There comes that time, when you just have to record your best songs. I had a song I was stuck on, Christmas Without You – and to make it come to life I had the pleasure of recording with some incredible musicians, under the direction and vision of Latin GRAMMY-winning producer Enrique Gonzalez Müller, at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco.
Though initially I had talked to Enrique about doing just this single, I realized we might be able to squeeze in two songs in a marathon session. So we started with the Christmas song, and then tracked “Everybody’s Gone to the Moon,” a song I wrote earlier this year. It was an interesting compliment of two songs with very different places in the heart, but both very much connected to how we need one another in this world. “Christmas Without You” will be released in early December, followed by “Everybody’s Gone to the Moon” in January.
Sara Koulouris, photographer extraordinaire, captured images of the session – see more here.
Before we went into the studio, I talked to the band about where each of these songs came from. When you hear the way they play – I think you’ll see the emotions they were able to share, whether on drums or bass or B3. Kyle Caprista played drums for the session (and jingle bells) – this guy plays straight from the heart. When you hear “Everybody’s Gone to the Moon” you will be crushed by his performance. It’s on point. James DePrato played guitars, and we got to bond from the lovely hours of 10 p.m.-2 a.m. as he laid down slide, electric and lap steel for the songs. It was an intimate recording, as he sat next to myself and Enrique with the amps in the main room, and talked, played, and recorded by the board. Jesse Cafiero played bass for the session, and when I arrived they were dialing in a gorgeous tone for him in one of the iso booths in the studio. He’s got a great ear and really made the songs shine. Greg Sankovich – now he’s a gem Enrique found for me. I didn’t want to play piano in the sessions, just wanted to sing and tell the stories through my voice. Greg absolutely cherished the songs I’d written and was able to bring the piano lines I had written to life and scope the songs across all the keyboards (Rhodes, Piano, B3).
When we finished the tracking day, with the midnight oil long burned out, we had magic already. I went back just a few days later to track vocals and harmonies, and found that the music was so powerful – I had to just stand tall and sing at the top.