38 (Ford)


Tascam 788 Digital Portastudio
W. Summerdale, Chicago, IL
W. Argyle, Chicago, IL

This recording is a good example of the refined Maxel Toft formula with examples of all the styles found in previous albums. There are songs with electric guitar and songs with acoustic guitar. Songs with drumset and songs with percussion and songs with none. There are a couple of guest musicians. And of course a banjo song or two. It is also interesting to note that there are only single vocal lines for all of the songs. There are no harmonies or dual vocals because I felt that the lyrics represented a single voice. I like the flow of this recording.

Eyelash is kind of a continuation of the electric based style found on Carter. For anyone wondering, the lyrics are a mix of boxing and eye contact. Supposedly made my wife fall in love with me but she still doesn't get it. Unlisted is a simple letter to God. The really great addition of upright bass was pretty much improvised by Mrs. Deitrich with no rehearsal. I also like the odd use of china cymbal that comes from my punk/hardcore influences. Quick Fix (G tuning but with the 5th string tuned down to F# to play in D) is just a little too clever. I am embarrassed to sing it since it is a role that I really haven't experienced and I don't want to offend anyone that has lived it. But it got on a compilation and that is good. And now everyone thinks I am a hack banjo artist. Longing was written with just guitar first and then the banjo just fell in. It gave me great confidence in banjo arrangement. I wanted to have both a clawhammer style and bluegrass style banjo on every album ever since but you can't force something like that. The lyrics are in the Reagan style and may have been written around that time. I will always remember that Enough was written the day that Johnny Cash died. They were showing clips on TV and I was moved by a performance of him singing Man in Black to a small audience outside. Shortly afterward I had my own version for the Iraq/Afghani conflicts. It is probably not as good as I think it is but that doesn't matter because it is more for me than for you. I wanted to include Maid Marion in some way so she does percussion. With The Word I wanted to prove that I could record something live and raw. Mr. Deitrich and I did a couple of takes in his living room alternately messing up until we had one. Just like the other guest musicians, there were no rehearsals except for the practice takes. The ending is actually spliced on from a different take. Band 2: Lesson 37 - Formal Speech was removed when it was added to a compilation. It is not really the kind of song I would want on a comp but I couldn't turn it down. It was more of an ending to this album than a stand alone representation of Maxel Toft. And now everyone thinks I am a hack electronic artist. Busted Me was recorded afterward because I needed to replace Band 2: Lesson 37 - Formal Speech and I had no more complete songs. I cannot remember if I wrote the new lyrics specifically for this recording or if I already had them but had no intention of using them until I needed this replacement.