Early in 1997 David’s Jeff Tarayla, a songwriter and producer from New Jersey, flew down to North Carolina to begin the process of planning the recording of David’s next record. The two of them sat in David’s living room with a DAT recorder and laid down simple versions of the songs that were in the running, then spent three days talking about them; deciding which ones to record, how they should sound, what instruments, players and effects to use.
A few weeks later David traveled north to for step two. The primary musicians got together and rehearsed for three days, then they pretty much moved into the studio, TraxEast in South River, NJ . They spent twelve to fifteen hours at the studio each day, starting around noon and working well into the night, and eight days later Hard Earned Smile was all but finished.
Support from David Wilcox, Bill Mize, Chris Rosser, David Hamburger, and Tom Prasada-Rao adds to the solid rhythms and sonic depth of the record.