Written and performed by Million Powers
Recorded by the Kelly Bros. in 2011. Mixed and MFI 2016.
We had only just met Justin when he recorded this song with us. Jonathan might have known him a little longer, but he and I were still more or less strangers when we started working on “Still Ridin’”. I have to be honest: new clients always make me nervous, and until I get comfortable working with someone, I worry a lot about whether we’re being too overbearing, or not commanding enough, or just not a good fit.
In the case of this track, Justin knew what he wanted (he has a great ear, and a great “mind’s eye” for knowing what he wants), but it was up to us to translate his vision. We added drums, bass, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer electric piano, a smattering of percussion, and backing vocals. It works for me!
Anyway, I didn’t need to worry about being nervous. Justin became a fast friend, and “Still Ridin’” turned out great. I still really love this song, and I’m convinced that it should be part of a Knoxville “Bike to Work or School” campaign. Locally produced, fun and bouncy, and totally about bike ridin’. Maybe one day…
Million Powers is what Justin was calling his solo project after I Need Sleep, but I think he already had Marina Orchestra in mind for his next full band thing. We worked on Still Ridin' for a potential solo release, but by the time we finished it, Marina Orchestra was taking shape, and he decided to put all of his efforts into that. We began work on Take on the Silence not too long after.
I'm not sure it was intended that way, but working on this song ended up being an audition of sorts for the Marina album. It turned out to be a really fun collaboration. When we added more people into the process for Marina, we already had a pretty good working relationship with Justin to build upon.
On a more personal note, I sing a little harmony on this, and in doing so I discovered that Justin is a deceptively intense singer. He has a very relaxed demeanor (both in person and on recordings), but when I tried to sing along with him, I sounded like I was almost unconscious. It took a lot of energy and focus just to sing in a way that could stand up to Justin's "free and easy" vocal performance. Even then he's still dominating. The phrase I like to use for that is "eating __ lunch." As in, Justin is totally eating my lunch on this song.