Today as we release track #3 of our EP “All Along” to the world, I thought it might be interesting to tell you the unique, 5-year back story to this song. So go ahead and press play before you read on!
I finished writing “All Along” in the fall of 2005. Simple, sad, and sweet, it was one of those songs that developed over a long period of time and the sum of many experiences and perspectives, as opposed to one particular event. My band at the time didn’t really know what to do with it, and neither did I in that upbeat-rock context. We moved forward on another slow song I’d written, “Up to You”, and “All Along” was left to the wayside.
Fast-forward 5 years. Aubrey and I had been playing together for a couple months and found that neither of us were excited to play our previous bands’ material moving forward. In that romp through the back catalog, however, I rediscovered “All Along” and immediately thought of Aubrey singing it. I had been taking a few guitar lessons at Dusty Strings in Fremont to enhance my finger-picking, so that kind of guitar arrangement was on my brain. I arpeggiated the guitar line, making the sloppy, frantic chords into more elegant phrases, and worked with my guitar teacher on some of the runs and fills. That teacher was Bradley Carter, who would later add banjo to our record and play in the band!
I played the new version for Aubrey and was sure she would love it. From the first time she sang it back to me I knew this was what the song had always wanted. She could make my least favorite lyrics become my favorite part of the song, just in the way she phrased it. When we recorded it for the EP, just guitar and her vocal, this was the song our friends and family always noted first.
The simple guitar/vocal tracks sounded so good we were wary to add any other instrumentation to it, but our engineer and producer, Yevgeniy “Eugene” Frid, pressed and pressed that he knew the perfect person for the song: “The Fiddle.” That turned out to be Andrew Joslyn ( Handful of Luvin’, Macklemore, Passenger String Quartet). Andrew took a personal, inspired interest in the song – adding the entire string section with a combination of instinct, improvisation, and meticulous orchestration. The result is something more advanced and special than we could have imagined.
I guess what I’m trying to say here, and why I want to tell this story that may be very, very boring to most people, is that this experience has taught me a lot about both perspective and collaboration. The best things in life are never achieved alone, and the openness to work with others – especially when it comes to art and music – exponentially expands the possibility of something amazing. It’s cheesy as hell, but I’m sticking to it. Especially on a sunny day in Seattle.
Thank you all for everything,