30 (Coolidge)


Zoom R16, whatever was used by Andy Deitrich, and whatever was used by All City Mastering
W. Winona, Chicago, IL

This album is another continuation of all the ideas in the last four albums. There are banjo led songs with drums and bass backing and there are guitar led songs and there are solo banjo songs. There are brand new lyrics and tunes, there are old lyrics finally completed and old tunes finally used, and there is a reworking of an old-old song. Most importantly these songs were mixed by Andy Deitrich so everything sounds much better than if I had mixed them on my own. But a continuing problem is that I still have trouble recording banjo and voice at the same time. The banjo bleeds heavily into the vocal mic. So there is a noticeable difference between the live songs and the ones done in parts. However, I still think everything works well together and is a good historical document of my ideas and execution.

Retirement is a solo song using the clawhammer M-arpeggio technique. The tune and words were written separately but somehow matched up perfectly. Giving and Receiving was actually written on guitar first. I wanted to have some more guitar songs on this album but then it translated better to banjo. This song is both musically and lyrically a continuation of the ideas in Greater Than. Downstairs is a clawhammer double C tuning bookend song similar to Layers. The lyrics are too short to really have a full song and I didn't want to mess them up by adding more so I resorted to an instrumental middle. And I really did sit through the whole instrumental part to record the two verses in one take. Masterpiece is a kids song that uses a more strummed clawhammer style. I thought I was finished with the whole album and I had to go back and rerecord this one because I decided to change a word. Prayin' Hands is another short lyric that I thought would never become a song but matched up to an unused lick. Again it was too short so I added another lick onto the end. With the clawhammer style I only have two contact points with my right hand so my left hand has to make up for it with hammer-ons and pull-offs. This song has great examples of both. Bedtime is in D tuning using my backwards Pete Seeger style. I matched up the opening lick thematically to the lyrics and the rest wrote itself especially harmonics to put you to sleep. The Flood is a clawhammer D tuning Bible reference song. For some reason I really enjoy using the open D banjo tuning and this is my favorite lick on the album. Double-Negative Love is a redo of a song of the same name on 42 and uses baritone uke in place of banjo uke. It was just an excuse to tweak old lyrics, write a drum and bass part, and keep with the "love" theme of the album. In Passing is a short lyric that had been sitting around for a while and didn't fit in since I was releasing all these banjo recordings but I decided to slip it in this time. I really didn't know what was going to happen but I left a bunch of space there and then it worked out in the end. This song breaks the "trio" rule that was used for the rest of the songs. I would have liked to have some more interesting and complicated drums but I had to simplify to get through without messing up.