It has all come down to this. On Saturday, 10 in 20: A Lexington Recording Project finally gets to showcase its finished project. Needless to say, a party is in order.
Devised as a project that would allow 10 local acts a two day stretch each to record a song at Lexington’s Shangri-la Studios (hence, a cumulative period of 20 days), 10 in 20 is now set to release a vinyl compilation of that music. It’s a beautifully varied set, too, that shifts from Wille Eames’ rootsy guitar blues nugget Riot Goin’ On to Englishman’s bright pop reflection Man Like Me to Coralee and the Townee’s honky tonk party piece ProfessionaLoner.
The party comes Saturday at Cosmic Charlie’s when artists from all of the 10 in 20 acts will hold a performance summit. Some will play on their own while others will share members. The intended spirit, said Duane Lundy, who runs Shangi-la and has overseen 10 in 20 since its inception, is one of family.
“We already know each other so well from sessions done here in the studio to playing in each other’s bands. So it’s nice that everyone is interested and still focused on helping the project out as a sort of Lexington family collective.”
While the project may have only utilized 20 days of actual recording time, the entirety of 10 in 20, from inception to realization, took considerably longer. “The idea started about two years ago,” Lundy said. “I pitched the idea to (Lexington attorney) Jennifer Miller. She worked with us in Chico Fellini (the local rock unit Lundy plays guitar in) on an executive level. So I ran this idea by her and a few other people. By February of 2011, we initiated the project. The first artist recordings were done that May. So I think by the time we run this weekend’s gig and some other select shows I would like to put on around town, it will end up covering a couple of years.”
While the finished 10 in 20 album (available digitally at bandcamp.com) presents the project’s final product, nearly every step of the music’s construction at Shangri-la has been chronicled in video entries on its website, 10in20.net. Through those postings, the project has received some national exposure. The most prominent came from the indie music magazine Paste, which ran a feature story titled “10 Kentucky Bands You Should Listen to Now.”
“I think that the feel of the project got us the national attention with Paste and with a couple other blog things that were happening. Philosophically, though, the idea of the project was focused on giving me an opportunity to work with these parameters and these artists and that we would take it from there. The only thing I knew was that we were going to have the 10 artists and that we were going to put it out on vinyl. The rest of it was just ‘let’s just sort of see where we go from there.’
Already planned after Saturday’s record release party are a series of smaller local performance events that would, in essence, promote the project the same way a formal concert tour would promote most album releases. Those later shows are still to be finalized. But for now, Lundy is encouraged by the support that artists and patrons have shown 10 in 20 through all of its stages of development.
“I was on a bit of a rant the other night about the music industry as a whole, which is easy to get me going on. But I feel completely the opposite about this project. I’m really uplifted about the whole thing. I think it shows that if you take a bunch of talented people who are focused and have the right sort of frame of mind, good things can happen.”
10 in 20 Record Release Party will be held at 10 p.m. Nov. 10 at Cosmic Charlie’s, 388 Woodland Ave. Cover charge is $12. Call (859) 309-9499.