Years ago I was playing one of my all-time favorite albums, Ry Cooder’s Chicken Skin Music, when my wife said, “That sounds like a bunch of guys playing in the living room.” Of course, Janet was fortunate enough to know what a bunch of guys playing in the living room sounded like, and these weren’t just the guys from down the street but Ry Cooder, Gabby Pahinui and Flaco Jimenez playing in the living room. But she did put her finger on a quality I’d always loved about that record.
Delta Moon was born in the living room. In those days Mark and I lived a few blocks from each other in Inman Park, and we’d get together once or twice a week to bounce some songs around. On the Clear Blue Flame CD we included a late-night living room recording of Fred McDowell’s “You Done Told Everybody”.
The other day, when I should have been working on more practical things, I wrote a song for New Year’s Eve. Well, what are you going to do with a song like that? By the time we could work it up with the band it’s not New Year’s Eve anymore, and then we could only play the song once a year anyway. So I set a camera on top of a cardboard box on the dining room table, sat down on the piano bench with a guitar, sang the song and posted the video on You Tube.
When I posted a link on Facebook, I was surprised by the comments. I was hoping people would like the song, but they were actually thanking me as if for a gift. And of course in a way it was. Up to this point, a song like that would have come to me, been played a few times and then been forgotten — a gift only to me. Now with only a few minutes work it’s easy to share a song with everybody. No recording, mixing and mastering in the studio, no loading gear in the van, no driving hundreds of miles. Just press a button and let things happen.
Welcome to my living room. I’m excited to have you.