In mid-March, when the pandemic started closing in, I was scared and confused like everyone, but I felt lucky for one reason: the week before, I’d managed to get all of the bass and lead vocals for Loving Every Other Minute of It tracked and ready for mixing. It was a relief that I wouldn’t have to figure out how to get down the best takes of my songs while everyone I knew and loved struggled with this new thing. That hard work was done, which saved plenty of time for the new hard work.
Still, I missed playing bass. I’d just gotten back into the habit, and with no gigs or studio sessions on the horizon, I suspected my recently regained chops would fall away, just like the had before Loving Every Other Minute of It.
Luckily, my high school friend, guitarist and producer Bret Hartley (who incidentally has played and recorded with the likes of Eliot Bronson, Sonia Leigh, and Sugarland — yeah, no kidding), decided he needed bass for a new project featuring him on guitar and hot shot Colin Agnew on drums. This wouldn’t be your typical singer-songwriter thing. This would be an all-instrumental approach to hooky guitar rock that openly referenced the Minutemen, one of Bret’s and my favorites from back in the day.
Pretend to be Mike Watt on a several guitar-rock numbers with an old friend and killer drummer? If I ever say no to that, God help me.
The result is In Lieu, a six-song EP with Bret on guitars and production, the ridiculously talented Colin Agnew on drums, and me doing my best to mess them up at every turn. The EP’s now available at Band Camp, and at a very nice price, I might add. Give the tracks a listen, and if you like what you hear, Band Camp makes it easy to drop a few bucks to make the songs yours. (I just tried out their system. Painless.) I’m really proud of what the three of us did, and I hope these tunes can be for you the kind of distraction they were for me in these troubled times.