Dec. 18. 2009
Dave Hower got here around 10:45 and set up his drums while I ate lunch and printed out the lyrics to “Good Times Are Here” and “Between Friends.” Played through “Good Times” while sitting on my old amp and DH played along on his kit. He’d played it at Falcon Ridge last July, so it wasn’t entirely new to him, but we reworked a few things. Decided to add a guitar solo. We got the song in 2 takes! We might even have a keeper vocal from Katryna. It’s worked really well in the past to record with me on acoustic in one room, Dave H in the main room and Katryna in the vocal booth. Dave Chalfant said, through the talk-back, “We should be a rock band!”
Moving on to “Between Friends.” It took 3 takes to get the feel right. Dave H, K and I all played at the same time again. I get to play on the futon in the control room which I love! All the yoga I’ve been doing is helping my shoulders not to tighten up when I’m hunched over the guitar. Come to think of it, my alignment is more conscious, so I’m not hunching as much.
We did “Which Side Are You On?” really easily, changing up DH’s drums to muffle the bass. Added 8 measures for our surfer vocal extravaganza which we are plotting. Then Katryna left to pick up her kids. Dave H stayed to play on his knees with twigs for “More Than Enough.”
Last we did “Can I Love You Too Much,” which DH played fairly straight. All that song needs is bass and it is finished! Only four more basic tracks to go, but we won’t get to them until 2010.
It’s the winter solstice. I love this day so much. I am glad it’s sunny. I have had very little sleep, which is a shame, since everything in my being wants to curl up and hibernate these days. Jay woke me up at 2am and I had the worst insomnia after he went back to sleep. Then Elle woke us both up at 5:45, though having my kids cuddling in bed with me is hardly something to complain about. So I won’t.
What I did when I couldn’t sleep was count my blessings. I am grateful that the weird hiccup in my heart turned out to be something benign. I am grateful that we have a Christmas tree that Jay hasn’t (yet) pulled over onto himself. I am grateful that we get to make this CD, I love this time of year, and my body has finally adjusted to the cold. On Saturday, we went to see Amelia in A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music. She was sensational as Belinda Cratchett, and the whole play was beautiful to behold. Tom and I guessed there would be a 20% chance that Elle would want to stay for the entire hour and twenty minutes of it, mid-afternoon without a nap, but she sat on my lap commenting on “the grouchy guy” and “the princess ghost” the entire time. She keeps making us tell and re-tell the story.
I am also working on our music book, All Together Singing in the Kitchen: the Musical Family. Today I was writing that for some of us (me) context and community is everything. I fell in love with the Beatles when I was nine years old, deeply, madly and permanently, but I will never know for sure how much of my love came from a pure affection for the music and how much came from the experience of listening to them with my best friend Leila Corcoran whom I adored and admired. Her enthusiasm for the Beatles was so huge and contagious, and it was so much fun loving them along with her. How much does my love of Pete Seeger and the Revels, and for that matter, my choice to be a folk musician, derive from the bond my parents forged with me as a baby onward through that shared love of a kind of music?
Speaking of music, I am so glad we get to sing Christmas carols. It’s the best part of the whole event, if you ask me. Saturday morning, I pulled out my guitar and played “Here We Come A Wassailing,” “Gloustershire Wassail” and “Jingle Bells for Elle and Jay who held hands and danced all over the music room. Jay can now sing “Twinkle Twinkle” perfectly on key, though his lyrics are “Dee do dee do dee doo DAH!” Tomorrow my aunt Elizabeth and her son, my cousin John Colonna who is at Berklee in Boston are coming for dinner, along with my parents, Katryna, Dave and their kids. We are having roast duck, yams, brussels sprouts with Tom’s homemade biscotti dipped in hot chocolate for dessert. John C is an a amazing pianist, the best kind, meaning the kind who can play any Christmas Carol in any key and doesn’t even mind.