I once heard my songwriter friend describe the experience of writing a record as the “chopping wood, carrying water” portion of being a musician. Release an album, experience that heady mix of glory and devastation that comes from said album, book, tour, burn out, build back up, chop wood, carry water, repeat. I’ve been in the woodshed for almost three years now. Since I recorded my last record, so much has happened musically. I’ve scored movies, made a full return to singing opera, been brutally schooled in guitar by Johnny Dowd and Mary Lorson, produced several projects, taught several thousand lessons, and spent hundreds of hours working with Willie B on this next batch of music. I’ve lost an agent or two on account of I don’t make much money for anyone, and spent a fair amount of time piecing myself back together after burning out pretty hard a few years ago, physically and mentally. But the fire is back, it’s raging, and I’ve chopped enough wood to last a while. It is time for the next step. I’ll be heading into the studio on June 20 to record with Willie B, with Matthew Saccuccimorano at the helm in the control room. Just the three of us, several drum kits, many ancient synthesizers, pedals, and my 2 beautiful guitars. For the first time since The Wasted Ocean was made in 2011, I will be doing a fundraiser campaign to help launch this into the world, starting in a few months. For now, it’s one more month in the shed, then jumping in. I can’t wait.