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Brothers produce album with over 800 miles between them

John Modaff

With over 800 miles between them, three brothers collaborated online to produce their newest album “More Than A Line.”

Dan, Larry and John Modaff worked wirelesses to record as the band “Good Enough.” John Modaff said the idea was for the album to be as stripped-down as possible.

“It has been a little weird this process this time being separated and not playing together,” Modaff said. “And, actually never rehearsing.”

The brothers wanted the album to be focused around the musicality, simplicity and the overall folk sound. 

“We agreed that a bad recording of a great song is better than a good recording of a lousy song,” said Modaff, a communications professor at Morehead State University.

Modaff said that they probably couldn’t play any of the songs live currently.

“We know every part of all of them but, we have never played them together,” said Modaff. “It was either that or don’t record.”

The trio all teach communications at different universities. They grew up learning how to play music together, starting with their grandmother teaching them piano. 

“We got our roots there [in classical music],” he said.

They eventually went off to learn their own instruments and find their style. For John Modaff, that was a focus on guitar and bass. 

The album features 12 songs and was all mixed and mastered at John Modaff’s studio called “The Creek” in Morehead, where Larry Modaff drove from Chicago to record. Dan Modaff recorded his parts at the 1013 Studio in LaCrescent, Minnesota.

Modaff said that when recording this way, they found they had to be more direct. 

“So, the detail and the elaboration in feedback changed because we were apart, which may have actually improved the sound of the album,” he said.

Although the album isn't bluegrass, John Modaff said that one of the reasons he loves bluegrass is because of the uplifting nature of the songs. Even if the lyrics are tragic, the instrumentals are usually up. The next project he works on will focus on that upward sound.

“My motto is compose or decompose,” said Modaff. “So, we all can, we all will, we all do and I can imagine that we will just keep doing it.”

The Trail Blazer is online at: http://www.thetrailblazeronline.net