One of my favorite music-related memories is when Teddy Morgan and I asked our new friend Carl Broemel if he wanted to “winthorp” with us. (For those of you not hip to this, it’s our side project of getting together to record hours of improvised space jams for almost no one’s enjoyment but our own.) The conversation after we explained it:
“Sounds cool! I’ll bring my pedal steel!”
“Oh, you know how to play pedal steel?”
Carl is one of a rare group of fearless musicians. He approaches an unfamiliar musical territory with respect and patience, and it’s not long before these lands seem like nothing more than an extension of himself. 4th of July, his new record, is a beautiful showcase of this.
Listening to these songs makes me smile so, so much—they are so well-crafted, the production is near-perfect, the experience of recording them was so fun, the players—holy moses, can I talk about the players for a bit? Jordan Caress of Ponychase, Tom Blankenship and Bo Koster, his bandmates in My Morning Jacket…seriously, there were times I finished a take and thought, “I am the luckiest guy in the world,” and, “why am I here, this must be a mistake,” at the same time. Neko Case sang on the title track and even though that was an overdub without me I’m still going to tell everyone I’m on a record with her.
Anyway! The point I am trying to make is I think this is a great record, and I’d love it if everyone in the world would take a moment to listen.