Secret Songs Chapter Two

February 28th, 2008

Two years ago, I began a long and winding process of making a new record. I recorded the CD in Kansas City with dear friend and master musician, Steve Phillips, whose Celtic Rock band The Elders totally rocks the house!

Before Steve was the scorching lead guitar player for The Elders, he was the scorching lead guitar player for The Rainmakers. Anyone remember that band? They had a few hits back in the late 80′s. Anyone remember the 80′s? It was a strange time period in US history known mostly for the height of women’s bangs and the vertically striped shirt dresses with wide cinch belts worn by men and women alike. Oh…and stirrup pants.

I had to record this CD with Steve, because not only is he a scorching guitar player, he also plays just about every other instrument known to man. This allowed me the flexibility of having the sound of a band on my record without all the troublesome drugs, alcohol and unwashed greasy hair of an actual band. Although, Steve and I did occasionally partake of the illicit narcotic known as almond croissant from Napoleon’s Bakery, we did not inhale. Okay, I inhaled, but Steve did not.

Over the course of about nine months, I drove to K.C. every two weeks and worked on the new CD. It was so fun and such a wonderful break for me to get away and do something musical. I was lucky enough to talk a few old songwriting buddies to sing and/or play on the record as well. Forrest Whitlow and David Hakan both appear on the new record, as well as a chorus of impromptu writers from the area on the tune “Happy Birthday Me.”

After many deletes and overdubs, and places where Steve carefully pieced together the vocals of Celine Dion on top of my guitar playing so that my vocals could at least sound good in a few spots, we finished the CD. I brought the master recording home and tenderly placed it on a dusty shelf in a dark closet for the ripening process.

And there it sat, waiting for me to get my act together, create a cover and get it duplicated. Except that we had started to build a house. And I was kind of distracted by that project. And then I lost the very necessary element of MOMENTUM. And then I felt stupid that I had put it off for so long. And then I started doubting. And then I got distracted again. And then stupid. And then doubt. And then distracted. Stupid, doubt, distracted, stupid, doubt, distracted. This is basically the pattern for my entire life. In fact – maybe I should change the name of this blog to STUPID… DOUBT… DISTRACTED… But with the record it was a wee bit harder.

First there was Steve, who knew about the record and who wondered if I was ever going to maybe actually finish it. Then there were the other songwriters who were on the record and who thought they at least should get a copy for their trouble. And then there were a few people who I had promised copies of this record to, years ago when I first started thinking about making one. So a few weeks ago I took another crucial step towards the completion of this record.

I contacted a graphic designer named David Gnojek. Mr. Gnojek (Guh Noy Yak) is related to me by marriage two or three times removed. It is like he is married to the daughter of the sister of the Country Doctor making him my “nephew in law”, but since I am far too young to have nephews that could be old enough to be professional graphic designers, something is clearly messed up. ANYWAY – Dave is one of those extremely talented, nice, humble, kind, VEGAN, decent people who for some reason I can’t explain, makes me feel like poking their eyes out. It is one thing to be nice and good and VEGAN. But it is a whole other thing to be nice, good, vegan, AND TALENTED!!! However, if I poked his eyes out he would not have been able to design my CD cover, and I really needed him to do that. You can go visit his design blog here. Live it up now Dave – eyes being poked out soon.

Dave did a beautiful job designing this record. But as with most things that I am involved in, I actually did most of the work. Well – I had all the GOOD ideas. Okay, okay – I sent him a few photos, which he put together and created some really cool fonts and made it look right and somehow captured the spirit of this record without EVEN listening to it! How’s that for magic? How easy will that be to do once you don’t have any eyeballs Dave? Will you be so Mister Magic then Dave? Don’t think so…

So if you are actually still reading this post of giddy insanity, you can go and listen to my new record at CD Baby. MY NEW RECORD!!! WOOHOO!!! MY NEW RECORD!!!

I have a NEW RECORD!!! DID I TELL YOU THAT I HAVE A NEW RECORD!!! HOLY FREAKIN’ FREAK BALLS I HAVE A NEW RECORD!!! It is making me a little giddy and kind of feel like my blood is full of fizzy Seven-Up with maybe a few ounces of gin too.

“Future Folk Star of the Universe”

P.S. For those of you who are interested in the record, but would prefer to download MP3′s, that option will hopefully be available in a few days.  I will be sure to let you know.  


  • Crunchy Chicken:

    Congratulations, Rechelle! Normally I would make fun of you under these circumstances, but this is just too cool!And now, April has one more weapon to torture her children with.

  • Donna:

    I’m so relieved that you sound far better than Ethyl Merman.

  • Kari:

    Sounds great! I secretly wish stirrup pants would come back in style. Kari

  • Ree:

    OH, that is cool. I listened to some of your girl detective songs over the weekend, and I found myself coveting you. You have a great sound, whatever that means. I’m trying to sound cool, like I know all about music.Singing…well, it’s just not something I can do. I know you’d never know it from listening to my Ethel songs, but it’s true. It’s a talent I’ll never have.Congrats!

  • Stephanie:

    WOW! Beautiful music…I am impressed..

  • Jenny:

    Oh, my…OH, my…OH, MY!!!I’m soooo danged excited for you I almost lact…wait, that’s not me…screamed! I just ordered the CD (and the first one, too). WAY TO GO!!!I will be working on venues as I do so love to hear these tunes live! My living room to start. I’ll try to give you plenty of notice on the dates…

  • Junebug:

    Seven years and seven days, was that a Jacob and Rachel song? I will be ordering a cd.

  • Rechelle:

    Good Job Junebug! You might be the first person to ever figure that out that I know of. I have always been so intrigued by that particular story. Someone needs to make a movie or write a novel based on it. It is such a messed up story and yet good comes from it. I always felt so sorry for Leah.

  • Caution:

    Way to go, CDW! (But you’re making the rest of us look lazy and uncreative…)

  • kimj:

    Who knew your coat would look so good on a CD?! Congrats Rechelle!

  • Jenni:

    The CD looks great, Rechelle, and I bet it sounds even better. Congratulations! Just one question. Whatever happened to your tag line “Giving People Permission to Fail”? I guess I will just sit alone over here in the loser corner. I might be inspired to get up and do something myself if my backside weren’t so nicely molded to this chair.

  • Jenni:

    This is really awful! I have been over to the CD Baby site and listened to three clips. Now I not only feel like even more of a loser but I’ve had the crap scared out of me twice by Slip Knot songs interjecting themselves between your songs. I’m not sure how this is happening, but it is frightening. I guess I will just have to buy a CD or wait for the mp3 files. I’m so glad you don’t sound like Slip Knot.

  • Marilyn:

    Oh, congratulations, Rechelle! You need to do a show in Lawrence, and I will be your hanger-on. Awesome!

  • Nancy:

    Holy.Crap. Balls. Girl. You. Rock.First off, Congratulations! And secondly, were The Rainmakers originally Steve, Bob & Rich? If so, I am so a fan of theirs. I saw them live and in concert many times at Brothers in Aggieville during the 80′s. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I danced on the table top! Now it’s time to hear you live and in concert! Jenny, get busy on those venues.

  • Nancy:

    I just listened to the CD on-line. Love it. Did I mention that I love it? I’m ordering it! And let me just say that the coat makes a fabulous label and I’m thrilled to have our “birthday” song on there. Plus so many others that I’ve heard before and hold dear. I’m so proud of you for doing this. Finally.

  • Tami:

    I love the songs. My two year old does too.

  • cndymkr / jean:

    Can I be your roadie?

  • KC:

    Wow, love The Elders, have to give the cd a listen too, but on a sad note Napoleon’s Bakery closed bout 9 months ago, it is sadly missed.

  • Rechelle:

    NO!!! NO!!!! How can it have closed! That is the saddest thing! Oh! I am feeling actual physical pain here. I loved those croissants more than I love my own children. And they brought me far more pleasure too. Ach Oy! This is a tragedy!

  • Angela:

    Congratulations on finishing the CD! I am so impressed. I especially enjoyed Seven Years, Hello Stranger, and Open Water.