The Desert Mothers – Nowhere Motel

By • Feb 22nd, 2008 • Category: Alternative, Country, Music

The Desert Mothers

Today’s track is a ripper, for a whole bunch of reasons. My favourite one is that if you are interested you get to hear the stages the song went through as it was created as the recording process moves along. (this assumes that like me, you actually are interested in stuff like that). So, if you have ever wondered about how a song is created? Then today is your day because…

  1. Spencer Critchley (the driving force behind The Desert Mothers) has documented the whole process from audio sketch to the finished product above complete with MP3 excerpts from the recording along the way.
  2. Nowhere Motel” is a great song (which is a really good thing)

So first up lets do the background bit and set the scene…

The Desert Mothers were founded during a long run in the twilight near Joshua Tree, California by songwriter/producer Spencer Critchley. As coyotes sang in the shadow of a distant mesa, a white dog appeared from nowhere to run alongside, and after 10 miles or so the first Desert Mothers album, Nowhere Motel, had begun to take shape.

The title track, “Nowhere Motel”, finds the singer stranded on a desert highway next to a ruined sign of an ark and a rainbow advertising rooms for the night. Shimmering up out of the heat come the sounds of a steel guitar and a lonely voice.

OK its a pretty piece of hype, but lets now move to songwriting/recording and distribution in the 21st century part, Spencer is an award-winning producer, writer, and composer, you can find the article he wrote at O’Reilly — The eSession Experience: Online Recording for All . Here is the beginning…

I was in a New York hotel room, working on a new song. Because it was a New York hotel room, I had barely enough space to open my laptop without hurting myself. Luckily, that was all I needed to begin using, a new “virtual recording studio” founded by engineer, songwriter, and Pro Tools guru Gina Fant-Saez.

Gina, as it happened, was on the phone from her studio in the Texas hill country outside Austin. She had invited me to give eSession a try, and over the course of a 45-minute training session, she showed me how it would allow me to find and communicate with top professional talent, negotiate agreements, share (and protect) files, and make payments—all the things I would normally do in a studio, but online, from anywhere. eSession promises to let anyone create world-class recordings from New York hotels, Hong Kong high-rises, or anywhere in between.

As I said the the article has lots of MP3 examples so you can hear the song came together. It really was a look behind the curtain and it will be interesting to hear how the rest of the songs sound when (if) Spencer does them.

Recommended for a whole bunch of reasons

You can find The Desert Mothers at or

is fascinated by guitars, music, guitars, production, silly noises, guitars and used to be a musician. Did I mention the thing about the guitars?
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2 Responses »

  1. […] very nice review of “Nowhere Motel” by The Desert Mothers at Australian music site, which has made us their featured artist of the day – excerpt: Today’s track is a ripper, for a […]

  2. […] very nice review of “Nowhere Motel” by The Desert Mothers at Australian music site, which has made us their featured artist of the day – excerpt: Today’s track is a ripper, for a […]

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