Broken Compass, the talented young jamgrass outfit turning heads all along the west coast, have just released their first studio recording, Fool’s Gold, and have offered to share the title track with our readers in celebration.
The band began as a trio, consisting of Kyle Ledson, Django Ruckrich, and Mei Lin Heirendt, who met through the many bluegrass festivals in California, and the California Bluegrass Association’s Kids on Bluegrass program. All three got started early, growing up in musical families, with Mei Lin on fiddle, and Kyle and Django switching off on mandolin and guitar.
Since we first met them last year, the band has added Sam Jacobs on bass, who also brought his audio engineering skills to the group. Those came in quite handy as Broken Compass recorded almost the entire Fool’s Gold album on their own, as Jacobs explains.
“The entire production process of the album was done ourselves in our home studios, save for the tracking of Walk Beside Me, which was done at Chico State, and the final mastering by the wonderful Oz Fritz in Nevada City.
Most of the tracks were recorded over the summer and into fall at Kyle’s Chico house, where we would get together when we could between gigs, and try to get as much material down as possible. Most of us have experience with home recording, which made it really convenient to get the last few tracks done at our homes individually, so some recording was done remotely in that way (my final bass parts for Lost Year and Refugee of Truth were recorded on the living room floor of a Berkeley co-op with just a Scarlett 2i2 and a set of headphones!).
After recording, the songs were mixed by me in my attic studio here in Chico. The DIY nature of the production was really challenging at times, but was also a lot of fun, so I don’t think we would have it any other way!”
The members of Broken Compass wrote all but one of the 10 tracks on Fool’s Gold as well.
Here’s that title track, showing tremendous maturity on a debut project.
Fool’s Gold by Broken Compass is available now from popular download and streaming services, and directly from the band on CD. Radio programmers are invited to contact the band by email for a copy of the album.