Cadillacs & Tarantulas (2002)

10-song CD released in 2002 (the CD actually includes a bonus track). The songs on this collection are stripped down, in an Americana and Folk-Blues style. Dark, character-based songs and a funky bonus track. The recording is available on CD only, and Amazon won’t carry it due to the non-standard packaging. Once the original run is gone, that’s it.

When I returned to writing and recording after the release of MANDALA, two sets of songs began to develop. One set was a natural extension of the MANDALA material, featuring multiple instruments, sequencing and rather ambitious production techniques. Those complex songs soon got out of hand as my computer struggled to keep up with the sequencing requirements, and I struggled to find hard drive space for all the parts. It was obvious to me that those songs were going to take more time to develop.

The other set of songs was more acoustic, and spoke from a slightly different place in my psyche. In the wake of MANDALA, I knew I wanted something gritty. Something simple. Something more real, and less flashy. Thus began Cadillacs & Tarantulas. Cadillacs & Tarantulas (C&T for short) represents a departure from my ultra-produced recording methods, and marks a return to the more acoustic format that I have been known for since the early 90s. The songs are more intimate, and more closely reflect my live shows. When recording the songs, more emphasis was placed on the energy and tone of the performance than technical proficiency. I wanted to highlight the vocals and the lyrics.

The decision to keep things simple was just as much a practical consideration as it was creative. Given enough time, I knew could have recorded all of these songs with full arrangements. The question was, how much time did I have, and how crazy did I want to get? MANDALA was two years of recording and mixing, and I knew I wasn’t up for that again. As usual, my yearly winter sinus problems would contribute to significant time away from the project. Towards the end of the project I reached the height of my illness, with almost all of March 2002 spent with severe sinus problems and that NyQuil numbness I hate so much. The decision to strip down the production turned out to be wise, for there was no way I would have had the time or energy to do otherwise.

Most of the CD features more honest songs. These darker songs include a couple lost gems from my archives, but most of the songs were written between 2000 and 2002. It felt good to have fewer songs about me, and more songs about ideas and strange characters.Even though I may make them occasionally, comparisons with MANDALA really aren’t fair, since that album was written and recorded under completely different circumstances. I don’t think you can really call it a follow-up to MANDALA either. C&T is more a Jeremy dePrisco record than anything I’ve released thus far. I purposely wanted to work on this project alone, from writing to mastering.