North Carolina

North Carolina! The state of a mysteriously disappearing English settlement, the Calabash cooking style, and the Wright Brothers. Also the state of many missed connections (and I’m not talking about the “missed connections” category on Craigslist, although that would be hilarious). I had about seven people to contact in North Carolina, but I ended up meeting only two of them. Some people never got back to me in time, and some people I didn’t get to in time. Alas.

Let’s start with my host, fellow Couchsurfer and antique car owner Paul MaGee.

Paul, proud owner of Fluffy.

Paul had offered the services of his 1970 Plymouth Fury for recording a good engine sound, so when I arrived in the Raleigh area I headed over there to meet him. Unfortunately on the way there it started raining, and his rule was that the car, being an old convertible, does not go out in the rain, a rule which I understand completely.

So, without a sweet old car to record, we instead spent a pleasant evening chatting about this and that. A few interesting things about Paul:

  • He has many house plan books. When the books were not taunting me themselves, wanting me to waste many hours looking at them, Paul was taunting me with them himself.
  • His car is named Fluffy. He has a “Friends of Fluffy” group on Facebook. I am a member.

Next morning, I was off to nearby Durham to record with Ken Ray Wilemon, a percussionist and all-around cool musical dude.

Ken Ray shaking it like a polaroid picture.

We spent a highly enjoyable afternoon putting down various percussion goodies on a handful of songs. One trick in his bag is that he sometimes runs some of his hand drums through a delay pedal for all kinds of strange and interesting effects, so we got some of that bizarre loopy-sounding goodness on the project as well.

Ken Ray and the Toys.

From there, it was off to Knoxville, TN, which was to prove both productive and text-only.

NEXT: Knoxville in letters.