Eleanor Friedberger Goes to Ballroom Marfa
Intro Text: A few years ago, musician Eleanor Friedberger was awarded the opportunity to write and record two songs for a 7-inch single at Ballroom Marfa, a NEA Our Town grantee at the time. In this piece, she tells us about the experience, which resulted in the song “I’ll Never Be Happy Again,” which can be found on her latest album, Personal Record.
“I’ll Never Be Happy Again” up, under
Eleanor Friedberger: They offered me what they called a residency, which was to stay in town for a week and record a 7-inch single, two songs in their studio and at the end of the week I would do a show. It was great because I got to enlist local musicians. So, like I was saying, I met so many people in such a short amount of time. I mean Gory, who runs the studio, just started calling guys up who he knew could come down and play. You know, it's a small town but there're a few drummers, there're a few guitar players, bass players. The guy who kind of won me over the most has a boot company with his girlfriend and he plays pedal steel and banjo. Certainly the arrangement was inspired by the people who I met there. I mean like this guy Colt, I just mentioned, I've never had a pedal steel guitar on any recording I've done, but as soon as he came in and played, I was like "that's all I want!". You know, I'd be happy if it was just pedal steel and vocals, you know, it was so beautiful and that's what I hope for that the people that I met there would inform how the recording would sound, which is definitely the case.
And it's echoed around my brain
An oh, since I heard it
I'll never be happy again
It's all downhill
With no time to stand up
And no time to sit still
It's often offered
In the wrong direction
Excerpt of “I’ll Never Be Happy Again,” from the album, Personal Record, used by permission of Eleanor Friedberger and Merge Records.