New Slang

191: Elijah Ocean

August 13, 2021 Thomas Mooney, Elijah Ocean Season 6 Episode 191
191: Elijah Ocean
New Slang
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New Slang
191: Elijah Ocean
Aug 13, 2021 Season 6 Episode 191
Thomas Mooney, Elijah Ocean

On Episode 191, I'm joined by country songwriter Elijah Ocean. Today--Friday, August 13--Ocean released his latest album, Born Blue, a collection of neo-traditional-inspired country songs that highlight the dim lights of late nights and early mornings. During this one, Ocean and I talk about writing the likes of "Thirty-Five" and "The Ice Machine," recording during the quarantine, Las Vegas shows, and our favorite '90s country artists.

This episode's presenting partner is Desert Door Texas Sotol, The Blue Light Live, and Charlie Stout Photography.

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Show Notes Transcript

On Episode 191, I'm joined by country songwriter Elijah Ocean. Today--Friday, August 13--Ocean released his latest album, Born Blue, a collection of neo-traditional-inspired country songs that highlight the dim lights of late nights and early mornings. During this one, Ocean and I talk about writing the likes of "Thirty-Five" and "The Ice Machine," recording during the quarantine, Las Vegas shows, and our favorite '90s country artists.

This episode's presenting partner is Desert Door Texas Sotol, The Blue Light Live, and Charlie Stout Photography.

New Slang Patreon
New Slang Twitter
New Slang Instagram
New Slang Facebook
New Slang Merch Store
The Neon Eon Podcast
The Neon Eon Merch Store 

*Pre-Order The Lubbock Way, the debut book by Thomas Mooney, here.

Support the Show.

Thomas Mooney  0:01  
Hey y'all welcome back on music journalist Thomas Mooney and you're listening to new slang. We're closing out the week being joined by country singer songwriter Elijah ocean. allows you just released his latest album, born blue today. That'd be Friday, August 13. This record is really informed by a Elijah's love for Neo traditional stuff from the 80s and 90s country songwriting word. You get these pockets a throwback Sonic punches that pick up on some of that Bakersfield sound meets la country meets Las Vegas, dim lights and thick smoke meats that haziness of the Texas dance hall days. At other times, he's nodding at the likes of Clint black or like early George Strait, or that plainspoken Honky Tonk summer that Alan Jackson really shaped in the early 90s. I would point to the ice machine as just an instant classic that feels like a lost Clint black song, or losing my memory that has a touch of that Western swing sway that George Strait did time to time, Honky Tonk Whoa, you get a little bit of that brushing of dwight yoakam on there. What I like is how you still get a lot of these interesting takes these interesting angles on the songs, but you're still provided those familiar and classic touchstones. Anyway, on blue. It's a really, really great record by Elijah ocean out Friday, August the 13th. Today's presenting partner is our pals over at Desert door Texas Soto. If you've been listening to new slang for really any amount of time, you'll know that desert door is one of my all time favorite premium, high quality spirits. If you haven't, or aren't sure what exactly a soul is. I'm going to let you in on a little secret that's going to up the game on your liquor cabinet. For starters, the best reference point that I can point you to is to think about a tequila or Moscow. Do you feel that Western desert that text is ruggedness? Okay, salto is like that, but a little bit more refined, smooth and fragrant. It intrigues the palate and offers these hints of vanilla and citrus. There's an earthiness that often sends me right back to my transpac isn't far west Texas roots. There's plenty to love about desert door. For me, it all starts right there. a close second is just how versatile desert door really is. You can go full highbrow and experiment with concocting a variety of cocktails that call for muddling fresh fruit sprigs of time sticks of cinnamon, it's perfect for that world. If you're a little bit more down home, if you've just rolled up sleeves up your denim Wrangler button up, it's perfect for that as well. If you just design something that's short and sweet, it hits the mark every time does adore is genuine and authentically West Texan its inherently West Texan. They harvest Soto plants out in the wild and are knowledgeable conservation lists at heart. That's obviously something incredibly important to me. They shine a light on what makes West Texas special and unique and worth preserving and keeping it safe from exploitation. Right now, you can find desert door all over Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and there's budding numbers in places like New Mexico, Arizona, California and Georgia. Best thing you can do is to check out desert to find where desert door is locally. Again, that's a desert If this is your first time listening to Newsline, go ahead, hit that subscribe button. We're everywhere that you listen to podcasts. If you're over on iTunes, I highly encourage you to leave one of those five star reviews. If you're over on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. Go give us a follow over there as well. If you're interested in some new slang merchandise, hit up the merch store. That would be over at New slang podcast dot big We have T shirts, koozies magnets, coffee mugs and a bunch more over there. And also a new announcement. So back in late March, I mentioned that I would be releasing a book this year. Well, it is about that time. Right now. You can pre order the Lubbock way, a collection of wallflower vignettes. And as the title alludes to a series of short stories, encounters and thoughts about the Lubbock music

scene. It focuses on the years 2015 to around 2017. It's a pretty quick read. It's a fairly short book, it's just north of 100 pages. I of course will throw a direct link into the show notes for this as well. I'm just going to be doing a small self release of the labovick way. It'll only be about 500 copies. And I really only see it growing to a larger number. If the pre order numbers are just through the roof and ridiculous. I don't really foresee that being the case, though. But how I don't know, 500 copies is only about 5% of my Twitter followers. So who knows, that just sounds like the very bare minimum. But you know, if 5% of people who follow me on there, actually order a book. At any rate, though, the luck way will be out by September, you can pre order yourself a copy today. I'll of course have more information on Twitter and Facebook and whatnot. Again, all the links that I just mentioned, they will be in the show notes. Alright, let's get on into the interview here is Elijah ocean. Yeah, well, I guess like, you know, obviously, like the most natural spot to, to start off is, you have this new record coming out in just two weeks, born blue, August 13. You know, as far as I understand, like, the roots of this record, go a little bit further back over the past couple years, but where it was, I guess, like, the, where do you feel like the the the initial, I guess, stages of this record? Really? Where do you feel like it really started taking shape and where you kind of knew the direction and, and, you know, the musical styling and where you felt like, this is a record. And this is like what I want it to be? You remember, like where were, you know, those initial beginning stages came from?

Elijah Ocean  6:36  
Yeah, well, um, I started writing songs in this style, I'd say, as far back as like 2013, or 2014. I want to say, because before that I was writing common music in a different style. It was like, a little more like folky, I guess. And like, you know, more about, like, my feelings and stuff like that. And I did, I made a few records like, of that nature. And then I kind of just started writing in a bit of a different voice or something. It was kind of gradual. But one of the, like, records that really, like inspired me in that way was this Bobby bear record from 1977. Me and macdill which I got from my dad's record collection. And like, I kind of like rediscovered that record around that time. And it's Bobby bear doing all Bob McDill songs. And it's just like, to me, it's it's like this perfect record. And it's like, it's got these like, kind of like tongue in cheek sort of songs and funny bits. And it's like, just like, pure country, songwriter, you know, and I kind of got, like, obsessed with that record, and I still am really, I play it for everyone. But yeah, I remember I was like, in Austin, for South by Southwest, I think it was 2014. And I was at my Airbnb and I wrote the song writing on the wall, which is on this record. And I, I knew that like, it's kind of like this Toronto feel and like, it's like kind of a funny story. And that was like the first song that felt like it was like in this kind of new voice or style to me and like, I started playing that song, like every single show. And it kind of like evolved over time. And like I tried recording it a bunch of times, but it never felt like it worked. So that was like the first song that that kind of like got the ball rolling for me. I think so that was a long time ago. But anyway, yeah, I continue to like write songs in that style, kind of like exploring different aspects of it. And then at the same time, I moved to California and started like, basically doing all these like dancehall gigs where I was playing bass for all these different bands out there for like, line dancers and like dancers and stuff, and so I ended up I ended up having to learn like 1000 Classic country songs and like, over the years and like a lot of those are like George Strait and Alan Jackson and dwight yoakam like clean black and stuff like that, like all this like Neo traditional stuff, and I like got super into it. And kind of got obsessed with it sort of like I'd kind of don't really like listen to anything else very often anymore. Which is kind of crazy. Like my whole record collection is just like, at George Strait, basically.

Thomas Mooney  10:21  
Yeah, yeah, that's, you know, I knew that you had that transition that the the evolution as far as you know being a little bit more folky in a lot of ways and evolving into this this moment. But I think like what your sound is such a, an interesting palette, because you definitely have like those moments where you're like, Oh, this sounds very 90s country, this sounds very Neo traditional. But, you know, as you mentioned that that Bobby bear record and McDill songs like that era of country very much like that Tom t Hall, brand of country that era, very much is like this real playful aspect of country music that, that sometimes I feel like, we often can can take country music way too serious. And, you know, like, there's, there's a lot of stuff that that they wrote about in a that was serious, but like, in a playful manner. And so, I think like you can you have, like, you have those those moments on here as well. And, again, like, I think this is like this really interesting mix. Because in a lot of ways, I think it when people say, you know, they're Neo traditional inspired, they feel like, you know, whatever, I guess like you would, you'd kind of think of it being like right on the head, like hitting it right on the, you know, the nail as far as like just being spot on trying to do that thing trying to, and it feels like you are like, again, like, you can hear those sensibilities in there. And you can feel the times where you lean further into it. But it's almost like a different approach to that inspiration. And I find that really interesting as far as like, you know, your approach to to the 90s country sound the Neo traditionalist?

Elijah Ocean  12:21  
Yeah, because, like, I don't know, I've got my own style of singing, you know, I don't sound like Keith Whitley or like George Strait, you know, I mean, I've got my own voice and like, I, I am influenced by a lot of other stuff for sure. Over the years, like, I mean, I grew up listening to like, Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead and like, Bob Dylan was a huge influence on me. And then a lot of like, older country music to like, you know, outlaw stuff, and like Ernest Tubb and lefty Brazil and all this, you know, so I yeah, I wasn't, I never was trying to, like, replicate something that already happened. Like I'm trying to, like, combine a bunch of stuff that I like, you know, with to make something new, basically. You know, with my own my own voice.

Thomas Mooney  13:18  
Yeah, some of that, that that tongue in cheek aspect. Even just like in some of the song titles, you know, like the ice machine or chip off the barroom floor, you kind of feel like, Oh, you know, this is, there's that fine line, that balance of kind of being tongue in cheek and, and humorous. And then also, like, you know, do you go too far, and like, just become like, you know, cheese ball country kind of stuff? What where do you how do you, I guess, navigate that line? And understand, like, when maybe something's, like, you just gotta, like, toe that line versus, you know, going too far in this like, I don't want I'm trying to think of like, I don't want to, like throw any country artists under the bus. But, you know, like that watermelon crawl kind of thing. You know, I'm saying like, you don't want to go like too far, even though like that song still has a special place in my heart. No, always.

Elijah Ocean  14:14  
That's a good one. Um, yeah, no, like, I don't know, it's just a taste thing. I guess. You know, like, I don't know, you can't take yourself too seriously. And life is like, full of like, real shit. It's like, there's challenges and there's like, death in like, alcoholism. And like, all these like, dark dark things, you know, that happened to everybody. And, and, like, it's, to me, it's like, it's fun to just, like, make light of those things in some way. You know, like point out like, what's funny about it or like, not take it too seriously, because I mean, that's what that's what country Music is all about To me it's like commiserating on here on the trials of life and like, be like, yeah, we're all in this, you know? It's gonna be okay. Like, make fun of yourself. It's fine.

Thomas Mooney  15:14  
Yeah, everyone's had that, or that series of days throughout their life where it's the, you know, the proverbial worst day of your life. And yet, like there's something that will like just happen that makes it worse, but also funny at the same time, and you're like this fucking it like, if I don't know, it's often whenever I have like one of these bad days, I think if I just woke up five minutes earlier, would all of this have not fucking happened? It's like the, you know, the icing on the cake. The, you know, all this bad stuff happened, but then also like your dog ran away. You know, like, you know what I'm saying? Like, it's only like, when you you look back when you can find like the humor in it. But yeah, again, like the as you said, right there like country music is always a lot of the great stuff has always had like that self deprecation that little bit of that, that humor, that humorous, tone to it all. This episode is in part brought to you by Charlie stout photography, Charlie stout has long been a great buddy of mine. And for as long as I've known him, he's always had a good eye, a good eye for ideas for lines and a song. And notably, an eye for what makes a great photograph. Yes, we're gonna roll with that tried and true cliche about a great photographer, having a good eye. But it's cliche for a reason. More often than not means it's true. Right now, I want y'all to head on over to Charlie To get an idea of what I'm talking about. While you're at it, go give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter at Troy stout. Right now he has about 50 photographs for sale on Charlie stout calm, with a vast majority of those being landscapes and sky shots of West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, the American Southwest, if you will, a lot of cacti and clouds, windmills and open roads, sunsets and stardust. he captures a lot of what I love about West Texas. And these dry arid climates. That's mainly that vast emptiness that can really make you feel small, the depth and the way and the intensity, it's all in there. Right now he's doing a special on his prints. Each week, he releases a new photo. And for one week, only that photograph is at a special introductory rate. For just $25 you'll get an eight and a half by 11. That's just about half off the regular price. For 75, you can get a 13 by 19. And for 110. You can get a 17 by 22. After the week, they go back to regular prices, which are still an absolute still if you ask me. Also just a pro tip, keep an watchful eye out on his Twitter. He's consistently posting one offs, errors and randoms on there that are for sale that are in the flash sell variety. Again, that is at Charlie stout for Twitter and Instagram. Head on over to Charlie grab a sign print by a record. Get yourself some major sounds and some nature shots. Alright, let's get back to the episode.

Elijah Ocean  18:37  
Yeah, I love that stuff.

Thomas Mooney  18:40  
Like a Roger Bednar of the world.

Elijah Ocean  18:42  
Oh, yeah. For sure. Yeah, it's like it's supposed to be good time music, you know? But like, there needs to be like, like, a rub in there some somewhere. You know, like, you can't just be like, all about having a good time all the time. You know, but it can. I like that juxtaposition of like, singing about something that's like, that sucks. You know, in like, a funny way. I don't know. It's just yeah. Yeah, like that.

Thomas Mooney  19:22  
What? That's okay. So that's something that I've noticed when I was looking back through stuff. You know, like 35 the origins of that song, as you mentioned, is, you know, stemmed from a time in Las Vegas. And there's a few other songs that I've noticed that like, you've either started in Vegas or like wrapped up in Vegas and I'm only thinking of like three of them but I'm sure like there's probably more in there somewhere in the in the the catalog. What is it about like that Las Vegas that makes you kind of go Oh, I gotta, you know kick off another song or finish something out or, or whatever the case is.

Elijah Ocean  20:00  
Yeah, it's so I, I would still like work at this out there playing music at Gillies in Treasure Island casino. This is like a giant, basically like Disneyland version of a country bar, you know, they've got like a mechanical ball and like, the whole thing. So we would go out there from LA and like, stay there for three or four nights, like, pretty regularly. And it's like, super depressing in Las Vegas. It's like, it's just like, I don't know, it's just gross and like, sucks. Like, I have a lot of time to kill during the day. And like, would usually stay up too late. And just like, waste a bunch of money and time. You know. I definitely have some fun, obviously. But like, you know, I would always have my own hotel room for the whole time. And like, I would end up just like writing songs during the day, pretty much up in the hotel. I don't know why it just like, I had nothing else to do, really. But yeah, like, there's that song from my last record cleaned up and cleaned up in Vegas. And 35 from this one, I wrote both those songs in the same day. there and it was after just like a super long, late night, you know, or just got drunk and lost a bunch of money and woke up like, really hung over and mad at myself. And like, I remember I, I walked outside. I had just like, I don't have a mustache now. But I just like, shaved my face into a mustache the night before. And I was just like, I like didn't it didn't feel like me or something. like looking at myself, like, Who am I like, what am I doing? I just like remember, I walked outside and just like walk down the strip. And like I was trying to find some brunch. And I ended up like, writing these songs in my head. Like, I just felt like the I was just coming up with lines in my head as I was walking, you know, and just being like, just like playing with words basically in my head and I got eggs and bought a tank top. And then I got back to the hotel and just, like, busted out both the songs, you know, for some reason, and they're, they're actually like, kind of similar in chord progression. They're almost like the same. Yeah, Cortlandt chord wise,

Thomas Mooney  22:38  
kind of like, song cousins in a way.

Elijah Ocean  22:41  
They are. Yeah, for sure.

Thomas Mooney  22:43  
That's, that's so interesting. You know, you talking about Vegas as far as it being depression depressing, because, you know, like, it's this weird, like, Vegas is probably like the worst. I guess like the best representation of like, the worst indulgences of a being an American. Obviously, I'm not stating anything new there. But what I find really something that you mentioned there as far as like, you know, you kind of just been holed up in your motel room is that I kind of feel like that probably just because of how hot it is out there. You know, the climate Drew, like, it drives people inside of course. And so that means like, you're in these like, either these lonely rooms, or you're like, you know, surrounded by a bunch of people playing the same game and just kind of like, you know, in and out and in another way, in a very, very lonely setting. Whereas like, you know, la or like, Austin or any of these, like, you know, more temperate climates, you're kind of driven out to go do things. So that's it's interesting what thing as far as like Vegas maybe being a good setting to the Ryder record, even though you may not feel the greatest while there.

Elijah Ocean  24:06  
Yeah, it's just like, you know, there's that like, old strip that's like, still kind of cool down there. And like there's something about like, these, like, new developments of these like, like historical kind of, like party spots or something that like, like, I I equate it, like what's going like Vegas to like, like times square or like, the Sunset Strip or like, like Broadway in Nashville where I've been spending like, way too much time. It's like, like I mentioned before, it's like a Disneyland version of like, what it used to be and it's just like, it used to be like, dirty and like, raw and like, now it's like there's an apple store and like, it's all just like, it's all like, just like an echo of this like once it was really cool. Yeah.

And for some reason that just like, I just, I just don't like it for some reason. It's like, sad.

Thomas Mooney  25:13  
Yeah. Well, just like the, the gentrification of these places, even though like these, a lot of the places that you're talking about aren't necessarily like, you know, low income neighborhoods or something like that, you know, you're taking these places that the, I guess, like, there's the, the shady elements out of it, right? The things that like, made some of these places cool. The, not necessarily the danger, because there's plenty of danger everywhere, but like, they again, like maybe like, the shady elements out of these places. And when you do that, when you strip those away, it just becomes, you know, corporate box, you know, corporate box. Yeah, the, as you said, the Apple Apple Stores everywhere, or like, you know, just chain restaurants. I mean, here in Lubbock, like we just have so much development, but it's all like this, the the same 10 to 15 restaurants, set in a different part of town now. And so I feel like that's, that's obviously something that's happening everywhere. But like, again, it's such a, in a way, it's like very, very sleazy, even though it's a sterile environment.

Elijah Ocean  26:29  
That's true. That's a good point. Yeah. Yeah, it's like a tourist attraction, you know, basically, like, it's just just a bunch of homogenization. And like, like you said, about danger, like, there's Yes, there's danger everywhere, but like, it's, it's like, it's too safe. Or something like that? I don't know.

Thomas Mooney  26:57  
Yeah. I think like you got you. The Disneyland, the Disney Land, if occation if you will. It's kind of like the best way to describe it. The I don't know if you if you've been here in Amarillo before but we have are they up there have the big Texan which is like this place you can give the big giant steak I don't know how big it is yet, but I've only been there once and I swear like walking in it felt like in a you know, they? They do they pull out all the bells and whistles as far as being a western country and western spot. But it feels like you walk into what I've compared it to is like walking into raising Arizona and not realizing you're part of a movie. Because like it just feels fucking weird. And it's like, this is not like the No, you guys are trying to do this like Texas thing you're trying to do like the frontier. But it's there's something off about all of this. You know, like, that's the feeling I get in some of these places.

Elijah Ocean  28:03  
I've never been in there. I've seen that sign before. It's tempting. Because you get you get the food for free. Right? If

Thomas Mooney  28:11  
you eat it all. Yeah, if you eat the big giant steak, it's like 72 ounces. And like, you got to eat like the steak and the salad and like the baked potato and all this other I think like the shrimp, shrimp cocktail that comes with it. Oh man. It's such It's so weird. Because it's like all these like professional eaters. And then like, you know, a fucking 12 year old kid who just has like the metabolism of, you know, a 12 year old kid and just like eating it in like 20 minutes, that kind of thing. Time a time limit but it's like, you know, again, the best description of like, the worst aspects of being an American, you know, so. But I digress. I wanted to ask some some of the stuff about like the Neo traditional stuff, the, you know, you mentioned how you're such a fan of that area of that era, that period. You know, once you start diving in, I feel like you realize that there's all these little regionalism aspects of of Neo traditional you got like the Bakersfield sound still you have like more of this slick, George Strait, Texas thing. You have kind of like that Houston pocket. And then of course, as you further get into the 90s, you have like these different you know, girl groups or bands still during the time. If you want to go like up to the Kentucky you have like the you mentioned, Keith Whitley and, you know, Patty loveless and more of that sound of Judds. What is like, as far as those little pockets go, like? Do you find that you gravitate towards one of those little regions a little bit More than the other you have like a favorite little aspect of of the the Neo traditional.

Elijah Ocean  30:06  
Hmm, that's interesting. I mean all those all the names you just mentioned are like, I'm huge fans of all those artists. I guess like, Keith really kind of became my favorite really just like, I don't know, is is just his voice is just like the greatest and I love how he kind of like just continued that lineage of you know, like it's basically like Jimmy Rogers left you for sale. Merle Haggard. Keith Whitley. It's like this like, stylized vocal inflection. You know, not everybody does that. Like he's like, Keith Willie sounds a lot different than George Strait and Alan Jackson.

So yeah, I guess like, I don't know if I gret if I gravitate specifically to a region, like I love Clint black so much. Yeah. So like, the Texas thing is huge. though. I got really into dwight yoakam to like the so the Bakersfield thing is, is awesome. And it's more like I really like it. I really like guys who like write most of their songs. Like I love George Strait. And I think he's, he's got impeccable taste and he's, he's amazing. I appreciate all his records and but like that's what I like about Alan Jackson and Clint black like, they just like they write their songs you know, like, it's their voice. I love that so much.

Thomas Mooney  31:58  
This episode of new slang is brought to you by the blue light live here in Lubbock, Texas. Blue Light has long been the heart and soul of the Lubbock singer songwriter scene, and has been a home away from home for some of Texas Americana, country and rock and roll's finest over the years. Talk with 99.9% of the Songwriters who have come out of Lubbock and the panhandle at large over the past 20 years. And they'll point to just how integral and necessary the blue light is, with live music and touring slowly but surely coming back spots like the blue light, or getting back to their usual ways as well. That means music every night of the week. Do you want to see that schedule? Well, I've got a few options for you. One, go to their socials and give them a follow that is at blue light live on Twitter, at the blue light live on Instagram. And of course, by just searching the blue light live on Facebook, they're consistently posting that week's lineup of shows, as well as those heavy hitters that ought to be on your calendar that are coming up on the horizon. To check out blue light as well. There they have the full schedule, the cover charges, time, any of those specials that may be happening while they're go check out their merge page. They have a wide range of hats, koozies, hoodies, sweaters, beanies, jackets, and so much more. You can of course get all of your merchant age, when you go see your favorite band, take the stage at blue light, just ask the bartender and they will get you all set. Speaking of which, that's another great way of seeing who's playing there. Just go to the blue light. It's at 1806 Buddy Holly Avenue here in Lubbock, Texas. And of course, again, that is blue light, loving, calm. I'll throw a link into the show notes to maybe I'll see you there. Okay, let's get back to the show. Clint is probably like, as far as like, if I just had to, you know, pick that one record out. I think like killing time is still like my favorite record of the era because I just think it's like there's there's not one bad song on it. And again, like he just there's something about his voice as far as that writing perspective that just he captures a certain I don't know just mood and feel of that wallflower out on you know, go into these dance halls in these bar rooms. And that like there's like that lonesome pneus in it right? There's that the the way. his guitar player like it has this very specific sound to his guitar, where you just know, like that and that pedal still mix is clean black no matter what, like it's very identifiable. And again, like as you said, like, you know, as far as that voice is being a writer, you know, he wrote Like almost every damn song he cut and it's only been like recent years where there's been a couple of songs that that are, you know someone else's songs or whatever the case but yeah I killin time to me is just kind of like that perfect record and probably maybe like that, that watershed moment of, of the 80s transitioning into the 90s

Elijah Ocean  35:24  
I would like 100% agree with you on that record. Like, that's definitely one of my favorite records ever. Like, I listen to that record all the time. And like, it's, it's like, perfect, you know? Yeah, every single song is perfect. And like, I he was like, in his mid to late 20s I think when when that album got released in 89 I don't know, I don't know how he, he made that happen. Like, it's just like, he just like hit the nail on the head. And yeah, that year 1989 to me, I mean, they have like, the whole like, class 89 thing, right? Well, like, that year to me is just like, yeah, almost like the peak of of that sound. I think, you know, right before the 90s Yeah, Alan Jackson was about to come out. But like, he got like, like, Randy Travis and George Strait, kind of like set stage for all that stuff. You know?

Thomas Mooney  36:28  
Yeah. Well, that's that's what's so interesting about the we call it the 1990s country but if you really pinpoint in the moment like that, I think most people think of 90s country it's actually like 86 to not 89 where a lot of the you know, the the bones of what the sound was going to be our late because I think like that storms of life record by Randy Travis is 86. So yeah, like, and of course, like with George or anyone, Garth is 89 that debut record,

Elijah Ocean  37:01  
which is awesome. Yeah. It's great.

Thomas Mooney  37:04  
I think people give Garth so much shit and it's like, dude, he if you're just listening to like, the massive hits, and even the massive hits, like there's yes there's gonna be these little moments where you're like kind of rolling your eyes but but for the most part go look at those deep cuts go look at like the the songs that were released the singles and there's some great storytelling there and there's some great just they just fit the record, whatever that record is, you know?

Elijah Ocean  37:33  
Oh, yeah, I love Garth Brooks. In that first Yeah, that first self titled record 89 he's like awesome. I listen that all the time and then yeah, like I have to disk Greatest Hits You know? And you know, I think like yeah, as it gets to be later on. Like I don't love it as much but the songs like Baton Rouge and even like friends in low places like I think that's an amazing song. I think it's a great country song like

March has not cut that song and in 1992 and like I never heard too cold at home is awesome. I kind of prefer Mark chestnuts version of that song because it's like I'm just a little more subdued or something but I think it's a very well written song.

Thomas Mooney  38:28  
Yeah, I think like what it what it is is that you know Garth was blowing up so quickly and so like he I guess I'd like also the the vision the foresight to to understand that you know, country music in my opinion country music works well in like smaller rooms. It works well in like there's there's a cap on what as far as like a great country show can be any can't necessarily be a stadium show unless you start adding different elements of it being like a rock and roll show. And of course like you know, if you're selling out a stadium you have to add those elements and i don't know i just i have no I don't fault anyone for for doing that because you know the the paycheck has to be you know telling you one thing but you know, you have to add some of the that 80s rock element the arena rock to to make people feel like they're you know, the the the worst seat in the house is still like a good seat. So I get that. I think like the going back to mark chestnut and black thing though, that it's that Houston, Beaumont thing, where, you know, that East Texas sound as far as like just all those guys just could sing really, really well. And you can obviously pinpoint back to anyone from East Texas as far as George Jones or any of these guys like that. But Clint black, the mark chestnuts, Clay Walker, Tracy Byrd. All those guys just had a very, I don't know like there's a very specific sound to to that area.

Elijah Ocean  40:14  
Yeah, for sure. is Tim McGraw from there too? I'm not sure. I can't remember where he's from.

Thomas Mooney  40:19  
I'm not really sure where Tim's from i don't i don't think he's a Texan, but he's okay. Early Tim McGraw, though, people? I don't know. I always I appreciate Tim McGraw just even now because I still think he there's plenty of stuff you kind of go, oh god, why did you cut this? You know, then then he'll end up cutting like Lori McKenna, you know, humble and kind. And you're like, well, that's, why can't you do that? all the time? I know, isn't that just the standard? Yeah.

Elijah Ocean  40:53  
I'm not sure why it should be like. Yeah, there's like a taste thing? I don't know. I don't know. I don't know if it has to do with like, labels or something like that. But yeah, I think like, there's, I still hear some good songs every once in a while. But most of the stuff I hear I try to keep up with, you know, what's, what's coming out of Nashville, nowadays, but the kind of it kind of misses the mark for me a lot of the time.

Thomas Mooney  41:25  
Yeah, I still think that. What I'm fascinated by, is just why certain things sell Why do certain people feel like they gravitate towards what I would consider, you know, bad music, or like, you know, maybe not full on horrible music or like, you know, you're doing a disservice to music, but music that like, you know, isn't necessarily necessary, where you could listen to these other great things, or like, maybe you're looking for a certain kind of drinking song, or even just on that very top surface, superficial level of listening. Well, there's 1000 better drinking songs. But like, I'm still so fascinated by what draws people to certain sounds. And certain writers?

Elijah Ocean  42:18  
I'm not sure. Like, I mean, are you talking about like, the, from the artists perspective, or from like, as a fan? Like, the fan perspective? Yeah. Right. Because, I don't know, I just, I look back at, like, the progression of country music, you know, in the last 30 years, or whatever. And like, I mean, I kind of just see it going downhill pretty much the whole time. And I mean, it's kind of like what we're talking about earlier with, like, Las Vegas, or like, the Sunset Strip, like, it just gets like. Like, there's more corporate elements or something or like, it gets homogenized and it just like the level of taste to me, personally, just, like, slowly, slowly, like just takes a nosedive. Yeah, basically, and, like, over the years, like, people, people still listen to country radio, like, so many people, like, just listen to that, you know, like, I think like, it just progresses, over the years, and people get used to hearing the same thing over and over again. So they like it, you know, because it's familiar. And then it just slowly and slowly becomes this like, thing that's like, so far from like, what country music really is, to me. I don't really know. Yeah, why?

Thomas Mooney  43:52  
I think like, you know, one of the things I've always gone back to is that, you know, people like us, if you're obsessed with music, you have you find time to define the next thing that you like, the who aren't necessarily getting the same, you know, press push the same record push as, as these major stars, you have the time investment, and like, you know, most of the population is doing the carpool and like taking the kids to work and like working you know, 50 hours a week and all that shit just to you know, go home and just kind of you know, watch the the top layer of culture stuff, and they don't necessarily have time to go and find all the the good stuff, but or maybe they don't have like that one friend or that one connection to who's telling them like, Oh, go get that whatever record insert this person. But as far as the homogenized sound, I think there's there's very much something to that because You know, country music, in the 90s blew up in a way that like people don't necessarily understand, like, I think we all kind of think of like, country music as being this big, forever. And before, you know, you didn't have as many crossover hits, and Garth and shanaya and like the Dixie Chicks, and like people like that, even though I think what they were doing was was better than what's going on now. They made it very, very popular, where all of a sudden, the, you know, to get those crossover hits, you're kind of just, again, you're you're, you're blending all these general sounds, and it's not just like country music that's to happen into that's happening to like hip hop, and it's happening to rock and roll. And, you know, I wouldn't necessarily say pop because like, obviously, pop is pop, but you're all kind of like blending these together, just so we have like this one generic general top 40 list versus, you know, these different you know, country and hip hop and, you know, more more again, going back to the the regional ism thing. Like there's less of that we just have, like, the generic Southern voice for for country music.

Elijah Ocean  46:14  
But right.

Thomas Mooney  46:15  
I don't know. I digress. Yeah.

Elijah Ocean  46:19  
I feel like, like, back in the day, like, people's voices were like, much more distinct. Like, when you hear Willie Nelson, like, you know, you know, it's Willie Nelson like. And yeah, I feel like that's kind of like, change to like, a lot of people. I feel like a lot of people like sing the same way. Now, or like, the maybe the labels are just like looking for, like, a specific thing that they know, will sell or something like that, as opposed to like, you know, a new voice. Yeah. I mean, yeah, it kind of blows my mind that, like, I was talking to my roommate, we were in the band The other day, and like, we were like, I had my phone right there. And I was like, I was like, Man, you realize we can listen to any song in the world right now. We can choose to, like, find any song and listen to it. But we're listening to country radio, right? Like, he's like, yeah, I guess you're right. And for some reason, like, it's, it kind of boggles my mind that country radio still exists, you know, but like, I still listen to it. Like, even though like, you know, I could pull up any, any song from history, but like, there's something about just getting in the car and just like hitting that one button.

Thomas Mooney  47:42  
There it is. Well, that's, that's the thing, I always have this problem with. My specific thing is like, turning on Netflix, or Hulu, and like, it's very, very similar. You don't have like, every show, clearly, but just being over. stimulated with the possibility of watching literally every show ever, right? And then you kind of go, Well, fuck it, I'm gonna put on the whatever I my favorite show is, or, or I'll turn off the TV. And it's like, you know, the, I think that happens with people with music, as you're kind of saying right there. Like, you can be overwhelmed by the possibilities. And so, you know, sometimes there's there's that comfort in just letting someone else program what what's happening, even if, like, you don't agree with some of the programming,

Elijah Ocean  48:37  
right? Yeah, like, a lot of time, I'll just like be browsing for like, 30 minutes on online is like, find something to watch, you know, I'm like, right? Whereas if I just had regular cable, I would, I might just flip through the channels, I guess. But I don't know. It's like, when you're when the possibilities are limited. It's like, easier to to find something, I guess. I that's why I like buying records. Like I like my record collection. Or I've CDs too, but like, because I know, I've listened to them all and like, it's like a limited selection. And it's easier to like, find something to listen to because there's less choices.

Thomas Mooney  49:20  
Yeah, I always have a problem when it comes to the Netflix thing. Yeah, just adding things to the list a watch. Versus like actually tackling the list. Like actually ever going back to the list and going okay, I said I needed to watch this or I was told by you know, so and so or a friend or whatever Twitter is has been telling me I need to watch this show because you know what's trending or whatever the case and then just like never going back and actually fucking watching it.

Elijah Ocean  49:49  
Yep. Yeah. It's endless. There's so much to watch.

Thomas Mooney  49:57  
Yeah, what's the same? I think like there's there's something Then, very similar for music though, too, because you know, how you're told about 1000 records all the time, like, Oh, you need to check out this artist and they kind of go into a list or a pile. And now granted, like, it's different for me because like, I'm clearly listening to a bunch of music, like where I'm, at least I'm hoping that people think I do that because I do. I mean, but I promise, like, if you're sending me music, PR people, I'm listening to it. But again, like you can't write over everything. But I digress. Like I'm rambling on here. But there's very, it's the same kind of situation, the the same similar aspect. But I want to go back to what you had mentioned, as far as both voices go. Having distinct voices. It's the Keith Whitley thing, right. You mentioned as far as Keith Whitley having a very identifiable voice, something that he was doing was like, he evoked a lot of emotion in the way he's saying where sometimes artists don't necessarily do they do that exact same thing. But back in like the 90s, for wanting to pinpoint other voices, you know, like who who else sounded like Reba McIntyre. You know, she had a very she had, or she still does have a very distinct talking voice and accent if you will. And people like just, I don't know if it's one of the things we we were uncomfortable with all these little, or if it's too much of a gamble or whatever. But what's also weird is when people play up the the southern accent when they don't necessarily have one.

Elijah Ocean  51:37  
Yeah, I hear that quite a bit for sure. Yeah, it's, it's, it's interesting. Like, I can't really ever tell artists apart that well, anymore. I mean, there's some for sure. I'm just talking about like, you know, radio. But yeah, Reba? You know, it's Reba.

Thomas Mooney  52:04  
Yeah. Ronnie Dunn of like Brooks and john. Oh, yeah, exactly know exactly who that is. Once he started singing, I want to break one more time to talk about our pals over at Desert door and offer up a quick Thomas Mooney, cocktail minute, as I've said probably 100 times by now. By no means, am I a seasoned mixologist or bartender, but these have been some of my desert door go twos. For starters, let's just go with the tried and true range water. pop the top off the topo Chico. Take a good swig. Now pour in some desert door and top it off by throwing in a few lime wedges never fails. This one. It's so simple. It probably doesn't even count. But again, pretty foolproof. do the exact same thing. But get you a Mexican Coca Cola. I guess you can go with a regular one. But you're really cutting yourself short if you don't opt for the Mexican import variety. All right, here's the change up you've been waiting for. Desert door sangria. This one is prime for when you have company coming over and you aren't wanting to just be over there making six different drinks at a time. What you'll need is some desert door. Obviously, a bottle of red wine, honey, boiling water, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, some cinnamon sticks, a couple of apples and some time sprigs. I know that may sound intimidating, but trust me it's worth the prep. And honestly, it's pretty easy. For starters, get you a Punchbowl. Add that honey, those cinnamon sticks and the boiling water together. Now you're going to want to stir that all up and let it cool down for about an hour. So remember, patience is a virtue. Once that's done, add some desert door and stir vigorously. Now add the one the cider and the vinegar and continue stirring until it's equally mixed. Now slice those apples up and toss them in. Put in those time sprigs as well. Now you can pour that over some ice and you have a mighty fine sangria chef's kiss. Anyway, those have been some of my favorite go twos as of late. And remember desert door is as versatile as vodka and more refined, smooth, complex and intriguing than tequila. It's rich and balanced. And whether you decide to keep it simple or want to experiment. Desert door is that perfect Texas spirit. There's plenty more recipes over at Desert as well. Check out the show notes for a link. All right. Let's get back to the episode.

You you specifically you know you've lived a lot of different places. You grew up in Maine lived out in California. He's He's even though he's you know, he didn't less necessarily live in Las Vegas, I kind of feel like you that that's a part of their now Now you mentioned like you're you're over in Nashville, you know, what a What took you to to move to Nashville and then to like, you know, what's it been like living in Nashville, you know during a pandemic.

Elijah Ocean  55:24  
So basically, I got here just in March, so I've been here four months or five months or something. And I was in LA for six years, and it was great. I was very busy and made a lot of music and a lot of touring and whatnot. But yeah, the, the year I spent there, during the pandemic, was pretty hard. You know, I wasn't able to gig at all. And I really like, focused a lot on my record, like finishing my record, and like recording music and writing some more songs and stuff. But it was pretty depressing. To be honest, you know, like it was for a lot of people. And yeah, just basically just got to the point, I had to just get out of California. And I spent a lot of time in Nashville previously and have a lot of like, lifelong friends here. And it just seemed like, I didn't really know where else to go. To be honest. Like it was either, I could either come here or like, go back up to Maine, live with my parents or something like that. I just, I didn't really know what else to do. So I just packed up the van and just drove here and like, got a house. And, um, it was a, it was kind of a tough transition, for sure, for a couple months. Like, I didn't really have any work and like I didn't really know what I was doing. But pretty quickly, like I started just being more social. And like I basically like since I got here, like things have been open. And I got vaccinated and was just able to kind of like, go out and be social again. And that was nice. But I started getting gigs pretty quick. And I've been I've been working downtown Alan Jackson's bar, he has good time. Bar, like, four shifts a week, basically just like playing playing country gold for the tourists and stuff down there. And that's been pretty awesome. It's like, it's fun to like, meet people and like, you know, figure out what works for the crowd and what doesn't. So I've been busy with that, in the record, and writing songs. I've been like writing, I have another record of written basically that I'm looking to record and I've been writing some songs with other people. Some artists and songwriters and stuff like that, too. So I've been very busy since I got here.

Thomas Mooney  58:22  
Yeah, well, how a like how has it been as far as you kind of go like a year without playing in front of crowds? Obviously you're not playing like and I think like maybe the thing that we kind of forget about is clearly you picking up a guitar and playing and singing some songs but you're not like performing 90 minute sets or like whatever the whatever the time is. Is there like building up that endurance back or is it very very easy to just kind of fall back in line as far as you know playing all night?

Elijah Ocean  58:58  
Yeah, I was definitely rusty for sure. Because Yeah, I'm like I'm used to playing really long gigs you know, not all the time but like a lot of gigs I do or for four hours three to four hours. Like like and in LA I was you know, sometimes I'd be singing for that long and like you definitely like build up the stamina and the chops and stuff like that. It's like a muscle that you're working all the time and it feels great you know when you're in shape doing it but yeah, a year of not doing that I was like I couldn't remember lyrics like they definitely felt this like there's this like mental quickness that like you need to have and like to keep focus for that long and like remember I everything you're doing and whatnot. So it took me a little while to get Back in the swing of things, but I I definitely am now I'm like playing more than I ever was now, which is cool.

Thomas Mooney  1:00:10  
Yeah, I kind of figured it was is, you know, the proverbial, like riding a bike, but it's also one of those like, now also ride that bike for, you know, 20 miles. So yeah, a little bit of a still a challenge of getting back up to the plane. But you mentioned riding with other people has did you do did you do a lot of CO writing before? And he's like, I guess Nashville is kind of known for obviously being a music hub clearly but but it also be in kind of a co writing town. What what I guess, how has that been, as far as you know, writing with other folks and, and, again, like, did you do a whole lot of that before? before? You know, back in California,

Elijah Ocean  1:01:00  
I wasn't doing that a lot before. Like, there was like, there's a couple guys that I've that I've like developed these co writing relationships with that we felt very comfortable with each other, you know, like, but most of the things I've written are just like, just by myself, when I'm inspired to do it, and like, I can take my time with it and make sure every lines just right. And like, the CO writing thing is definitely a lot different. And I'm starting to get the hang of it, though, you know, like, just kind of, like, you'll do like a block of four hours, you know, and just sit and just throw flies back and forth. And it can be uncomfortable for sure. But to me, like, once I realized, like, there's always another line you can use, like, if one guy doesn't like it, then you think of another one. Like, you know, I try not to like get if there's something that I really, really like, but the other guy doesn't like it, like, I'm not gonna try to fight for it. Or, like, try to, like, prove to him that it's good. You know, it's like, you just, you just come up with something else that you both like. And once you can get two yeses, then you just move on. But it's it's fun, like, sometimes it's smoother than others. But yeah, like I've written some cool songs like, I don't know, what's gonna happen with them, you know, but I've written some interesting stuff, you know, people that I wouldn't have written on my own.

Thomas Mooney  1:02:39  
Right? Yeah, that's, that's always obviously the, you know, when you bring in someone else into any kind of creative process, you know, they're, they're going to have their imprints on it, too. And that's one of the things you just have to be okay with, that being the situation. Because, you know, there's going to be those times where I'll, you know, clearly, I wouldn't have written this without this other person, I wouldn't have gone in this direction, and, you know, opening new doors that you didn't necessarily know existed or that you wanted to exist.

Elijah Ocean  1:03:13  
Yeah. Also, like, I've never really, like put pressure on myself to write before, like, historically, I just, like, if I don't write a song for like, a few months, like, I don't, I don't like, beat myself up about it, or like, be like, Oh, no, I have writer's block or something I just never like, like, it's okay. Like, it's okay to not write for a little while, and like, it'll come back. When it It's time. Like, I'm patient with myself in that way when I'm writing, like, because it always does come back. And then I'll write like, 10 songs in a few weeks, you know, and like, when I'm inspired to do it, and like, if you're co writing with somebody, it's like, it's a scheduled thing. And like, no matter how you're feeling, it's like, you gotta like, try to come up with something. So it's like, it's interesting. It's more like, yeah, like working a muscle, then like, pulling, pulling, like a magical inspiration out of the air, you know, at that point. So it's cool. It's like, you're like flexing it, as opposed to like, I don't know, being like a lightning rod.

Thomas Mooney  1:04:22  
Yeah, like that. That's also such a fascinating aspect of, of the creative process as far as like, you know, fascinated by both ways, as far as the guy who wakes up every morning at eight, and starts writing the song, you know, like, there's those people out there who fucking do that. And then the other ones who, you know, you have those extended periods of drought and then all of a sudden, no, as you said, You got 1015 songs and just a couple of weeks and it's fascinating how, like, neither of those is a wrong way of writing a song clearly, but You know, whatever works for what works for certain people, and finding what, what, uh, what works for you clearly, you know, it's, I don't know it in saying that, like, I kind of feel like you've, you probably have picked up a little bit of like, a different discipline working a different muscle as far as kind of getting a little bit more of that routine in there.

Elijah Ocean  1:05:27  
Yeah, for sure. And, like, I feel like there's like, people, there's so many different aspects of a song like, that people like, appreciate, you know, like, somebody might like a song just because of the lyrics or just because the way it makes them feel, or like, even just like the guitar lick or something, you know, like, it's like, some, some songs will like, make your head feel, feel good. You know, or like, like, strike a chord in your, in your mind. And then some are just like, just the way it makes you feel, you know, like, not even, like, what the lyrics are saying, necessarily, maybe. So there's like, yeah, I feel like maybe like, the when, when I'm like writing something scheduled, and like, like, okay, let's just like, technically write a song. And maybe it'll, I'm using more of my brain. And like, sometimes, if you're just like, inspired to do something, it's coming from somewhere else, like, you know, your heart or your soul or something like that. Like, I don't think one is better, but I like finding like, maybe some kind of middle ground there. So you're like, right, kind of hitting both?

Thomas Mooney  1:06:48  
Well, like, one of the things is, that that makes both ways work, or that middle ground, wherever, wherever you fall in that spectrum is, is never putting too much pressure on the idea of writing the song. Because, like, at the end of the day, you know, it's sometimes if you try and make it too big, like, if you start start, if you start editing in the process, like, you know, you start shutting off that valve. And then like, you're back to, like, square one of like, kind of being lost out in the woods and not necessarily even having a song to do. So. That's, that's, that's an interesting thing right there.

Elijah Ocean  1:07:31  
Yeah, for sure. Um, sometimes I don't even like remember, where, like, how I came up with something, you know, like, It's weird. Like, I feel like I like blackout. Sometimes when I'm, whatever, whatever it sounds like, you know, looking back, I'm like, Where did I even I have no idea where I don't even remember writing that song. You know,

Thomas Mooney  1:07:53  
it's weird. I've seen I've been, I've seen a couple, like different co writes happen over the years. And it's, I'm always, like, fascinated and amazed by how, and I've seen, like, some co writes where like, they never even cut the song kind of thing to where, but they were so excited in the moment about that song. And it was like, you know, the best song that they've ever written kind of thing. And then like, you know, they don't even end up cutting it. Because, you know, they find whatever fall in it later. But you kind of do see these, like manic states of a songwriter, when they're in the middle of it. And it's like, holy shit, you know, this is a different person than that I know, in a different aspect in a different part of their life.

Elijah Ocean  1:08:39  
I know exactly what you're talking about. I was like, I was at this, like, publishing house record label on Music Row last week, like writing a song with his artists. And like, yeah, I felt I felt like it was almost like, we were like, very excited about what we were writing, you know, and it was, it was awesome. Like, it was very smooth. But yeah, I felt like it was almost like, I was not really like thinking about what I was doing. I was just doing it, you know, it's kind of, like, out of body or something. And like, we were both like, at the end of the day, we were both like, Man, that's a hit, you know, it's definitely a number one hit, like, I don't even know who he's gonna play for or where it's gonna end up or if it'll ever be recorded by anybody or any, like, I have no idea. Like, who knows? But in the moment, you know, we're both like, this is

Thomas Mooney  1:09:34  
funny. Yeah. Yeah, it's it's this like, a different kind of high that like, you know, where you again like if you if you're not been around songwriters, when they're in the middle of doing that, like, you would swear like this is a different person, you know? But like, it's it's amazing, I guess like, that's always like the feeling of that euphoria that you are always kind of chasing, you know, in a lot of ways, when you're creating something,

Elijah Ocean  1:10:06  
it does feel good. It really does

Thomas Mooney  1:10:10  
go in going back to this record, was this like, did you I'm assuming you have this like, kind of cut before pandemic time? Or was with some of this, like, with some of born blue recorded, you know, I guess past March 2020

Elijah Ocean  1:10:30  
Yes, some of it was actually quite a bit of it. I mean, it was like a very long process of making that album. I think I started doing pre production for it. And like 2018, I want to say, um, and like, would go, I'd go into the studio with my band for like, a day at a time, whenever I had the money to do it. And like, we would like to get worked on on it when we did like, six or seven of those sessions over the course of six months to a year. And then yeah, basically, when I, when we had all the basic tracks done in the studio, I took it all home to my, to my own studio, which is just like a, you know, bedroom thing. And I, that was kind of like when the pandemic was about to hit. And so it was like, I was like, upgrading my home studio and like spending a lot of time like learning about that stuff like Pro Tools and gear and plugins, and, and all that and I had, I had tried to do all the vocals in the studio. Previously that but I was never happy with my vocal takes for some reason, like, I just felt like I wasn't nailing it. So I ended up like getting all the gear and getting a mic like a big nice two mic. And last summer I which was during the pandemic I am I cut all the vocals by myself in my living room, like late at night, I would like I would just like line up all these records of like, the records we've been talking about, like Keith Whitley, like some some raw Haggard's records are whatever, like on the couch, you know, just line them up and like lights and candles and like drink some wine or some whiskey, whatever the vibe was, and I would over the course of a couple weeks, I just like got all the vocals done at home by myself. I would like get into the vibe, you know. So then like yeah, I spent a lot of time on the tracks at home like, like filling them out with extra guitars and redoing a bunch of stuff like editing stuff and flying in tracks from from other guys. And yeah, I basically completed it about a year ago. The tracking of it all. And then I sent it to this guy in Nashville, Julian King, who is a, he's like, been working on country records here in town since the 80s. Like engineering, producing and mixing. And like he's worked on a lot of these records that we've been talking about as well, like he's worked with with George Strait and Clint black and Tim McGraw. And, you know, he's like a Grammy for for Faith Hill and all this stuff like that, like he's top notch engineer, producer, and like, he ended up mixing it for me, which is great. Because I didn't he's, he's like, so what kind of direction do you think I should go for this for the mix? And I was like, well just do it. You know, just do what you do. I didn't have to, like, really give him any, like, notes or ideas of how I wanted to sound because he like he's been doing he's been making those records. So he really like tied the whole thing together. Like 100% he made it sound awesome.

Thomas Mooney  1:14:22  
Yeah. Yeah. Well, like those late night vocal takes. I feel like that that that has to like, be part of the reason why a lot of this record you kind of have that. That neon glow of like the 2am kind of feeling. A lot of those songs feel like they they're in that that era, that area of the night that that mood, that loneliness, the so I feel like that that was a good call.

Elijah Ocean  1:14:53  
Yeah, I think it worked out for sure. It was I was like very frustrated before that like with myself. You No, I was just like, I know, I know what I wanted to sound like. And like, I think I was just like, being like, I would like booked the studio time, you know ahead of time, then you go in there. And then just like, I don't even feel like doing this right now and like paying for it. And I just was never able to like relax and like, get the feel I wanted. So yeah, like doing it on my own time, just by myself when there's nobody else like in the room. Who I'm like imagining or judging me. And like, No pressure. You know, like, if I don't get it tonight. Cool. Like, I can do it again tomorrow. So, yeah, I think. Yeah, I think I got all the vocals I wanted to and like, it worked out. 100% I learned a lot along the way,

Thomas Mooney  1:15:52  
too. Yeah, I think that's like, that's something that we've all kind of done this past year is, you know, you mentioned kind of upgrading your, your home studio, I think a lot of people did a lot of like YouTube videos as far as like understanding and learning how to do things they didn't necessarily know how to do as far as the the home studio goes, or, you know, live streaming, all that kind of stuff. So, it's Yeah, it's been a, an interesting year, to say the least.

Elijah Ocean  1:16:23  
I felt like I was like, retired or something. And I just needed like, hobbies. like super obsessed with stuff. Like, yeah, like, setting up guitars and soldering, and, you know, like, just diving deep into stuff just to like, do something.

Thomas Mooney  1:16:41  
Yeah, that's, uh, that's, it's been. I think, like, that's something that a lot of artists have done, where it's almost like a lot of people didn't write records this year. Clearly, there's, there's been a whole lot of that, but I think a lot of people have done last year was was a lot of the, you know, figuring out other ways to make their craft better, but not necessarily by, you know, writing eight notebooks worth the songs or something like that. So, it's been a it's been interesting to see, you know, how, how those things will end up like influencing or making, you know, artists better or different.

Elijah Ocean  1:17:23  
Yeah, it's true. Like, yeah, it's like, yeah, honing your craft in a different way. Because you're, you can't do it the way you're used to doing it or, or something. Yeah, I ended up like, producing albums and songs for other artists as well during that time, like, credit quite a bit, you know, like, you can just send people tracks online and it was really fun. It's funny, like, I haven't, I haven't done any of that, in the last six months really have been working on some new demos and stuff, but I've just been like, gigging, and writing basically. They're totally flipped.

Thomas Mooney  1:18:07  
Yeah, for sure. But, yeah, I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation, I think, new record booboos I really dig it. And yeah, we'll have to want to do this sometime. again in the future, hopefully, you know, in person with a six pack of beer or something.

Elijah Ocean  1:18:29  
There That sounds great. I would love that.

Thomas Mooney  1:18:34  
Alright, thanks so much for listening today. Be sure to check out born blue by Elijah ocean out today, Friday, August 13. Go check out our presenting partners over at Desert door, the blue light light and Charlie's stock photography. Remember, today is the first day you can pre order the Lubbock way, a collection of wallflower vignettes by yours truly. And yeah, I'll see y'all next week for more episodes.

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