Released: June, 2004
Label: Wild Iris Records
George Zhen – Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Programming
Eric Archuleta: Electric Guitars
Brad Hedinger: Bass on track 5
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I look back at making this record as a scary, yet wonderful time. It was a process where I was discovering what I could do as a person who recently lost much of his vision. That story itself is a long read which I won’t delve too much into other than to say I was out of work and trying to figure out what the rest of my life would be like. I cashed in my meager 401k savings and purchased a Takamine acoustic guitar and started writing. I had bagged a few tunes and looked at the computer and tried to figure out how to get my ideas down, which presented all kinds of challenges just seeing the screen, much less figuring out the software which had come a long way since I last ventured into home recording.
Nevertheless, I found myself tracking the first ideas for “Chasing the Full Moon Over Vegas” in (recording program) Acid. I was doing drums in Reason and I soon migrated the whole thing to Sonar, which I took to immediately. I used it for the rest of the project.
Eric Archuleta came on board to help with the lead guitar parts and to serve as a sounding board. He was invaluable during this time, not only as a musician, but as the great friend he has come to be. His leads breathe life into a project at the end of the day is driven by technology striving to sound organic. I spent hours upon hours trying to get the drums to sound and feel human. It can only go so far, but given the limitations at the time I think they reflect the ideas pretty well.
I was listening to a lot of Counting Crows and Barenaked Ladies at the time and my idea was to put together a group of songs that were timeless. That was the main thing – not to get trapped by styles and trends of the time period. I wanted to make it so it sounded good in 20 years. I am pleased that it largely does this as a record.
I have made a lot of music in my life and I hope to make a lot more. But I don’t think I will ever make an album that means as much to me as this one does. It saved my life.
We made a few rather humorous “commercials” for a web-based radio station that broadcasted the album in a loop for a time. This is the vocally talented Brother Brad Hedinger at his finest!