Nels Andrews, “Small Victories” - I WROTE THIS SONG: I was working for a while as a chauffeur for an amazing older couple who lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This job offered a window into worlds I would have never had access to, and from the perspective of people who were ‘in the dessert course of their life,’ as the illustrious ‘Countess of Glamour’ (a.k.a. my boss, Lynn Dell) described their relative place in years. One rainy night after work, I was waiting to meet a friend out in front of an Irish Bar on Seventh Avenue, fresh from a day trip to nearby Carnegie Hall. A woman in her 80′s approached me in a trench coat and rain beaded plastic bonnet, asking me if I would like a date. I wasn’t sure what her angle was, and respectfully declined. A year later I’m watching the documentary Lost Bohemia about the tragic eviction of the artists who’ve been living in the studios above Carnegie Hall since it was built. And there she was… my date. She had dressed in leotards everyday and covertly did her barre exercises in the building’s stairwells. One of my big regrets in life was not buying her a drink. The song is an ode to that lost enclave, and to that era of NY in general.
Steelism, “9 to 5 Jive” - I WROTE THIS SONG: We wrote “9 to 5 Jive” in Germantown after drinking a couple espresso shots whilst listening to Dick Dale, Herman Dune, and Os Mutantes.
Jabe Beyer, “Where The Mountains Don’t Go” - I WROTE THIS SONG: on a friend’s right-handed guitar, so all the strings were upside down cuz I play left-handed. It’s like climbing up a ditch. The lower you go, the higher you get.
VITEK, “She Got The Night” - I WROTE THIS SONG: on a pajama Saturday in the loft space I used to rent in the 12 South area. It was a really cool shotgun space with tray ceilings… spent many an hour burning holes in the carpet with my hookah and drafting tunes on mid rangy yamaha p-60. The song was spawned by band member Brady Surface (bass) and the bass line kept evolving into what became a band favorite on the record.
Lulu Mae, “The Mockingbird And The Dogwood Tree” - I WROTE THIS SONG: reflecting on how great life and Tennessee are, realizing I have nothing to complain about.