Missing The Boat
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Music, Lyrics and Sound Recording Copyright © ℗ 2018 by Scott Cooley. All rights reserved. All songs written, arranged, produced, recorded, mixed & mastered in Michigan, USA by Scott Cooley. Everything you hear performed by Scott Cooley, including lead & background vocals, acoustic rhythm, lead, slide & bass guitars, piano, marimba, ukulele, harmonica, djembe, snare, hi-hat, maracas, tambourine, congas, bongos, castanets, and not enough cowbell. Studio album released on June 21st, 2018 on Scott Cooley Records, catalog # SCR08, with CD packaging by Scott Cooley. Cover photo by Richard E. Cooley. Total playing time 51 minutes.
Background, Inspiration and Concept
This was recorded primarily between 2016 and 2018 as a an ongoing songwriting and recording project that included writing new songs as well as re-writing to improve older songs that were previously left on the "cutting room floor" as candidates for past album releases. As is typical with Scott, the process of revisiting older songs with a focus on improving them to make them release-worthy often sparks the creative process from which new songs are born. In this case, a theme began to surface wherein similar songs for a concept album were set aside. These sessions came during a time period of personal nostalgia for sailing, which came about as a result of the physical decline and eventual demise of two close loved ones, relatives with whom Scott used to frequently enjoy the sport - his father and a favorite uncle. In addition to revisiting fond memories, escapist thoughts crept in as a means of dealing with the grief. Therefore, this type of experience proved to be an inspiration behind the types of songs and hence, the concept of the album as well.
Composition, Lyrics and Genres
The compositions are tight, if one word could be used to describe them. Although there are a couple ballads and mid-tempo tunes, the rest and majority are up-tempo numbers that do not have a lot of space for instrumental breaks or improvisation. It worked out that the peppy melodies and musical arrangements are joined together with subject matter that includes warm temperatures, sunshine, lakes, oceans, boats, sailing, beaches, islands, surfing, vacations, fun, and love to produce a positive and powerful listening experience. The stylistic delivery of all of the aforementioned musical and lyrical content harkens back to Cooley's sophomore effort album, Lakeside Landing, which blended aspects of a lot of loosely-related genres to give it an overall "summery" feel. You'll hear hints of Caribbean influences - which you might want to label Hawaiian, tropical, island, beach, surf, calypso, or reggae, etc., in addition to the more typical "acoustic garage rock" style he's always been most closely associated with.
Recording, Production and Personnel
Scott did all of the recording and production himself. He was also the only "personnel" to appear. In this regard, it was truly a do-it-all-yourself record by a true solo artist. As usual, the home studio in Michigan is where the magic happened, and it happened with as little trickery as possible. Put another way, as with the 7 previous releases, this one is as real and acoustic as it could be, with the use of live recording and microphones on acoustic instruments, while at the same time introducing more ukulele and piano than in the past and slightly improved effects processing. Whether it was determining the best song part arrangements, setting up the mic placement, editing and applying minimal effects such as EQ, compression, and a little reverb to each track, mixing the volumes and panning of each track, or mastering the final stereo mixdowns, Scott physically did it all himself and/or clicked things with multitrack recording software. The piano sounds admittedly employed the use of a MIDI keyboard rather than micing a real piano. Even so, Scott's fingers and voice made all of the sounds happen, like them or not! The plan for future recordings is to increasingly embrace technology for efficiency and accuracy's sake, at the expense of having it be as real and not "cheating," as has been the focus for these first 8 albums. While lovely wife Lenore was given a break this time around from her live-in session musician duties on accordion due to Scott's increasing use of keyboard, she was nonetheless consulted for her opinion on this batch of songs, which for the most part passed her test - a very important part of the overall Scott Cooley sound and catalog.