Friday, March 20, 2009

I Am & Barely

So Lori heard the first single off the next album at my concert tonight so I thought I'd put it up for everyone to hear.  Didn't want the blogger girls to be left out.

Also, I put up a demo of one of the songs we wrote for Gina's eventually-coming project.  Clint Lagerberg, Gina and I wrote this one...I think it turned out pretty fantastic.  It's called "Barely"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Here Comes Goodbye...

....broke the record last week for a debut country song on iTunes.  It sold over 125k first week out!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted

Just bought Kelly's new album.

And man is it good.  You must buy it immediately or you shall cease to be relevant.

Here Comes...well, Here Comes Goodbye

You can now buy the single on iTunes!  As well, as the video!

Go buy it!  Listen to it!  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Next record

So the last few weeks have been vital and incredible for finally honing in on a vibe/direction for the next album.

A few months ago, I wrote for the first time with Don Chaffer, who is the lead singer of a band called Waterdeep. Waterdeep is highly considered within the industry as being one of the most artful bands in the business and Don is well known for his production and songwriting skills, especially within his own band's music (his wife is the other lead singer in Waterdeep).

We talked to several producers about co-producing with me, including my friend Adam Smith (who is an incredible songwriter/producer/mixer - he's mixing the Rough Draft stuff right now). We talked about Brown producing part of it as well as several other respected guys in the industry.

My goal for this record is to establish that I'm more than just that chubby guy from American Idol. My goal is to establish that Chris Sligh is an artist, not just a singer. I really want to establish that my songwriting is as or more important than my singing. That my production head space is as vital to my career as my voice is.

Running Back to You was the best album I could make at the time.  It was full of songs we felt were the best ones I had written.  Working with Brown Bannister was one of the greatest experiences someone in the music business could ever have.  And honestly, I still feel that it is and was an incredible debut record.   Not a lot of people get to make a record like mine their first time I was blessed.

This time around, though, the gauntlet is thrown.  It is time to make an album that can live up to anything I've ever dreamed of making or being a part of.

So many people aspire to make good records.  I'm trying, with this album, to make the greatest album ever.  Obviously, the odds are against me meeting my goal.  However, as artists, I think we should aim for the stars.  I want for my record to be something that U2 or Coldplay or {insert an artist} would be proud to have made.  That's my goal.  

So, this week we took another step towards trying to meet my goal.  We went into the studio and jammed to write songs.   The guys in my band aren't necessarily "songwriters" in the sense that they don't do a lot of sitting down and just songwriting.  But they are some of the most creative people I Don Chaffer was there and he brings to the table both creativity from the point of pop sensibilities plus off the wall crazy creativity, too.

The thing that was cool about the writing session on Monday & Tuesday was that if I sit at home and just write from an acoustic guitar, I really am only able to bring a certain thing to the table.  I can try and come close to writing something rocking, but ultimately it needs the band to fill it out.  What we did in the studio was jam and put together songs with ideas that I never could've come up with on my own, or even with just me and Don in my studio writing.  5 heads come up with cooler and different stuff than 2 heads.

The stuff we wrote in the studio exceeded my expectations by a thousand miles.  We wrote upbeat rocking stuff.  We wrote rocking weird stuff (if you know music this will make sense - one song, we wrote the chorus in 7/4 time).  We wrote emotional piano ballad stuff along the lines of some Coldplay stuff.  We wrote some really cool down ballad-y stuff...I mean in 8 songs we wrote exactly what my album needed.

Now over the next few weeks, I'll be spending time writing lyrics and melodies over the musical pieces we wrote. And I'm pumped about it...I feel like these musical pieces give me the opportunities to write some really different stuff than I've ever written.

So...less about those songs specifically and more to the general album...

It looks like there will be 14 songs on the record.  We are breaking the album up into 2 sections.  The first 4 songs will be "THE SINGLES"; the next 10 songs will be "THE ALBUM".  And the credits will be delineated in that way.  

Someone asked if this album will be more like RBTY or TACOSB.   I guess a little of both and a little of neither. The singles are going to be mixed like singles and will sound like radio...perhaps even more than RBTY.   The album, however, is going to be very artistic.  Think a U2 or Coldplay record from a sonic standpoint.  

From a song standpoint, the singles will be straight down the middle CCM.  They are already written and ready to go.  In fact, I'll go ahead and give you the titles:

1.  I Am
2.  To the World
3.  I'm Ready
4.  You Are

The last 10 songs will be chosen from about 25 so far...maybe more depending on what I write between now and then.  There are a few that I'm pretty sure will be there, but you never know.  

My point of this post is that I'm pumped about the new album.  I'm pumped for you guys to hear, though it'll probably be next March or April or something like that.  But I'm pumped about this record!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Writing Today

So, today, I spent 10 hours writing for the new album.

Don Chaffer, who is co-producing the album with Derek Webb and me, came into town from Kansas City for a couple of days to plan the album and to write with me for the record. We got the idea to get my live band in a studio with Don and I to jam and hopefully write the music to a few songs over a couple of days. If nothing else, we might get some snippets that could be morphed later into songs.

So, Jon Skaggs, Tommy Lee, Clint Milburn, Don and I went into a little studio off of Music Row called House of David and spent the day jamming and writing.

We ended up writing the music for 4 songs! 3 of them I'm pretty sure will be on the next all depends on how the turn out once lyrics and melodies are on the music bed we wrote (which I'll be working on over the next couple of weeks).

Tomorrow, Derek will be joining us to write - so hopefully some cool stuff will come out of that!