The making of this album has been a magical experience in so many ways. I've always wanted to record a live studio album, and we did just that. We brought an amazing group of musicians to the studio, set up around the piano, and recorded the songs. There is a raw simplicity captured when recording live that cultivates honest art. Many of the classic records that I obsess about were recorded this way.
For me, "The Dandelion Sessions" feels like a musical journal I want to read over and over again. The inspiration for these songs date back as early as 2005. The oldest of the 13 tracks, "Your Best Thing," "The Way it Goes," and "Riding the Brakes" were written somewhere on the road, perhaps even finished in a sound check. "In and Out" and "What is the Difference" came in 2006 when I foolishly tangled with a boy from Austin… silly me. A summer later, a friend and I came together for a brief but long awaited writing session. "Trying to Drive" came to life that afternoon. “You might be right, I’m out of luck when I’m out of feist.” Around the same time (I remember because I timeline my songs by the relationships that inspired them), "Growing Out of You" was finished in my living room. The "Carly song" reference in that lyric came from me frequently listening to "You're so Vain" while trying to find my way out of the confusion of a serial relationship. I always loved the classical influence in the arrangement of "Making Her Right." Classical piano played such a huge role in my love for music as a child. But what I remember most about the experience of writing it is the freedom of finding myself somewhere in the middle of that lyric. Last year, my grandfather actually had the title idea for "Can't Get There From Here." I received a phone call from my dad one day saying that Papaw had a dream of a song with that title. I had recently been sitting in a parking lot having one of those defining relationship conversations that songs are made of. My brother Jeremy and I met up and wrote this one, parking lot song part 2, the bonus track for the record. (Part 1, "In These Shoes," can be found on the Grand Garden EP).
"Brokenhearted Day" was composed one lovely, ordinary Sunday that turned sour as a series of crazy mishaps dominated a very brief but frustrating hour. I was pretty unraveled. I later revamped the lyric for that song with some friends in Nashville. Soon after returning from Tennessee, "Nadine" was written. Most of us have someone, older and wiser, who inspired us when we were young. I was personally remembering bits and pieces of several different people in my childhood. By the way, none of which were named Nadine. I just thought it was a cool name so I used it in the song. The last song created for the record was "Me and You and Daisies." That song was written top to bottom in about an hour. "Life's a rope and every day's a little tug of war." That was the original idea. Then someone dear to me showed up at my house complaining about one of life’s little tribulations and boom, the song rolled out.
I named the album "The Dandelion Sessions" because "Wherever the Dandelion Falls" is the song that encompasses the whole experience for me. The vision for this record began as only a wish upon a dandelion, literally. A beautiful moment where I allowed myself to dream while standing beside a street in Atlanta blowing seeds into the wind, realizing that I was ready to record again. I wasn't born yesterday. I know that not all dreams come true. But this one did for me.
There are so many people that were involved in the making of this album. I sincerely feel so blessed for the contributions that each one of you brought to this project. Some of you gave your talent and creativity, some gave financially, some gave me a place to stay. But to all of you, you played a role. And whatever it was, this record would not have been completed without that thing you did. You have truly inspired me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Jeremiah Romo, Mike Daly, Joe Chiccarelli, Trina Shoemaker, Dan McCarroll and EMI, Kenny Takahashi, Phil Margaziotis , Karl Engiseger, Victor Indrizzo, Matt Mangano, Rusty Anderson, Lance Konnerth, Matt Rhode, Craig McEntyre, Allen and Lettye Burgtorf, Zac and Shelly Brown, Stevo Powers, Josh Heath, Ian and Megan Fitchuk, Justin Loucks, Robert Polay, Koya Perry, Bryan Cook, Victor Lawrence, Sam Fischer, Nina Evtuhov, Sam Formicola, Erin Dulaney and Dinari, Nikki Warner, Mike, Ted, Reid Hunter, Jonathan Daniel, Stefani LiDestri, Veruca Boutique, Erin Richardson, Soda Salon, Foster Addington, Julia Badovinac, Becka Cowan, Cassie Lyle, Simpson Morgan, David and Seth at DrewLewis, Sean Mosher-Smith, Angela Morris, Russ Fowler, Tom Tapley, James Salter, Bill and Darlene Budd, Catherine Brewton and Dave Claasen of BMI.
To God above, my wonderful parents, brothers, family and friends, you are my foundation and give me the greatest love, a constant inspiration to my life that pushes me to grow. Thank you now and forever. And to my fans, you give me a reason to have something to say. Thank you for your support and belief. I look forward to meeting you again.
Love and peace and me and you and daisies,
released August 1, 2009
Produced by Mike Daly with Aslyn
Engineered by Joe Chiccarelli
Additional Engineers: Phil Margaziotis, Karl Engiseger, Bryan Cook, Russ Fowler
Assistant Engineers: Kenny Takahashi, Tom Tapley
Mixed by Trina Shoemaker
Second Mix Engineer: Ted Wheeler
Mastered by Gavin Lurssen
Management: Jeremiah Romo for j.romo music management, Atlanta, GA
Legal Representation: Reid Hunter of Serling, Rooks and Ferrara, New York, NY
Recorded at: Glenwood Place Studios, Burbank, CA, Pinewood Studios, Burbank, CA, EMI Studios, Santa Monica, CA, and Southern Tracks Studios, Atlanta, GA
Mixed at: East Iris Studios, Nashville, TN
Mastered at: Lurssen Mastering, Los Angeles, CA
Aslyn Mitchell, Piano, Wurlitzer, Vocals, String Arrangements
Victor Indrizzo, Drums
Matt Mangano, Bass
Craig McIntyre, Percussion
Rusty Anderson, Electric Guitar
Lance Konnerth, Acoustic Guitar
Matt Rhode, B3, Vibes
Biff Watson, Acoustic Guitar on Trying to Drive
Kenny Greenburg, Electric Guitar on Trying to Drive
Mark Van Allen, Pedal Steel on Trying to Drive
Mike Daly, Additional Guitars, Percussion, Vibes, Accordion, Harmonium, Autoharp, Vibraphone, Glockenspiel and Lap Steel
Sam Fischer, Violin
Nina Evtuhov, Violin
Sam Formicola, Viola
Victor Lawrence, Cello