I’m just about to leave for my first session in the studio for “Safe in Sound”. It’s a short session – we’ve booked three hours – which is the way I prefer to work. As a solo musician, it’s counterproductive to try to record for a full day, it’s just too intense and my fingers start to wear out after three or four hours of takes.

My engineer is Hollis Greathouse, who also was the engineer for “On Time”. (The engineer is the guy sets up the mics and gets sounds down on tape, or on computer as the case is now). He’s super-skilled, super-efficient, and is a very positive and cheerful guy, which I really need when I’m working like this.

I’m bringing a playlist of recent solo guitar recordings whose sound I really like, and the first thing we’ll do today is to listen to those recordings on the big studio speakers and pick out what it is that I like about the sound. We may listen to this playlist again as we go through the process of the album, to give us some perspective and compare what we’re recording with these sounds.

I’ve realized that this is going to be a deeply eclectic album. The tunes themselves all hang together in my mind – there’s a shared quality among them – but soundwise they’re really different. There are a few really quiet songs, a few really loud ones, and a lot of experimental bits that don’t sound quite like anything else. I’m going for an oud-like sound in one, tabla drums and sitar in another, hammer dulcimer in another…these all will take different recording approaches. Today we’ll try out some of these sounds and see what kind of techniques we need to use.

It should be interesting!