Strummindude’s 2012 RPM Challenge album is named “Ded Herring”, as suggested by a fellow participant when I told him that my moniker “Strummindude” sounds a bit not quite unlike a dead herring when pronounced in Swedish… I chose to be a little cute about it, misspelling it and doing some infantile cover art. OK, so it also saved me some precious time, I admit.
One of the main goals this time around was writing songs that were more concise and to the point. More effective, and, yes, I guess shorter in duration. Looking at the result, I think I managed pretty well. Half of the songs are less than 3 minutes in length, with only one exceeding 4 minutes. Now, whether that’s an improvement or not is of course a different question altogether. I guess you’ll have to find that out for yourself.
Big thanks are due to the dear friends who donated their time to aid in the production of this album. Janne Hedlund played the drums as usual, and provided moral support as well as much needed input at the mix/master stage, which is always a difficult process. It’s hard to distance yourself from the material enough to be objective about the choices for sound and levels, dynamics and frequency shaping. Hasse Johnzon contributed excellent instrumentation if the form of pedal steel guitar, lap steel, banjo, electric and gut string guitars. As usual, the material was lifted to a different level after I added his stuff. Robban Wirensjö gratiously added his keyboard input a couple of weeks after the challenge deadline and of course added further shine to the songs. Johan Dereborn came to the rescue with his bass guitar on a couple of tunes where I was pretty much out of my depth and had no clue at all how to handle the playing.
Will Gough and I continued the songwriting collaborations that we started on the previous album, resulting in three new songs that we penned together. Also, Brent Kinder worked some miracle wonder as he managed to throw together three pieces of lyrics for me in very short order, to save the album. Without these two great friends the album would have been dead in the water. Well, of course it turned out to be a dead herring instead, but that’s way better, in my book.