Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The first studio day.

So yesterday we settled slowly into the recording studio, there are so many amazing machines that need some teasing & gentle persuasion to get warmed up... Producer/Engineer Brad got busy waking up his exquisite machines with the help of his intern engineer Mark, as we all got comfortable in our respective mic-ed up areas with the finest of valve, custom & condenser mics.
The mic Fig's Fiddle is being recorded on is an extremely rare Neuman U87 which has been customised to include a valve (this is warming up the sound on his Fiddle beautifully). 
We discussed with Brad how we were going to record this album & capture the Rackhouse Pilfer essence best. We decided to record live and try capture a perfect take. This is how our Hero's would have done it back in the 70's, Little Feat, the Band, Townes Van Zandt & Bob Dylan, and it's a difficult technique but reveals the strength of the band.
Once we all got settled & the sound was almost fully tweaked, we began to record. To help relax us and not to wear out the album songs, we played a few familiar songs that we lash out at the gigs which included a version of Springsteen's "I'm on Fire". this may well be shared online as a taster to the album & to show how we're sounding in this fab studio.
This took us up to lunch time. 
After a handy lunch we turned to one of our new original songs "Dust on the Road", which was a big song to get started on. 
It's a fast paced sweaty song. We've been trying this song out at gigs this last few months so we have a good handle on how we want to approach it and play it. Brad had some great suggestions & really liked this tune. Right at the end of the session we got a take that everyone really enjoyed & we decided to switch off the gear, finish up for the night & listen in the morning with fresh ears.
Fingers crossed we nailed it!!

Last night all of us were tired and worn out. But there was a gig in a venue called  '3rd & Lindsley' we had been advised not to miss. This was an amazing venue with a band of Nashville Allstars, Country Music Hall of Fame-ers & the finest stage of musicians we have ever witnessed!!
These guys and gal play every Monday for the love of playing together. 
They were called 'The Time Jumpers' and are an eleven piece band that play Western Swing. We were all mesmerized at their musicianship and how the fun they had on stage resonated around the venue. Solo after better solo after even better solo. They just had such free spirited fun & a laugh trying to out play each other and it was great to watch. Vince Gill was on one of the lead guitars, Dawn Sears on vocals, on Drums was Billy Thompson, Paul Franklin on sublime Pedal Steel Guitar, Andy Reiss on lead guitar, Jeff Taylor on Piano & Accordion.  I'm sure I've left some of them our but there are so many... 
 Fiddlers Larry Franklin, Joe Spivey & Kenny Sears all shone on fiddle, virtuosos all three!! They played masterful cheeky solos and amazing three part fiddle sections in songs much like a brass section would do in a swing band.
Here's a video of them playing. http://youtu.be/IKYwdZrs1GE

We were all wrecked after the gig and hit the hay ASAP. Our out of sink body-clocks still have us all waking at 6:30am. But that's no harm as we are starting the recording sessions at 10am every day.
Day two is here and will be an interesting one... Everything is set up from day one so all we need to do is start playing.
Now's when the real work starts!!!