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Announcement: New Album "Impressions"


Releasing an album has many cool milestones from the day the masters come back, to the day the order is placed online, to when it shows up on platforms for streaming, the morning the CDs arrive in the mail, and even the first purchase from a fan; lots of great moments along the way. However, one of my favorite milestones is the initial reveal of a new project, as in this email. There's something about it being a combination of surprise, an initial glimpse into the vision of the artist, and the commitment it requires going forward. This is a step forward into certainty and i'm certainly glad to have come to this point!


At the beginning of May, just a few months away, I will be releasing a new album of cover songs called Impressions. This project will consist of some of my favorite folks songs from artists who influenced my style of writing as a songwriter such as John Gorka, Ellis Paul, David Gray, Anais Mitchell, David Mead, and Bob Dylan. Along with these songs will be four tasteful tunes that I believe deserve to be heard by a wider audience, written by friends and colleagues of mine in the songwriting community that I met along the way at songwriting retreats and such.


When I recorded 100 Summers, we started the two-day recording session with a track called Most Promising Officer, written by a dear friend of mine from my childhood. When I concluded the sessions for that album, although we didn't release the tune, it still ended up being one of the favored tracks. Doug Pettibone (Jewel, John Mayer) recorded a beautiful pedal steel part and later decorated the song with this incredible baritone electric solo that gave the song a dusty western feel. My father, whom I had not yet recorded with, came to the studio and contributed percussion, which was a lifetime dream for both he and I. My good friend, Rick Todd, who wrote the song, co-lead an open mic event in my hometown while I attended high school in the late 90s and early 2000s. It was there that I met him and several lifelong friends who all taught me the value of bringing music and spoken word to a community.


Quality Sound, Quality Art

Working with Chris Bell has been a blast the last couple years and his focus on quality always starts at the beginning of the signal chain. As with the prior sessions, the use of Neve equipment has created an incredible clarity and depth to the landscape of the recordings and his recent use of Neve preamps for individual parts allows the recording to avoid an excess noise floor before it even hits any processing. The result is a clean and expansive sound.


As with the last LP, i've also partnered with designer Zulfikri Mokoagow to create detailed pieces of art for the front, back, and inside of the project. Each song will be accompanied by an interpretive piece, drawn to extend the song's experience some. I'll include a short backstory for each song so you can learn a little bit about how these songs came into and influenced my life as a writer.


Here are just a few of those pieces that will be showcased in the CD and Vinyl inserts (click each column to view):


Trying Something Different

With the decline of CD sales and the rise of vinyl, I feel compelled to jump on the bandwagon and put out a record and also print less CDs. Luckily, the songs fit just right on an LP and i've found the right folks to put out a high-quality, 180-gram vinyl release. Records should be out in May. A pre-order campaign has been created online through Bandcamp and i'll be reaching out to promote that in the coming weeks. CDs will also be available, in limited quantities.


Thank You

I appreciate so much the support that I receive from those that listen to and love my music. More exciting things are coming, including a book of poetry, which I hope to make an announcement for soon. I look forward to getting online more and performing these songs for you and I hope to see you out there when things warm up.


Be well,

James Lee


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