If all goes as planned come late Saturday night, local rock band Farmington Hill will have a live album in the making.
If all goes as planned.
Those plans that need to go the band’s way include: all of the recording equipment being set up and properly functioning; the crowd being in a ripe and ready mood for some live cowpunk and country-influenced rock music; someone pressing “record” on said recording equipment; and the band firing on all cylinders.
If that to do list is in order, and the band’s own performance is up to their personal, sometimes strict satisfaction, then Farmington Hill could be on their way to dropping a live record sometime in 2022.
Farmington Hill will be attempting to make this happen when they perform Saturday at The Animas City Theatre.
It’s a cool process for a band that’s remained relatively DIY since their inception, and something they want to capture in their hometown, in front of a hometown crowd and on a hometown stage.
“There’s chords all being run all over the place, so it’s relatively easy to throw that thru a multitrack recording, and I don’t know what’s going to come of that. It might be no tracks sound very good, or maybe it’s one or two tracks, or maybe we have enough tracks to say ‘yeah that’s a live album,’” said Farmington Hill guitar player and vocalist Erik Nordstrom. “It’s a cool process because you listen to the overall show and you select songs and to some degree you can manipulate the live tracks, fix a few things and certainly the mix. An advantage of it is it’s a live recording, hopefully, you get some audience response, so I’m really excited about doing this at the ACT, a theater that’s been dear to the hearts of many of us that have lived in Durango.”
A chat with members of Farmington Hill always reveals a degree of music fandom both obsessive and more than knowledgeable. In this case, the conversation was about favorite and famous live albums, which included The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East, David Bowie’s “David Live” and Little Feat’s “Waiting for Columbus.” Other live recordings this or any band could aspire to and most, more than casual music fans should listen to include: The Who’s “Live at Leeds,” Johnny Cash’s “At Folsom Prison” and James Brown’s “Live at the Apollo.” Nordstrom even dropped Camper Van Beethoven’s “Greatest Hits, Played Faster” as a live recording staple.
It’s safe to say that if the recording of Saturday night’s performance gets band approval to be released on the world, it likely won’t end up on a “greatest live recordings” list sandwiched between James Brown and The Who. It should, but it probably won’t. That’s OK. It’s documentation of a show from a favorite local band and a chance for the band, along with friends and fans, to get together after a long, beyond our own control hiatus and what Nordstrom called “a challenging year.”
There may be the natural, pre-show jitters, multiplied by the fact they’re attempting to record an album. For the fans of their more upbeat, punky things, some cuts may be more up-tempo. Just like Camper Van Beethoven.
“It’s inevitable when you’re playing live you get excited, and jumpy, so there’s often an increase in tempo,” Nordstrom said.
Rhythm guitar player and vocalist Paul “Bubba” Iudice agrees.
“It’s all out of excitement” Iudice said. “You’re in the moment, and you’re excited. So yeah, that happens for me all the time, where I definitely will play a little faster.”
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and KDUR station manager. Reach him at email@example.com.