Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mixing Big Leg Emma, Food Clothes and Shelter and The Sim Redmond Band

Thursday night I went to the Rochester Armory to mix a favorite band of mine Big Leg Emma. I've been mixing these Jamestown roots rockers off and on now for several years and I had the pleasure of recording and producing a wonderful CD for them called The Color Of Wind several years back. They opened to another band of old friends Rusted Root who I worked with for several years in the mid 90s. It was really sweet to see Patrick, Michael and Liz after many years and of course Big Leg Emma rocked the house with their usual positive driving style.

Then I was back in Rochester at the Water Street Music Hall for a classic ITown event with ITown founder Kevin KinsellaThe Sim Redmond Band. In case you haven't heard yet, Kevin knows how to put together a band and Food Clothes and Shelter just gets better each time I see them. and his kickin new band Food Clothes and Shelter, opening for Ithaca favorites

I do love mixing the The Sim Redmond Band, for all the reasons you all love to see them. Sweet folks making sweet music. Their positive vibe is totally infectious. Gentle afro/reggae grooves that just make you feel good and I get the same feeling when I mix them. They played a strong set mixing old and new songs to a full house. It's amazing how many people in the audience were singing along as they danced. That's love for ya!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Working with Littlewheel

On wednesday at Wilburland I had the pleasure of doing a session with Art Godin and Joanna Green of the acoustic duo Littlewheel. These two play a kind of down home jazzy sort of music with thoughtful progressive lyrics played with acoustic guitar, fiddle and 2 wonderful voices. This session's agenda was to record basic guitar and vocal tracks for 2 songs. Their intention was to be able to add percussion and bass at a later time so playing to click track was essential to maintain a steady tempo to make the overdubs easier. Art came in a with nice preamp/EQ for his acoustic/electric guitar which we recorded through a Pendulum MDP-1 tube preamp, just the guitar and the click. We recorded the song on guitar 3 times beginning to end and then made a composite take of the best bits of the three. This is a very natural and intuitive way to get a really nice final take while maintaining the flow and emotion of the song. Then Art and Joanna recorded the vocals together using Neumann U87s through and Avalon 2022 mic preamp and a UREI 1178 compressor to help manage the transients. They sang the song twice and we again made a composite take of what parts best conveyed the emotion of the lyrics.
What we ended up with were 2 really solid and natural sounding basic tracks for them to build on. I will probably stop by their home recording setup soon to assess and advise them on how to do some of the overdubs on their own equipment. When all the tracks are recorded, we will mix them all here at Wilburland.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I just wanted to tell you all that I now have a regular spot on where I will will be writing about what I'm doing at Wilburland, who I'm mixing live and adding tidbits of recording wisdom for all you home recording enthusiasts. Check it out!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mixing The Pines at Castaways


What an amazing night! My friend Richie Stearns who plays with The HorseFlies called me up this week and asked me if I could please do sound for a band he was opening for at a local club called Castaways. He told me they were called The Pines and that they had played at another club a year ago and he fell in love with them. Now I know why.

The best description of them can be found on their website: "Composed of Iowa natives David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey, The Pines combine roots, blues and indie-rock to create a raw, haunting sound that is inventive and compelling."

They played 2 amazing sets, each time playing for awhile and then inviting Richie to join them and the combination was perfect. I will remember this performance for a long time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

back from dance camp

So I'm back in the studio after 2 blissful weeks at DNE dance camp in Poland Spring, Maine. My family is part of a group called Dance New England. Each year 450 folks form a kind of intentional community focusing on a common love dance. As you can imagine, where there is dance, there is MUSIC!
At dance camp I get exposed to a lot of music that I don't often see at Wilburland. Each evening at camp there is a big freestyle dance, with excellent DJs from various major New England cities spinning amazing dance and club tunes. Some of the stuff they play is pretty awesome and they can spin a room full of dancers into a frenzy or lay them on the floor depending on how and when they play various tunes. A good DJ will "read the floor" and really tune  into the dancers, and they in turn feed the becomes a big symbiotic relationship and is cool to watch.
Well that's all for now. More soon!