Saturday, January 3, 2009

Some Place New

Have you ever done something in the past and thought "I wish I could go back and change that...if only I knew what I know now"? Well every time I listen to my first record that exact phrase comes to mind. 

There seems to be something very special about those songs and that time in my life. The Summer of 2004 was one I will never forget. I moved out West with the clothes on my back and my guitar in hand with an open mind and an open heart. Utah had a profound effect on me. The people and the scenery inspired me greatly.

I wrote a considerable amount of songs in a very, very short amount of time. Starting that July, I would go down to a small studio in Ephraim to record. I started out with acoustic songs and added more and more as I slowly assembled a band.

I had these ideas of the potential of what this record would sound like. I had a very clear vision on how I wanted these songs to sound. But unfortunately at the time I had no money to afford recording at a high end studio to make that happen. So after finishing up 11 songs. That Winter I received the final product on disc. As I listened, each one fell short of the vision I had. It was heartbreaking to listen to because all I heard were the imperfections. More than anything it captured the awkwardness of starting a band, as if it was documented for everyone to hear.

I had spent so much time and energy, I didn't just want to throw it all away. So on February 11th, whether I liked it or not "Some Place New" was released at Muse Music to a sold out crowd. But something extraordinary happened. People looked past the poor quality of the record and payed attention to the songs themselves. They cared more about the words and the melodies, and not the fact that there were sound issues and things were off time. 

After 2 years and selling 3 pressings (3,000 copies) I retired "Some Place New". I no longer sold it at shows. Partly because of the quality but also because the band had changed so much. For the next few years the band evolved greatly. The quality of the records became much better. We all became better musicians. But we were a different band than what I originally intended. So last year, I went back to basics and became acoustic again. For the first time in years I would ask people what songs they would like me to play. And surprisingly the majority of songs requested were off the first record. 

Recently, I have been asked by many people if I would ever put the record on Itunes or sell it at shows again. And after much contemplation I've decided to rerecord the entire record this Winter. I'm attempting to match that vision I had almost 5 years ago. So I'm going back...

I'm doing the same songs. There will be no drastic changes. Just what I intended all along. Here is the original track listing.

1. Golden
2. Lucky Scars
3. Summer is Over
4. Lost in July
5. When You Fall
6. If I Died Tonight
7. Autumn
8. Crack One More Smile
9. Clovers
10. Some Place New
11. Prince of Pain

8 comments:

ChrisBCrazy said...

oh wow. that is great news! i can't even wait!

mxw said...

Well... now I won't feel nearly as cool at shows when I know the "old school" songs, since far more people will. I'm going to miss that... Haha! Really though, I'm SO excited for this! Some Place New is my favorite album of yours after The Sound. I really love those songs. I can't wait to hear them redone :D

Just a little-bit of Life. said...

ou Hey! i just discovered your music, and I am really liking it- I'm so happy to hear that you are touring around here in Utah, I am seriously thinking about seeing your show in Cedar. Keep Playing!

Kelsey said...

That is awesome! I can't tell you how much I love the origonal "Some Place New", or how many times I've listened to it...over and over again. I was there at that Feb. 11th show to get my own copy! You're amazing John, I look forward to hearing the newly recorded version!

christine johnson said...

HECK YEAH. this is amazing news! those are some of my favorite songs, and i can't wait to hear what you're working on. any word on when this project will be released?

Trevor said...

dang dude. awesome. you're quite the inspiration. keep up the good work.

steve said...

You have no idea how happy that makes me my friend...I was there on that cold February night at Muse. I walked up and talked to you afterward, and was blown away by how down to earth you and Dave both were. That record was and still is like a chapter from my own life. That is always the record I show people first, and it's almost always the favorite...(your new one is the other one everyone seems to love)...Let me know the release date and I'm there.

Candace said...

John I can't wait to see you next month and get that copy of your cd. I am so happy for you and Excited to hear these finally for the real intent that you wanted. Things really do pay off in then end of some hard work, lots of faith, and patience. I can't wait! Keep up the good work.