A New Morning View
Recording An Album Again, 23 Years Later.
To be honest, I hadn’t heard much about artists re-recording albums until very recently. A friend forwarded me an article written about how record labels were bending over backwards to re-draw contracts as to make it so artists couldn’t, or would be deterred from, doing re-records of successful albums. From the artist’s POV, the express reason to ‘re-record’ being that most, if not all of us don’t own our master recordings and likely never will. But in the case of some legal loopholes in older recording contracts, after a couple of decades we, the writers and performers of said music, gain the right to re-record and re-release the material and this time around actually own and control the master recordings. Sounds simple enough, I suppose. But can I be honest? I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of attempting to make a new version of something that is over 20 years old, already feels finished, and is enjoyed/adored(?) at a relative scale. So much so that millions of people know the material in a way that is incredibly intimate and personal to them. Who are we to attempt to fix what in so many people’s experience is not broken? This seemed to me a Herculean task; coming, not just from a person who is 23 years older than when he wrote and recorded the songs with his pals, but also as someone who understands how personal a connection with songs can become to those of us who care so deeply about our experience with them.
I say all of this but as you’ve probably already guessed, we did it anyway. The temptation, it would seem, was far too great and as a band we decided to swing away(!) and give it the ol’ “fuck it!” approach that has been so rewarding to us historically. I think perhaps where we created some distinction and maybe even discernment(?) is in our tactile approach to this project. With distinguishing efforts we decided that there was no way to eclipse our original recording of the 2001 album entitled ‘Morning View’. Instead our idea was to honor it and play it as we do today. After all we’ve been performing most of these songs live since they came out and we know them like the back our collective hand, but as a result of two decades of touring we have gently (and in some cases not so gently) allowed for these songs to morph and evolve.
Morning View XXIII comes out in early 2024 and I think you will understand more succinctly what I’m pointing at when you get ears on it. They’re the same songs and (mostly) the same players, but as any of you who’ve lived long enough can attest to, we aren’t the same people as we were when this album was first conceived of and released. Life has a way of giving and taking that we can only respond to in kind, but scarcely control. That being said, what started as a daunting task for me as a songwriter and a singer became something of a mission that I came to fall in love with. Being hurled back into that process was challenging but deeply rewarding and I am proud of how this new Morning View feels and sounds!
So here is a little glance into that process. I’ve shared almost none of my tracking hours historically as it has always felt a bit too personal to broadcast. So you’ll have to excuse the fact that this is unmixed and merely a squashed mp3 of what I recorded this day. Though most of what I sang in this take is what is being mixed as I write this.
I hope you enjoy our new Morning View and that it not only reminds you of what you enjoyed about it 20+ years ago but also forges new pathways and maybe creates new memories of what is good about today.