Refections on Mirror:
Joel Levy – a visionary, truly great man, and fierce supporter of the South Florida music scene generously extended an invitation for me to come and record / self-produce my first solo album at Criteria Recording Studios (now the The Hit Factory Criteria Recording Studios). It was an honor to get to record at Criteria as it was the birthplace of some of the most historic recordings in music history. Joel championed several exceptionally talented local artists who also got to record there; Forget the Name, The Goods, Nil Lara, Mary Karlzen, Nuclear Valdez, Amanda Green, Natural Causes, Arlan Feiles, Black Janet, The Mavericks, and Voidville – just to name a few. Criteria was also home to the infamous “Mystery Selection” choice at the common area vending machine. You never knew what drink you were going to get (I always said a little prayer for a YooHoo to drop).
I remember being so thrilled and feeling VERY lucky when all the extremely talented musicians I had asked to record the album with me said yes! MIRROR featured Jack Shawde (guitars), Matthew Sabatella (bass & vocals), Brett Thorgren (drums), Steve Skully (drums), John Yarling (drums), and Nicole Yarling (violin), & Paul Harris (piano). It was masterfully engineered by Keith Rose who infamously coined the phrase that I still remind myself with to this day, “Don’t Be Nervous!” 94-‘95 was an exciting time – rich in personal and musical growth.
Looking back, I really was just hacking my way thru the mystery of trying to find one’s voice as a person and as a songwriter. I got that there is no such thing as do-it-yourself. It really DOES take a village and we are all simply in this together. I also got that any road you might find yourself on usually has been paved by the what has come before. In MIRROR’s case, this would be the awesome bands that I was in before taking the solo / singer-songwriter route – bands like Bootleg, The Wait, and Voidville. Before that it would be my mother Shirley. Her unwavering love and support of a 7th graders passion went as far as hocking her wedding ring so she could buy her kid a drum set. And finally, before that was my grandmother Emmy Lou. She filled my childhood memories with the songs that she strummed on an old acoustic guitar and sang with her 2 daughters around a joyful kitchen table.
That’s MIRROR – and I will always be forever grateful to everyone that made it possible. – xo Di