Last day in the studio for the Valley Of Salt project today. It’s been an intense project, complex, long hours but inspiring to work on such a creative composition with the artist and get it onto ‘tape’ with a whole lot of great musicians, technicians, and enablers. So thank you, Brian, Salim, Sarah, Olivia, John, Kevin, Jason, David, Rich, Paul, Abby, the other Paul, Steve, Tess, Nae, Cherish, Camille, your job, connect the instrument and/or the support to the name. This project has had to add more days because it has been a feast of guitars, arrangements, and other odd instrumentation and voices and at this point, we will still not be ready to mix till we come back in mid-January to complete strings and choir. This is Brian’s first album and he has done an amazing job of writing, playing and singing, and listening to me, haha. So thanks, Brian, for the trust and to everybody who has made this project such a pleasure to work on.
It was another fine day outside in the Dallas autumn. I see in other parts of America they are buried in the snow and we will be heading towards them tomorrow. Although we will be in Atlanta first till Saturday, we will be in New York for Olivia’s birthday and then in Chicago before heading for Minneapolis for Christmas, snow guaranteed. I grew up with snow having come from the northwest of England. In the early days of being a kid, according to my dad, we lived elevated to 2000 feet above sea level with a view of the Pennines in a country road surrounded by fields, located between Marple Bridge and Glossop. I remember one year we were snowed in, as in we couldn’t open the doors to get out of the house as there was so much snow built up against them.
I think about the animals in this weather, how do they survive? How do they not freeze to death and where do they find food? It’s up to us to help them survive if we live in a place that has this weather. Where we live in Porto, snow isn’t going to be a problem but at Olivia’s parents’ house in Germany, the cold and the snow comes almost every winter. Consequently, they have a regular ongoing factory of bird seed manufacture and a sparrow, blackbird and blue tit support team.
I had to take a break yesterday as I was feeling dizzy. I sat down and stared at a cactus and eventually, everything was ok. The worst thing about feeling dizzy is that it makes you feel sick and that means you have to stay completely still and for a disco dancer like me that’s hard. We got through the day and at a certain time we called it and began to pack up all of Brian’s equipment. Jason generously offered to help Brian take all the equipment back to his RV which he will be driving back to New Jersey in the morning. He’s also taking my Fender baritone and my Seagull to save me paying for excess baggage on the plane. This Sunday in New York we will be seeing Brian again and he will bring me my Seagull. We are going to meet with other sessioneers for the first time; John and Chris as well as Matt, Rajan, and Brian, who I’ve met before, looking forward to that.
Music today has been Lindsey Buckingham’s last self-titled album from 2021. It seems a shame that he can’t get the magic of the Fleetwood Mac rhythm section and the chemistry with Stevie and Christine happening again. Having said that I saw them live some years ago (free tickets in the nosebleeds), a woman behind me screamed “I love them” all through the concert, another woman in front talked on her phone the whole time, “Guess where I am?”. The band just played the hits, it seems that Buckingham is the one who is trying to be creative, write new songs, move forward but the band can’t escape their past. The album he put out with Christine McVie in 2017 started as a new Fleetwood Mac album. By the way, he’s a great guitar player.