Bob Boilen and Michael Barron have been writing and playing music together since they met nearly 30 years ago in Washington, D.C. and formed Tiny Desk Unit. Danger Painters is their current project. This is also the first significant collection of songs in the past decade featuring Michael singing, and an event even more rare, Bob singing! (Bob stepped up to the mic and did some great harmony on “Phone Call or Something.”) We wrote and recorded the entire record as a bi-coastal file exchange from February 1-28, 2008 in response to the RPM Challenge.
The approach to songwriting for this project took a very interesting turn; on several of the cuts ("Perfect Moment," "Save Your Self" and "Phone Call") Bob sent what was essentially a fully produced song without lyrics, and Michael came up with lyrics and vocal melody. (On two of the cuts, this happened in under an hour.) Michael's theory is, “Don't think too hard about it; get in the space and do it. Second-guessing has kept me from finishing things for centuries now.”
The tracks “Perfect Moment” and “Save Yourself” began as attempts by Bob to write a folk song, something with strumming guitars and his new mandolin. Much like the rest of life, the result, although nothing remotely akin to what was planned, turned out wonderfully.
Give the album a listen and let us know what you think.