Working Weekend

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Food and wine included ...

Well, where to start? Last weekend was a very busy and very productive one for Nine Stones Close. While all of the residents of my adopted home town (Leiden, NL) were out on the frozen rivers and canals skating, drinking gluhwein, and generally being very Dutch, my friend Michel and I were hard at it in the studio.... 'it' being the new Nine Stones Close album. We hit the ground running, and despite distractions from outside, progress on a brand new track was quickly being made. The previous session I had come up with a half idea for a song by jamming around between edits. We listened back and started to build on the short demo, and the ideas were coming thick and fast. Suddenly, I was writing and recording additional sections and guitar parts like crazy! In between the obligatory BLT's and copious cups of tea provided by my lovely wife, guitar parts and sounds were sought out and recorded and the track pieced togther quickly.  By the end of the day a 13+ minute monster of a track had been created, including all of the guitar parts recorded apart from the solo. I have to say, IT ROCKS! I am really loving this one and can't wait for you all to hear it :)

With the basic track done the call for dinner arrived. I quickly threw together my special garlic bread to go with the home made lasagne and tucked into a nice large glass of merlot. After that came the fabulous dessert, a black forest pavlova, and more wine. Needless to say, after that lot recording was done for the day, apart from a quick playback of the new track so we could sit and smugly enjoy it with another glass of wine. After that we retired for the evening with a few drinks and some good music on the hifi. Mastodon - Crack The Skye, which was my album of the year in 2010, and a few Motorpsycho albums (great Norwegian band that you should check out). All on vinyl, of course.

Sunday started a little bit blurry around the edges, which was soon sorted out with bit of walk in the icy cold followed by a full English and a mug of tea. Breakfast of champions. The rest of the day was spent recording some additional 12 string guitars on a couple of tracks as well as putting down some guide bass lines for the guys to work with. Everything is sounding great so far and I can't wait to hear what the other guys add to the songs.

I spent some time last year worrying about what people might think of the new album material compared to Traces, especially as Traces has been so well received. The new album is definitely not Traces part 2, I can't write to formula or to style, whatever comes out is from the heart and soul, and that's what really matters isn't it? It is what it is; a statement of my current state of mind and musical direction. All I can say is, it sounds like Nine Stones Close to me. The good news is that all the material is now written apart from the lyrics, and those are constantly in flux. Hopefully the first set will be final this week ready for Marc to start recording his parts. Next week I hope to post a few video clips and sound clips (if all goes well). Michel and I will be back in the studio working on the final few guitar parts for the last 2 tracks. Beer may also be involved. Watch this space.... still a long way to go .... but we are getting there!!

Beer Count: 0 (shock horror!!)

Gin and Tonic count : off the scale