Songs from the Drive-In
Chris Trapper's first solo album, recorded at the end of winter 2002, is a collection of mostly acoustic recordings, of ballads in the tradition of Wild Irish Rose, Sofkuri's Room, and Ocean View. MME called this album 'A beautiful, haunting and charming collection of songs by a songwriter at his peak.' In an interview with Black Tail magazine, Chris said this about the CD: 'When I first started performing live, I started on the singer/songwriter circuit in Boston, so I have always naturally had a strong acoustic side to my writing. I had also gone through a period where I was writing mostly ballads, so I had a bunch, and my options were to either make a really mellow band record or record on my own and let the next band record ROCK. 'I recorded most of the CD with a guy in Buffalo named Dan Bess, who usually records bands leaning in the punk rock direction. I felt that if I worked with him, I would avoid the pitfalls of a generic-sounding folky record. So the acoustic guitar is very prominent and pure sounding. After bringing those tracks back to Boston, I realized they had a strong vibe (that could only be achieved by recording in a Buffalo winter) but as a collection, some levity was needed. Bring on Phil Broikos, who produced two of the happier tracks on the CD. Phil has a knack for capturing good grooves without sacrificing deep feel. 'I think the most fun for me was bringing in The Wolverine Jazz Band to back me on The Birthday Song. This is a legendary Boston group of jazz masters who can literally transport you to Bourbon Street in New Orleans within about five seconds of hearing them. Crit Harmon produced this, and he is excellent at capturing timeless music. Me and My Blue Water, I went in and recorded with my friend Brian Stratton (producer). It was cool 'cause I recorded it live, just me and my guitar, and the next day I left for tour. I came back a month later and Brian had added pedal steel, banjo, and a little shuffling drum beat.' (The song is one of only two tracks on the CD that has drums.) When asked what his record means for the band, Chris said, 'Dan and Ryan (The Push Stars) were very supportive for me to do it. They know my songwriting history, and they realize that I am fortunate to be at a point artistically that I have songs to spare . . . and besides, we are already having trouble weeding out tunes for our next CD. So this simplifies that process a bit.'