How do you choose which songs go on a given record?

Things are very organic for me and for my collaborator, Laurence Hobgood. Often times, there is a year or more between studio dates. In that time, we will have been on the road, had a million experiences, and probably written some new songs, stories or lyrics in response. It’s not like we go to a website and download a list of two hundred songs, have a few drinks and just go down the list – “yes – no – no – maybe” – things are much more organic than that. Usually, we have already been playing quite a few of the things which end up on a record with our band & trying them out on the road or at our home club in Chicago, The Green Mill. Either way, there is always more than enough organically available material in my head at any one time to fill a record. It is more a matter of choosing a conceptual and musical framework from which the different pieces can be displayed which is the challenge.