No Rest For Me. Start Again.


It starts with drums. Recording always starts with drums. That is, long after writing started with a bunch of other things—snippets of lyrics collected from around the house, melodies floating in and out of the sound of an oscillating fan, chords formed by holding your fingers and wrist in new but familiar formations on a guitar, perfect notes carelessly selected by my daughter while perched on the piano bench. They all gather together slowly over time until suddenly it’s like everyone I know has decided to descend on my home unannounced to spend a holiday weekend.

That’s what the beginning of recording is at times—that awkward moment when you have to tell them all that, despite the fact that you love them all and that each one is dear to you, it’s too crowded and they simply must leave. But when all you’ve written finally leaves your head and gets on tape, it’s like you’re getting to meet them for the first time, and when it’s right they all get to live in the spare bedroom forever, and never get annoying.

When it’s right. When it’s wrong, they eat everything in the fridge and the pantry, they sit around naked on your furniture, they answer the phone and pretend to take orders for pizza, and worst of all, they refuse to leave.

I have a distinct desire to do some key things differently on this album, starting by taking more time on the writing. In the past I’ve started recording with little more than a basic idea that I really liked, and then allowed the recording process to shape the writing. I still like to leave a certain amount to the process, but I’ve really nailed down more of the primary structures than ever before, and I hope to find that limitation even more liberating.

But what I’m really looking for is transformation. Personal, musical, mental, spiritual, emotional, physical . . . I don’t think any part of me will be the same after this. I’m looking for something, and I expect to find it.

So like I said, it starts with drums. I have plans for some interesting experiments—mixing acoustic with electronic, digging deep for ambient sounds that make the stories in the songs come alive. I’ve learned a lot in the last year, and I want to keep pushing the envelope. I “hear” this album more clearly than anything before, and I can’t wait to listen to it.

All work and play makes David a happy boy.



I couldn’t add more weight or significance to the title of this blog if I wanted to.

This hyper-magical substance has been hogging my spotlight for some months now, as far back as March 12 when I entered this title, saved a draft post, and walked away. I have been sequestered behind the scenes since then, working like an overgrown Christmas elf, trying to get ready for the next act in time. I actually feel more like a live serial scriptwriter, sitting in the wings watching the drama play out while I churn out pages determining what happens next. Well, all work and no play makes David a sad boy, so I am stepping out onto the stage this weekend!

Sunday, June 10 at 6:30pm, I will be hosting a very special concert at Spot Coffee on Elmwood in Buffalo. This concert celebrates the release of Caroline Fenn’s debut album, Fragile Chances, an extraordinary collection of disarmingly fresh and captivating songs. It’s my fourth album as a producer, and I couldn’t be more proud of all of our hard work, including the profound mixing and mastering of Blake Morgan and the amazing artwork of David Stith.

It also celebrates the launch of Hook & Ladder Records, my new record label. This imprint will act as the home of my future production side-projects, and will be distributed worldwide by my parent label in NYC. Even though the official worldwide release isn’t until July 31, the album will be available this Sunday at the concert!
Facebook Event for Sunday’s Concert

So come out Sunday, listen to some music, have some caffeine and celebrate with me.

Moving on to the next thing . . . I start recording my next album this month.