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Plan, plan, plan... and then magic happens

I'm a planner. Okay, maybe I like to think of myself as a planner... (I think the people in my life may agree with this statement more that the previous one! ha!) In any given life event or career event, I'd like to say that I planned it out - whether it went as planned is a completely different story - but at least I had a plan to begin with. A little over a week ago, I announced that I was going to make a stripped-down acoustic EP of my favorite songs that I have written since the release of "Of Love & Whiskey" with the awesomely talented engineer and producer, Neale Eckstein at Fox Run Studio. I didn't really have a plan: I had very little idea about what it would look or sound like. To be completely honest, I wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to pull it off and make a good-sounding EP with just one day in the studio... and to make it more complicated, I really wanted to have these discs in-hand for Falcon Ridge Folk Festival August 2-4th... which didn't leave a whole lot of time to mess around - we litterally had to finish the engineering (recording, mixing and mastering) as well as the artwork for the CD by TODAY in order th have the disc ready without paying out the nose for it to be rushed... But here's where things just kind of came together: Thursday June 27th: I sent a little note off to Neale seeing if he had time to record a little EP upon my return to the States from 2.5 weeks in Brazil... Thankfully, he said yes. I left for South America the following day, with just a teeny tiny little travel guitar, and all the songs I'd written since OL&W. Over the course of the next 3 weeks, I chose the final 5 songs for the project. Sunday, July 21st: By 11am, we were setting up microphones in the isolation room and Neale was dialing in the sound. I was aiming for a live-sounding EP of just me and my instrument (though we did end up adding a bass part to one of the songs late on Sunday night)... and that is truly what it sounds like to me. Neale captured the intimacy of a solo show from the noises of the guitar and banjo to the emotion in my voice as well as the imperfections that make this world real. Who wants a sterile-sounding live EP anyway?! By the end of the day, we also decided on the title of the EP: "Broken Record." Monday, July 22nd: On Monday afternoon, Neale mixed and mastered the project while I worked on artwork. The previous day he had taken this cool infared photo of my hand and his Silvertone and on the first shot, by accident, the tattoo on my wrist lined up with the bridge of the guitar... that picture is now the cover of this new EP, "Broken Record":

By 8:30pm, all of the files were uploaded... a full 12 hours before they had to be for pressing. TWO DAYS. I wouldn't have even dreamed of all of that happening in two days... not even in my world of optimism and glass-half-full. But it did. And I'm super happy with the product. My heart is full of gratitude to Neale, who totally made this insane idea happen. Without him, this project would still be in the planning phases. Also, a HUGE thanks to the folks who have contributed to and pre-ordered the EP already - it means the world to me - THANK YOU! That's all for now, folks. HUGS! B The EP, "Broken Record," will be officially released on September 3rd, but you can still pre-order the physical EP (and get it shipped to you early) as well as contribute to the "Tip Jar" for the EP at the Store.


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Bethel Steele

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© 2015 website design by B Steele, Pig Iron Records. All photos were taken by Neale Eckstein unless otherwise noted.