Mike Farrell didn't really want to make music anymore - much less a rock record. But there was the well-known Sacramento guitarist with a batch of songs and some pals who wanted to finally hear them.
"A friend reminded me that I'd made a commitment to do a record," he says. "I sort of reluctantly started the record, not really feeling very confident."
Farrell's brush with a self-imposed musical exile came amid some personal upheaval but as the singer recovered his footing in life, he also regained a sense of ambition - and direction.
"(The new album) was going to be more of a country record (because) as much as I'm a fan of rock, I don't really feel like I have the voice for it," he says.
"That's one of my biggest pet peeves - that I don't have one of those cool, screaming rock'n'roll voices."
Usually that doesn't matter. In Daisy Spot, the Brazilian pop-influenced band he's fronts with friend Tatiana LaTour for example, the songs are decidedly soft and mellow. Elsewhere, he gets by with a little help from his friends.
"In a band like Th' Losin' Streaks I'm not the main focus- I have other people to rely up on to bring the rock," he says.
"To do this on my own is more of a challenge."
So, finally alone behind the microphone, Farrell worked on finding his voice.
"It took a lot primal scream therapy," he says. "I just had to scream it out, get it out and feel comfortable."
Farrell's new album is due in May. Until then, preview a track, "Ain't it Funny" at www.sacbee.com/sacramentosingle.
Song: "Ain't it Funny"
Style: Brooding rock'n'roll
Behind the song: The track, produced by Dana Gumbiner, came together in the studio with Mike Curry on drums and Lee Bob Watson on the clavichord.
"The demo was really bare bones and I was very skeptical about how it would turn out," he says.
"But Mike Curry nailed it and Lee Bob - I didn't even have to give him direction - he just came in and nailed it on the spot."
Farrell wrote the song in 1992 yet despite the seven years between writing and recording, he says it's particularly apropos of the times.
"The very first (line) is 'it seems that things won't get much better' which seems to reflect the state of the world right now - I didn't mean for it to be a topical songs but it's really perfect for right now."
On the Web: www.myspace.com/darksunskypilot
Listen to "AIn't it Funny" here: