Wednesday evenings in Breckenridge have a tendency to last well into the night and, sometimes, well into the morning. On the corner of Main and Jefferson, down a flight of stairs, and tucked into a corner a person can hear music bouncing around between the stacks of used books. Artistically speaking, socially speaking, people are themselves. It was from this atmosphere that the Breckenridge Authentic Music Project (Breck AMP, for short) first sprang to mind: an exhibition for local artists using their own, original music and a way to foster cohesion and growth among area musicians while showing a side of the community often overlooked for its sonic creativity.
The catalyst for that idea was, of course, the people playing. There were a lot of good songs being written and performed by the people who make the Breckenridge community tick. “I’d walk home humming the melody or the lyrics, which would sometimes still be in my head the following day. And I wanted to hear the songs again…so I started approaching people asking if they wanted to be part of a ‘showcase’ of what we were all up to in Breckenridge,” said producer Russick Smith. To that end, the title of the album was born as essentially just a statement of fact, “This Is What We’re Doing”.
For many of the artists, this is the first time they’ve ever recorded and, often, the first time they’ve had the opportunity to have their ideas expressed as a multi-faceted composition. This process feeds energy back into the creative process and is one that is pretty neat to watch. Hopefully, everyone listening shares this excitement and enthusiasm.
Most importantly, this project is meant to bring people together as a productive group and make the first step down what will, with luck, be a fruitful path for everyone participating, whether playing or listening.
Recorded in Breckenridge between March and September 2015, the album ranges from rock to R&B to bluegrass to alternative performed by both fledgling songwriters and veterans of the stage. Artists appearing on “This Is What We’re Doing” include Paige Spellman, Steve Inferno, Andy Garvey, Justin Schlosberg, Jenny Maier, Sudo Dextrus, Shaun Vrooman, Marc Langer, Joe DeWaters, JJ Freidman, Andrew Lacy, Russick Smith, and Cody Wayne with guest appearances by Corbin Chambers, Riley Brewer, Joe Zubia, Stub Grundy, and Elan Sprouse. “This Is What We’re Doing” was recorded, mixed, and produced by Russick Smith whose credits include work with Levon Helm, The Black Crowes, and Peter Murphy and mastering by two-time Grammy winner David Glasser whose credits include Hot Tuna, Otis Taylor, and The Grateful Dead.