about falling into a good thing, and in more ways than one!
Danielle Woodrow had
been working in (now, where the hell did I put that bio
sheet?)--- Aha! Here it is. She had been working in TV,
actually, at FX. A good job. Decent pay, though I would bet
the hours were long and the appreciation not what one would
like all the time. But she had a job. One day, she woke up and
decided this wasn't what she needed right then and quit. Flat
out walked out the door. She had this nagging which had to do
with music and set off on a journey to figure out what to do
What did she do? Wrote songs. Honed her performance skills on
guitar and voice. Put together an album. Oh, it didn't start
out to be an album, though that was the long-range goal. It
started out to be bits and pieces of a dream--- a lot of
piddling around and writing notes on napkins and that sort of
thing. Writing began to become an occupation, though, and she
found herself picking up the guitar more and more until one
day she decided that the best way to save her songs was on
tape (okay, maybe not tape, but forgive me. I am a dinosaur).
She was in Washington State at the time and had this friend
who had a studio in an old barn and she asked if she could get
him to help her with some demos. Nothing flashy. Very basic.
Musician and guitar. “So I wouldn't forget the music,”
And here is where the falling comes in. She has this reel/disk
full of songs and doesn't really know what to do but she gets
this thing in her head that maybe she could pick songs and
record an album--- except they were already recorded (just not
that well, or so she said). After listening closer, she may
have thought that they could be salvaged, that they could form
a cohesive work. (I'm guessing here. She doesn't really say)
Here is what she did say in her bio:
While the recording process was organic, finishing the
album was a unique challenge since the demos were not
initially intended for release. Woodrow worked with a Los
Angeles based mixer on weekends while simultaneously
re-entering the work force.
Which means that she got another job is all. Meanwhile, the
songs started to take shape. A few instruments were added here
and there, and a voice or two. Not much and just for effect.
And in the end, she had Turning.
Here's the thing. If she had gone back into a studio and
re-recorded this collection of songs, they would not have had
the impact they do. They might have been better recorded or
more plush or maybe more professional sounding, but they would
not have been better. No. What came out the other end is
something many musicians wish they could pull off--- a
collection of folk songs worthy of early Modern Folk. I mean
most of this album could have been recorded on a stage set for
Hullabaloo, the guitar capturing that basic essence of
what folk was before people like Dylan came along and updated
it to folk-rock, the voice as it was recorded without the
bells and whistles we have come to know (and that some, not
necessarily myself, have come to love). Auto-Tune? This is as
anti-Auto-Tune as you can get. This is the way it used to be
done in the days of Joe & Eddie and Phil Ochs
and very early Judy Collins. This is plain cool.
Woodrow is back working amongst the media elite again. She
says she's staying with music from here on out but I've heard
it before. Sometimes life has a way of taking over. I hope
that isn't the way here. This is a start in the right
direction. That next album, Ms. Woodrow? Keep it basic and
simple like this one. There are still a few of us out here who
love this kind of music. And it ain't easy to find anymore.
Frank O. Gutch Jr.
the Indies Since 1969