Thursday, April 23, 2009


On monday April 20th my friend Chip Larison came in to lay down a lead on "Beautiful." I grew up listening to Chip tear up the old music clubs in Nyack like The Office and Eastwicks. He was always a killer blues player and I thought he would be a good match for this tune, and I was right. We started out just laying down a fingered guitar solo but during a break he started playing around with a slide. From upstairs I was like, "I Like That!!!" So we scratched the other solos he had done and focused on the slide.After a while we had a killer solo which was unique and also fit the tune. Chip's slide playing is a cross between George Harrison's style and David Gilmore's style IMHO. Chip played his custom built strat through a Line 6 modeling amp. Great combination. I close miced him with a Beyer m160 and the Soundeluxe.

Here's a version of Beautiful with Chip's solo, Dave on drums and yours truly on bass.

I just contacted Carl Brooks and he will be coming in to lay down some gospel style background vox on this soon. The Brooks family was a well known singing group in Nyack for a long time. They used to sing at a lot of public functions and holiday galas but Mom Brooks passed away and some of the siblings moved away after that, putting a halt to their shows. Carl, Stacey and Vicky were all school friends of mine so I sent Carl a facebook message and we're gonna talk this week. I look forward to singing with him!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mixing malaise

I have the studio glaze on me right now. I've been working all day on and off mixing "Come away" trying to improve the mix. I sent Dave a few copies of the tunes and he got back to me with some constructive criticism saying that especially Come Away sounded a little compressed and/or boxy. Upon further scrutiny I agree. I'm having a hard time with this one as it was recorded (not so well) 6 years ago. It's a good song and worth the effort with some standout elements to it, I think anyway. 
"Beautiful" has set the new bottom end standard for all of my tunes as it has a rich Kick/bass combination. I'm having a second or 52nd look at all of the tunes I thought were close, trying to up the ante on the bottom end. Maddening. Here is the latest mix of Come Away.....

BTW, our rooster friend stopped by for a listen. He's quite a friendly guy! My family and I have adopted him and vice versa. He just appeared out of the woods one day and made his home under a big pricker bush on our property. Aside from the 5 am wake up calls it's kind of nice having him around. 

Friday, April 3, 2009


Here is a vid of the original live vocal and guitar recording for the song "Beautiful." It was intended as a demo and I was experimenting with imovie at the time so I just set up the camera and did a few takes, this being the best one. I liked the take so much that it went from demo status to "keeper" and it will be used on the CD. Dave came in and laid a great drum track to this but it was difficult as there was no set tempo or metronome. My timing is pretty good but not perfect and Dave did a fantastic job. I think the only thing I'm going to add to this is some electric bass guitar and possibly some Hammond b3 organ. I'm trying to keep this thing simple but my musical Libido starts to take over. I'm gonna keep this simple, I'm gonna keep this simple, I'm gonna keep this simple!!!!! BTW that's a Neumann TLM 103 through a Focusrite pre on my Taylor acoustic.