Break It Up, an excellent unheard album by Merchants of Soul

In 2004, I holed up in the basement of a window factory in New Jersey with my friend Jay Russell. Two years later, we had recorded Break It Up (playable below). We never released it, but his untimely death at 48 years old has sparked interest in it among his friends and family. I spent the last 3 weeks re-mixing the songs and set up a Bandcamp account with which to publish it.

I feel honored to have worked with Jay; he put an abundance of trust in me when I had way more ambition than understanding of how the heck to produce and engineer a proper album. He was extremely talented, funny, and a great pleasure to work with; these songs represent Replacements-style classic rock, with blues, punk, and R&B influences and an enormous guitar presence throughout.

Please have a listen and, if you are so compelled, share it and send a few bucks to his family.

Production and Engineering Notes

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Song: Quarter

Saying goodbye to something can be difficult, even if the thing you’re leaving is damaging you. This song was inspired by 7 months’ alcohol free. The instrumentation is particularly sparse, which left room for some detailed production work. It also features a melodica solo. This reedy instrument can impart melancholy better than no other in my own repertoire of musicianship.

Listen on SoundCloud

Song: Geniuses of Glory

I haven’t had a drink since November 1, 2018. I captured this song  during a particularly lucid rumination on how I was feeling: Inspired. Ceasing the destruction of myself and becoming much more responsive to inspiration has begun to instill a sense this feeling is worth sharing.

Wearing my 80s production and Bowie influence on my sleeve, I present this work.

Listen on SoundCloud

Song: On Fire

I happened upon a really infectious beat I created a couple of years ago and, after an enjoyable session, pulled a catchy melody from the universe. As fate would have it, I decided to listen to The Doors for the heck of it, and realized what I had with this song is a Doors-influenced piece of classic rock with a twist of contemporary production. And so, On Fire was born. It was fun to channel a bit of Jim Morrison, walking the line between psychedelic and Sinatra in vocal and lyrical styling. Yep, looks pretentious to have typed that out loud.

Listen on SoundCloud: