I love a road trip. Even when I'm alone. But sometimes a girl just needs a little company. Lucky for me, Ronald is always around. Thank you to the unsuspecting mother in the play area who took this pic for me.
But seriously, folks. I am on the road to Baltimore.
Yes, I took it while driving. Shoot me. I had to. I am driving down to Maryland for my first recording session. I'm finally heading down for the official start of this journey.
It was amazing.
I'll set the scene: Rochester, NY Junior High School Counselor by day, blues/folk/rock/R&B/soul singer-songwriter by night flies down to Baltimore, MD to record the album of her dreams with Sony Platinum-selling recording artist David Chance. She'll be trying to raise the money to finance this through a Kickstarter campaign, but right now, she's paid for this with a high-interest loan. With a sweaty palm gripping the handle of her guitar case and a heart jacked on nervous adrenaline, she descends the 12 steps into David Chance's studio. There is a brief hello, set to the background of a totally infectious groove looping on the speakers.
"You like this?" asks David.
"I do." Says I.
"I was thinking we could vibe on this for a bit." Says he.
"Cool." I manage to stammer.
Vibe on this? WTF does that even MEAN? Surely he doesn't think this little white girl can hang with him vocally. This must be how we'll warm up.
David feels into the music and starts to riff. My God. That voice.
And so, in my internal world, the lights go on in the boardroom and the committee is in session:
- OK, ok, you got this, Meg. Breathe.
- Ha! I KNEW this was a bad idea.
- Hm. I DO like this groove. (Starts humming something.)
- What about the songs you sent ahead? You're not going to do those?
- He's about to find out you're a fake and politely tell you thanks but no thanks.
- Stop. Listen. This is all good. Everything about this moment is exactly what it is supposed to be.
As I get more comfortable, I follow David's lead and throw out melody ideas as well as lyrical ideas and song concepts. David lets me in on the first of many writing strategies he uses: Always get the chorus concept down first.
I have an idea, so I pull the trigger.
"I like the idea of something being out of tune. Like something's just not right in a relationship."
"Yeah, I like that. Let's stay with that."
And so it begins. We work all day and well into the night on our first collaboration. The result, an ass-kicking song called Out of Tune. Here's a little video chronicle of the process: