Magic Moon Remaster Out Today

The Magic Moon remaster is out today. Originally released on my 62nd birthday in 2019, Magic Moon was my second covers album, this time focusing on songs I’d like to cover. The reissue features remastered versions of tracks written by Jackie DeShannon, Donnie Fritts, Immaculate Fools, Neil Diamond, Dan Penn, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Dylan, and others. Also featuring two bonus tracks not on the original release. Silver Moon written by David Sylvian, and Let Go originally by Frou Frou and Imogen Heap. If you haven’t heard it, I hope you listen soon. Be sure to check out the making of article below, as well as the video update on the reissue.

Read the Making of Magic Moon

Download/Stream Magic Moon

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Wheelhouse Remaster Out Today

The Wheelhouse remaster is out today. Originally released in 2016, I consider it one of my most inspired projects. It was also my first all covers project, with Magic Moon following in 2019. Wheelhouse features my tributes to artists that have inspired my music: Neil Young, Tony Joe White, David Bowie, Robbie Robertson, Joni Mitchell, Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Bruce Cockburn, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, and a new bonus track written by Elliott Smith. If you haven’t heard it, I hope you check it out now. Be sure to check out the making of article below, as well as the video update on the reissue.

Read the Making of Wheelhouse

Download/Stream Wheelhouse

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The Making of Fighting Gravity

After I finished the album And We Dream in 1993, I worked on an album to be called Fighting Gravity over the next 6 years or so. At some point, I abandoned it and began to focus on the tracks that would become A Matter of Time in 1999/2000 – which was also my first album recorded on a digital audio workstation (DAW).  Some of those early DAW tracks were also meant for Fighting Gravity. During this time I was transitioning away from reel-to-reel 8 track half inch tape with SMPTE time code, to an in the box solution. At the time it was Emagic Logic Audio on the PC, which I had first started using on the Mac.  At some point Apple bought Emagic, decided to stop developing the Windows version, and threw us PC users overboard. Have I used an Apple product since?  Nope.

I’ve been dabbling with some of the tracks on Fighting Gravity since 2012. After digitally transferring the 8 track tapes, I sooner or later learned the process of what I call ‘Retreading’ tracks – bringing them into Cubase and remixing, editing, and adding to them etc.  In the past few years, I also figured out how to import the tracks which were recorded in Logic Audio and exported as Midi and OMF files.  FYI, 2020’s Potshots From Over The Hill is a retread album.  And now so is Fighting Gravity: where you might have a vocal from 2022 and 1998 on the same song. Same goes for the guitars, keys, drums etc.

I also decided to remove a couple tracks that have been released in recent years in one version or another like Crying and One Heartbeat at a Time, instead adding a couple tunes from the same time frame that weren’t initially intended for Fighting Gravity, like This is the Night and One of a Kind – both of which were just bare boned sketches with no lyrics per se.  Once I had 10 tracks, I finally got serious in the last couple years to finish my much-delayed album.

It needs to be said that I think And We Dream was a high point for me – I was in my prime 30 years ago (35 years old then vs. 65 years old now).  So to me, for all intents and purposes, Fighting Gravity is the follow up to And We Dream – 30 years later.  I think it’s a strong album, and nothing like a new album I’d record from scratch today. I hope you enjoy it.

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Paul Kitchen | Ghosts Upon the Road

I was reading the Steven Wilson bio ‘Limited Edition of One’ recently and realized I too could tell much of my story by what music I was listening to at the time, as well as where I got the music.  For example, I’m pretty sure it was 1980 when I got a vinyl copy of ‘Blue River’ by Eric Andersen.  It was browsing in Record and Tape Exchange in College Park MD, and I was taken with the song ‘Sheila’. A little bluesy, some minor chords, and that voice.  

Years later while driving at night, I heard the song ‘Girls of Denmark’ from the album ‘Tight in the Night’ on late night radio.  Once again – it got under my skin.  I later found an import of that album on vinyl. This had to be around 1985. 

Four years later in ‘89, I had a package delivery route and had gotten into the habit of buying cassette tapes I could play in my truck while I worked.  On a rainy day in Laurel MD I stumbled upon the new Eric Andersen album ‘Ghosts Upon the Road’.  Cool cover – looked interesting.  As it turned out, that album became one of my all-time favorites.   The title track in particular got my attention. Kind of a long form beat movie – cinematic in spots.   

As it turns out I ended up covering ‘Ghosts Upon the Road’ for the first time in March of 1992, and later in 1997 I recorded ‘Girls of Denmark’.  I included the Ghosts cover on the early copies of my ‘And We Dream’ album in ‘93 that I gave to friends.   That album’s original running order had a few other covers on it as well, all of which I removed years later when I released the album digitally.  

I’ve followed Eric Andersen closely since ‘Ghosts’ and with the recent release of a tribute album to him, I decided I wanted to throw a cover into the pile as well.  It had to be Ghosts.  

I started by pulling up the original half inch 8 track tape of my “Ghosts Upon the Road’ recording from 1992 and brought it into my current Cubase setup.  On recordings from that time, I had started to use SMPTE time code to extend my 8 tracks with midi keyboards and drum machines.  All these years later I can no longer read that time code, so the original midi, even if I could find it, wouldn’t work for me now.  As it turns out, I redid the whole thing. I wanted a different mood. 

To get there, I ended up slowing the original recording down a bit (Hey, I’m getting ready to turn 65, and I am also well known for coining the phrase ‘it’s too fast’). I also had to tap out the tempo, thinking I might reuse some tracks from back then, though I ended up not doing that. Between June and October of this year, I recorded new vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, lap steel, keyboards and drums.  So, here you have a new 2022 recording of ‘Ghosts Upon the Road’. I hope you like it.  And thank you to Eric Andersen for all the great words and music thru the years. You’ve earned all the tributes coming your way… 

Click here for Download/Stream links

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The Making of Black & Grey

When I finished recording Live From the inSync Asylum Vol. 1 in the summer of 2020, I had ideas for doing another one – but the pandemic got in the way of my plans.  So as winter set in and my 64th birthday approached, I finally got to work on Vol. 2 in the Fall of 2021. The intent was I would visit songs that I had not sung or performed in many years.  I also chose songs that tended to go to that darker space that a lot of my music resides in.  To me it’s a certain combination of feelings and emotion. Something I can’t explain, but I apparently like to go there.  This collection of songs goes there and pretty much stays. 

Fast forward to now, and I have a ten-track recording that’s pretty special to me.  The album and accompanying YouTube videos are as close as you’re likely to get to a live PK show for the time being.  I envisioned a trio with me on vocals and guitar, a keyboard player also handling the bass, and someone on cajon and percussion. On Black and Grey I stripped the songs down as far as I could and simplified the parts. I got just a basic understanding of the songs on guitar prior to cutting them. For this album, I found myself without my usual guitars and bought a like-new IYV guitar from Amazon warehouse for $132.  I ended up using it on most tracks straight out of the box – just tuned it. Same goes for the acoustic guitar I used – a Yamaha FG830 bought from the Amazon warehouse for $280 that had been returned. Both are nice guitars by-the-way.

The one main thing that contributes to the feel of the album is I did not wear headphones while recording. I had to listen to the studio monitors.  I also did not monitor the electric guitar.  I only heard the electric or the acoustic un-amplified and un-monitored.  So, you can imagine the sound levels had to be relatively quiet to still hear what I’m doing while hearing the studio monitors.  The mood of my having to listen closely to the backing track while singing and playing an un-amplified electric guitar had quite an effect.

I know the acoustic guitars sound boomy as do the vocals, due to the bleed thru from the monitors. But I love the album anyway.  It sounds like right where I am now, even though the songs span decades. Its rough around the edges, but close to how the songs sound in my head – stripped down, simple and quieter.

I’m under no delusions that people are beating my door down for more music.  It’s not happening.  But what I do know is I still want to hear new music and make new recordings. When I hear established artists ask why they should make new music when there’s no money in it – I’m flabbergasted.  Maybe someday I’ll understand….

With Black & Grey complete, I’m planning on starting work on some new songs and the follow up to 2018’s Blue Tattoo. Wish me luck…

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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
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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