Posted by Frank Busch on September 29, 2011
Silence. I am in the silence business these days. Not all silence is created equal. The silence at night after a huge snow in Wisconsin differs immensely from the silence in a tiny basement apartment 4 blocks from the Pacific Ocean in Hermosa Beach, CA, or a monstrous church that has been designed to make you feel small, sitting empty. All of these silences are defined by two things, their reaction to energy, and the energy they contain metaphysically. If you are one that doesn’t believe in metaphysical energy I invite you to come get messed up with the MSB and wander around some basements of funeral homes sometime. It’s a trip.
This brings me to the barn.
My buddy Cliff is a lawyer, mostly pro-bono or public service stuff these days, but he has done a lot of different things in his day. He is genuinely a good man. On one of his families properties there is a huge old barn that has been renovated into a large banquet area for entertaining guests, a kitchen, some living quarters and a horse stable downstairs. We played there last year for a private party he hosted, and could feel a great energy immediately. Old oak wood curving upwards to a 30 foot ceiling, a five hundred square foot room, and a bar, it was absolutely perfect. The ghosts in the barn agreed
When I confessed to him about my idea to record an Americana album in a barn he generously offered his barn, as well as his cabins to sleep in, home cooked meals and a SubZero full of beer. You can imagine our disbelief. The room itself was like an old Buick. It took a while to warm up, both literally and figuratively, but once we got the song machine cooking, there was no holding us back. We recorded 11 tracks in two 12 hour sessions that felt like being a kid on the playground. These were songs that many of us had only heard a week prior. We had drums, banjos, guitars, fiddles, a big double bass, accordians, harmonicas, a rhodes, dobro, and a washboard. As the mood became electric the room swelled with sound, it rolled and rose like a giant Arc in the ocean. The horses downstairs only whinnied between takes, the bats that flew overhead only came out when we broke for dinner, and the geese in the pond…. Well we had to chase away the geese a few times, but it wasn’t a dealbreaker. The ghosts in the barn agreed
We called ourselves The MSB Family Band, and it felt like it. We worked like brothers, we behaved like we had spent a lifetime picking on each other. Rob, Josh, Dan, Nic, Kenny and I can make a lot of noise using absolutely no power whatsoever. We provided our own electricity. We were greater than the sum of our parts. We did something great. The ghosts in the barn agreed.
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