the hazel project

on the path… “Hiding Place”

May 27th, 2007

It was 1995. The year we recorded the Fellini’s Raincoat CD for Treehouse Records. We tracked at NWN on the first hard drive recording system in Jackson, Mississippi. It barely worked. We were able to record 12 tracks there; however, only 10 of the 12 made it to the CD. “Hiding Place” was one of those tracks that got left behind; yet it was one of our earliest songs as a 5 piece band. Also, it was the only song FR played that was written by Beth Jones & Richie Wicker. I think it was the first lyrics Beth ever wrote. Even so, Marty sang lead and Beth sang the backup vocals.

Orginally, we intended to let “Hiding Place” open the CD; however, there was drama surrounding it and ultimately it was cut. I must confess the drama was partly of my own making due to the recording process, and partly to the band’s communication dynamic; specifically between Marty and myself. For this, I owe Beth a much overdue apology.

Beth was (is) a super talented singer and had much to contribute to FR. Even at that time I knew Beth needed more room for creative expression than she was ever allowed. She needed the space to do what she did best; sing as much as possible; continue to bring lyrics to the band; and play bass, (because she always knew where the ‘1′ was!)

As I listen back for the first time in 10 years; it dawns on me that the sound we were looking for as a 5 piece pop band came through in this song. The harmonies were in the vein of The Story, and the music in the vein of The Sundays and The Innocence Mission.

I know now the strength of Fellini’s Raincoat was Marty’s and Beth’s vocals- TOGETHER. Beth’s vocals needed to be featured in every song; and more than a supportive role, which sadly, is what they became.

Even if the song sounds dated and the recording is a compressed, warbly mess; what I hear today is evidence of what Richie recently told me; the vocal parts of “Hiding Place” were the best Marty and Beth had to offer each other.

Richie, Tim, and I are aware that “Hiding Place” reveals itself as one of our earliest songs; but it is within that space of vlunerability that we found, as Richie said, “the right process, the right openness to one another.”

I completely agree and its with warm memory and gratefulness to share it now.

“Hiding Place”

Thanks for checking in

Stephen A. Thomas

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