SHEARWATER – ” Rook ” Live at Florence Gould Hall

Posted: June 3, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

Dear friends, I realized recently that it’s the tenth anniversary of the release of Rook, the second of our three Matador albums, and one that has a special place in my heart. (It’s also, strangely, the only SW LP that I no longer own; I’ve tried to convince Matador to reissue it on vinyl, but so far to no avail.)
It’s hard to remember some things about the sessions for it now, up at the Echo Lab in Argyle, Texas.  The electric guitar wasn’t speaking to me then for some reason, so I mostly played the studio’s piano and my little old acoustic on the album, which features some of my favorite performances from Thor, Kim, and Howard, as well as some beautiful string arrangements by Mark Sonnabaum.  Matt Barnhart guided the whole thing into shore, and was very patient with me when I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted – which, in those days, was most of the time.
I remember Thor dismantling a dead oak by the studio, turning its limbs into beautiful firewood that seemed to burn forever in the fire pit out back; I also remember the sound of coyotes and barred owls calling to one another in the ravine down below, and kettles of turkey vultures wheeling overhead.
We premiered the album in New York with a live performance at Florence Gould Hall (which you can find here), which included a string section, a grand piano, and our dear friend Elaine Barber on the harp—as well as two brand-new members in Jordan Geiger and Kevin Schneider—and I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous before a show.  I remember willing my hands to stop shaking before “leviathan, bound”, and a sweet little moment of silence in “lost boys”; and a great feeling of relief when it was all over. That was back before I really thought about writing songs that felt comfortable for me to sing, so the melodies seem almost absurdly high-pitched and complicated to me now when I listen back.

I’ll be posting a few odds and ends related to the album, but I don’t have a deluxe edition to sell you, or anything like that. What I do have is a feeling of deep gratitude to all of you, many of whom I first met way back then; you’ve been keeping me going ever since.
I feel very lucky to have met and worked with so many extraordinary people for so long.

http://

Recorded live at Florence Gould Hall in NYC May 5th, 2008.

To commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the release of Rook, JM made a video with his thoughts on the album, and shows some artifacts from the making of the album. He also sings “I Was A Cloud”.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.