“Soap And Water”

Because It’s Nashville


One minute they're crawling across the carpet slobbering themselves, the next thing you know they're singing on a Chuck Prophet record. As soon as you realize that it's all insane; It all makes sense. Some sessions you remember and some session you don't. There's song's on this record, I don't remember writing...

This session however, will stay with me.

The thing about kids is that they just SING. Instead of trying to SOUND like they're singing. They don't need anything. Don't need a chart or their own headphone mixes. (Maybe a slice of pizza and few M and M's is all). They don't worry about the price of car insurance or avocados, or lose sleep over leaky roof's. They don't Jaywalk. Not one of them ever got a ticket for having one headlight, and spent the night in the Martinez jail. They don't stand in line for a four buck cup of designer coffee. They've got it. They've got it all. And you can hear it in their voices.

I'm in Nashville working on new record at Alex the Great; it's a studio out past the industrial park side of town. Not far from the Caribbean chicken joint. Yep, Nashville, all green sunshine and bless-his-heart's. "Soap and Water" is the working title of the latest opus. Today is the day we over-dub the Vine Street Kids. 25 Christian kids tween the ages of 7 and 10 who sing in local church choir. Miss Andra their choir teacher conducted. 

It got off to a rocky start. One little girl was listening to the first song we pumped through big speakers out into the studio, with concerned look, she asked Miss Andra, "When is he going to start singing? He's just talking." That's not talking kid, that's IT. Another announced right away his "dad has two grammy's" (Walk Like an Egyptian and Purple Rain). We placed that boy up front close to the mic's for good luck.

Because it's Nashville, one of the four parents who came along said, "Oh yes, I was about this age when I did my first session; it was a Porter Wagoner session."

The minister's wife who sat next to me in the control room was very impressed. She turned to me and said, "Is that YOU singing?" Oh my, that's a beautiful song." And, "I like your hat."

It started coming together. The kids barnacled on the melody in unison. 

Here's a fun fact: Kids are cloud experts. They know more about clouds than scientists. They study them. The drama, the ephemeral beauty, the mystery. None of it's lost of kids. Six year olds are about the best shape spotters. Scientists say that's the peak age for cloud spotting. As we get older life distracts us, we've less time for clouds, until the logic runs in reverse... clouds become negatived things: "There's a cloud on the horizon, oh, I've got a cloud hanging over me...."

As soon as you realize that it's all insane; It all makes sense. Mark Twain said that BTW not me.

PS: I read somewhere Bob Ezrin hired a school choir of children for Pink Floyd or some such. To ensure maximum emoting, he told the kids, "Now, you're probably wondering why we gathered all here. We hate to tell you this but all your died in a plane crash this morning." We thought about pulling that out, but thought better. Wouldn't want people to take it the wrong way. It's hard out here for a pimp. Just ask Don Imus in the morning.


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