Joni Mitchell’s River

Kül d’Sack put together a little Christmas present for our listeners. Usually at this time of year we’d be doing our Christmas show at a local bar and cajoling the crowd to join us in the caroling. This year COVID kept that from happening.

Instead we each recorded our parts for Joni Mitchell’s River at home and John, our bass player, did a super pro job editing a video together of us playing at home. I did a write up a while back on my home recording gear, you can read here.

Here’s the thing, at the same time we were all recording our parts at home, I was reading Spencer Tweedy’s book, Mirror Sound. I can’t recommend this book enough. I ultimately ended up buying copies for all the guys in Kül d’Sack and if i had the money, I’d buy it for every one of my musician friends.

Tweedy’s book is useful and inspiring for a few reasons: it dispells the imposter syndrome fallacy that so many home-recorded musicians can suffer from by showing that it doesn’t matter where you make your music, so long as you make it.

It also dispells the falacy that music recorded at home will always sound less-than-pro. Reading these interviews with musicians about their home-recording setups and process makes it clear you can make music at home that sounds just as good as music recorded in an expensive studio. Moreover, so many of these musicians extol the benefits of recording at home over a fancy studio: luxury of time, getting into the zone more easily, being more comfortable, etc.

This book comes at just the right time for me. I know musicians who record at home, a lot. For a bunch of reasons though, I never thought that I could do it. But after reading Mirror Sound cover to cover a few times (it’s that kinds of book) I am seeing that the real limitations presented by recording at home are my inertia and the time constraints of working and having a family. But those are small potatoes compared to the imaginary barriers that Tweedy’s book help me dismantle.