This past Friday, Daytotter.com posted the session John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light recorded at their studios in Rock Island, Illinois, over the summer while the band was in the midst of its Midwest tour. If you're not already a member of Daytrotter, it's totally worth signing up for the free trial period just to listen and get your hands on these tracks. Common and company (on tour now through the end of the month) offer up completely lived-in arrangements of three familiar tracks and introduce a new tune, "Your Man."
John Common, reflecting on the experience:
It was a hot and muggy Monday morning when our van rolled in to Rock Island, Illinois, to record a Daytrotter session. We'd been on tour for a few weeks, so it felt strange to be about to play music while it was still daylight. We grabbed coffee at a local coffee shop and then loaded up three flights of stairs into the studio. The third floor was an oven that day. Seriously hot. The tiny swamp coolers had no chance of keeping up with the 90+ degree heat and 90+ percent humidity. But God bless them for trying.
The studio looked like those other nondescript studios that have been home to thousands of recording sessions: an out of the way space filled with instruments, posters, chairs, recording gear and a growing collection of weird things you collect and carry with you on the road (tour talismans). It feels like one of those utterly authentic places that has no idea how special it is until years later, when you step back from the body of work recorded there. And then it hits you: look what we were a part of.
Daytrotter's idea is simple, and beautiful: record bands when they're ON THE ROAD. Then write about the music like a poet. Then connect it to a piece of original artwork. Then give it away for free. So smart.
Music is like any other religion... it has holy places. Chess, Sun, Muscle Shoals, Hitsville. This studio felt like it might be one of those places eventually, if it keeps playing its cards right. We were (and still are) totally excited to be there... To add our music and vibe and intention to the place. To sweat a little into its wooden floors and be a part of it all. It was an honor.
There have been over 2,000 Daytrotter sessions recorded there. Mike, the sound engineer, has run most of them. He is a prince of a man -- great to work with. We recorded totally live (to 2-track tape) versions of "Wide Open World", "Can You Hear Me", "Go to Hell (With Me)" and a new song named "Your Man."
John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light
11/07 - Charlotte, N.C., Evening Muse 11/10 - Asheville, N.C., Lexington Avenue Brewery 11/11 - Wilmington, N.C., The Whiskey 11/12 - Asbury Park, N.J., The Saint 11/13 - New York, Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) 11/15 - Dayton, Ohio, South Park Tarvern 11/17 - Minneapolis, The Loring Theater 11/18 - Milwaukee, Bremen Café 11/19 - Chicago, Abbey Pub 11/20 - Des Moines, Iowa, Gaslamp
- Patrick Dethlefs Daytrotter session released - Woodsman's Daytrotter session posted - Drag the River's Daytrotter session posted - Young Coyotes Daytrotter Session posted for free download - Nathaniel Rateliff & the Wheel's Daytrotter session posted - Paper Bird stops by Daytrotter, as does Nathaniel Rateliff for a veritable hat trick
Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.