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Mark Jones & Twenty Paces / Blog

Summer Afternoons

Summer afternoon; to me, those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language. - Henry James

So here we are. Mid July already. While a lot of you are busy either enjoying your summer break, or working in the heat right through it, or simply having that conflicting emotion where you're grateful for all the time with the kids, but secretly wishing like hell school would start up again, we've been doing the same things while merrily chugging along and trying to make some music.

The release of the live EP (ahem, available on www.markjonesandtwentypaces.com and iTunes) has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for us. Honestly, there were moments where we were on the fence about releasing it or not. We'd spent the better part of 4 months working on a self-produced, homespun demo type project with mixed results. Some of the tracks were really good. Some of them were really mediocre. Then we recorded the Dosey Does show, and while it was a little sloppy in places, it was pretty evident that there was an energy in the room that night that came across on the recording. We starting discussing the old Cross Canadian Ragweed bootlegs and live stuff we've all listened to a hundred times over, and how much we loved those recordings. I pulled out a bootleg I've had for years of Mike McClure doing Neil Young's "Rocking in the Free World" with Rodney Pyett playing lead (You know the one if you've heard it. "This guy's a bad motherf****.")

Point is, we all loved those crappy, loose and sloppy live records. Mainly because it's the only way you could "be there" without "being there." These days, that's been replaced by video enabled camera phones with crappy microphones polluting YouTube. Man, there's nothing more irritating than a crappy sounding YouTube video.

Well, there is. But I'll resist the tempation to start a list. It ain't that kind of blog today. Maybe some other time.

So we put it out, and the response across the board has been fantastic. And thank you all for that - it means more than we can express in words. Or at least more than I can, because I'm awful at that kind of stuff. It means a lot. Thanks. There are a few times where through no amount of mixing or studio trickery that I could fix the fact that at moments we sounded like a band who'd been together for 5 months, playing with what was for all intents and purposes a fill in drummer. (Mark's better looking and more talented twin, Matt Jones, who bailed us out of a rough spot and did a kick ass job doing it.)

But the ENERGY was there. And it was HONEST. And, to me, anyway, that's still what it's all about.

As of this writing, I'm going to go to bed and get up tomorrow and oversee the last bit of tracking for our forthcoming studio project. A 13 song disc, all original music written by Mark plus one song written by my dear friend Brandon Wayne Jones and myself. Tentatively titled, "From the Outside In", I can tell you with absolute certainty this will be the BEST record I've ever been involved with in any capacity. (And not to toot my own horn, but I've done some pretty cool stuff with some pretty talented cats.) We brought in our friend Kenny Jackson Jr. to assist with the production, and split our studio time between Billy Hillman's Hilltrax Studio in Huntsville, and the brand spanking new, UNREAL Wire Road Studio in Houston. It doesn't sound like a new band. This is the record I've always wanted to make. I really can't wait for people to hear it.

So that's what happens around here on a summer afternoon. Making music. Trying to fill up the calendar with shows. Trying to make some noise, make some fans, and get some "industry" people to pay attention to what we're doing. In the midst of the blistering heat and chaos that is commonly referred to as "life", we're doing what we love to do, and are beyond blessed to be able to do it.

MUSIC. We'll make that my third favorite word.

Next time,

Norm

Good things are happening!

Hey everybody, thanks for stopping by and checking out all the new toys... both the new website and the ReverbNation pages, are under construction at the moment, so thanks for you patience.

In the meantime, we're still getting geared up for the release of our EP, which was recorded live at Dosey Does last month. Soon as we have the artwork finished for the sleeve, those will be available. But we're not just sitting around on that. We're headed to the studio in what looks like July to record our first full studio CD. We couldn't be more excited about that. Plans are also in the works to do a live DVD video shoot in August! Go big, or go home... that's us.

In the meantime, we're still playing a few shows a month, and still working on getting the show right. Bringing in Pancho on drums was a HUGE turning point for us... he breaks stuff... we love it!

We're also on the search still for the elusive "perfect fifth". We've always envisioned this being a 5 pc band. We're on the lookout for the perfect one. Someone who preferably plays more than one instrument and sings harmonies as well. If you know somebody, or you yourself are looking for a gig, shoot one of us a line. We'd love to hear from you!

Til next time kids! XXP

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