By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN Since moving to Dassel a year ago and settling in as worship leader at Dassel Church of Christ, Dave Herring has also been busy recording a new album. The first of two parts, entitled “Prologue,” was recently released Nov. 9.
The complete 12-track album, which has yet to be named, will be available in February. Herring decided to release the album in two parts. “I figured it’s easier for someone to buy a $5 album than a $10 album,” Herring said.
Like most songwriters, Herring writes about everyday life and love, which he opens his heart and shares not only in “Prologue,” but in his previous albums, “The Perfect Candidate” and “Look to the East.”
Some people may look at their lives as different seasons or chapters within one book. Herring, however, sees his life as a volume in a series of books.
Unlike chapters, which “represent small fractions of a single-flowing story line,” different volumes, or series of books, “allow an author to expand the story line like a tree growing multiple branches,” Herring wrote on his site, daveherring.net. “They all come from the same roots, but each branch goes its own way, sprouting leaves in every direction.”
For Herring, 2010 was a new volume for him. He moved to Dassel from North Carolina, married his wife, Amanda, and became re-inspired for ministry.
“This album is the equivalent of my 2010 scrapbook. Minnesotans love to scrapbook, and this would be a look at my 2010,” Herring said.
As far as those listening to this album, “I want people to simply enjoy the music, and find something they relate to in it, be it finding something new, learning to trust, losing someone you love to their bad decisions, finding ‘the one,’ having fun with your spouse, or finding unconditional hope,” he said.
Though his music can relate to almost everyone, Herring’s songs are geared toward the church and the faith-based community.
“My goal [through music] is to encourage people to live their faith every day, not just on Sundays,” Herring said.
The song, “You Will Find Her” was inspired by the students in Herring’s youth group. In it, he encourages teenagers to have patience when it comes to finding love, and that the right one will come along when the time is right.
The lyrics sing, “If you wait some time. Don’t you rush your life. You will find her.” Herring explained that so many teenagers try to rush their lives and they want to be older than what they are.
The first song on the album, “Nothing New,” sets the tone for the whole project, Herring said. That is why he chose to use the lyrics on the “Prologue” album cover.
It’s a song that was written directly to the listener who has heard him sing songs in his previous albums about love and relationships.
Before finding the love of his life, Amanda, he was only singing abstractly about love.
Now, “I know what I am talking about,” Herring said, which is why he wrote the lyrics in the song, “Nothing I will say is new, just unfeigned honesty. That is something new in me. So I guess it’s something new for you.”
As an independent musician, Herring does his own recording, labeling, publishing, and distribution. He even has his own record label, Herring Studios. “It’s just me, though,” he said.
With a John Mayer sound and a coffee house feel, Herring plays an array of instruments on the album, but also collaborated with others as he needed them.
With the latest technology and software, Herring had the ability to record the album inside a spare bedroom of his home.
With the proper equipment and software, Herring proves that a professional recording studio is not necessary.
“If you know how to mix, with the right software, you can do anything,” Herring said.
Though 90 percent of what the listener hears on the album is real, Herring said he was able to use software to model guitar amps and other instruments. For example, the software enabled him to model the sound of an organ as he played the piano.
Aside from singing, Herring plays a wide array of instruments including guitar, electric, mandolin, accordion, banjo, piano, saxophone, djembe, and bass.
On the album, Herring brought in Amanda for harmony; and his brother, Daniel, on drums. He also brought in a fiddle player from Washington, whom he has never met in person, for the song “Looking for Love” and a guitarist from Iowa, to play a solo on the song “The Wall.”
Herring also performs live; mainly at venues throughout the Twin Cities, including the Fine Line in Minneapolis. Check his website for a full schedule.
“Prologue” can be heard and purchased digitally at daveherring.net for $5. Herring is also running a special deal. Anyone who purchases “Prologue,” will also get a choice of one of his previous albums for free. Copies are also available for purchase at any of his shows.
The complete album will also be available on iTunes and Amazon in February.