Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Life is Crazy!

The last couple of months have been insanely busy. My record has been through flux and change and things came together, fell apart, got pieced back together again; arrangements have been combed over again and again to be as great as we think they can be; vocals have been recorded, re-recorded, then re-recorded again.

And now, finally, we are at the mix stage. The songs are being finished - albeit slowly, but they are being finished.

Literally the day I finished putting the final touches on my album, a guy named Brian Bortnick flew into town to start writing for his record, which I am producing for a new upstart label based in Portland, OR called BeePhonic Music. Brian is from Philly (born and raised in North Philly, so he's a stud). Brian's a veteran of the East Coast Music scene - played a lot of shows over his career as a mainstream rock artist. But more importantly, Brian is a really great guy with a really great story.

Brian is Jewish and grew up attending synagogue for the major holidays. When he was 8 his dad was a vending machine repairman and was on a job in North Philly and was attacked by 3 armed gunmen. Brian's dad attempted to save the girl working the register at the store and was killed. Come to find out, the girl he saved was actually in on the heist.

So, from a young age, Brian grew up struggling with hating the people who took his father from him.

As an adult he married a Christian girl and slowly, from her reading the Bible and different Christian books, he became interested in Christianity and slowly realized his need for Christ. After he became a believer, he slowly began to realize the need to forgive the men that took his father from him.

As we talked about his story, one thing he said really struck me hard. He told me, "You know, I grew up without my dad. But think about the families of the guys who killed my dad. They didn't have it easy. They didn't have their dads or brothers or sons for all that time."

I was blown away. I mean, only by the God's grace can anyone feel empathy for the people who killed your father!

So, I'm excited about Brian's album. It's vibey and cool and exciting to be a part of. His story is so vital (there are a couple of songs that deal with what has happened in his life) but the story for an artist is nothing if the music sucks. This music doesn't suck!!! We are going for an 80's pop/rock singer/songwriter vibe - you know: Bryan Adams, The Boss, Petty, Don Henley, John Cougar, etc. - but with a twist. While sounding vintage in a lot of ways, it will still sound really, really current. And the songs just feel good. You know when you hear a great 80's pop/rock song and even if you don't know it, it JUST FEELS GOOD. That's how this record feels to me. We are just listening to rough demos and I'm grinning from ear to ear because it just feels good.

This week, however, Andrew Witt is back in town to finish writing his record. Then over the weekend, he and I both have to fly out to do 2 shows, then we both get back Sunday. Sunday, we make final decisions on what songs will be on his record. Monday, we start recording over at the kindly Steve Bishir's studio with Mr. Jon Skaggs on drums! I'm really excited about this record, too! I have a feeling this record is going to be something special.

And I'd like to take a moment and say that Andrew is going through some tough financial times as a young guy trying to make a go of it. Some of you guys have graciously given sacrificially for Andrew. I am so thankful. If you are interested in helping Andrew, please let me know - he could use the help as he takes this next step of faith to move forward in his career!

I work on Andrew's record till the 24th, then I head out for 3 1/2 weeks of promo tour with the Word team! That is going to be fun! I get to see old radio friends, hopefully make new radio friends and just get to share my music in one way or another! I'm excited about that.

When I get back in June, Andrew will come back in to record vocals for his album! Then it's off to mix and master on that project.

The day we finish Andrew's record Brian will come in to start working on his record. That should last until early August.

Then in August, it's tentative, but there's a major label artist I'm working hard on pitching Steve Bishir and I to co-produce! Hopefully it works out!!!

Then September is a tour that is being finalized now (more on that soon!!!)will head out until the first week October and will pick up again for all of NOvember!

So, life is good.

But life is crazy.