Recording at Willie Nelson’s Studio, June 2005 · Words by Ginger
Texas. How can anyone not love this place? There’s a little sticker in Willie’s studio (among the tons of pictures of Willie and his favourite people/things adorning the walls) that says “there’s a little bit of everything in Texas”. Behind the bar at Elmo’s there’s a quote from some famous female poet that goes “I found myself in Texas and now I’ll never be lost again”. Both statements are about a place that you would have to wholeheartedly agree with if you were there. I have fallen in love geographically for the first time in my life. Ever wondered why people travel the world? It’s probably because they haven’t found a home, and until one finds them, they would rather go looking than procrastinate. It is the way of spiritual evolution for the ultra-curious soul. In a worst case scenario, people with high expectations and super human output run the risk of disappointment so huge that it threatens the very fabric of their mental safety. It is also a gamble where the dividends reward the punter with a panoramic understanding of the politics of mankind, and equally important, a truer picture of oneself.
I love Texas.
From the worst of beginnings this year is finally flowering, rapidly growing and expanding right in front of my eyes, and as it transforms daily I can only stand back and admire almost as a spectator. I sure as hell can’t stem the flow of creativity that ceaselessly bursts free in the studio where Ralph and I keep a manic and insomniac vigil. The main recording work was completed a week ago, and in the process of mixing and mastering the tracks some truly strange developments have begun. New songs have been written, quickly recorded and gratefully included in the tracklisting and new people have surfaced and will hopefully become involved in this blossoming album. We had an idea of what we wanted to achieve when we began, we have reached and effortlessly surpassed it and now the album is making the rules itself and regularly handing them to us. If this sounds overly dramatic then you have presumably never had a life changing experience that has pointed you in the direction that has eluded you for many dark years. I suspect you don’t believe in magic either.
I am so fucking happy at the moment that I often have to distract myself with something mundane to stop myself from spontaneously combusting.
SHIT HAPPENS AND ALL THINGS MUST PASS.
Remember this for the rest of your life, it is among the best advice you will ever receive. It was to me.
I not only love Texas but I also love these songs. I love the honesty of the lyrics and the timeless feel of the music. Oh man, the music! We have two instrumentals on this album. I always feared instrumentals, considering them to be somehow uncool. What an idiot!
I love the way Ralph is making this album sound too. His production is huge, clear and satisfying. From gospel tinged ballads to Vegas style musical workouts to riff-laden monsters, his is a technique that joins everything together with linear sonic logic. When you hear the album in full you’ll know what I’m trying to say. This is music that should be filed in the ‘other’ section of the store, if super-eclectic was a genuine genre of music. Written while wading through shit so deep it felt like a bad dream on Groundhog day, these songs are testament to the healing power of faith. And without faith we have nothing but the charity of other people; a nice theory but insubstantial evidence to suggest any real substance.
Faith teaches us that we do not know what we think we know; in other words, time would be a better healer than medicine, if we had the patience and experience with which to use it. What the mind insists to be true isn’t necessarily so, and should be taken away and brewed. If what we originally thought was true ultimately remains true, then it won’t have gone anywhere, we can still react accordingly. If something we thought was true actually wasn’t after all, then time just saved us from making a potentially critical error of judgement. And if all people acted with this in mind then ironically the world wouldn’t act as such a rich source of material in which to help a person evolve spiritually. It’s only because of a human beings impulsive need to react that we make mistakes, and it is only through mistakes that we learn this, and many other things that we casually label ‘experience’.
I could say that experience has lent a hand in writing every song on this album, but in the end the subject matter is less important than the outcome. And the outcome is that the album I wanted to make has turned into the album that has made me. This experience has changed my life and my attitude towards life, from negative to positive. I can’t even remember exactly why I used to think so negatively, but I remember only too well what it took to get me to this point, and none of it was what you’d call fun. Who would have thought that every negative action in my life was the direct conductor for everything positive that is happening now? There was a time where I would have argued the exact opposite.
Emotion is energy and energy can be transformed and used. How one uses this energy is subjective, and how one came into possession of it is immaterial.
Everything around you is constantly changing. It is up to you if want to have any involvement in those changes or be happily thrown around by them. Me? I’m gonna ride the times like it’s a fucking stallion.
Here, have a listen to another song from the session. It joins the lines between the instrumental tracks, the honest lyrics and the timeless music that I referred to previously. It’s called “10 Flaws Down” (‘Ten Flaws Down’ – at MySpace), and I hope it will make the final tracklisting. Right now the music is flowing and this story is far from over. Hope you like the song.
Pass me the saddle.
Ginger, June 2005