The Davis Kathriner duo formally began at the start of 2017. Songs were posted back and forth between Ben Davis (in Brooklyn) and Danny Kathriner (in St. Louis) – sometimes as solo phone recordings, sometimes half-produced demos, sometimes just fragments – and over several months the sounds evolved as the songwriting pair reinforced and refracted the others’ ideas. By the summer, the songs had formed into roadmaps, brought into an unrehearsed recording session in the middle: Lexington, KY the chosen venue. With the guidance of engineer Duane Lundy at his Shangri-La studios, the Losing Habits sessions began.
When we first toured with Wagon, one of our earliest supporters was WFMU’s Laura Cantrell, “proprietress” of her Radio Thrift Shop. All these years later, when a tune began forming with faint echoes of Tammy and George / Emmylou and Gram, we called Laura, who was gracious enough to come aboard. She sings the duet with Danny, and after sitting down to whip the writing into shape, she’d added a lovely bridge, a new title, and – what else – a line about a radio.
The story is common: a fraying relationship that both parties may or may not salvage. We’ve all seen long-lasting relationships and marriages fade or fall apart. When it happens we think back about these couples and how they seemed so content or so perfect for one another. Of course, we want them to be perfect. Our video could represent a couple’s happy times: holidays, vacations, more than anything a shared purpose.”
“All My Time” sits squarely in the parenting cycle of the album. If they sang a little easier, we might have used James Baldwin’s words: “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
Without any real intention or coordination, while dealing with medical crises at home, I saw the films Still Alice and Amour. With very different approaches, they both deal with how people react to a loved one who is gradually becoming incapacitated. The declines in both films are far more pronounced than my own circumstances, but it is frighteningly easy to relate.