A few years ago, while she was touring, Megan Burtt came up with her 'In Good Company' concept. The idea was pretty straightforward: With so many songwriting friends in various places, Burtt decided she'd get together with each one, write a song in a day, learn one of their songs (and they one of hers) and a cover, and then stream the performance of all four songs on Stageit.
See also: Review: Megan Burtt, It Ain't Love
Last summer she used a similar approach for her just-released In Good Company, Vol.1: The Colorado Sessions, resulting in songwriting collaborations with eleven local artists -- the Epilogues, Chris Daniels, Reed Foehl, Bop Skizzum and John Magnie among them. We spoke with Burtt recently about the album, recorded at Immersive Studios in Boulder with Justin Peacock.
Westword: What was the inspiration for doing the record with so many great local artists?
Megan Burtt: I'm working on my next solo record, and there came a point this summer when I realized it was going to take longer than I thought to release. It probably wouldn't be out until 2014, and so I wanted a project to just help support that and do something kind of different. I also wanted an opportunity to work with people I'd never worked with and give them the opportunity to do the same thing. All the proceeds are going to Love Hope Strength, so it's kind of a philanthropic thing, too. It seemed like a cool kind of side project.
Was it challenging to go into so many different genres?
You know, no, actually, it really wasn't. I mean, some writes were easier than others, but I feel like it had more to do with the vibe, and some days you're more on than others. But it really sort of proved to me that songwriting is still about writing a song, and then however you dress it up at the end is really what defines its genre.
The one I wrote with Chris from the Epilogues -- I was pretty nervous about that one, thinking, 'Oh, God, they do something so different than what I do. Can I even show up and contribute equally?' But our first write, it was like, 'Who do you listen to?,' and we ended up talking about the Beatles. I mean, it was just so much about the song.
When we went into the studio, it was like, okay, how are we going to make it sound? It was like being inspired by Beach House and different things, but those elements weren't there until we went into the studio. I've learned so much doing this project about myself and about just writing in general and collaborating with different people. It was really amazing.
What did you learn about yourself in the process?
Quite frankly, I think that I proved to myself that I have the ability to write in all of these different genres. And this project has really made me see my growth as an artist, just in the confidence of being able to call Chris Daniels and say, 'I'm confident that we can write a song, and will you do this with me, and will you donate your time to charity?' I hadn't really realized that until the morning of the show. I was thinking back, and I'm like, 'I don't think I would have had the guts to do this three years ago.'