It’s just a few days until “More Songs About My Cats” is released to the world.
Album releases are special.
I can still remember, vividly, how I felt when Bruce Springsteen released “The River” back in 1980. I spent every waking minute in anticipation and an inordinate amount of time plotting how I could get my hands on it as soon as possible - calling each and every record store within 60 miles of Glen Ellyn, Illinois to find one who would get it sooner than the others. It turned out that a record store (Musicland, I think) in Aurora would get it the earliest, and I somehow talked my buddy, Mark, into driving me out there to get it. I’ll always remember how excited I was as we walked up to the store and… there it was! Years of anticipation - finally over! And, of course, it was all worth it.
These days, since I’m the artist, it’s different. I spend the month or so after my record is done kind of basking in the glow of finally finishing and, even though I just spent months working on these songs, they all seem new again - and they’re mine. I did this thing. Wow! I did this! I wrote the songs. I recorded every guitar part. Every vocal part. Every piano part, bass part, drum part, etc. I agonized over the song sequencing and how the stories should be presented.
So, even though the album is done, musically, I still have lots of stuff to do. I send my “final” mixes to Daniel Brummel, my mixing engineer. I italicized the word “final” because, after Daniel takes a shot at mastering the tracks, I have to make lots of little adjustments to the mixes. In this case, Daniel and I repeated this process for about a month.
But there are other things to do, as well. I register and copyright the new songs. I send all of the necessary information (the master tracks, lyrics, cover art and credits) to my distributor. I get the CD’s ready for production. I practice for the upcoming gigs so that I can try to present the songs with just my acoustic guitar. And all the while, I wonder if these songs will find an audience out there.
Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. I try not to think about that. The important thing, right then (now) is that these songs exist - and that’s a great thing. They exist because, with God’s help, I made them exist. Right then (now) they belong to me - and I cherish them and pray that, when they finally get out there in the world, they will be welcomed into someone’s life.
I have said before that I feel like my songs are like my children: I conceive them, raise them and, eventually, send them out into the world. When I do that, how they are received is really out of my hands, but I always hope that they will be found by someone (or lots of someones) who will love them like I do.
I hope that person is you and, if so, that you’ll share them with someone else. I hope that you’ll write and tell me about it: which songs are your favorites and which songs are not. You would be surprised how little feedback we artists get sometimes unless we’re out on the road constantly, which I am not. So feel free to send a message via my website or Facebook, and let’s talk about it!
As always, thanks for listening!