The story of ‘Uncovering Stones’

My new album ‘Uncovering Stones’ will be out in June.

This process has been about friends, family and community from start to finish. I began the project last November by painting the album cover artwork in the backyard of my friends’ house in East Austin. (You can see the video here: www.youtube.com/vanessalively) I then sold the 42 paintings to help fund the album.

The next part of the process was deciding which songs would go on the album. Jason and I made score sheets that we passed around to our friends, who in turn helped us decide what to put on. Next we thought about each song, and how to bring it to life on the album. We made a list of all the musicians we wanted to record with. I then met with a few folks to get additional direction and advice on how to best move forward with all our ideas. We practiced with the artists & prepared for recording. Around this time, we also got some beautiful photos taken by the very talented Rodney Bursiel, who we met through our friend Carrie Elkin. He had just taken her photos for her newest release ‘Call It My Garden’ (a wonderful record from this year!)…the photos he took were stunning. Jason & I were working with Carrie on her CD Design & Website, and were using all of Rodney’s images, which made the whole process so much easier. So then we met with him to take our photos for this next record, and I am so happy that we did. We had our photo shoot at Sam Baker’s house surrounded by nature and paintings by Sam. I’ll share more of these images soon on the new website & CD artwork.

The next person who entered the scene was Keith Gary. Keith had just worked with our friend Danny out at Blue Rock Studios in Wimberley on his new record ‘Man of Many Moons’ (which by the way is another awesome record from 2011) Danny highly recommended Keith, and the timing was perfect. We wanted to record in our house again, but this time working with a professional engineer. We recorded for four solid days together, then had another couple of half days during the week of SXSW to add additional textures of voices of friends that were in town. During this time, we had another fundraising campaign through Kickstarter to help offset the cost of replication, mastering and engineering. So through pre-orders, we were able to get a bit more financial help.

‘Uncovering Stones’ features the voices of Raina Rose, Michelle Z. Huff, Danny Schmidt & Carrie Elkin, along with many talented local musicians: Rob Hooper, Sick, Trevor Smith, Andre Moran, Jason Lively, Mark Wochner. It was produced by Jason Lively & Keith Gary. Recorded & mixed by Keith Gary. Mastered at Terra Nova Studios by Nick Landis…Pure Austin! Pure Community!

There are twelve original songs on this album, two of which are in Spanish. It floats in and out of many genres, from Reggae to Americana/Bluegrass, then to Gypsy/World, then Folk with hints of Rock & Funk! It is definitely eclectic. Some songs are pure fun, others are haunting…but all of it is about the human spirit and human connection.

I want to thank all of the people who were involved in helping this all come together. We have made a record together!!! I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Also, I want to say a special thank you to all my band members over these past few years in Austin. You all have been so awesome and special to me…thanks for all your time & energy! Adam, Ervey, Jeanette, Sick, Etan, Mark, and the many who have sat in here & there. You have really given a lot to me. Also, all the folk music community & Austin music community that has shown me so much support!

Love,
Vanessa