The other day, I was watching re-runs of one of my new favorite shows, American Pickers. If you’re not familiar with the show, I highly recommend it (along with the other History channel reality shows – Pawn Stars and American Restoration. They’re all amazing. Seriously).
On American Pickers, Mike and Frank drive around the country in search of “rusty gold”. They riffle through peoples old barns, backyards, and strange collections – things that would look like trash to most people. But they are in search of old valuable antiques, and resell them to make a profit; it’s really fun to watch. They found an old musical instrument on one of their shows, and wanted to check in with an expert – musical instrument collector Mike Brown.
I did a little digging on Mike Brown to find out his awesome story. He set out about six years ago to record the album of his dreams. He traveled across the country and knocked on the doors of his favorite musicians, asking them to be a part of this project. And guess what, they DID. Some of his guest stars include, Brian Rosenworcel from Guster, Freedy Johnston, Artimus Pyle from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eddie Kramer who played with Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, Isobel Campbell from Belle and Sebastian, Gary Burke who played with Bob Dylan, Garth Hudson from The Band, and Jay Bennett from Wilco. Just to name a few.
Across all 50 states, he recorded at truck stops, studios, living rooms, and parking lots. He found that most of these musicians did just because they love to play, just like Mike himself. He said about the process, “As it turns out, making a record is a lot like being on the road. You set out with a decent sense of where you’re going, but you really don’t get anywhere until you start trusting the turns.” Listen to the album here.