If you’ve followed this blog for some time, you’ll know that I occasionally post about my home studio recordings. One project which I have been working at on and off for over a decade now is a concept album around the life of the apostle Paul. The songs were all written by my friend Ali back in 2001, and we recorded the vocals to all 13 songs in just a few epic late night sessions in a spare bedroom with Ali singing into a cheap microphone through a pair of my wife’s tights stretched over a coathanger.
I was left with the task to work out some arrangements and record the backing tracks. It took far longer than intended (five children has had something to do with that), but this year I decided I wanted to put the project to rest, and finished off the final two songs (Suffering Servant and Demas Blues).
The other reason for my reticence to release this album is that really all the songs could do with being re-recorded for one reason or another. I’ve learned a lot about recording, and improved a lot as a musician over the last 10 years, and some of my earlier work makes me cringe (in fact most of my current work does too). But I’ve found Graham Cochrane and Joe Gilder at the Simply Recording podcast to be very inspiring. Their advice to set time-limits was just what I needed to hear.
If I had to pick my favourite three of Ali’s songs I think I’d go for My Life for your Glory, Opposition and Joy, and the reprise of Teach me to Fall. Even if you’re not a big fan of the blues, make sure you check out the lyrics – Ali has an excellent way with words. I’ve put the whole album up on bandcamp so you can listen for free.