Sunday, January 23, 2011

Favorite Track - Lost Angel

Lost Angel, my second and last solo CD, to this day, is still probably my favorite CD that I have recorded, not my best, but my favorite. Let me explain the difference.

For me, best is an indicator of quality. Favorite, is indicative of enjoyment. This is not to say that the CD is not quality. The recording is spot on. But, I was still so young, had only played guitar for 5 years at this point, my writing was still developing, and my voice just continues to get better. When I listen to this CD, the tone of my voice is still thin, sharp, and lacks the maturity that I hear when I listen to my more recent recordings. However, when I listen to Lost Angel I am really pretty amazed at what Rob and I were able to accomplish.

Again, it was Rob Woerther producing and recording the CD in his studio. But if Unfulfilled Desires was a nice thin crust pepperoni pizza, Lost Angel would be a hand tossed, pepperoni, pineapple, and jalapeno pie with Ranch and Tapatio dipping sauce. I had a clean disc, a very earthy, folksy, disc, but at that stage in my career, that was not my style. I have always been a fan of effects and layering, so when we mapped out this CD, we decided to tear down walls...push boundaries. Rob was a new pro-tools devotee, and we were going to use every little trick he had learned to make the recording unique. Plus, I had now been in St. Louis for a few years, entrenched myself it the scene, so I was able to bring in a few guest musicians. Donald Williams (Sinister Dane, Sugardaddy, Getaway Car) played bass on a few tracks and brought a groove to those songs that I never knew was possible. Tim Moody (Sunny Daze, Naked Groove, Schwag) lent his lead capabilities to a couple tracks, and Joe Bingham (Autumn's Child) also contributed some guitar to one song. On top of that, Rob and I played anything and everything we could. "Desolation Angel," the opening track, actually had some distorted beat-boxing that we used to give it more rhythm. Musically Lost Angel, was the perfect representation of what I hear in my head. I'd think it, and Rob would make it happen.

Inside Cover...das Ketzer Collage

As you can tell, the layout was much better quality as well. This CD would signify the first time Nathan Hutchison did the design and layout for me. He would do the next 3 for me, as well. He also did half the photos. My ex shot the other ones.

Inside Fold...Angie shot this of Emily Turay back stage at a Dance Concert, and I loved the expression on her face so much that I had to use it.

All that back story to get here, the point where I reveal my Favorite Track. Because I knew I had committed to this blog series, I spent a few days this week listening to the CD, and I really struggled with picking my FAVORITE track. There are just a bunch of great recordings on the disc, but what I kept asking myself when listening is, is it a great song or a great recording. What I ended up with was one of the least produced songs on the CD, very little flash, guitar and vocals upfront, Rob added some pads to fill in the bottom end, and we brought Joe Bingham in to drop a nice acoustic lead on it, but what stands out for me are the lyrics, the story. I wrote this song as a wedding present for my college roommate, Billy Casseau. It was quite an exercise for me, one of the first times I stepped outside of myself to write, to paint someone else's story. The gift was more for his bride-to-be, Patti, so I sat down with Billy, got some details of their courtship (yeah, I said courtship...I am old school) and "Starting Today" was the result.

Starting Today by S. Eric Ketzer (2001) by SoMuchCloser

Starting Today

And I remember the first time our eyes they said hello
You were in copper skin your bare feet on the Aztec sand
In the soft distance you know I can still here that Mexican wind blow
The smell of the salt see and the taste of my cerveza
There are no sandy beaches in old Missouri

Starting today well my forever lies with you
Starting today oh my forever is found in your eyes
Starting today my forever lies with you
Starting today oh my forever is found in your eyes
Even after all these years I still look at you with innocent eyes
Like your second graders you know I’ve got my hands in the finger-paint again
And I use your inspiration to create my destiny
It’s the softness of your kisses; it’s the gentleness of your touch
It’s the way I feel inside tonight; it’s the way I feel when you wake up next to me

Starting today well my forever lies with you
Starting today oh my forever is found in your eyes
Starting today my forever lies with you
Starting today oh my forever is found in your eyes

Many years, you stood by my heart
Many tears, you know they were cried for love
Many fears, well I’m gonna kiss them all away
Many years, ‘cause forever is in your eyes
And as the Eiffel Tower you know it stares down upon me awake and lonely
I image the beautiful Arch is staring down on you
It’s the kiss of the moon; its light brings me near you
Across the great ocean and beaches where heroes died
Somehow we’re together, somehow when I close my eyes
Starting today well my forever lies with you
Starting today oh my forever is found in your eyes
Starting today my forever lies with you
Starting today oh my forever is found in your eyes
Yes, I know it was a six minute song, but I was painting a story that went from first introductions to the wedding. I am not going to smash 6 years into 3 minutes because some radio exec wants to sell an ad for hemroid creme. I hope you enjoyed the read and the listen. Stay tuned for next week and my favorite track from Left Side of the River.

Under the Tray:

Back of Disc, me and Rob...I had a small obsession with Hawaiian prints...

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