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05 Letters

the Band, Kenosha Kid
Dan Nettles: Guitar
Rick Lollar: Guitar
Robby Handley: Bass
Marlon Patton: Drums

the exceptional Strings (except 06 & 07)
Andrea DeMarcus
Luca Lombardi
Serena Scibelli

Composition and recording:
I don’t write many songs with an actual key change, but “Letters” includes one as part of the structure. The tune began with chords, as I experimented with some simple wide-register triads connected by the descending bass line. In the middle of the second phrase I found a curious way to modulate down a half step to Eb, but via an unexpected bVII chord. The bridge opened up as another extended bass line descending until reaching the current Eb tonic. I found that putting the third (G) in the bass created a nice chromatic pivot to take us to F# and eventually bring the song back to the original key of E.

The melody evolved from an improvisation which I transcribed. I created a harmony line throughout the A sections and in the recording Rick and I blend to sound like one instrument while Robby makes the bass line stand on its own.

the Engineers
Marlon Patton: band sessions at Marlon’s House
Dan Nettles: editing at his house
Drew Vandenberg: string session at Amplify
Jason Kingsland: mixing at Frenchtown Sound
Anthony Aparo: mixing
Ed Brooks: mastering at Resonant Mastering

the Artwork
Dan Nettles: “Notebooks” design & layout
Jamie DeRevere: photos

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