'I Can Shine' by Two Kinds Of Light
What's on this record? Inspired rock and roll picking. A bluesy growl. Slide guitar work. Fingers tickling a little bit 'o ivory here and there. And ferocious drumming that crosses the line from simple back beats and soars into the prog rock realm. Played with a real feel. So what inspired this feel? Good shows. Good times. What else? The road? Countless nights rocking the dives or the lighted stage? Countless hours in studio recording sessions, painstakingly going over details? Rock and Roll played with classic gear? Years of listening to and playing the music that made it classic? Well, those things certainly do inspire. And they get ya rockin'.
But let's dig a little deeper here. Where does that real feel really come from? Maybe it's from where we've been in this life... Breaking out of a small town on Canada's west coast, traveling on a rock and roll tour to the frozen far reaches of Hudson Bay, and on down to the gritty streets of L.A. Where the dream seems always just out of reach. Or from growing up in the sunny Southern California suburbs and beaches in a fairytale existence, playing the parties, and cruising the boulevard. Somehow moving on to the hot desert sands of war-torn Babylon, and back again to a world where fairytales only leave you heartbroken.
Yes a good portion of the feel of these songs comes from livin' in this mean 'ol world. Some folks might even say you can't play the blues unless you've suffered enough. And maybe this ain't the blues, but whatever you call it, it's played with feeling. See, life has a nasty habit of throwing a curve ball at cha, now and again. And every once in a great while, something a little bigger, like a meteorite or a freight train. Nobody gets around it. Get thru one of those scrapes and, if your still in one piece, you might find everything changed. Things feel different. Inspiration might get harder to find. You might get stuck. It might be dark too, too dark to see. And you might find yourself in a world that's cold and mean. Now what? Well, for one thing, you might end up with this album!
So how's that happen? On this journey the time came to tell part of the story and lay these songs down. Utilizing the latest technology while still honoring our roots. The songs go something like this- 'Karin's Song I Can Shine' is a tribute to a lover, a poet and dancer, who inspired many of the lyrics contained herein. 'Drivin Me To Ruin' is about the ride, remembering the tough times, and celebrating getting thru them. 'Don't Go' originally came to life in a dream. Now the song has three movements- 1. The Dream, 2. Looking Back, and 3. Remission. 'Man On A Mission' is a love song from the perspective of the war weary soldier. 'Dance In The Storm' is played like a a sea shanty, it's a look at the crazy world we live in, and the things people will do to get by. By some accounts a couple of these songs have a fairy tale quality while still serving as introspective musings. 'The Little Ones' is a fun little ditty. Inspired by a couple of good friends. 'Singing The Blues'... This song serves as a display of what it all boils down to sometimes, a way to stay sane in a crazy world, by just rocking out in a dive bar.
The sound is as real as the feel. Here's how we got there- 'Karin's Song I Can Shine' was originally recorded in 2018 at Perk's Place Recording Studio in California. It started as an acoustic guitar piece, and evolved into the albums' magnum opus. However, the sessions were halted by a couple more of those proverbial curve balls- in the form of the wildfires and other tragic events, during the fall and winter of 2018. The 2019 sessions kicked off with 'Karin's Song Reprise'. Maybe in response to that fiery winter- it's a rocker. To a large degree it set the tone for the recordings to follow. Loud. Loose. We took the reigns off Terry Watkin the session drummer and engineer. Turned him loose. The result is drumming that propels these songs to new heights. His drumming and engineering expertise are the album's secret weapon. One amp was used for all everything. A 50 watt Marshall that was cranked up to window shaking levels. A tube Screamer was used on 'Singin The Blues' because no self respecting dive bar guitar slinger would go in without one. The bass was played old school thru the amp, to make sure it had all the snarl, grit, and grind that keeps the bottom rocking throughout. The Martin D-18 and the Keys bring two more kinds of light. There's a little exotica with an appearance by a baby sitar. And a Corricidian bottle is slid around the guitar a couple times for good measure.
As far as the sound goes- It's a classic sound. We used some sound effects, and clips here and there, to make sure to keep it fun. No particular effort was made, or maybe it's fairer to say, we didn't pay much attention to fitting these songs into a specific genre. We started out trying to get the loose sound and swagger of the early 70's Rod Stewart and Ron Wood records. Some of the guitar work is obviously informed by Mick Ralphs and Mick Ronson. Terry says some of it sounds like Americana with a Bluesy Edge. There's some Rick Derringer influence apparent. Chris Cohen the project consultant sites the classic rock sounds of the Eagles, CCR and Skynyrd. A couple of friends said the sound is 70's British glam rock, and upon review, others agree. Fair assessment's all.
There’s two kinds of light in her room. Sunshine and moonshine. She’s a light on this brand-new day. Her soul shines all the time. Sometimes it’s so dark it’s hard to see. The world outside can be so cold and mean. So, I look for her smile. And I look in her eyes. And she makes me believe that
I Can Shine