Ready to Rock and Roll
Wow! Didn’t realize I was away for quite so long. I usually take some down time in January and was enjoying it so much I lost track of the days a bit.
Anyway, 2009 ended with a good couple sets at the National Museum of the American Indian on December 27 with Janice and Lenny. Now we are getting ready to head into the studio this weekend. Yes, we decided on a studio. Deciding factors included a good piano in the big room, a choice of smaller rooms all of which have the same ProTools HD available as the big room, good mic selection, solid engineers and very good rates.
We are going for a very organic, “live” feel, so we’ll be tracking the rhythm section all together as much as possible and trying to avoid click tracks if we can. There will be quite a bit of overdubbing in the vocals and flutes and, of course, those overdubs and most of the solos will be recorded after the rhythm section.
As I’ve mentioned before, I prefer to have the musicians work from lead sheets rather than writing out parts for them, unless there is something really specific that I need for them to do. I’d rather give them the basic melody, chord changes and structure, then turn them loose to bring their own flavor to things. Lenny Stevens (our guitar player) is producing, meaning that he is overseeing the sessions and helping with arrangements and song structure. Lenny is from L.A. and cut his teeth sitting in with just about every band you can think of when they came through town. He’s a great player with an understanding of lots of different styles (essential for what we do) and has previous experience as a producer.
While I usually have a pretty clear idea of what a song is about, I find it extremely useful and helpful to have a set of “producer” ears on it along with mine. Keeps me honest about what I’m hearing, what’s working and what’s NOT working. Having a producer and engineer also allows me to focus on making music and listening instead of worrying about technical stuff and scheduling.
Anyway, we’re pretty much ready to rock and roll. Will keep you posted. We’ve been trying out some of the new songs in live shows and I hope to get some samples up here soon so you can check them out. Might have some session photos and videos along the way, too.
btw – some of you have asked for more recommended listening. The closer I get to recording a new project, the less I listen to other music (especially flute music) so I can stay focused on what these songs need to be. So this isn’t really a flute or even world music relevant recommendation, but if you like the “Black Crows”, check out the DVD “Brothers of a Feather”.
Will be back sooner next time…