Palouse

Palouse1. B-Street
2. Bryan Tower
3. Goin’ Home
4. Day Trip
5. Harvest
6. I Saw You
7. Griz
8. Lonely Travels
9. Rain
10. Last Dream (Live)

 

 

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Let Palouse smooth out the kinks in your day.

At home, school, or the office, Palouse will relax you with grooves and melodies designed to reduce stress.

10 tracks (52 minutes) of smooth jazz in the classic Kevin B. Selby style. The album is piano-heavy, yet it still allows room for electric piano, acoustic guitar, and synthesizer melodies and solos built upon solid drum and bass grooves.

The gorgeous cover art picture was graciously provided by Jane Loughney, a local Washington state photographer. You can view her work at: http://www.janeloughneyphotography.com/Home.html.

Many many thanks to Ms. Loughney!!

Palouse is dedicated to Jan and Linda Goolsbey for their patronage (Mrs. Goolsbey provided the funds for many things, chief among them would have been Cakewalk Home Studio 6 without which Palouse simply would not have been), and for Jan’s undying belief in a project of this sort and his support for various live performances together with Kevin.

The project that became Palouse was started somewhere in early 2004 with a song “Two by Two” (that eventually became Bryan Tower). I grew up as a “70s child” and as such, listened to plenty of the progressive music of the day which had emerging synthesizers and other styles that caught my imagination. At the time (high school and college), I had no money to purchase the “way cool” synthesizers and drum machines of the day, so I simply held onto those thoughts for a future day when I COULD have access to experimental sounds. I knew that some day I would get my chance to build songs using interesting technologies above and beyond the typical drums, bass, guitar, and piano. Palouse realizes this dream fully and expands upon it in a HUGE way when you consider that all of the work done on Palouse was achieved or realized within a simple Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop computer hooked to an M-Audio 88SX 88-key keyboard controller. Had I attempted Palouse at any other time in history, I would have fought with analog synthesizers going out of tune (it’s true!), lack of available sounds to play with, drum machines sounding “fake” and a whole host of other issues that would have made the project take longer and sound less than professional. In fact, I had about 3 weeks left to finish Palouse and a major sound library company released a free sound library (to entice you to purchase the larger version) that simply took my breath away. Here were sounds I had been looking for to help round out some of the tracks and give the project a more rounded and “produced” feel. In retrospect, I am very glad that Palouse took as long as it did because it simply wouldn’t have been the same album otherwise.

Palouse got its name and overall album concept from the area of Washington state called “the Palouse“. This is an area of rolling green and brown hills between Tri-Cities, WA and Spokane, WA where farms, wineries, and other agricultural pursuits dot the landscape and beauty is constantly in the air.

I went to college at Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, WA and my son Jeff spent several summers on staff at the Boy Scout camp Grizzly (near Harvard, Idaho), both in the heart of Palouse country. Driving to and from college as well as hauling Jeff and his friends to camp and back gave me a chance to fully enjoy the Palouse and provided the theme for the album.

1. B-Street

There is a street named “B-Street” close to the WSU campus. It winds through a few fraternity and sorority houses, goes past “The Coug” (a favorite student hang-out) and ends up near the “Bookie” (student bookstore) on one side of the campus. My friends and I lived in an apartment complex on B-Street and hiked up the small hill to go to school each day. My future wife Kathy and her friends lived upstairs. I remember coming back to the apartment at lunch every day for my favorite soup and sandwich whilst watching “Days of our Lives” (yes…you read that right). We also had a cat named Todi Bellini who loved to roam the neighborhood and cause trouble.

2. Bryan Tower

Bryan Tower is a building containing a huge clock located in the heart of the WSU campus. You can see Bryan Tower when you start coming down the hill into Pullman. I remember having an Economics 201 class in that building. The clock rings solidly every hour to alert students of the time and that they’d better get to their next class.

3. Goin’ Home

This track takes me back to hard weeks of college and that nice feeling you got when you knew you’d be driving home to Mom and Dad for the weekend. Great food (woo hoo!!) and a chance to catch them up on the goings-on at the University. The drive from Pullman to Tri-Cities is a pretty one. I won’t say we obeyed the speed limit religiously and I also won’t recall the time we outran the stater, pulled around a corner and went off-road and hid behind a row of trees. I will also try very hard not to remember the fun we had with a box of a classmates garden tomatoes and oncoming vehicles.

4. Day Trip

This track is reminiscent of the summer of 2007 when we transported my son Jeff back and forth to the Boy Scout camp Grizzly near Harvard, Idaho. Sometimes his brother Tom came along and then it was the three of us against the world. It literally took nearly a full day to get him up there and for us to get back home. Along the way we would drive through Pullman, WA and Moscow, ID (there’s a very nice skateboard park in Moscow!) and of course the entire Palouse country. We survived on junk food and energy drinks and had a great time. It was one of those father/son kind of things. Mom’s probably wouldn’t understand.

5. Harvest

Part of what makes the Palouse section of Washington so beautiful are the miles and miles of farmland and wineries. This track reminds me of all those hard working families out there working the land, driving their huge tractors and combines over their acreage harvesting the food that us city-dwellers love to eat.

6. I Saw You

This track is reminiscent of weekends at home when friends that haven’t seen each other for awhile are reunited. After high school, many friendships are tested as people go to different colleges and/or different directions in life. It’s a bittersweet kind of thing and the music reflects this feeling.

7. Griz

Camp Grizzly is a gorgeous Boy Scouts of America (BSA) camp located near Harvard, Idaho. It’s nickname is “Griz” by most of the staffers. It has a small river running through it as well as its own man-made lake that actually has a plug in the bottom (kind of like a huge bathtub!) where they can drain it during the winter. Jeff has spent several summers there providing a rich experience for the various Scout troops that come up during the summer. He mainly likes to work the shotgun range (he is a rather experienced and accurate marksman by the way!) but is also at home on the .22 rifle range and the 3D archery area. As mentioned previously, we basically considered it a full day’s trip to drop him off or pick him up from camp and the drive was beautiful since it goes through nearly all of the Palouse.

8. Lonely Travels

This track reveals the heartaches and travails of college romance. And that’s all I have to say about that!

9. Rain

This track was an experiment with acoustic piano and how it blends with the cello. I have an entire video sequence planned out in my head where two musicians in two different practice rooms in the same building hear each other playing their part and each feels like they are half of a complete whole. They each keep stopping at certain times to listen to the other one play and finally one of them sneaks into the other one’s practice room and they play the song together, alternating the melody back and forth. Now I just need to find a real live cello player and someone with a video camera!

10. Last Dream

This song has an interesting history. I wrote it way back in 1987 about the “little red-haired girl next door” who wouldn’t stay out of my dreams. I then played it in various bands throughout the 90s. Finally, during the summer of 2007 myself and Scott Wilburn (founder of the Baja Blues Band) had a string of gigs at a local Bonefish Grill and since we record our every performance, by the end of the summer we had plenty of versions of this song to choose from for this album. I listened intently to all the versions and chose the one with the least warts (performed on August 31st, 2007). The harmonica-like solo you hear in the middle of the song is actually a Melodica, which is kind of a cross betwixt a harmonica and an accordion. You are hearing almost exactly what the crowd heard that night since I recorded the performance to a simple stereo track and did not do any post-performance mix down.

For you “techies” out there (and you KNOW who you are):

Kevin B. Selby performed all instruments (except guitar on Last Dream), mixed, mastered, and produced the album.

This album was recorded on a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop with 1 Gb of RAM and a Creative Labs Audigy Notebook soundcard. An M-Audio 88SX 88-key controller keyboard was used to trigger various sounds. Sonar Home Studio 6 was the sequencing software. The Boost 11 mastering plug-in was used on the Master track of each song to provide a slightly more normalized/compressed sound.

Various sound library plug-ins used were:

  • Session Drummer 2
  • Various drum loops by Smart Loops
  • True Pianos
    • Diamond module, Vanilla preset
  • Native Instruments “Xpress” keyboards
    • B4 (Hammond B3 organ sound library)
    • Pro-53 (Prophet 5 synthesizer sound library)
  • RGC Triangle II (synthesizer sound library)
  • Garritan Personal Orchestra
    • Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Flute, Cello, Strings)
  • Dimension LE
    • Electric and upright Bass
    • Analog synthesizer leads
  • Yellow Tools “Independence Free” sound libraryNote: Lonely Travels is almost exclusively using sounds from Independence Free. All sounds except the drum-set (which was Session Drummer 2) were Independence Free:
    • Acoustic guitar
    • Flamenco guitar
    • Mexican acoustic bass
    • Udu, Frame drum and other percussion
  • EVM UltraSonique (synthesizer sound library)
  • Mr. Ray 2.2 (Rhodes electric piano sound library)
  • xoxos Sounds of Nature effects library for wind
  • Power FX Dyad synthesizer sound library
  • REX player (drum groove library)
  • Roland Super Quartet