Debut solo release from Alex Jordan: “The Subtle Exhibitionist”

Published on May 28, 2020

Alex Jordan is an old musical soul in a young man’s body. He approaches things with the fresh perspective of a relative newcomer, but he’s been playing so long – like since he could hold on to an instrument – that he has a fully rounded sense of the history of rock and its roots. And that’s why “Subtle Exhibitionist” presents such a wide range of musical flavors, cooked up with exquisite taste. Lots of it is brand new, but often you have the oddest feeling that it’s an album you’ve had forever.

“Your Kingdom Comes (With A View)”

It didn’t happen overnight. “In November of 2017, I got some demos together, and with my engineer/co-producer David Simon Baker, went into the studio for the first time. I had strep throat and was on antibiotics, so it was kind of a challenge, but it felt great to start work. We finished recording the last song a year ago, in March of 2019. Since Midnight North was playing 90 shows a year and I was working a day job, there were a few things that occasionally interfered with recording, but we sure didn’t screw around.”

“We set some musical goals, and I was pretty diligent about meeting them. By early 2018, I was full-time on keyboards for MN, so for the record I wanted to play all the guitar parts. I had Danny Eisenberg (Mother Hips, Ryan Adams, Counting Crows) play the Hammond on “Your Kingdom Comes (With a. View).” because I knew he’d be right for it. Otherwise, I covered the keyboard parts. Half of the bass work is me – I was going to hire bass players, but scheduling things got complicated, so I just started doing it, and Dave liked it, so I kept doing it. And to make it a solo record, I sang the lead and the harmonies…which is a lot of work! I don’t play drums, though, so Sean Nelson plays them all. And he just killed it. So it all took time.”

“Working in a studio intrigues me because it poses the question, how can you use this technology to better tell the story that you want to tell? In a live environment, you can control only so much. GAMH is a great place visually for a live environment, but it’s sometimes hard to really hear what you’re trying to do. I’m a lifelong, habitual improviser, I just sort of make it up as I go along. So the live environment is my natural place.”

“And you never can tell – there are nights when you play better than you think you can…it just happens. But in the studio, you can control things…and on this record, I feel that Dave and I achieved what we wanted to achieve. We knew the sound we wanted, and we didn’t stop until we got it.”

Photo: Alan Sheckter

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