‘I flew to Nashville at the end of October 2004. Mark Nevers let me stay upstairs at his house in the kids’ room. The house is also the studio. It’s a big old wooden house with a huge oak tree out front, a porch with a swinging chair, two dogs a cat and his kids’ toys all over the place. The piano is in the living room, there’s a main recording room which would be a bedroom, although I also recorded in the hallway, the drums are out back in another room, everything is connected with windows so you can see each other. It’s a very nice, casual atmosphere to record in.
‘I was planning on doing just vocals and guitar. Recording before, I’d used a band and I never felt like I really got it right, partly because of my inexperience and the pressure of studio time, so I wanted to make it spare and simple, the way it sounds when I play live. Tony Crow came in and did piano on two tracks. I was there a week. After recording we’d all drink beer and have political arguments. Right away Marky pegged me as a hippie and even though I think he’s a leftie at heart he likes to play the red neck.
‘When I got back to New York I decided I wanted to add more instruments. I really liked being in Nashville and I didn’t feel like it was finished. But I didn’t get back there till April 2005. Marky brought in his musicians, his guys. He’s got this great group that he uses all the time. We recorded live, all spread out through the house. I’d play them a song a couple times, they’d huddle and do this Nashville thing, talking in code. Then we’d record.
‘Marky gave the recordings to Honest Jon’s in February of 2006. He’d been working on the Candi Staton album for them. They wanted me to record some more, do some re-recordings, try some new arrangements. We finished it in October last year.’
The last three tracks here are only on the LP.
|I Didn't Have Any Summer Romance|
|Worm Was Wood|
|The Beep Beep Song|
|The American War|
|Roses Are Not Red|
|Great Imperialist State|
|You May Be In Darkness|
|Sweetest Love Song|
|We Used To Stand So Tall|
|Why Is Your Raincoat Always Crying?|
|Only The Moon|
|I Am The Man|