WILMINGTON -- For 17 years, Colby Dix and Gary Henry have produced music together at their Northern Track Recording Studio.
"It's an amazing hidden facility," said Dix, who recently finished recording his first solo album there.
On Dec. 8, "I Am. It Is. You Should Be" was released and can be purchased through Amazon, iTunes or ColbyDix.com.
Every note of the album was recorded and tracked at the studio in Wilmington. Since the summer, there were countless days and nights spent dedicated to completing the album.
"It wasn't every day, no matter what. It was based on both of our schedules," said Dix. "We'd come and hang out, have a cup of coffee then dive into the material."
The 11 songs are acoustically driven with thoughtful lyrics. One of the songs was written by Tegan and Sara Quin while another was written by Dix along with his brother, Trask.
Henry played drums on five of the songs. Dix played all the other instruments.
"It takes some time to do that. It's a long, long process that way, but it's really rewarding. I was able to focus on each part and how good it can be," said Dix. "It's always finding that balance and how to say when."
For this part of process, Dix says Henry was essential. His input was very valuable. Being best friends and working so long together made communication go smoothly during production.
"For me, it's all about the process," said Henry. "Colby definitely came in with songs, finished lyrics and chord changes. A lot of the record evolved in the studio. That was very gratifying for both of us to watch it grow together and nurse it to where it is now."
Henry told the Reformer that he was eager to see where the album takes Dix.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to do another one," concluded Henry.
Dix confirmed that there would be another. But for now, he's hitting the road and promoting the album in various ways.
"I'm really proud of the project and the way its come out," said Dix. "I'm not hesitant to put it into as many heads as possible."
On Dec. 21, Dix will play a solo set of his music then perform with his band Mister Dix at One More Time in Dover. Canned food will be collected for the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry, which will provide those who donate a discount of $2 off the album.
The performance will also be a chance for fans to hear the material live, many of whom contributed to his Kickstarter campaign.
The initial goal was to raise $2,000, in order for the CDs to be pressed. However, $6,800 was raised.
"It was liberating and amazing," said Dix. "It led to me making a much bigger and better project. I'm really happy with how far it came. The songs evolved through the process. It took a lifetime to make it happen. Now that it has, I'm relieved and ecstatic about the result."
Currently, he is sending the material out to music supervisors, especially those who score independent television and movie projects. Dix made several contacts while performing at the 2013 Independent Television and Film Festival, or ITVFest.
Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.