In his most personal work to date – and a dynamic, layered fusion of his signature Americana sound and anything-but-conventional classic rock sensibilities – Champaign, the fourth studio album by veteran Illinois artist John Aulabaugh, Sweet As You, has arrived.
Aulabaugh’s creative vision for the release is realized through musical collaborations with artists he has met throughout his songwriter career; Sweet as You started to take shape in the final months of 2016 after working on their debut solo album with longtime studio musician and master keyboardist Rami Jaffee (Wallflowers, Foo Fighters, Sound City Players).
The overall musical texture of Sweet as You was influenced by meticulous attention to rhythmic detail and the use of the legendary New Monkey Studios recording space in Los Angeles, California. The legendary Elliot Smith’s studio was a playground for musical creations, with Aulabaugh attesting that “the console is a rare Trident used on Rush albums at the time” and that they “were looking for ghosts in the machine.”
The decision to record Sweet as You entirely in analog was a huge test of courage for the cast of sound engineers and musicians. A two-year process had finally reached the stage where the tracks for the album could be dropped off within the five-day recording period; the latest Sweet as You embellishments have been added to the famous Jackpot! Recording studio in Portland, Oregon, shortly thereafter.
From there, Aulabaugh sought out Australian comic book artist Daniel Reed to create the album art, knowing that he would effectively communicate all of the harmonic subtleties of the music through Reed’s striking visual style.
John Aulabaugh came from humble beginnings. He played his brother’s guitar throughout the Illinois area until the early 1980s until he gave up music altogether and moved to American businesses. Inevitably, he picked up his guitar some time later and began recording with some of the most accomplished musicians in the business; his journey has been anything but simple. Finding a renewed sense of creative purpose, he decided the time had come to pursue his dream of mounting his debut album, Of Sins Past & Present, which spent 20 weeks on America’s charts in 2015, and has always been on fire. since.
John Aulabaugh’s album Sweet as You and his new single, âA Reasonâ, are available now.
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