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Live Recording Update

June 28, 2008

File-14I Just spend the last few days in Minneapolis with my friends Wayne Thomas and Matt Patrick sifting through the live performances that we think will work best for the live CD (tentatively titled: “Acoustic Storytime”). We also recorded a few new solo acoustic songs for inclusion, too, to round out the song selection.

Invariably it seemed that whenever it came time to record I was down with a cold or suffering from allergies, so I was concerned about the live performances being listenable, but in spite of my concerns I’m really pleased with the songs we have. It’s always funny listening back through live recordings and hearing the “story” develop of a particular night. A couple times we’d have what felt like was obviously the best performance and then at the very end I’d awkwardly choke or get something caught in my throat, and we’d be like, “aaah no!” But thanks to Matt’s editing magic we’ve been able for the most part to rescue those performances by masking those awkward moments and hiding them in the mix.

It’s always interesting choosing a “best” live performance of a song. It’s rarely about hitting the notes impeccably, perfect execution of a guitar part, having the best gear, etc. It’s about the emotion, the feel, and mostly the audience. In one instance we had a performance that sounded pretty flawless and another that was pretty sketchy, but the audience excitement made that sketchy performance feel better, and so that’s the one we went with. Another performance we picked even though the guitar was a little out of tune. It’s more about which performance feels true, and it’s a good reminder that music is more than something we just hear – it’s something we feel and intuit as a community and is more about being human than perfect. And there’s an abundance of humanity on these live tracks!

Matt is wrapping up the mixes as we head into camp season (I teach and lead worship at a camp in the summer for 5 weeks – this is my 12th year there!). I love going back to camp – it’s always kind of a reset button. So as I’m packing I just wanted to take a moment to write a note and let you know what’s happening with the live record and thank those of you who made it out to a recent show! I’ll let you know as soon as it releases – thank you!

Jason Gray

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