Ablaze is a storybook of hope and pain, doubt and truth, infatuation and loss. The songs were recorded over the course of two years with production wrapping up in the spring of 2006. While each song has roots in Swardson's acoustic guitar, along the way 11 Twin Cities-area musicians visited producer Chris Coyne's Honker Room Studio. There, the songs took new life with deftly crafted arrangements that never swayed too far from there original genesis. Whether it's the cello waltz in 'Faster,' the fierce acceptance of life in 'Beautiful Day' or the haunting crawl through 'Someone Else's House,' each song's content dictated the studio approach. As a storyteller, Swardson takes aim at life's guts and allusive glory. His voice can bleed or plead, and his sense of scene has a focus that brings you right into the room. The record's softer moments are it's most personal and mature, like on the whiskey-soaked lullaby of 'High Above the Earth,' and particularly on 'Tracks,' a song that's dedicated to his late father (as is the record). As it is with the more intimate recordings of Neil Young or Bruce Springsteen, Ablaze is a collection of shadow and light. As he writes in 'Faster' it's all about 'moving the journey along, a little bit smooth, a lttle bit sorry, a little bit faster.' The musicians that played on Ablaze are as follows: Chris Coyne (Janis Figure), Chachi Darin (Janis figure, the AKA's), Lane Soderberg (Houston, The Spittin' Cobras), Dave Boquist (Son Volt, Ben Weaver), Mark Mallman, Pete Thomas (The Dayton Philharmonic), Chad Nelson (The Hang Up's), Billy Bison (Janis Figure), John Shriner (The Spittin' Cobras), Bob Zemlin (Blue dot Trance), and Rachel Swardson.