I've just listened to this album, and I'm very happy with it. Sometime I wait quite a while before listening to the entire record, but in this case, I heard the entire thing right after I wrapped up the last mix. It was nice to hear all the songs in context with one another for the first time with this song sequence.
With Magna Carta's albums, I've always noticed a theme, or concept behind each one. In this case, the fact that I couldn't decide between two different ideas actually became the concept.
That is, part of the album is heavier, band type material, the other part is more mellow, with acoustic elements in much of it. I really wanted to do both, hence the title, Split Decision.
The first group of songs stems from the Band concept, with all of us rehearsing in a room together, like the good old days. Some of these songs are from a long productive session we had that got cut short with our drummer, Van, being painfully injured. Later, I began work on the Major Impacts album with so much focus that I pretty much left most of those tunes undeveloped fully. One day, I happened upon our rehearsal recordings, and got excited about doing a new album just from the surprising fact that I easily could hear ideas to finish up the songs that were not quite fleshed out. Unusually easy and natural is how they fell together, the way I like it!. Then, there were some new ideas, like Busybodies, that we really wanted to record, as well.
What about the other half, the mellow tunes? Well, normally I make room for one, maybe two mellow pieces. But these tunes were unusual in that I hadn't written any of them to be the one and only acoustic showcase of the album.. They all had a different story to tell, and I felt like they were so unique on their own, that they could all be on an album together. Some, like Back Porch, are spontaneous pieces from years ago. Some, like Moment's Comfort, I spent a lot of time with recently, painting a very detailed sonic landscape. Clear Memories has a feeling that I've never recorded before, but am very glad to have done it.
Major Impacts was my previous album with Magna Carta records, and I was impressed with the open minded approach they had to their artists. The reason other companies wouldn't go for a concept like Split Decision is based on the fact that they usually believe that you must have one identity in order to find an audience. Well, I'm glad Magna Carta supported me doing this, and in fact I do feel like I still have one identity: I love to make music....with variety. Thanks for the support and I hope you enjoy it!
released March 26, 2002
Steve Morse - Guitars
Dave LaRue - Bass
Van Romaine - Drums