So tell us, Johnny Rock, what’s been going on? When is the record coming out? PATIENCE!! I will explain everything!

2014 has already staked its claim as the most adventurous period in making For The Record. Since I last blogged, work has begun on the remaining four songs. We released four new videos that cover the recording of “Just a Note“, “Voices From Heaven“, and “Window To The World“, as well as our first artist spotlight starring Max Feinstein.

The song that has seen the most attention, “The Tidal Track“, was just a loose concept until January 20th. That day, my cousin Anthony R. Nardino, and my friends Max Feinstein and Greg Gutjahr met at Sound Over Sound Productions to write the music in its entirety. A month later, without any rehearsal, Anthony and I reconvened at SOS to commit drums and piano for “The Tidal Track” to tape. Anthony’s brother, my cousin Joseph Nardino, also attended the session to sketch out the lyrics. This is the first time the three of us have worked on a project together since we were children.

“The Tidal Track” received bass overdubs by Greg and guitar overdubs by Max shortly thereafter, choir-style vocals by Anthony and me, Anthony’s Hammond Organ solo, as well as sound effects generated on the Moog Rogue by yours truly. The finished lyrics and vocals, as well as lead guitar parts, should be completed by May.

On February 19th my first musical mentor Paul Larsen added flute to ”It’s Been a While.” I invited Paul to be on the record because he was my music teacher and band director from elementary school all the way though high school. The man taught me how to play jazz, how to use a 4-track recorder, how to play keyboards, and most of all encouraged me to persue music to it’s fullest. What a thrill for my musical career to come full circle in so many ways on this song.

Our shortest song, a folk tune called “More Than That,” has had the longest journey out of any song on the record. My 2nd cousin Meagan Partington and I wrote this tribute to my Aunt Pat (Meagan’s grandmother), who passed away in 2011. Meagan lives in Boca Raton, Florida, over 1,000 miles from where the action is taking place for most of this project. We exchanged lyrics and demos early in 2013, and then spent months trying to figure out where to record the song. As this is an all-analog project, our choices for a professional studio were extremely limited.

I finally decided to book a studio close to Meagan with a 24-track tape machine. When I arrived in Florida on March 24th, two days before the session date, I was immediately informed that the tape machine was out for a serious repair. This was devastating! I had flown all this way, reel of tape in hand, hotel and studio booked, and suddenly faced quite a dilemma. I frantically searched for other studios in south Florida that could accomodate 2″ tape at such short notice, but most were slow to respond and/or overpriced for such a simple song. I even atempted locate a used 4-track, but found nothing. Ultimately, Meagan fell ill on the night that would have been our session. We rehearsed the song anyway, and agreed to record “More Than That” at Sound Over Sound as soon as Meagan can travel to New Jersey. To be continued.

My drum solo called “Nomad” is scheduled to be recorded onto 24-track this weekend at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ. We will also be recording a fun folk song called ”Weasel” by Andrew Reynolds, which should also be performed at a Hoboken recording studio onto 1/2″ 8 track.

So when IS this thing going to finished? The good news is we carried out our first successful analog mix at Sound Over Sound, and we now intend to mix a majority of the album there. We have also been in contact with a highly reputable disc cutter in Brooklyn, who will be able to cut the lacquer directly from our 1/2″ 30ips master tapes. This means that mixing should be our main focus throughout the spring and summer, and hopefully we will be onto mastering and cutting by fall. A release by the end of 2014 is likely, although that is a very rough estimate.

There has also been a major development in my personal life. This week I resigned from my day job of 14 years in order to become a full time musician. There’s some backstory I’ll skip for now, but basically I am sacrificing a LOT of potential income for this passion. Most of the music I’ve ever recorded has faded into obscurity. When you and/or your entire band is working full time, it’s really hard to go that extra mile and promote your music, to find distributors, to go on tours, to do press, etc. For once I am not letting that happen. There will be other gigs I’ll take in order to make a living, yes, but this record is my priority. Now I will have the time to handle all of the legal aspects, to crank out more videos, to give each song a thorough mix, and to promote the project as hard as I can. You only live once, as they say. I believe in this project, and for the first time in a long time I’m thinking BIG. Rock on~