As you probably know, my friend & favorite musician person, Will of Okkervil River, has been doing a subscription series of live albums spanning the Okkervil career so far (also available individually) and that he’s just released Vol. 6, A Wren Among the Pornographers. You may not know that that wren is me - I was the Okkervil guitar-for-hire spring/summer of ’08, and chiefly for that tour, opening up for the the New Pornographers.

What you probably didn’t know is that on that tour, while in Bloomington, Okkervil tracked a last song, Singer Songwriter, for their at-that-point unfinished album, The Stand Ins, and that that’s me faking my way through the countrified lead guitar path I cut for myself on that song. The whole recording session was a super cool tightrope in a they-don’t-do-it-that-way-anymore sense: the whole song was learned, assembled & tracked live in the studio, in just a few takes - vocals, the guitar solo, the whole thing. I was inordinately proud of what I played (I rarely play solos anymore), and just super impressed with, and honored to be part of, the whole thing (you also already probably know that not surprisingly, the lyrics are great).

I’ve thought back to it often, esp. as I seemingly learned nothing from the experience and spent the last 9+ years doing the opposite of "band tracked live in the studio” - ha.

And you should probably know that the folks in the New Pornographers were, to a person, a friggin' delight and the whole thing, the whole tour, was just super cool (they also have a typically awesome new album out just this week).

Anyway, if you buy the A Wren Among the Pornographers album, you also get deluxe liner notes, handwritten lyrics, a bunch of cool extras, plus audio conversations Will did recently w/ Carl Newman, Phil Palazollo (who recorded it and other OR projects that followed), Patrick Pestorius (longtime OR bassist)...and me. Will & I spoke a couple weeks back, which was just super funny and very fun & incl. the story, admitted to mutually for the first time, that when I arrived in TX for the sole day of rehearsal before leaving for that tour, I had literally NO idea what any of the guitar parts were, causing many exchanged looks of unspoken concern between the poor Okervillians (I think I mostly pulled it off but it was, in hindsight, funny).

Anyway, that and more, all here: