Thursday, January 1, 2009

"Watch a Cloud" and "Girl from Central Maine" mp3s

One of my expectations for 2009 is to finish the Eleanor Roosevelt record Water Bread & Beer that we started more than ten years ago. This is a Polaroid from the summer swing in 1997 when Matt Fuller, Lij, and I started recording Water Bread & Beer in breaks on an East Coast field recording trip that also saw the first major round of tracking for the poetry score to Leo Connellan's Crossing America.

In this picture, I can really see the sleeplessness and fatigue of a long road trip - three men and a mobile recording studio crammed into a crumbling 1987 Chevy Cavalier with a cartop carrier. Our traveling tended to be hard traveling, though eased by respites of luxury, owing to Lij's blue-blood heritage and his extended family's fabulous summer homes.

Here, we are slumped at a picnic table at a crabshack along the Maine coast, with what seems to be the remnants of our meal smudged all over the Polaroid. We went to Maine because we were scoring a Maine poet (Leo Connellan was from Rockland) - and because Lij's family has a mansion on Mount Desert Island, just across the bay from a Rockefeller abode.

Upstairs, in one of the mansion's thirteen bedrooms, we tracked a number of tunes, including "Watch a Cloud" - a guitar riff by Matt mated to stream-of-consciousness lyrics I had composed by lying flat on my back in Kentucky on a windy day and describing what I saw in the clouds.

We also recorded "Girl from Central Maine," another Matt guitar part I had matched with some memories of mine. Though we recorded the song in coastal Maine, the song is about a very young woman from a very different part of Maine - potato fields, rather than tourist bays - whom I met at a hippie commune in the Missouri Ozarks. I understand it's a less than flattering portrait, but had you ever sat behind this beautiful girl in a canoe, you would understand.

Free mp3s

"Watch a Cloud"
Eleanor Roosevelt

"Girl from Central Maine"
Eleanor Roosevelt

From Water Bread & Beer (forthcoming in 2009)
The final tracks will have more stuff, like Geoff Seitz's fiddle

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