Anyone who’s been paying attention to my digital single releases in the first quarter of this year may have detected a theme. In late January, I released my rock-flavored cover of Bob Dylan’s iconic 1960s protest song, “Blowin’ in the Wind”. Early last month I put out a new recording of a song Ray Ducharme and I wrote back in the late 1990s called “Once Through the Sixties”. Here, have a listen:
Finally, on the last day of last month, I put out an acoustic cover of the early 1960s Rolling Stones hit (which was itself a cover), “Time is on My Side”. You might be forgiven for wondering if I’d been taking a Delorean ride with Doc Brown.
The truth is that seeming sixties theme was, at least mostly, coincidental. I’ve already told the story of how the cover of “Blowin’ in the Wind” I recorded way back in 2006 ended up coming out this year, and how its timing ended up, by coincidence, feeling just right. The short version is my digital distributor, CD Baby, started a new cover song licensing program that made the process much simpler, and I decided I’d try it out with this song since I’d long been interested in getting it out there. By the time I remixed the recording, put artwork together, and submitted the license request, it was less than twenty-four hours prior to the Women’s March, and the recording was released less than a week later.
With “Once Through the Sixties”, this past summer, when I was dealing with the licensing for my In and Out of Love Again album, Ray, who also co-wrote one of the songs on that album (“Can’t Make Love With Your Memory”) had jokingly, our perhaps seriously, suggested that, with all the political turmoil going on in the lead-up to the U.S. election, the song might be good to put out in time for the conventions. I (half-jokingly) agreed, but I wasn’t in a position to record the song at that time. By the time I was in a position to start putting out some new singles, I’d already had several that would be smaller projects, since they only needed some remixing (and, in one case, a few additional tracks), so I went down that route, and that took me through the end of 2016.
The “Blowin’ in the Wind” single was also that sort of smaller project, so that started off this year. While I was still in the process of working on “Blowin’ in the Wind”, though, I contacted Ray to revisit the idea of putting out “Once Through the Sixties”. By that point, after the election but before the inauguration, I was feeling all the more strongly that the current political mood had some sense of déjà vu for that of the late sixties. Ray agreed, and, once I finished the “Blowin’ in the Wind” project, I started work on a new recording of “Once Through the Sixties”, which took me upwards of a month of elapsed time, and pretty much right up to its March 9th release date.
By this point, I was hoping to get one more single out in March to get back to an average of one a month for the first quarter. I’d had another song in mind, but one that needed a new recording, and there was no way I’d have time to finish it by the end of the month. Meanwhile, “Time is on My Side” was another recording I’d made some years back (2012 in this case). I thought it was finished, thus only needing artwork and licensing to get it out there, so it seemed like perfect “low-hanging fruit”. The artwork took me several days to conceptualize and execute, and I was thinking all that would be needed was to deal with the licensing and distribution. However, it turned out the original recording, though close, wasn’t quite up to my current standards, so I ended up doing a relatively minor remix, and ultimately got it out the door.
Oh yeah, and it happened to be another 1960s song, thus completing the “Coincidental Sixties Trilogy”. Just for the record, I don’t have any more 1960s songs, or 1960s-themed songs, hidden up my sleeve at this point. I do have a few other ideas on themes, one in particular that where I’ve already named the album (or maybe EP), but that one will require entirely new recordings (with one possible exception), so I’m a long ways from being ready to talk about it. Meanwhile, I’ll be getting back into my “pick the next single after releasing the one before it” mode. I think I know what the next one is going to be, but I didn’t get time to start it this weekend, so I could still change my mind.