Well, yes, I did go to NYC
for a blogger-swarm in September. Slept on the floor in front of the Buddha in an apartment across the street from Sunset Park in Brooklyn. Rode the subway with an awful lot of confidence for an Iowa farm boy. Had a terrific time at the Museum of Modern Art. One of the women I was with saw me look deeply into Wyeth's "Christina's World," a painting with a woman in red dress against the tawny grass, with a grey house, a grey barn, a grey sky in the background.
"Tom," she said, "I thought you were going to walk into that painting and not come back out."
Almost. I nearly didn't make it back to this side.
I didn't see two full floors of art and already I was full. Nothing more I could take in. I went down to the lobby and waited for the others, then some of us went back to the apartment, gathered groceries from a Chinese market a few blocks to the north, and put together a bigger pot of green curry (with chicken, potatoes, peas, and onions) than you can even begin to imagine.
This past weekend, Thursday through Sunday, I was back in Kansas, to finish work on our album, Trinity's "Fairy Tales & Nonsense." Trinity features Doc Abbick, and also includes Dean Schechinger and Tom Montag. I wrote most of the lyrics, with help from Dean and Doc. Dean wrote most of the music, with help from Doc and – very minimally – from me. I'm not a musician, but know just enough that sometimes musicians let me hang out. You may remember Doc and Dean from our musical adventures in Sioux City last June and from our weekend in August preparing to record the album. In the meantime, Doc laid down the main guitar track and lead vocal for songs on the album. This weekend Dean was on hand to lay in his harmonies, and I laid down my bass tracks, which I had been practicing assiduously for more than a month.
I'd left Fairwater at 5:20 a.m. on Thursday of last week and arrived at Doc's house near Milford, Kansas, about 5:20 p.m. (one $106 speeding ticket lighter, I might add, thanks to the dutiful officer in Wathena, Kansas). We had Marcia Abbick's famed spaghetti and meatballs for supper (and they deserve their reputation), then Doc and the boys retired to the studio. I exited the premises and headed to bed at 5:20 a.m. Friday morning. The other two of them stayed at it a bit longer.Doc and Dean at the Trinity recording session, September, 2007, Milford, Kansas. Photo by Cuz
Late in the deep of that night, in the excitement of making music, and with the encouragement of Doc and Dean and – yes - a few beers, Tom even sang harmony on one of the songs, "Snow White." Some portions of that track seem salvageable and might even appear in the final mix. That's up to Doc, whom we've designated "producer" of the album, and he'll make the decisions about what stays and what goes.
"I'd like to dedicate my performance," Tom hopes to be able to say, "to Sister Mary Faith, my eighth grade teacher, who – when our class was headed to a CYO music competition in which everyone in the class had to participate – told me to 'mouth the words.' Take that, nun."Trinity at play in the too bright light of day. If you can't be a child when you've just finished recording your album of "Fairy Tales & Nonsense," when can you?
We had our recording work done by Saturday afternoon and Dean headed for home. Saturday afternoon and evening, then again on Sunday morning, Doc and I worked at creating the CD cover, front and back, and I wrote a bit of text for the inside of the front of the case, our own little fairy tale; here's a draft of the words for the inside front cover of the CD case:
Then I, too, headed for home – traveling about two miles below the speed limit in Athena, Kansas, I might add.
The CD – Trinity's "Fairy Tales & Nonsense" – will be available at CDBaby.com sometime before Christmas. I will alert you here when you can order it.