This must just be the week for seemingly inactive bands to unceremoniously jump back into the fold. Earlier this week, we posted an item about the Titan Courageous, who's been off the grid for a while, making new music. Now we've received confirmation that Three Miles West, an outfit led by Russ Christiansen (pictured above) that has undergone its share of lineup shifts over the past few years and mostly been a face on a milk carton until recently, is back together and in the studio. After resurfacing for a few gigs this past summer, Christiansen and company have written and recorded several new songs, a pair of which we've posted for free download below, in anticipation of as yet titled release due this coming December.
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According to Christiansen, the band is taking a completely different approach to recording this record. "It began as an expansion on the idea I came up with last spring to bring folks into a studio, teach them one of my songs, let them write their parts on the fly and get the session recorded and wrapped up in a few hours," he explains. "I called it a collective effort and gave it the name "surplus cheaper hands."
The initial sessions, overseen by Eric Shiveley -- and featuring Christiansen on vocals, Shiveley on shaker and keys, John Waggoner and Tony Burke from Ten Cent Redemption on guitar and bass, Tim Mallot from the Hollyfelds on dobro -- resulted in the first track, "I'm Your Man," and went well enough to continue exploring the idea.
After introducing the concept to the core Three Miles West lineup -- guitarist Todd Divel and bassist Jonathan Snyder of Missing Dufrenes -- Christiansen booked time with Jamie Hillyer at his Module Overload studio and set about replicating the original experience. "We were gonna put a single mic in the room, sit in a circle with no headphones... old school session
stuff," Christiansen recalls. "Our goal is to move towards recording in the style of the infamous stereo mic approach of the Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions. So we are searching out good sounding spaces and will proceed." The players emerged from Module Overload with another completed track, "Raining In Greenville."
In terms of proceeding, Christiansen and company have booked time at Macy studios and will spend some time in at the frontman's home studio, inviting different guest to join in on the fun. "So far," reports Christiansen, "John Macy is gonna lay some pedal steel when we record in his amazing stuido room, Damon Scott is gonna do percussion work for us on a few tracks, LnZ Kayd and Chris Newton of A Melodic Daydream are gonna do some vocal and guitar work, Dave Devoe of New Ben Franklins is gonna work in some time while he is finalizing their album. And Johny Woggoner will lay some stuff when he is back in denver, after having moved to San Diego. And the list will grow as I beg, plead, and spread the word."