The day was February 21st. It was a Sunday. Weather forecasters predicted a winter storm that never happened was hours from hitting Denver. I met Josh Dillard a little before noon at a little greasy spoon in north Denver. I recommended the diner in our email exchange leading up to the session. He responded something to the tone of, he was watching his diet, but was game. That was good, because the Butcher Block is a gem and a great way to start any morning. We pulled into the parking lot at the same time. We got out of our cars and looked at each other. We were both running late.
Over breakfast I learned Josh and I are both the same age. We’ll say early thirties. I learned he is newly engaged, and we share a lot of similar musical interests. Of course, we talked Dylan preferences. I took from the conversation he’s more into younger Dylan. Myself, I prefer a little more 70s bitterness and disdain in Dylan. We both enjoyed the Time Out of Mind album, so there’s that.
He ordered a cinnamon roll. I ordered an egg burrito and a cinnamon roll. We both had coffee. Josh picked up the tab and we were on our way to the studio.
We got to the studio in Five Points a bit early. With an hour to kill Josh went back to his apartment in Five Points. I listened to NPR and shot emails from my phone. Like a Swiss watch, the engineer pulled up to the studio. I walked in and introduced myself. He introduced himself as Xandy Whitesel. There was very little back and forth as we prepared the room. (Later, I learned Xandy was hired by Bon Iver in 2009 as a monitor engineer). I had a good feeling about the session.
Josh arrived and we got right into it. Josh and Xandy conferenced about the song and the feel they wanted to achieve. I setup my cameras and moved around a few things. All of a sudden it was time to record. Josh started into “Heart Grown Cold” a track on his new EP Through Eyes of Time. It was a good take, but we thought we should try again. After take two we felt we had it. We listened to the audio. Good. Looked at the film. Good. Xandy mixed and mastered the take and we were on our way.
This summer Josh Dillard will release his new EP Through the Eye of Time. The album, which explores some of the roots of American music, was awarded a grant by Colorado Creative Industries and the National Endowment for the Arts. Find more from Josh Dillard at www.JoshDillardMusic.com