River House Sessions

I apologize for neglecting the content on this blog for the past week! A major, major "no-no," I realize! Thank you, readers, for continually checking back. I hope to not disappoint you with the experience of clicking on the Dead Reckoning bookmark and finding nothing new!

I spent this week in Absarokee, Montana, at my sister and brother-in-law's house on Rosebud Creek. A beautiful, quiet setting, complete with a trout stream. One of my favorite places; that is for sure!

I turned the house into a temporary recording studio for what I call "The River House Sessions." As many of you know, a portion of my life, one I hope to make more significant in the future, revolves around music. I have a hard time believing it, but almost seven years has elapsed since I recorded an album. I had the opportunity of a week without too many pressing things, and decided to bite the bullet and actually sit down and try to hammer out a new album.

It was a very, very successful week. The tracks for at least 10 songs are complete, and with the help of my producer, Jay Friesen, all I need to do is some serious mixing. I hope to produce a super-professional product.

Some of the songs are now "old," in the sense that I've lived with them for the past six or seven years. But I've never released them commercially, and I'm excited to do so in 2013. I am very proud of these songs. When I release the album, I will add a page to the "music" tab with my stories, lyrics, and commentaries on each song.

I was delighted to add the dulcet tones of my sister's 95-year-old vintage Mason & Hamlin grand piano on a couple of tracks. Oh, I wish you could hear right now how sweet this instrument is! What a privilege to play! (If you don't know, Mason & Hamlin is the premier concert piano, arguably more prestigious than Steinway.)

In addition to that, my Taylor 710ce continues to perform like a superstar. Frankly, it is the superstar. When I listen to acoustic music, whether Damien Rice or other great acoustic artists, their guitars never sound anything near the quality of my instrument. I have no idea why this is, but it is true. I am so blessed to have such an instrument. It just shines.

I also pulled out my wife's old Seagull acoustic for some additional guitar parts, and I just really, really, like its sound. No electronics on this one, so I just used a small diaphragm condenser microphone, and it produced a huge, deep, rich tone.

In addition, I was privileged to have borrowed a superb authentic Fender Stratocaster from a friend. It adds a great deal of color to a few songs. I'm not much of an electric guitar player, but I think I did an adequate job.

So I came back to Billings yesterday, just in time to get to the Red Futon Films studio where Jay and I recorded our first radio program of 2013, entitled, "The Pew and the Pulpit." The format is that Jay and I have a conversation about the sermon we are about to broadcast, seeking to apply some of the lessons to the everyday lives of our average listeners. This show is broadcast on 730 AM (KYYA) at 11:00 a.m. Sunday mornings in Billings. It is really fun. We keep the format loose; I call it the "shock jock" format. Two guys bantering about interesting things on the radio. In our case, we have the delight of being able to talk about the Book of Romans on a secular talk-radio station every single week. Life just doesn't get better than that. By the way, we will be doing a live video and audio feed of our broadcast recording each week on UStream. I'll let you know the web address, and where you can view the archives, if you'd like to see us in studio recording the show. Very cool!

Up next, we'll be shooting our first episodes of Dead Reckoning.TV soon!

I'll keep you in the production loop on the new music album, as well. So, as they say in the radio business, stay tuned...

Brian Mattson