2022 in Review: Music by We

I appeared on 4 musical recordings released in 2022! That’s pretty good although I only had to mix and promote one of them. This was a quality-over-quantity year, which in reality means lots of contributing to the musical vision of others (who will in turn have others mix the stuff! Division of labor FTW). Here’s a TIDAL playlist if that’s your thing (although I don’t believe Egg Helmet Orchestra is on the streaming, just bandcamp).

Dream Eater – A Fine Can of Worms

Recorded (mostly) and mixed by Charles Godfrey at Scary American, I had a great time working on the production of this most excellent and progressively melodic rock of a Dream Eater full length album. Charles knows how to dial in some sweet tones for every instrument and I learned a good deal about how to record (and even play) my own guitar in the process. Sessions were efficient yet laid back. The songs, some of which kept earlier drum tracks Zack recorded at Justin Williams’ space, are a variety of well worn standards (“Flatbed”) and fresh pieces we finished arranging right in the studio (“Eidolon”). Closer proximity to John’s creative process and the clarity of the brilliant lyrics brought my enjoyment of this band to a new level. The release show in November was a scorcher too. Many shows for 2023 are planned. Hope to see you at one or 8 of them!

Egg Helmet Orchestra – Inner World Music. This is a 12 piece remote project recorded and broadcast in late 2020 under Mohadev’s leadership. There’s video somewhere. It was never gonna be released but then it came out too good not to stick it out there on the bandcamps. I enjoyed all the songs immensely and the basslines Mohadev wrote for me are deceptively well-woven into complex grooves. You’ll like it for its ability to be both challenging and soothing, gigantic yet intimate. Very well written by Mohadev, no surprisess. And plenty of great improv by everyone, many surprises.

StarMind Ceremony – Auryn. Single epic song that goes all over the place with a slinky deep pocket groove by Ben Goodman and Braedon Avants. Shelby Avants and Ryan Murphy’s woodwinds feature prominently in bespoke melodic noodles around Sam Chaney’s spiritual synth-vocal framework. I got to play some hot riffs, do a little fugue with Ryan’s clarinet and then rip a curious guitar solo near the end. Love this tune! We recorded 8 I think, so expect more soon! I’ll let you know when the next installment arrives, or follow StarMind Ceremony here. Oh and we have a show next week.

Sam Arnold – Somnamulonimbus. This was me trying to really put out a GUITAR album. It’s just Aaron Parks drums and me shredding and bassing and slicing and dicing the compositions up with lots of synthesizers and acoustic instruments. I am very proud of the compositions and performance, but I learned a lot about mixing right AFTER this was done. Still you can hear every piece of it, and it sounds good to me – especially super loud. So I’m pretty proud of it. You can get a copy on cassette in case the 80s was the time when you were most alive. This project also formed the foundation of my present foray into Jazz fusion that became Sam Arnold’s Jazz Perturbers, which is now gigging regularly with Aaron on drums. We’re doing a couple of these songs in the set.

“What about your other bands, Sam?” you might hear yourself saying. “Oh just wait for the next blog post, I’ll tell you more than you ever wanted to know” I just heard myself say.

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