Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

by Ali Sperry

Not to get too schmaltzy on ya, but as I sit here in my still-relatively-new-home with the Christmas Tree lit (not even fully decorated yet, just lights) it really does feel like the most wonderful time of the year. It feels so good to be home and settled in for the rest of the year. Jamie and I are getting ready to have our first Christmas in this house--something I'm very excited about! Today my Nana's Rum Cake recipe got featured on Edible.com. All in all, feeling deeply content and quite Chritmassy. 

 

Happy Day!

by Ali Sperry

EEEEEEEeeeek! Crooked Feelings is OUT!!!! My lil baby is out in the world today and available to fulfill your listening and purchasing desires. Feels like a momentous occasion indeed. I went to Folk Alliance International last week in Kansas City and was so pleased to share these new songs there--in a hotel room, sometimes at 2 in the morning. Haha. Much more to say on the Folk Alliance experience later, but for now just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge this special day in my musical journey. I am very proud of the work that went into making this record and deeply grateful to every single person who played a role in making it what it is, of which there are many. 

Thanks and Love!

First time on vinyl...

by Ali Sperry

Today was a good day. Got to hear my music on vinyl for the first time ever! This was a huge deal, as playing records on the turntable is a daily occurrence in our house (we even have a turntable in the bathroom, I kid you not) and something that has come to mean a great deal to me. In an era where we are all constantly on the go and often distractedly catching snippets of music here and there--the car radio, the dentist's office, the internet--the ritual of picking out a record, sliding it out of it's case and carefully setting the needle down, it brings back that special magic of intentionally listening to and appreciating music. So much care and thought and work goes into creating all of these albums we treasure, it feels right to put more care into the listening part. 

When we started working on this record I realized how important it was to me to order vinyl, even though I knew it would require a significant portion of the budget. It's what I listen to most and what I love to listen to. None of us can predict the future, and though I have big plans to live a long, full life that includes making many, many more records, I can't say with complete certainty that things will play out the way I intend. But in this moment, in this particular chapter of my life, I have made an album with people that I love, comprised of music that I am moved by and proud of, and now it is captured on vinyl. A literal "record" of this time in my life. I am grateful. 

by Ali Sperry

How it all began...

Was just reflecting on the birth of this record...or really, the initial seed of it. Flashback to a year ago--right around my birthday I wrote the song Highest Hill. I hadn't been writing a ton at the time and this song was one of those miracles of songwriting where an idea occurs to you and then the whole song just unveils itself easily and with little effort. I remember writing the first few bits of it--the idea for the first verse and the chorus--in my notes app during an Erin Rae show at the Basement East. It was after a conversation I had with Jamie about confidence and my desire to change old habits of being timid or shy in my approach to life, this deep urge to make a shift within myself. I finished the rest of the song in an afternoon sitting on the porch alone. It felt like I said exactly what I wanted to say with the song, which is the most satisfying thing. 

For my birthday present that year, Jamie gave me a day in the studio with Joe Pisapia. This is a big gift. Joe is a dear friend and also a most revered producer and genius musician. I had a few other songs at the time that I liked, but I knew that Highest Hill was the one that we needed to do there. Joe and Jamie and I dug in and let the song unfold. Kristin and Lauren joined us for some lady harmonies and Kristin added some signature Doc fiddle on at the end. The fully realized song had emerged and I was in love with it. 

So clearly, it couldn't stop there. That song felt symbolic. In the way it was written, what it said, how it came to life. It was the beginning of something--a new sound, a new statement, something that I needed to express. I like to think of it as the cornerstone for the rest of the house that is "Crooked Feelings". It was the first conscious step of the new journey. I love that it's the last song on the record. Full circle. 

"So I'm leaving on a journey today, taking all these memories and years, there are things I've been meaning to say, in a voice unshackled by fears..."

DAY 1 in the Studio!!!!

by Ali Sperry

Today we set sail for adventures unknown, right here from the comfort of our own home. Yes, today was the first of seven consecutive days in the studio to record the bulk of my upcoming album. We started with two tracks already completed--one was recorded last summer with Joe Pisapia and the other, Over their Bones, was recorded earlier this year at Jon Estes' home studio. Those two together felt like a fit somehow and provided the cornerstone for the direction of this new project.

So this week we are aiming to record 8 more songs. Under the loving and creative guidance of co-producers Jamie Dick and Jon Estes, at the end of day one it is safe to say we are off to a very solid start. Yes, it is true that for reasons unknown our quiet little street in "Little Hollywood" East Nashville had more construction going on today than ever before due to a burst water main, which also resulted in the water being shut off in the house/studio, but that didn't stop us from making music. We had special guests The Danberrys in with us this afternoon to add harmony vocals, guitar and tambourine. And for the first time in my recording history, I am actually playing acoustic guitar on a track!

Can't wait to share these new songs with you guys. We have lots more tricks up our sleeves and by the time this week is through, I have no doubt that we will have a record that we all feel truly proud of and enthused about.