Jad Fair & Danielson - Solid Gold Heart
'Solid Gold Heart' comprises of 11 tracks of sweet collaboration and sounds like what you might expect, given the respective artists: gleaming tunes of sincere sing-speak, resplendent with sparkling back-up vocals and warmly melodic, inventive instrumentation; a sunshine-bright outlook of positive encouragement to keep "rockin' on the side of gooood" -- because, after all, "We deserve chocolate cake/ We deserve apple pie/ Enjoy your life ..." The collaborative process commenced with Fair sending Smith his unique vocal demos of recited lyrics with articulated mouthsound musical qualities (some bits remain in the final mixes). Smith then wrote music for each chosen track, eventually getting Fair and drummer Gilles Rieder into his Clarksboro, NJ studio to record their parts during a few hours break from touring. Aside from Smith's own guitar-playing and singing throughout the album, there were contributions made by his brothers David and Andrew on percussion, and sisters Rachel and Megan along with wife Elin on vocals. Spicing things up at Fair's behest were members of Texas art-polka band Brave Combo: Carl Finch on accordion and keys; Jeffrey Barnes on sax and woodwinds; and Danny O'Brien on trumpet. Bringing things full-circle was Kramer (Shockabilly, Bongwater, B.A.L.L. et al.) on bass, who also co-mixed and mastered the album.