Everyone has a favorite road to drive. I have a several of them, truth be told.
There’s the stretch of 67 heading out of Fort Stockton, Texas, towards Alpine, and then onward to Marfa as 67 meets up with reliable old 90. The last zigzagging mile of the Million Dollar Highway that drops out of the mountains and into the box canyon that hems Ouray, Colorado in on three sides. And of course, turning onto my street after a long string of shows, knowing that my home is only a few seconds away.
These ribbons of blacktop hold a special place in my heart for a few reasons– but each of them has a solitary moment contained in their navigation that I look forward to most: a view, a memory, a home.
Making a record is a lot like driving on one of my favorite roads. It’s an enjoyable trip from start to finish, but there’s that one single point that really serves as the icing on the cake no matter how often you set sail. That point in the record-making process, for me, is when I get to share it with all of you.
I started driving down the comforting curves of Wide Listener when we walked into the studio a few weeks ago, and with the recording complete I know that I’m getting closer to that moment to which I so look forward.
The tricky thing about these favorite drives of mine is keeping to the speed limit. If I rushed through the entire journey just to arrive at the Pieces de Resistance, well, I might as well just tack a photograph to the wall and look at it whenever I pleased. I think you get my drift– the sights are pretty enough, but without taking in the trip as a whole, they’re just pushpins in a map. More jealousy-inspiring postcards received from a globetrotting friend then they are personal connections, and it’s the personal connections that truly make them.
And in this case– in the case of Wide Listener, I mean– if I didn’t make the entire journey myself (and with the help of the wonderfully talented people who have helped me in the studio), the final presentation would probably sound something like a few notes jotted on the back of those postcards rather than the recounting of a particularly memorable personal experience.
So, I’m out here on this metaphorical road, steaming along with my penultimate destination getting closer in my windshield.
I guess this is a longwinded way of saying that, as much as I wish I could share this record with all of you right now, I still have some miles to drive until I can do so. I’ve taken this road a few times before, though, and just like I look forward to the points on those aforementioned drives that I love so much, I look forward to getting to share with all of you what I’ve been putting so much time and effort into.
We’re getting closer.