A Hot Day in the Studio with John Epstein

In the wintry months of early 1995, Native was in the midst of an extended song-writing period. Our self-titled first album had been out for a year, and it seemed to the band that, as good as it was, the issues we *did* have with it all centered around the fact that we had little control over the aspects of its production. With that in mind, we set about preparing an album we would produce ourselves. And with our ever-growing prowess at songcraft, it was sure to be a far, far better thing we would do than we had done before.

Native was touring quite a lot during this period, as well as enjoying residencies at two NYC clubs — Wetlands on Mondays, and McGovern’s on Wednesdays. With rehearsals on Tuesdays & Thursdays, and longer treks out to the northeast corridor on weekends, we were in our first prime period. We were starting to headline our own shows more & more, and gigs at larger venues like Tramps (opening for the Dixie Dregs) loomed ahead.

In this hothouse period, the band arrived for a session at Marmfington Studio one frosty Thursday wherein John Epstein unveiled his newest song which, in my not-so-humble opinion, ranks easily as his greatest contribution to Native’s catalogue. Considering the freezing New York City winter outside, we were bowled-over by the warmth of both the out-of-context setting (Florida) and the emotions conveyed (love & respect) John so eloquently infused in every measure.

To this day, I find myself amazed at the completeness it had. Usually, the band would work hard to expand on our songs. Mike, especially, was great at coming up with bridges and musical passages. But none of this was needed for this unexpected delight, which went to the top of our shortlist for the projected album due to start in the spring.

Unforeseen events would make that album an impossibility, so now all that exists of this rare song is this demo, recorded live to DAT by John Fitzwater one very, very cold evening.

Hot Day

Cornbread Wednesday


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