective entitled ‘Trip Note’. It may still see the light of day, but currently it’s being incorporated into my podcast ‘Live From the inSync Asylum’.  Something I discovered during the process of archiving and transferring older material from tape machines (reel-to-reel, DAT and cassette) – was that I could now add to and subtract from tracks which had been recorded many years prior.  I call the new updated tracks Retreads.  4 of the tracks on Magic Moon are such tracks.  To me, it’s cool to hear one solo from 34 years ago, and then a solo recorded a few weeks ago.   

Most of Magic Moon was recorded between June 2018 and November 2019.  For the retreads, basic tracks for ‘Crazy in Love’ and ‘El Gavilan (The Hawk) are from April and May 1987, with Doug Ortega adding some keys to Crazy in Love way back when.  ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ was started late April 1994. ‘Tragic Comedy’ basic tracks are from Nov. 1996 and the uncompleted album ‘Fighting Gravity – which I just might finish someday. 

This project initially started with the idea of doing an album of half covers, half my songs.  But at some point it stretched to a full covers album, and a full album of me covering me, which will come out this June I hope. 

Magic Moon, like Wheelhouse, once again focuses on songs by artists who’ve influenced me, and more importantly reside in my record collection. Jackie DeShannon, Neil Diamond, Dan Penn, Tom Petty, David Crosby, Kris Kristofferson, and Bob Dylan meet that requirement. Donnie Fritts is someone new I recently discovered, and the track by the Immaculate Fools was slated for Fighting Gravity as well. 

I set out to make an enjoyable album, especially after 2018’s darker Blue Tattoo. I think I succeeded.  I’d love to hear your comments…till then. 

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New Music in 2019

Happy New Year. Here’s a quick update on what’s happening music wise. I have a pile of stuff I’ve been working on for quite a while, which will see the light of day in 2019. The first to be released will be two covers albums – one consisting of songs written by others (and the follow-up to Wheelhouse). The other is an album covering my songs (and the follow up to A Matter of Time).

Both of these albums are a by-product of my 40 year retrospective ‘Trip Note’. To be released later in the year, Trip Note currently consists of two double albums of music recorded between 1978 and 2018. Volumes 1 and 2 feature approximately 50 plus unreleased tracks.

The Live from the InSync Asylum Podcasts will resume with the release of new music. Till then…

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The Making of Blue Tattoo

After a nearly 13 year hiatus, I got a lot of songs and ideas recorded in 2013-2015.  This resulted in Living with Fiction, my first collection of new songs in 22 years which was released on my 58th birthday. During that same period, I was also dealing with a nasty little thing some might call a mid-life crisis. Some of this turmoil was reflected in the album, which was very personal in spots, and even made me a bit squeamish.  Because of this, I was very slow to share much of it with folks, until I could get comfortable with it myself.  In retrospect I think it was pretty good, and absolutely something I needed to get out of my head.

I followed Living with Fiction with Wheelhouse in 2016, a collection of covers prompted by David Bowie’s passing.  It was a quick and easy project, and I did not have to think too much. The first track I recorded was Everyone Says ‘Hi’, which quickly became my most streamed track of all-time.  I took my time starting a new album after that. Though I had a couple leftover tracks from Living with Fiction that I knew I wanted to release, I didn’t have any new songs. Apart from Wheelhouse, 2016 was pretty dry in that department.

Almost as a rule, everything you hear and see with my music is done by me.  Most recently, I’ve gotten into a workflow that enables me to get a basic track idea down quickly. When working on something new, I often want to hear some vocals over the music. So I’ll record a quick improvised guide vocal track.  Some of the words you choose during this process are quite curious.  As I got deeper into the recording, the one thing I didn’t seem to want to do, and ultimately saved for last, was to write and finish the lyrics.  Funny thing was, after listening to all that subconscious gibberish, I found the path to the lyrics.  And a lot of what began as gibberish remains on the final cut of Blue Tattoo.  Please don’t tell anyone.

When I started working on the tracks that would become Blue Tattoo, I sensed an even darker tone than that of Living with Fiction.  Once again it was something I had to get comfortable with, as it appeared I was intent on plumbing the depths. It is very much a work of my subconscious I guess.  It’s darker and more relentless than Living with Fiction; pounding it’s favorite subjects: getting older, fear, loss, and death.  But to me, it’s a dark beauty. I am very proud of it, but it surprises me. I certainly wonder where it came from. I had lighter fare to include, but removed it, just to preserve the mood.  I view the 10 tracks on Blue Tattoo as a whole. Hopefully there is something that will resonate in there for those who take the time to listen (But please listen to it on some good equipment!). The only real currency in this for me at this point is having my music heard.  I’ve had some pretty good feedback so far, but would love to hear what you think.  Also, if you do like it, please share it….

Paul Kitchen

3/31/18

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Paul Kitchen | The Making of Wheelhouse

In December 2015 I released ‘Living with Fiction’ (LWF), my first new album of original songs in 22 years.  The recording itself took more than 2 ½ years to complete.  In my defense there was a bit of a learning curve involved, due to all of the new hardware and software I was using.  And it definitely took a while before I started to like what I was hearing.  Shaking off the rust indeed.

PK Wheelhouse Color Cover 2016

Fast forward to January 2016, and the shocking news of David Bowie’s passing.  I must say it stunned and rattled me for a while.  In late February, after a month of Blackstar floating around in my head and Lazarus dreams, I decided I would attempt to record a Bowie track.  I ended up recording ‘Everyone Says Hi’ – one of my all-time favorite Bowie songs. I didn’t fret over it like I did with LWF, and had it mixed, mastered, licensed and available online 7 days later.  (The money may be gone in music, but there is definitely a new swiftness to getting your work out there.)

After the Bowie track started to settle in, for some reason I thought I might want to do a Peter Gabriel song.  My wife Sherry suggested I do ‘Solsbury Hill’.  I said no, I’m only going to attempt my favorite songs (commercial or not); so I decided to tackle ‘San Jacinto’. This led to choosing the next artist and song, and the basic concept of an album of my favorite songs, by artists who have influenced me. Who I chose ‘not’ to cover became as important as who I did cover.

a2518624403_16

In March I laid down the additional 9 tracks that would comprise Wheelhouse (a remix of ‘Everyone Says Hi’ is the 10th track).  The artists/songwriters I settled on were David Bowie, Joe Cocker, Bruce Cockburn, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, Robbie Robertson, Leon Russell, Tony Joe White, and Neil Young.  Joe Cocker is the odd man out here as far as songwriters go, but I had to include him because he’s at the top of my list of favorite singers (The Cocker track was written by Chris Botti and The Blue Nile). April and the first week of May were used for overdubs, mixing, mastering and artwork.

I also decided whatever I did, it couldn’t take years to complete.  In fact, I wanted to do something in the time frame my recordings had been completed in 30 years prior.  A month maybe, two months max. Granted, I only had 4 or 8 tracks to work with back then, compared to 60 tracks on ‘Everyone Says Hi’. I also knew I needed a due date, so I could actually finish the thing.  I believe LWF only came out because of the decision to have it out on my birthday last year.  Without that, I suspect I’d still be working on it. So we looked for a notable date. Thinking of the song ‘Under This Black Moon’ from LWF, I wondered when was the next Black Moon?  Too far out.  How about a Blue Moon?  Bingo – May 21st.  So I had a target and could only fret for a short while longer.  This all contributed to ‘Wheelhouse’ taking a little less than 3 months to complete.

Living With Fiction Booklet Front.indd

I know the album is a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully that’s for the better.  As for the title, I have to credit my wife. After hearing the playback of ‘Unbound’ over and over the night I banged it into shape, she said “that song is right in your Wheelhouse”.  I knew right then that was the title. I’ve since found out several other albums have the same title.  Oh well…  As a side note, I had no idea licensing 10 cover songs could be so costly, but it is. Tell your friends ‘Wheelhouse’ is a must have!

As with most of my recorded work, I played all of the instruments on ‘Wheelhouse’, handled the vocals, engineering etc. It’s something I’ve always aspired to do since I first heard Paul McCartney and Emitt Rhodes do it over 45 years ago, and definitely a homemade thing.  I’m sure it would sound better if I was able to throw more money at it, but….it is what it is.  I play the studio like I play the guitar – upside down.  This being my 40th year of writing and recording music, I figure it’s OK to do my first covers album. Turns out I like this album a lot, with all of the songs having a special meaning for me.  Here’s hoping you feel the same way.  And thank you David Bowie – for the inspiration.

iTunes

Amazon.com

Bandcamp

Google Play

Compact Discs will be available in the next few days on Amazon.com and CD Baby.

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New Music On Tap For 2015

I’m excited to announce that two new albums of music are in the works for 2015. ‘Living With Fiction’ is my first album of all new original songs since ‘And We Dream’ in 1993, so the 22 year drought will finally come to an end. It’s not like I haven’t been recording during that time. I did release ‘A Matter of Time’ in 2001, which included re-recordings of a number of my songs, plus one new song. There are a lot of recordings not released, most of which I’ve never finished, or was unhappy with. But a surge of recording over the past two years has resulted in a pile of stuff, most of it not finished according to my standards (which seems to be par for the course at this point).

Another thing that’s been happening these past two years has been my archiving a lot of my old work: From DAT tapes, Cassette tapes, and most recently 1/2 inch 8 Track tapes. Bringing the 8 track stuff into the current studio setup presented the opportunity to play with it – literally. The result of that is ‘Retread’, a new album of older songs that includes performances spanning 30 plus years on some tracks, while at the same time sounding fresh and current. So keep an eye out for the release of these two new albums, and please join my mailing list by clicking the link at the top of the page to get an taste of early mixes etc.

All The Best,
Paul Kitchen
December 2014

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