While touring around Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2005 I recorded three songs that I thought would go well on the new CD. Together with my good friend and fellow singer-songwriter BJ Baartmans and bass player Don Morris (ex Dwight Yoakam a.o.) we sat down in the middle of the night after the gig and the late night snack in the smallest studio possible. Our good friend, and guitarist and tour manager, Gene Williams engineered for the occasion.
For the band sessions I had about nine songs I figured we should try. The basics were recorded at Leon’s Farm in Boekend, The Netherlands with engineer Leon Bartels. One song didn’t make it, this time, but we got the basic drum takes, bass tracks and most guitar tracks of the eight other songs. All in three days time. We played each song through until the feel was right and then tried to get it on tape in one or two takes.
The overdubs were done in Amstelveen with drummer and producer Stephan van der Meijden in his studio.
A new band with a new name: The Easy with Bartel Bartels: bass, Alan McLachlan: guitars, Stephan vanderMeijden: drums, Harrie Brekelmans: pedal steel and Eric van de Bovenkamp: piano and Hammond organ.
LOSE MYSELF was sort of half finished for quite some time but I could never get it just right. It must have been the pressure of getting close to a deadline that made me come up with the intro riff. It gave an urgency to the song I’d been looking for all this time. Catchy, don’t you think?
It’s about wanting to preserve a feeling, to want something but not wanting it too hard in fear of it disappearing. Or is it just about making love?
NO NEED TO WONDER was a surprise even to myself. I woke up in the studio feeling we needed a waltz on the album, sat down at the kitchentable and wrote a new song to some old lyrics. I think it was the second day and we recorded it straight away.
LOVE SO BLIND This is an old song I wrote as frontman in The Big Easy. We almost won De Grote Prijs van Nederland (Biggest talent competition), we toured The Netherlands a lot but never landed a record deal. I had to get rid of some songs that followed me around for ages. Some things you just need to get out of your system and it works well this way.
LOST TO THE DAY is another song that haunted me. It was on a demo years ago. I remember it took me about ten minutes to write, those are often the best ones. I remember exactly where I wrote it and how the sun fell through the window, sometime in the late afternoon. I’d slept through most of the day.
SWEET OBLIVION I wrote this song just before I went to tour around Tulsa, OK, U.S.A. We sat in the studio, I had to sleep there as well, after a gig and after the late night supper and we thought we could record some songs instead of going to sleep. I thought I’d try this one. We played through it once and put it on tape and that was it. Heavy lyrics, Don thought. BJ’s guitar playing is great, as usual.
I can still get mad sometimes about how this world is run, about how we’re running things. Goofy old world as Don would say.
THE LONGEST DAY IN JUNE Wrote this one and couldn’t sing it for a couple of years. What can I say?
It’s another Tulsa tune and again we had Harrie play the pedal steel at home.
LIKE A TIN CAN is about love as a commodity in a consumer society. Like a protest song with myself on the receiving end.‘Throw me away like a tin can, as something you’ll never use again!’
My sense of humor. It’s all made up of course. And what if it wasn’t? I’m over it now. Great guitar riff by Al, by the way.
IN A LONG GONE DREAM This was another one from years before. Good first line if I may say so? “Somebody said that love is like a dream and then you wake up!”
I really like the piano solo by Eric van de Bovenkamp. He did one on the first album too.
SHARON SAYS I once wrote this with several Sharons in mind. There was one though that came up to me after a gig and she insisted it was about her. Needless to say things didn’t work out between us.
Stephan knew Jelka and asked her to sing on this one, I keep hearing her even when we play live and she isn’t there.
SUMMER'S GONE But that’s allright. We recorded this one in Tulsa too, with just Don and BJ and myself. We just added the pedal steel at home. This also was a relatively new song although BJ and me played it live a few times already. It was really hot in Tulsa and we had to turn off the airconditioning because of the noise while recording.
SOMETIME TOMORROW Traveling can be a way to reinvent yourself. It can also mean you’re running away. It’s a big theme with me, I lived in many places, have done some travelling and yes, I ran sometimes. To cry and start anew.
Little bit older, maybe wiser even. Of course!
DON'T YOU THINK IT'S TIME All this time in Tulsa Gene did a wonderful job taking care of us and he never got on tape even though he’s a brilliant guitar player. Someone had to do the engineering. I just had to make it up to him somehow and I got the chance when he came to The Netherlands. He was touring with Don and Tom Skinner and we got him into BJ’s studio on his day off. I was halfway writing this song, I finished the lyrics while recording. It just came together, Gene’s wonderful touch, BJ’s banjo, the song just wrote itself.
It just had to be the last song on the album. I still don’t really know what the song is about. Falling out of love or is it about even bigger things. You tell me.
This album was more than just a solo album. There were many people involved and I owe them all big time for the way they got involved in my music. Thanks guys!!