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Joe Pisapia & Liz Hodder

• Watercolor  (Liz Hodder & Joe Pisapia)

If you can open your ears and your heart to this precious record, its grace and spirit will change you. A tall claim, to be sure. But then, opening up one's ears and heart is not an easy thing to do, after all.

The way I remember the story, Liz Hodder asked her downstairs neighbor Joe Pisapia to produce a record on her. I was visiting Joe one day in his beautifully bohemian digs, and there was a palpable atmosphere of inspiration present, which I was quietly inhaling. He was working on his incredible solo record (see our review of Daydreams, and one with the remarkable trio Joe, Marc's Brother). And as I tripped around looking at the fab gear, we continued our endless conversation about life, love, and the pursuit of the beautiful song.

He said that he and Liz upstairs had fallen into writing songs that were going together in a quick and magical way, and they were just allowing it to be whatever it was. And it was very very soft pop, kind of a late sixties psychedelic folk pop vibe, but with the knowledge of all that had since transpired. Brave, naive, pristine.

When I listen to these songs, I wonder, "How can you do that?" And I want to find that freedom in myself, and I welcome listeners and songwriters alike to revel in the creativity herein, and the lack of harsh judgement and marketplace evaluation that impedes its creation.

The contributions of their talented friends abound. The amazing Chris Carmichael arranged and played all the strings. Neil Rosengarden played horns the singular way that he does, Paul Deakin played vibes, and the legendary Al Perkins is on steel. The photos by Jim Herrington are a real knockout, that man is really something. Check him out.

So, as the Kathleen Edwards interview in this issue reveals, Joe is currently out on tour with Guster, playing guitar, banjo, who knows what else. Liz, I think, has moved out to the West Coast. Beautiful Mistakes is a precious photograph of a moment in time when two very creative neighbors got together and let some wonderful songs roll out and hit tape. Maybe you have a neighbor or a friend you've been meaning to jam with. Happy trails. • FG

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