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Musician Sites:

Craig Wise

Olds Sleeper

Old Time Liberation Front

Robert Bobby

The Gadjo Playboys

Joe Ellis

Blind Joe Death

Doug and Dave

R&B Studios

Jefferson Pepper

Great Big House

Hot Club du Jour

Inca Campers

John Terlazzo

David SanSoucie

Crossing North

Eric Athey

Claudia SanSoucie

Art Wachter

The Innocence Mission

Tom Witmer


D.C. and Company

Rhyne McCormick

Bill Nork

Sweet Nancy Productions

Zan Cantwell


Music Related:

Just Plain Folks

Drums Etc.


The Music Snob

Music For Everyone

The Freesound Project

Relive the 80's

Whole Wheat Radio

The Kenny Gross Project


Legit Sound

Right Coast Recording


Humor Me:

Roadside American

July 30, 2008

git 'em, tiger!

Trance was here last night, trying out an idea for lead on Come What May. We spent most of the night talking about music. There was something Chet Bakerish going on there...

July 28, 2008

despry club by sssdc1

Well, the Old Time Liberation Front will be headed out to West Virginny this week, looking for some of that Appalachian culture. Like the Despry club here.

Here's a new featured song by the band, called Rainelle. I understand that Rainelle is the last place you can buy alcohol (legally) on the way to Clifftop. One of the features of Appalachian culture is the dry county...

July 25, 2008

OK, there it is, I did it. I mixed Fred's part, all solo.

Except for the "bleed" of my earlier lead guitar into Fred's track. I was afraid this might happen.

No worries... we'll fix it in the mix!

Fred Thing.mp3

July 24, 2008

Maroon polo shirt day at the studio. You must wear a maroon polo shirt to play here.


Fred was here playing on his steel fiddle. I swear, I'm going to post a track with just his part in it. For most people this would be embarrassing. Not so for Fred. Fred is a monster.

July 21, 2008

The party lights are new, but the string of hanging bunnies have a history. For many years they hung from the rear view in a Ukrainian Mazda.


They can be rearranged, depending on your mood. They sometimes rearrange themselves, too.

The tamborine also has a history. I'm just not sure what it is.

July 20, 2008

Thinkin' out loud here...

There's in interesting post at Hullabaloo by Dennis Hartley about the band The Gits. It got me thinking about the nature of art in our culture, how sex and death are the all-time big sellers.

Naturally, we're all about sex and death here at Steam Powered. I'm all for sex but I don't think it needs to be the basis for a cult. Or cults. It's just basically, as my pal Trip says, getting together and rubbing body parts. And death? Death is a grim fact that is best accepted and then ignored- don't worry, it's on its way!

So I have some uncool ideas about sex and death that don't work so well in our sex and death obsessed culture. And then I have what I think are very cool ideas about alternative ways to make a living making art. But now I am starting to think that it's a mistake to insist on the two things going together. Maybe, in order to "sell" the sponsorship idea, it would be better to go with some sort of sex'n'death format?

One thing for sure- if I go with it, there won't be any more of these boring posts...

July 19, 2008

And more revisions. I took the best parts of 5 different vocal tracks and "comped" 'em together. It's a way for people like me who don't sing real good to sound better. My bottom line is this- would you listen to the song twice? There's nothing that can put a person off a song like an out-of-tune singer.

In the process of comping the vocal I made some adjustments to the instrumental tracks. For some reason this version of this song sounds louder than just about anything else I've ever done. This is version six.

Come What May.mp3

July 16, 2008

I had some time this afternoon to work on my vocal part for Come What May. This song has been around for years. It has gone from a sort of folkie acoustic thing to what is now a sort of reggae thing. The hard part is getting the vocal right, no matter what style the song is in.

The lyric is so close to being sappy that it's a real fine line. I mean, I wrote it, it's quite sincere, yet it easily goes into sentimentality. I don't want that to happen. My idea of the feeling of the song is that the person I'm singing about is almost scary- they are always there beside me, no matter how long it's been since I've seen them.

So, imagine trying to convey that emotion. It isn't easy. But a week or so ago I had a sort of breakthrough, I think. I found ways to get around the things that bothered me about the phrasing and the melody of my singing (I'm not a big fan of my own singing anyway). And today I had a chance to try out some new moves on the vocal. I sort of like it- let me know if it works for you.

Come What May.mp3

Doug wants to try another lead on this, so that's why there's a blank section after the second chorus. This is by no means the final version of the song- it's just the latest in the years-long process of development.

July 12, 2008

There's been more work with Heath today- we started early and finished up before noon. It's a rather strange way to work.

This is another one of his dream songs, or rather, songs that are there when he wakes up in the morning. Not so bad a way to get 'em, I think.

Another Night Is Gone.mp3

I like the Olds Sleeper sound, and it's not clear what I'm doing here. I think I might have incorporated some of that thick midrange thing here.

July 11, 2008

I turned over the final mixes for the Old Time Liberation Front project on Monday. I understand that they are planning on having the tracks mastered and pressed to CD locally, then they will be doing the packaging (of 1,000!) themselves in time for their gig at the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival.
I can't make it, but I want video!

It's been too quiet in here- thanks, Jason, for ringing that sponsorship bell!

July 06, 2008

Early morning mixing today, when the ears are best. I re-mixed Window, improving the sound of the bass and the overall mix. I think we'll make it the featured song now, in honor of it being fabulous and because the O.T.L.F. project is nearly finished.

July 05, 2008

There's been a bit of a push to get the Old Time Liberation Front project wrapped up... then I got an extra couple of days to work. Well, I assembled the entire CD sequence and two of the songs were very flat. They didn't fit.

So tonight I did the tear-down mixes on Empty Prayer and Hello Child. That's where I throw out everything I had done before and start over. Jeeze, I'm glad I did! I think I've turned two flat-sounding tracks into two hot tracks. I hope I still think so tomorrow!

July 03, 2008

Craig Wise came over last night...


Craig has a new song he wanted to get together quickly, and for fun he brought along his Hofner Very-Thin, (seen in foreground). He let me play it, too.

July 02, 2008

What a long strange trip, indeed. I'm in the process of transferring files over to the new site. At first I intended to just copy everything and hope for the best, but then I looked at some of the older graphics and realized that this stuff hasn't seen light in years.

Stuff like this...

brass plaque     tower     SPS

Meanwhile, don't be surprised to find some broken links and stuff.

Featured Song:

Old Time Liberation Front

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June, 2008

May, 2008

April, 2008

March, 2008

February, 2008

January, 2008

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