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In celebration for the release of Joel’s new record this Friday at Open Door, I posted the first three tracks of the record as the first three songs on my myspace player. I’m only posting them this week, so go check it out.

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We’ll be playing at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove at 7pm.  Tickets, which are cheaper before the night of the show, can be ordered at the Echo Ministries website.

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I’m thankful for all the studio opportunities I’ve had lately, and last night I updated my myspace page with some of the new tracks.  Included in that would be the title track from Joel Hanson’s new record, What If It Is, due out next month.  We’ll be playing a release show at Church of the Open Door on October 16, so put that in the calendar it you’re a Joel fan.

Also on the myspace player is a track from Vicky Emerson’s next record, Long Ride, which will be releasing next week.  Vicky is a dear friend currently living in NY and melting faces with her “americana Norah Jones” vibe.  There’s also a track called “More Of You” from the alt-country band I’m in called Ryan Paul & the Ardent, and you should go check the RP&TA gig calendar because we’ve got a bunch of shows coming up.  Lastly, for those who remember my band from college Look Alive, I posted the title track from our new record, The Already Not Yet, and you can get that full album for free from noisetrade.

Rock and roll.

A great band from the 90’s called PFR is playing a reunion show tonight at Westwood Church in Excelsior. I’m making a cameo appearance on a couple songs.  I’m super excited.

I’ve got quite a few connections to PFR, not the least of which is Joel Hanson, PFR’s frontman/guitarist/vocalist/songwriter. I’ve been playing with Joel for a couple years now on his solo stuff, and I do quite a bit of studio work for his production company.  PFR is where he made his initial mark in the music world, and Joel’s performances in PFR are legendary in the Nashville CCM crowd.

Also of note is drummer Mark Nash, who was my first teacher. Mark taught me the basic 4/4 groove and other entry level goodness back in 1992, and my life has obviously never been the same. Mark is currently producing and mixing records down in Nashville at his studio, The Bookhouse.  He also plays in a slamming band called The Good Wolves. We’re doing a double drumset feature on the opening tune of the show tonight, and then I’ll be playing drums on a song that Joel does regularly in his solo set.

It’s going to be a ton of fun.  I think the show’s been sold out for a few weeks, but maybe some stray tix will be available at the venue.

Thanks to everyone who came out for the Jason Harms Quintet gig at Bethel last night. I very much enjoyed the performance and the atmosphere surrounding it.

The new record, The Land Of The Fear Of Men, is now available for no charge at noisetrade.com. Head over there and get yourself a copy. But, in going the download route, you’ll miss out on all the incredible liner note artwork done by Adrian Johnston. The full series of the work used on the record has been compiled in an 80-page book, which you can preview or purchase at Adrian’s website. Be sure and check that out, but in the meantime, here’s some snipets from the series, beginning with The Land of the Fear Men liner insert…

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Jason and Adrian took a “Tolkien meets Bunyan” approach with this map of the fictitious “Land.” It represents the place where we all often go, when we are thinking too much about the opinions of others, and letting those thoughts drive our actions in a wrong direction.

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A depiction of man’s struggle in life, and the sorrow that sometimes feels crushing…

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This dude is deciding to set out into the “Land”… thinking that it’s going to benefit him. “There is no armor in the Land, only chains.”

PS. I just put up the opening track from Land of the Fear on my myspace page, as well as one of the tracks from the recent Westwood Church album by Joel Hanson. Joel’s working on a solo record right now, but we play every Sunday night at Westwood and they opted to have us record an album of their favorite worship tunes that we play each week.

“Razor Grass” is the new name for Joel Hanson’s basement studio, because his lawn is so freaking prickly. I’m here again today finishing up the tracks for Joel’s new record, which is due out February-ish. I think this record is going to totally rule, but I’m obviously biased. We’ll see if I am right.

I’m using some “custom Steve Goold creation” hihats on this track we’re doing right now. It’s a crappy Pacific beginner 16″ crash cymbal on the bottom, and an old cracked Paiste Signature Power Crash on the top. Liberal use of hockey tape. Super papery. Man, I love it when you find the right tone for the song. These hats probably wouldn’t work for most tunes, but they are giving me so much inspiration right now.

I spent the afternoon tracking some tunes for my friend Joel Hanson at his studio in Rogers, MN. The very boss Aaron Ankrum was engineering. Joel and Aaron have a producing partnership called Underdub Productions.

I love being in the studio. It is literally my favorite thing to do. I love the pressure, the creative environment, the attention to detail… and I am always amazed at the way those things feed into each other to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.

Anyway, the real subject of this post is the fact that Joel’s studio is located in the basement of his home in suburbia. “Home studios” are 100 times more common all of a sudden, thanks to the recent technological advancements in digital music and software-based recording. The entire recording industry has been turned on it’s head since 1999, when the first home-friendly version of Pro Tools was released. Because of this, we now find multi-million dollar studios (like Pachyderm or The Terrarium) scraping for business while home systems (sometimes pieced together for as low as $15,000) are busy making records that sound arguably as good as the majors. It’s crazy.

So I was thinking about that today as I tracked tunes in Joel’s basement while watching our kids through the sliding-glass door as they played in a blow-up pool in the backyard. What will happen in the next ten years? I honestly can’t even imagine.

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