Monday, February 04, 2008

Angie Stevens - Singer/Songwriter

I'm sitting in a hotel in Moab, UT recovering from a harrowing 8 hour drive through a snow storm. Along the way, I did had time to do one of my favorite things, study a songwriter's CD. On this trip it was Angie Stevens newest EP, "Queen of this Mess." Afraid to take my hands off the wheel, I got quite the opportunity to listen again and again ...

If you haven't heard of her, get ready. She's has quickly become a favorite in the Denver area, for good reason. We saw her play recently and my best description is powerful! In my voice lessons with Ben Senterfit he always talked about planting your feet and then putting your whole body behind your voice. He must have been thinking about Angie. I could see her do just that.

In listening to her CD, I wasn't bored with any song (rare for me). One technique that she has perfected is the build -- starting quiet, building power, getting quiet to almost a whisper, then building again. There always seemed to be motion. The fact that most of the songs were less than 4 minutes also helped.

In her song, "Thrift Store Sweater," she gave a great example of painting a picture with your lyrics. The verse that immediately caught my attention was,

My thrift store sweaters
My painted pictures
My heartfelt letters
Scattered on the floor

The one trap that I noticed was that all of the songs were about the same tough period in her life. While its a great time to write and get it all out, a happy song or two would be a nice change.

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Demo Update

Early in November we got the bad news, Ben was moving to NY. Great for folks in NY, terrible for us. All of the sudden the pressure was on, get it done and get it done fast. We began working in earnest, scheduling more time in the studio. For the most part it made things easier, however, there was not much practice time in between. Our plan was for me to get the guitar and my vocals down and then for Julie to come in quickly and finish it off. Of course it didn't work out as planned. Julie tried singing on one track and it felt was too slow. Next day, I had to recorded to rerecord.

The deadline forced us to move fast, however, it became a time vs quality issue. Listening after the leaving a session, I began to dread hearing mistakes. Was it worth the time or not. Anyway we got things done, it may not be perfect, but it’ll do… Our last session, Ben downloaded everything onto a 4 G flash drive. Amazing, two months of work on a small disc.

Now all we have to do is get the CD mixed. It's only been sitting on my desk since mid-December. Hopefully, this month...

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