Indy: Why did you decide to record your new album [¡Let Freedom Ring!] in Mexico City?
CP: Lots of reasons. Recording budgets have gotten smaller, and I found an Eisenhower-era studio down there for a few dollars a day. Also, I wanted to follow the songs. Although I'm not a political person, these new songs all relate to people living in an anxious time — so there's strain and triumph in every take.
Indy: You also started your own label, belle sound, right?
CP: I started it a few years ago to sneak out some rarities from my old band, Green on Red. I put out a couple of other things, but it's not really a label proper. Some records don't have a good home, so you've gotta take 'em in. But I wouldn't wish running a label on my worst enemy.
Indy: What's this story about leaving your old label [New West] over a restaurant argument involving an extra order of garlic bread?
CP: Well, I don't know if that's true, exactly. But it is indicative of how small and petty things can get when a relationship gets strained ... Somebody put that out there and I'm not arguing with it.
Indy: So what happened after the garlic bread?
CP: Well, I think that particular label had spent a lot of money, and they kinda woke up with a hangover from the experience and a little buyer's remorse, maybe. So they didn't wanna pony up for another record, but they were gentleman about it. And my run at New West was pretty great, actually, 'cause that was really the first time that I had an American label — prior to that I'd been on British labels and North America became this thing that I figured would just go away if I ignored it long enough.
At Denver's Walnut Room, Nov. 13.