ukulele

This is what I mean.

butter horzYesterday I posted up on the north side of the Snake River Canyon, about a mile north of the house where I grew up. That mound on the far side is what remains of Evel Knievel's 1976 attempt to jump the canyon - still the biggest thing that ever happened around here. The North Side is an unregulated badland of twisted dirt roads and spray-painted rocks and the black remains of illegal campfires. There are no houses, or cows, or cops. Less than 5 minutes from the nearest Starbucks, you can go somewhere and kind of do whatever you want, without permission or a permit. It's our own little Burning Man.

I took my time finding a quiet enough place to set up, and eventually settled here. It wasn't perfect. I had forgotten about guns and target practice. On a sunny Sunday afternoon in Jerome County, shooting is a given, which is one thing, but yesterday someone nearby was testing out his machine gun, the invisible crackle coming in loud and fast and mechanically paced.  At first I was annoyed - silence being a prerequisite for recording - but I figured he would run out of bullets eventually. And he did. By the time I had set up the table, mic, computers, battery, tuned the guitar and powered everything up, the world was silent but for a cool spring breeze coming up out of the canyon rim. It was just me and the lizards.

I spent all afternoon making a new song. And getting a decent sunburn.

 

Westbound.

IMG_4311 Day One. Salina, Kansas

I woke up this morning happy because the hotel I stayed in costs $35. You know how I like my dive motels. This one was that. Stripped down. No counter in the bathroom. No coffeepot. No frills. I slept on top of the covers, which is probably an empty gesture but you gotta feel like you're doing something to protect yourself. It always seems to work out.

I'm in Salina, Kansas, for another hour at least. Then I make for Denver, which is on the way to Idaho, which is where I'm starting the recording of my new record, Thousand Springs. I'll be there all month, recording in the places that are dear to me: White Mortuary (where my dad worked doing mortician stuff  while my little brother I played in the caskets), my best friend Nelson's house, my childhood home (assuming the new owners let me -- why wouldn't they??), the church I went to as a kid, that sort of thing.

I bought an expensive battery (more on that in future posts) and I'm going to try some outdoor recording too. Wilderness recording. Like at Craters of the Moon if the snow melts. I'll keep you posted on what shapes up.

Got a carload full of instruments and recording gear. Here's what I'm bringing:

20 new songs 1999 Martin D-18vm 1963 Gibson LG Baritone Ukulele I bought from a guy in a parking lot 2 soprano ukes, one of which is mostly plastic 1975 Peavey T60, a guitar I am made fun of for loving Appalachian dulcimer my mom sent me Fiddle I stole from my brother 20 years ago Apollo Twin loaded with my favorite UA plug-ins Oxygen8 2 octave midi controller 2015 Mojave 301FET condenser mic 2014 Sennheiser 935 1989 Shure SM57 1 pair AKG K701 Reference Headphones Modified Canon 7D + tripod and dolly, for filming A couple laptops Modified 2001 Fender Blues Jr amp 1 crate of paperbacks, for recreation 1 bottle bourbon (Jefferson's single barrel), for same Way too many shoes