OK, it’s Fathers Day here, that used to be a one way street, me to my dad, but with Little Marshal being 18 mths old, it’s my second time round as a Dad on Fathers Day, and just quietly, that’s pretty cool. I had to pick him up from childcare the other day, and I was presented with the Fathers Days artwork, it made me feel good, simple as that is. Robert Fulghum, the author, pointed out that there is ” Treasure like this in shoe boxes under beds, and stuck onto fridges, in all the countries around the world. I think he is right.
Right now, I am trying to get my head around getting another record out there, studio album number three. The title, well that was a hard one to settle on, at first it was going to be “Family Man”, then Shooter Jennings put that out last year, so end of that one, eventually settled on the single “I Play Country”, and the title became easy. After touring Texas now for the last five years, I was stoked to record there last year. It was a crazy ride. Originally Texan Chris Wall was going to produce, after we met at Greune Hall while I was on the road the year before to discuss it, but that turned into Chris turning us over to Tommy Detamore, and the rest is history. It wasn’t easy though.We had arranged to record after the tour in 2011, while we headed back over from Colorado. I rang Tommy heading back to Texas to check it was all good to go ahead. He said, ” Don’t know what to tell you this Chuck, but the studio Burnt to the ground last night!” I really felt for Tommy, and I am a believer in synchronicity and serendipity. I told him it was my belief that I was meant to record with him, and if he could sort something out, we would still go ahead. He did, and we did. Tommy was bailed out by a generous offer by B.A.M. studios and Bobby Floores in San Antonio, and Robert De Gaza came on as engineer, and Tommy produced, and we knocked out the basic tracks in a week, with Texan Stephen James on lead Guitar from San Marcos. Stephen had been on the road with us , was amazing and I wanted him on it. I had Tom Miller from San Antonio on bass, but Chris Rhoades from Two Tones of Steel guested on three tracks as well. Our Aussie drummer Simon Wale was in the engine room, and Buzz Talay who was touring with us from Australia played on Road Trip. Most of the record was written before I got there, but I still had some Lyrics to pull together, and as Neil Young says, sitting next to the Rabbit Hole got the record finished. I wrote the lyrics for Road Trip and Burn It Down in the car park over the week, as well as I Prayed Today. Robert De Gaza was a true gentleman, was prepared for us everyday, and we worked our asses off, as we had limited time.Having Little Marshal and Jen there was a gret way to be on the road, even though there was no sleeping in with him around!
We were still doing gigs at nights, recording all day, and when the week was done, the basic tracks were all completed. The plan was that I would be back for the mixing. It was a plan, cause Sydney is along way from San Antonio, but I just knew it had to happen, and in this band, that’s how I have worked for along time. I have always punched above my weight, and lived outside of my means. I have put everything into this band, friends have bought houses, go on nice holidays, have decent cars, I make records, film clips , tour Texas/Colorado/L.A./ New York, everywhere we can actually, plus all around Australia, us much as we can anyway. This has worn out band members, managers, exhausted wallets and hearts, but yet the drive has mostly remained. Even when I got married, and then Marshal came along, our Honeymoon was touring Texas, I really wanted my wife to see the Texas that I knew. Little Marshal was a real trooper, if he started crying while we drove, Lullabies went on the stereo till he calmed, and then back to Rock and Roll. It was funny how it calmed the whole band.
I was able to get back to Texas this year for SXSW, and after I did some shows for the festival, I headed up to San Antonio and mixed the record with Tommy. Since I had been back in OZ he had added his Pedal Steel, which is mighty and sounds awesome on this record, and other over dub’s,Fiddle, backing Vocals, and we started from there. With technology the way it is , mixing was a dream, I wanted my original bass player on the record, so with the assistance of John Wardle, Chuck’s Wagon’s new guitar Player, and his mobile recording unit, he and Dodge Dave flew some tracks in from Australia, and all went into the mix.Australia’s Banjo Slayer, Mark “Bucky” Collins flew some tracks in, and again, like on Lipstick and Sin, it was amazing.! I added a Texan Trumpet player, Kullen Fuchs on I Prayed Today, and we pretty well had it. I got back to Australia, and scraped all the money I needed to get to Tommy, and it was hard, especially when my wife was in a car accident, and our car that gets the family around was written off, but we got there.
Then it was sorting the mastering, and I always use Don Bartley, and with some fine tuning between Tommy and Don we are getting there.
I knew we had to push a single out there, so “I Play Country” was released on the CRS singles for this September release, and now we have to get in behind it, and again John Wardle , has been the Angel , supplying contacts for artwork and the film clip, all being done on the smell of an Independent Musicians Oily Rag! This week we work towards organizing and signing off on all of these, but I put a draft of the artwork out there , just so folks have something to listen to.
I figured, I would start to blog this chapter in the bands History, it’s an important time. Third Record, another push to getting our name and songs out there. Another throw of the dice on the Country Music Channel, The Tamworth Awards, not to mention Texas! I am stuck between two worlds, I Love Texas, but I am not a Texan, even though “I did get there as fast as I could!” My love of Texas , and it’s Music, seems to keep me on the edge over here. So be it. My understanding is that the Original Texas Country Outlaws turned their back on Nashville, and went it alone. Inspirational, and that’s what I need right now. Inspiration to get this job done.
Thats enough for now, but it doesn’t end here. It’s just the beginning.