I’m excited to announce the release, of what is essentially my debut album.
Seven Years is a collection of newly remastered guitar oriented instrumentals I recorded between 2000-2007. Those seven years represent the evolution, and the beginnings of my experiments and learning experience with songwriting and digital recording.
Since I was in the midst of trying to grow my photography business at the time, many of the songs were made during the late night hours in my tiny basement apartment, using the Boss BR-8 portable recorder, and later using Cubase and Logic software when I got a faster computer.
I had the BR-9 on a little table at the end of my bed, next to which sat an Alesis SR-16 drum machine, which surprisingly, is still being sold, virtually unchanged since its release over 30 years ago.
I would sit on the edge of the bed, plug my Fender Stratocaster into the BR-8, dial up the built-in rhythm sounds, or use one of the stock presets inside the drum machine, and jam away. Often times, these sessions would take place somewhere in the neighborhood of between 9:00pm to 2:00am.
When I came up with what I thought was a cool melody or chord progression, I’d arm one of the tracks, hit record and start turning it into a song. After adding additional parts, I’d then go to work on the SR-16 and create full drum parts for each of the song sections.
Finally, I’d bounce the tracks if needed, (8 tracks meant I could have 6 tracks of guitars and the stereo out of the drum machine), then mix the song down into its finished form.
Eventually, I got a faster computer, and started using Cubase software to record on my Mac. By 2004 2005, I had switched to using GarageBand and Apple Logic, which is what I use today. The technology has grown immeasurably since then, and I’m simply floored by the capabilities of modern recording software, which pretty much anyone can run on their home computer.
As a lifelong music freak who’s been buying and listening to albums since I was a kid, I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction to finally release an album of my own.
It also vindicates my often-held sense of being a frustrated musician who’s often struggled with songwriting, and who’s spent way too much time noodling around on the guitar by myself and not doing anything with it.
Looking back, I’m very proud of these recordings, and I feel they clearly illustrate my style and energy as a guitar player and musician, and the influences who have combined to make me who I am as an artist.
It’s so excited for me finally bring these songs out into the light of day, so I hope you enjoy them. As I said in my previous post, I’m already working on my next album, which I hope to release by early spring.
So, thanks for reading and thanks for listening. I hope you enjoy these songs. If so, feel free to leave me a comment and be sure to follow me on the indie music website BandCamp, so you’ll be notified whenever I release new music.
Seven Years Track List
A nod to one of my biggest guitar influences, Jeff Beck, There and Back was one of the first songs I ever recorded. It was created during one of those late night sessions in my basement apartment, using the Boss BR-8 digital recorder and Alesis SR-16 drum machine.
Daytona is a fun rock instrumental written and recorded in the beginning of 2006. To me, the fast rhythm always made me think of race cars going around a track. All the guitar parts were made using the “speaker simulated” line out feature of my Fender Cyber Deluxe amp, which was one of the first modeling amps.
Recorded sometime during 2001 or 2002, Sawblade was heavily influenced by Jeff Beck’s “You Had it Coming” album, which was one of my favorite albums of the decade.
This song has actually been used a couple of times. My friend Eric Parsons of Revelate Designs, used it as the soundtrack for an adventure video he made, called Chugach Energy Drink, and submitted to the Anchorage Daily News video contest.
The video won first prize, which was a fancy stereo system. Eric promptly dumped all the gear on Craigslist and used the money to fund our 2008 alpine climbing trip in Little Switzerland, in Alaska’s Pika Glacier.
I also used an edited cut of Sawblade in a bicycle racing video I made to demonstrate the video capable of the Fujifilm X-T2 camera.
The title track, Seven Years, is a rock instrumental that I wrote and recorded during one of my “Friday music days,” in 2007, when I used to devote the last day of the work week to working on music instead of doing photography stuff.
This piece demonstrates my continued fascination for creating compelling drum parts that mesh with the guitar, as opposed to just proving a steady backbeat through the entire song.
Recorded in 2006, The Junkyard combines funk-style drum and bass with steel slide guitar and Jeff Beck style lead guitar work, heavily influenced by his “You Had it Coming” album.
I’ve long been fascinated by flamenco guitar, and started pursuing this kind of playing after doing a solo cycling trip to Andalucia in early 2003. Alegrias en Mi is one of the pieces in Juan Martín’s “Play Solo Flamenco Guitar with Juan Martín.”
A progressive rock instrumental track, The Fugitive was one of the first songs I ever recorded. It was made during those late-night sessions in 2000, using the Boss BR-8 digital recorder. All the drum parts were programmed on the Alesis SR-16 drum machine, with me tapping out rhythms while sitting on the edge of my bed in my tiny basement apartment. Listening to it brings back fond memories of those early days.