New Mexico was a song I wrote while on the road with Jay Psaros in 2011 – we were halfway across the States when I had to hop a plane in Oklahoma City to get to a gig in Spokane. Jay continued across Texas solo, and I rejoined him in Albuquerque. Flying over the land of enchantment, I found myself gripped with a weird sensation – I felt like I was coming home to this place I’d never been. To my knowledge, no one in my family had ever lived in New Mexico, and while I am a child of the desert by birth, and while I have an abiding love of Georgia O’Keeffe, I couldn’t rightly put my finger on the source of the keening feeling. But I liked the feeling a lot.
Later on the same tour, driving alone back to LA from a treasured visit with my amazing cousin and her brood, I wrote the entire song behind the wheel. My dad and Dickie B used to have a studio together in Los Angeles, and Richard was kind and hospitable enough to have me and Jay stop into his current studio to lay down a couple of tracks while we were in town. I picked the new song, and Jay backed me up.
As I said, this was over three years ago, and both we and the song are different now – the lyrics have changed a little bit, Jay was horrified to hear the tone he’d picked for the lead guitar, I was appalled at my lack of diction and the strange part of my voice I was using. However, December yielding neither time nor money (not to mention energy), and me fretting for hours about what to do and whether it was “cheating” to upload a track that had been recorded in 2011, I came to a conclusion: that you can’t break rules you haven’t made yet. No I’m not pumped that it’s the second waltz in a row, the second home-themed song in a row, the second ballad…but I am very pumped that it’s a GOOD song, a GOOD recording, and was an unreleased product I had in my back pocket to drop in the nick of time! ::wipes relieved sweat from brow::
So here you have it ~ New Mexico
A Word on the Studio:
Sonora Recorders is just about what any hippie’d love to see walking in to do a session: amps and pedals, mics and cables, instruments and coffee mugs scattered everywhere – not because the engineers are anything close to slobs, but because these items are in use all the time. We happened in on a couple of off-hours from a session Dickie B was doing with Passion Pit. The studio is fully equipped and operational, and the up-to-date digital technology they use is backed up by years and years’ worth of experience with the superior fidelity of analog. Some relics of the 80’s lie amongst the equipment ready and hopeful for use.
A Word on the Engineer:
The Barron’s have been important and irreplaceable members of our “extended family” since before I was even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes. Therese and Richard were part of the village that raised my brother and me. Richard (whom I’ve called Dickie B for as long as I can remember) has helped me with recordings before, and has ever been a supportive and loving uncle-type, even though we hardly ever get to hang out. So that all said, I probably have a very biased view of him as a professional… But when we got this chance to work together, he was quiet, amicable, encouraging, maintained high standards of performance, and although the studio seemed like it was in disarray from the other band’s session, he pretty much knew where everything was and as a result we felt at home and comfortable. A smile ebbed through his distinguished mustache the entire time we were there.
A Word on the Accompanist:
I am one lucky gal to know and be able to work with Jay Psaros so much. He would never cop to his own talent – talent which is substantial and anyone who knows him or has heard him for ten seconds emphatically nods to this. He instead takes his pride in his abundant horse sense – at the very gentle age of 30 he has been at the music game for 10+ years, never needs to learn a lesson twice, keeps all his bridges in good repair, has the tenacity of a violation sticker. His honesty, humility, and genuine positive attitude – not to mention the body of excellent work – are the hallmarks of his intelligence, and New England is just beginning to discover they need to find as many opportunities to work with him as possible. In the studio he is knowledgeable, easy-going, thorough, and maintains high standards of performance and production. I will never have enough good things to say about this guy as a performer, producer, and person. Check out his current projects at PBandJayRecords.com !