priority priorities

(on facebook? go to for the full post)

So I’m thhhiiissss close to having my new record done and finished and in my sweaty little paws. I picked up the masters on the weekend, all the appropriate series of numbers and codes are inputed into the systems they need to be put into, just waiting for the cd layout approval and we’re in business. I’ve sent it around to a few people and so far no one has hated it or been entirely offended, so that’s a sign to me to keep going.

To be honest, I’m really happy and proud of this one. I set a few goals back in the fall and even if my time line ended up being off (by about 3 months) I still managed to complete them. What’s turning out to be even harder then recording a record is getting the people on it together for a cd release show. They’re all such fantastic musicians, which is why they’re so busy. Members of Sarah Harmer’s band, the Great Lake Swimmers, and just super busy session people in general. This whole process has really given me a new appreciation for the “bandleader” role in the music business. I’ve worked with dozens of artists over the years, but never had to deal with trying to co-ordinate the schedules of 6 other people as busy as you are for not only a show but a rehearsal as well. And all without a huge budget to be able to pay them all exactly what they deserve. I’ve never envied the role, but now at least I appreciate the stress they go through a little more. I promise I’ll respond to rehearsal requests that much quicker from now on.

I think related to that, there’s the feeling we have that whatever project we as individuals are working on, we want it to be as important to everyone else as it is to us. Sadly that’s just not possible.The time I invest in my own recordings is obviously much more then anyone else involved, including the writing, tracking, hair pulling listening back, deliberation, etc. When someone makes a record with their name on it, they are the individual that stands to gain the most from it. If I’m playing on an artist’s record, and they sell 10 000 records at $20 per, they get $200 000 (if there’s no label involvement and they get %100 of what they sell). I’ve been paid my session fee to do my parts on the album long ago, and unless I’ve worked out some very special arrangement with the artist, my getting paid time is long over, and ended with the session fee. Generally when I play a show with an artist, I really don’t know what they’re getting paid for the performance, I charge a specific fee, and that’s paid regardless if they make $20 or $20 000. My point is, as much as I’d love it if all the people I worked with on the album could make it a priority to do my little indie cd release, I know that it’s just not really reasonable to ask it. This is the first time I’ve been on the other side of the gig doing the asking, and it’s a conflicting, pride melting, tough thing. Learning tons. Really excited to play some music for you.

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