“The lightning cracked and the thunder moaned. Your pony took off to the hills. The wind was whistling a sad, mournful song you knew you would never forget....you couldn’t get it out of your head.” - from Water Under the Bridge (song on The Den Sessions)
Inspiration comes to most artists and writers the same- that indescribable moment carried on a fateful breeze where you happened to be in the right place at the right time. You were the one at home with your window open to catch it, you lucky bastard, and now you have a responsibility. You must find a way to express it.
I’ve been inspired all of my life. When I hear others talk about writer’s block or artist’s funk, I am always troubled by it. Mainly because I don’t believe it is a real thing outside of our own belief in it. Essentially, it all comes down to a fear of not being good enough...and when I'm creating, there is no room for fear. Sure. Before, during and even shortly after I write a song or paint a painting, I have doubts, but it never stops me from sharing what I’ve done. Damn the critics. Damn the doubts. This is my mark on this life and all of it deserves looking at. Otherwise, the process is lost and the final product might never come. So with that being said, I decided to take note of my last year’s accomplishments in hope to gain perspective on the new year and share it with you through this blog, along with the projects I end up working on throughout the year.
In the year 2010, I took on the monumental task of recording and releasing 10 albums of 100 original and unreleased songs. I recorded each volume of 10 songs in my “den” and called it The Den Sessions. The songs were rough, old and new and crossed many genres of musical influences. Some of the songs shined brighter than others, but I plowed ahead trying not to be too critical so that I could accomplish the task at hand. Most often than not I was surprised by the ones that had collected dust on them for some time and how that once these rough songs were polished off, they sat like gems waiting to be unearthed. I also felt a surge of inspiration to write better songs, so in the process of looking at my batch of already written songs, I played with recording “off the cuff” making things up as I recorded. I re-wrote lyrics, had a lot of fun...and came up with over 60 new songs.
Now I’m sitting here proofing the audio files to send off for the last 4 Den Sessions albums and I’m smiling. Not just out of pride in accomplishing something I set out to do a year ago. I’m also grinning because I know that despite the fact that I live in a tiny town in Iowa where there is next to no music scene of any kind outside of the birds that sing in the spring alongside the Raccoon River, or the humming of the harvest season combine tractors, I’m doing something big. Creating a body of work that my grandchildren will hear. Hell, maybe even my great-great-grandchildren. This is the motivation behind this difficult project. Making my mark and making good on the songs I’ve been given. For more information about The Den Sessions or other albums go to: chadelliott.net
Thank you for reading. More to come!