Mike Mulder’s Solvitur Ambulando

About the Album

Paul Allen’s recording studio, nestled along the shores of Mercer Island’s Lake Washington, had a big impact on the birth of Solvitur Ambulando.
When all is said and done, Gary Ballard and Chip Westerfield play the guitars, Jerry Merrill and Blake Padilla play keyboards, Ray Merrill is on drums and Lonnie Knechtel plays bass. Margaret Wilder and Kim Carson accompany Blake on background vocals.

The songs are unique. The inspiration for each of them is both personal and universal. Two of the songs didn’t make the cut because Mike was too close to the lyrics describing his mother’s fight with dementia. Wrenching as the words were, and thus powerful to him, they felt too strong and in the moment to put on this new pop album. And so they remain in the hold for another day, another Mike Mulder album.
Mike had the idea for about seventeen songs going into the studio. The sheer exhilaration of the panoramic water view, the massive window behind Ray while he sat drumming and Mike singing sometimes throw-a-way lyrics while he looked out over the entire band and the lake behind, was a creative rush that to this day, he can’t shake off.

After the sessions they would go back to their hotel rooms in Bellevue where Mike would write and write, often coming into the studio the next day to sing the new words as the band played, and scribbling changes in between takes. It’s best described as crazy pressure! The heat of the moment produced results, and the beginning of a two year labor of love between Chip and Mike as they pecked away at each track until they were satisfied.

To paraphrase what Bono once said, the difference between GOOD and GREAT albums is monumental. The trouble is, with two musicians listening to the same tracks over and over in order to make them great, project fatigue can set in – which it did.

In the end, the project turned out great, with ten songs, lyrics re-written time and again, vocals tweaked endlessly, and countless cups of coffee consumed as Chip and Mike refined each and every bit of the record.

One song, Cruel World, came together in a way no one quite expected. Chip says it sounds like Mike is singing drunk. This fits perfectly well with the gist of the song, disillusionment—the notion that one can feel from time to time that life is a trick, a banana skin joke on a cosmic scale, and we feel as though we are stumbling along an obscure path to who knows where? We can have at times both faith and doubt, with doubt being faith’s evil and perhaps the necessary twin that knocks us around. It can be said, this keeps us humble.


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Download the tracks and album on CDBaby here.

Song List

  • Ambition is Priceless
  • Deep Desire
  • Sacrifice
  • 7 Figure Dreams
  • Real Grindin
  • Insecurities Interlude
  • From the Basement
  • Level Up
  • Status Quo Interlude
  • Our Despairing Society
  • 2 Different Worlds
  • Bout that Action Feat Nyzzy Nyce
  • Elite Perspectives Part I
  • Elite Perspectives Part II
  • The Future Interlude
  • Young Ambition
  • Dear Achievers

Posted on

August 11, 2019