A couple of years ago I was over in London and randomly popped into a gig at the last minute at a friend’s suggestion. I didn’t have a ticket and the show was sold out, but for some reason when I turned up the security guy let me in regardless with a wink and a ‘this will be our little secret’ smile. Once inside I turned around to find that my friend Jason Mraz - who I hadn’t realized was even in London at the time - was standing just behind me, which was a fun surprise. He then invited me to the studio the next day where they were working on ‘I’m Yours’ and I witnessed an incredible team hard at work on his project (along with some impressive juggling!)
You can imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that my producer James Bryan had - unknowingly - arranged to have the same crew for my album. Full circle dream come true.
We’ve recorded “live off the floor” which means we all played, sang and recorded together in one go to keep a natural and organic feel. Sounds obvious, but sadly it’s not often the way it’s done in these days of technology, auto-tune and studio tricks. It’s how i’ve always envisioned making a record, so to see it come to fruition with these world class players has been quite a thrill!
Six out of the seven songs are finished and we’ve just got one vocal left to do…and this is the part where I segue into another exciting story / announcement.
In December my best friend Cathy took two Irish musicians from a group called Celtic Thunder to Nepal on a trip with the Leprosy Mission. One of these Irishmen is a fellow called Ryan Kelly. After working with and getting to know Ryan in Nepal, Cathy felt that he and I were quite similar in our approach to life and our passion for music and she asked me if she could introduce us in hopes that we’d collaborate. A glowing endorsement from my bestie is not easy to come by, and since she had also introduced me to my producer James I knew she wouldn’t lead me astray. James and I had been working on a song that needed a male counterpart and were tossing around names when we thought of Ryan. We sent him the track and he graciously agreed to give it a try, so I popped over to Ireland where we finished writing the song together and recorded a demo for James. (I also got to meet his famous pup Larry, who apparently has quite the online fan club already!):
James and I both loved the demo so we are now getting set to bring Ryan over to London to record the final version of what i’m sure is going to be my favourite track on the album (and probably yours, too ;)). I’m so thrilled to have him on board and can’t wait for you to hear!
More updates and introductions to each song coming over the next few weeks.
Thank you as always for the love and support — see you out there SOON! :)
PS - to complete the serendipitous circle, a couple of months ago I played the same venue in London where i’d bumped into Jason previously, and the same security guy who had snuck me in before was working. So I was able to high five him and thank him for being the gracious gatekeeper for an evening that truly changed my life.