65 & Sunny…From “Clarity,” which is still my personal favorite of the albums I’ve recorded…
It threw me for a loop. I wanted to make a slow, pretty, meditative album of peaceful relaxing songs…how hard can that be, right?
So I wrote the tunes, thought I had them all practiced. I sat down to record…and it was awful! All of the long, held notes were either held for too long or I cut them too short…ugh!
And I had to face the very real truth…
That I had a timing. I’d known for my entire career in music - it was the main reason I’d failed out of music school (which is a story for another day), and I had never taken the time to address it.
And all of the fancy work on the double neck guitar seemed to dazzle people, and nobody seemed to mind.
Except me. In that moment.
I minded very much! And it was time to work on it.
So I began playing along with James Brown. And I kid you not, it was the music of James Brown that saved this album. I started doing what I call my “Groove Work” every morning, playing along with The JBs and other funk, soul artists - on guitar, on bass, on drums.
And sure enough, after about a month, my timing and feel improved drastically and I was able to record “Clarity.” And it’s mostly soft, pretty tunes. This is one of the only songs with a “groove.”
It’s funny how sometimes when we have an issue (like my timing problem), we ignore it…and we might ignore it for different reasons. Maybe we don’t want to look at it. We don’t want to see our flaws.
For me, I chose to ignore it because…well, everyone seemed happy with my guitar playing.
But it got to a point where I wasn’t happy with my guitar playing. And it was time to change.
I remember in music school how hard I practiced because I so badly wanted the approval of my professors. But I failed because I was trying to change for them.
I remember as kid wanting to be a better person, to be more kind, more loving…because I wanted the approval of my parents. But I couldn’t embrace that change until I wanted it for me.
It’s hard to change. It’s hard to choose to grow, to get better, to improve.
You can’t change for other people.
You have to change for you.
Love y’all, enjoy!
Directed by Ty Longworth
Edited by Lenoria Kroos