Liner Notes for “I Am Not Well”

Hi everyone! Welcome to my new single. (Or, to paraphrase the immortal Bob & Doug McKenzie: This is my new single, and you are welcome to it.)

(And if you’d like to help me keep making more tuneage and get some exclusives along the way, please consider joining my Patreon!)

First, let’s give you the song, and then I’ll tell you a little about it, hey?

You can find it here on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, YouTube Music, and Bandcamp


Personnel: Guitars, Bass, Vocals – Chris Steele; Piano – Danielle Pinals; Engineering/Mixing – Terrance Reeves

A Little Bit About the Song:
This song has been around a little while, with the lyrics, having been written late in 2020. We were driving down to donate blood at our local Red Cross center, and it had been a long week of very difficult situations.
I turned to Jen as we were driving down, and said, “Man, I am just not well.”
I then went ahead and scribbled out most of the first two verses of lyrics while waiting in the waiting area at the Red Cross.

For all that, I really do think of the song as being more defiant than it is about feeling down. It is an acknowledgment that we go through difficult times, but there is always the hope and the knowledge that “things should be like this” and then working to make it so.

I also wanted to instill a little tongue in cheek humor along the way, maybe not unlike something you might find in a Joe Jackson or a Ben Folds song.

I had a lot of fun, breaking the song with Terrance along the way. I had a version that I was doing it in open mics for a while – just voice and acoustic guitar – but I always had a view of how the song would develop when recorded. Go ahead and listen through, as there are little events that find their way into the song multiple times as the feeling progresses. Also a huge tip of the cap to Terrance for the addition of the chorale during the bridge in the middle.

Technical: All recording was done here at the virtual Elliot Linden recording studio (the apartment) except for the piano tracks, which were recorded at Terrance’s studio. Drum tracks are built up from looped recordings, and guitars, bass, and vocals were all tracked live into the Behringer interface. Guitars used include my “The Paul” for most of the electric work (except for the slightly hidden solo in verse 2, which is my 335) and the Ibanez Gio P/J bass. Vocals mainly through the Audio-Technica AT2020 condenser mic.

And the rest:
Thank you again for being with me on this journey! I’ve just started to put together a Patreon in the hopes that you’ll help me keep all of this going (as my hand heals, too). Please sign up on the pre-list to get notifications of when it will go live, and I’d be curious to hear your ideas of things I could give to various levels of sponsors. It’s fun looking for ways to get others more directly involved in making this art, and I’d like for people to have something meaningful that shows my gratitude and lets them know how important their contribution is.

So that’s “I Am Not Well.” There’s so much more all set and almost ready for the new album, so please stay tuned and hopefully I can even share some of this with you live sooner rather than later.
As always, please, please share this with your friends and with your music connections, social media, all that. It’s so important to have your help as I work to find the audience for all of this. Thank you so very much!

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