For starters, there's a lot a material here. 23 new songs, in fact.
I think it might well be my first "head-phone" album. The album has that kind of sonic adventuresome-ness about it.
However you choose to hear it, I hope you'll take the time to dig in & listen; and that the experience will bring you as much joy as the joy I had in making & recording these songs.
Like most of my songs, they tend to be full of autobiographical references, some cleverly disguised, some just the raw data of the journey;
I tend to chase every new musical idea that I forge; Another 50 or so song ideas "showed up" during the year;
Of course, I saved them all.
The writing, recording , mixing & mastering of these two albums started over a year ago. I've spent more time on these songs than any previous album. And Life got dark. (In many ways it hasn't let up.) Frighteningly uncertain. The album became a path to madness on some days...and salvation on others. I kid you not.
Life, with it's sometimes crushing demands and penchant for the unexpected, spoke loud & long during this year. But, ultimately it was such trials & tribulations that fueled this collection of songs. "Nothin's ever wasted."
I will say this: It's been a joy for my wife, Muriah & I, to live out here in the high deserts of New Mexico for the last 10 years. To be able to spend almost every waking hour with one's beloved is a grace. I am ever smitten.
It was also fun to continue to explore the wonders of the electric guitar.
You'll find there are lots of "conversations" going between vocals, guitars, lap steels and acoustic instruments.
Lyrics & message are central in what I try to do; Even if they're just sermons to myself, I must speak it; Not much in the way of agendas. Reality is a coin that must be turned over many times & scrutinized before one should make pronouncements; And even then? Let Compassion & Grace be the rules of that game.
I'm a believer in the inner spirit seeking some sort of disclosure & liberation; All of us (artist or not) journey to find the nomenclature to give birth to the better part of ourselves that lives just a scratch below our skin; and then nurture it in it's first baby-steps.
When applied to songwriting? I always try to "let go and let the Song" dictate where it wants to go; Perhaps, I'm lazy in that regard. If a song doesn't give itself up pretty fast I very rarely chase it down & try to impose "terms of peace" that on it that it won't accept.
Not unlike the "concept records" of the 'late 60's /early 70's, these two albums, were built around a certain immediacy & visceral organicity; Learn the arrangement & push "record" was the modus operandi; It's very groove based, with an unkempt-ness bordering on incorrigible on many of the tracks. Instruments swagger in & out; Sonic "rules" get broken left & right; If it sounded good on the first pass, the track stayed; "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Lastly? The band stretches out on many outros in almost epic fashion; It's become one of my favorite aspects of this collection; Reverbs enter, drench & fade away; over drives turn liquid; woolly guitar melodies emerge, fracture & mutate.
In the end? I am over-joyed with the outcome.
It was all big fun.
Joy on the Journey,
Bill Mallonee: electric & acoustic guitars, vocals, bass, drums, lap-steel, baritone guitar, resonator guitar, harmonica, dobro, keyboards
Muriah Rose: Keyboards
Harmony vocals Bill Mallonee & Muriah Rose
All songs by Bill Mallonee c. "Once More, This Time with Feeling Music."
Admin BMI 2019
These songs were recorded in multiple sessions in the high desert Rockies of northern New Mexico between June 2018 & July 2019; Thank You Beloved Land of Enchantment.
Eternal Love & Thanks to my wife, bandmate, dearest friend & "Sweetheart of the Rodeo," Muriah Rose.
Heart-felt "Thanks!" to our patrons & benefactors who believed in the work and & whose good-will made this record a reality. Your kindness binds itself to our spirits.
Special Thanks to Chris Bethea, at Muscle Shoals Mastering for his inestimable time, talent input on these songs! email@example.com
Special Thanks to cover artist & designer, national treasure, folk-artist & musicologist Kreg Yingst. www.KregYingst.com
We love all you render, my friend!
Deep Thanks to Peter Murray & Joe Meyer at Supro Amps, Doug Marhoffer at Rode Microphones, Dusty Wakeman/Mojave Microphones, Rich Seigle at Fender Guitars & Joe Carducci at Gretsch Guitars
Thanks to Aaron Regenold at Sweetwater Sound for ongoing gear advice, recording input and helping me stock the studio.
The Good Lord's Love & Grace to all! ~ bill
Hard copy Cd of "Lead On Kindly Light " & "This World & One More" maybe pre-ordered at: www.BillMalloneeMusic.com
What I've been up to:
2018 was an incredibly fruitful year for my work; I wrote nearly 100 new songs;
All of these songs have "shown up" over the last 12 months, so it's time give some of them a decent introduction, fanfare & birthday!
"Lead On, Kindly Light" & "This World & One More"
Call it "Spirit-Rock."
Americana rock & roll bleeding with that rugged "faith that gets ya' through the night."
While not specifically hymnody the album is declarative, but NEVER preachy, NEVER sectarian, NEVER an exclusive club."
The Grace & The Love of God are there for everyone.
The way I see it?
I believe these songs are suffused with the themes of what made all the down & out/hard-luck country albums that struggled with personal Light & the Darkness memorable. This is the human dilemma.
This is common to all of us.
We are all "living in the same skin."
"Lead On Kindly Light" & "This World & One More" are saturated with those deep & sonorous elements of all that makes the such hymns of yesteryear timeless & inspiring.
And I hope it does so without departing one bit from the Americana-soul drenched genre I so dearly love.