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 playing 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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Paul Kitchen | Black & Grey Out Today

I love this album, and am excited to share it with you.  Black & Grey | Live From the inSync Asylum Vol. 2 is unlike anything I’ve ever released. I revisited 10 songs written over the length of my career that are of a mood, and recorded them live in a stripped down setting. I wanted a laid back record, and I think I got one. All of the songs were recorded sans headphones, with no monitoring of the live vocal and guitar – just letting it bleed as Elvis would say.  That in itself contributed to the mood, as what I was hearing from the studio monitors could not drown out the guitars. Thanks to the many wonderful audio tools at my disposal, I was able to rein the recording in, and the finished product sustains the mood from start to finish and doesn’t sound half bad.  I hope you check it out, and please let me know if you enjoy it!

Click here to Stream/Download Black & Grey

if you’d like to watch the recording of the individual tracks, you can find them in the video section of my site.

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New Paul Kitchen Album. Trip Note: 1978-2018 Vol. 1

My new album Trip Note: 1978-2018 Vol. 1 is out today. I’ve spent the past seven years going thru the archives, trying to find the best sounding versions of 40 years of music. Trip Note is a four-album set featuring over 60 songs and nearly 5 hours of music. I hope you check it out. #albumoftheday #guitaristsofinstagram #indierock #stratocaster #applemusic #spotify #tidal #musicstreaming #musicpromotion #NewMusic #NewMusicFriday #paulkitchen #tripnote #NewAlbum

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Whisper Falls Video

Whisper Falls was originally released on the ‘And We Dream’ album in 1993, with a largely electric version. That’s not the way the song was for the bulk of it’s creation, when it was largely a keyboard driven track and much more somber. Turns out by the time I had the lyrics and was ready to add vocals, the song had mutated into the released version. So I never heard it the way I thought it would end up. In 2017 I started playing with the midi files, which were originally done in Cakewalk on the PC, but made their way thru Logic Audio on the Mac and the PC. Pretty sure I only added Strat, Acoustic Guitar and Vocals to it – keeping the original midi tracks as they were, and trying to recreate those keyboard sounds in Halion and Padshop. The original also had a string outro which was not in the midi file, so I tacked that on via an old mix of the instrumental version from around 1993. I’m happy to finally hear Whisper Falls the way I thought it would be. Pretty cool. The video adds a bit of gravity to the song, which is fitting. This version is on the upcoming album Trip Note Vol. 4. I hope you like it. #NewSingle #NewMusic #NewMusicFriday #paulkitchen #tripnote #whisperfalls

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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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