Sunday, November 30, 2003

I'm just about to button up the studio and head home. I've spent the past two days mixing Eileen Faxas' latest four songs, and I'm exhausted but very happy. Rainel Pino showed up in the nick of time, and kept me from making some typical 'white boy' mistakes in my percussion mix. Eileen is happy, and we master tomorrow (talk about tight schedules!). Look for a post on the Soundboard tomorrow night.

Now it's to the house where I have to wrestle a full size freezer to the curb for heavy trash pickup in the morning.....

(Goddess and Sarah Sharp are up this week, and both sessions should be great--including a string session for Sarah's song 'Be Still' on Saturday, 12/6. Look for pictures and sound bytes!)



Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I'm just about finished with the edits for Eileen Faxas' songs and I am super pumped at how they are turning out. I'll be mixing on the Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving, so while most of the world is sleeping off their MSG & table wine overloads, I'll be doing the deal in SugarHill's Studio A. Rainel Pino has done a superb job playing and arranging. Eileen's vocal performance, and indeed, her songwriting, have matured very quickly in the past year. The happy dilemma will be sequencing her new material with her stuff cut a year ago in a fashion that flatters the earlier material and doesn't simply overshadow it. (I've got some ideas already). As reported here before, on Eileen's sessions, the exec, Jorge, doesn't let us go unfed. So mixing will GREAT (right Jorge?).

Now, many of you continue to wonder at my relative silence regarding Sarah Sharp. Well, I've been sort of hedging my bets that it was going to keep going well, and I did NOT want to 'queer the deal' by continuing to report how incredible she, her band, and Kevin Ryan have been doing. Also, I had run out of hyperbolic superlatives a long time ago. Now the gloves are coming off. I'm going to throw caution to the wind and report that we cut 4 lead vocals in one 5 hour session(!x500) This has NEVER happened to me before. Kevin's arrangements are so baddass that Sarah is moved to sing her absolute best. Again, I find myself sort of sitting back and letting these two do their thing--any shine on my part is usually just their good work reflecting off of me!!

We're off to record more vocals today, and perhaps a guitar part as well.

Don't eat too much!!!


Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Howdy everybody�Logan here with another exciting edition of THE LOG. Coming to you from the cave at SugarHill Studios. We are having an exciting week around here, lots of stuff going on that I�d like to tell you about but where to begin..

OK, yesterday I power shopped the Galleria with Mark from Mark Needs A Chick to find some cool threads for their upcoming photo shoot. We managed to get the swanky M Bar downtown to give us the use of their fine facility for the purpose of capturing these guys on film. We are entrusting the vibe to the very talented photographer Hank Schyma who is also frontman for the groovy band Southern Backtones. It will be a great experience for all and I can�t wait to see the end results!

Dan got a new Pale song from Calvin yesterday and, of course, it is rockin�. Man, if you haven�t heard these guys yet�do yourself a favor.. There is talk of Pale heading to New York to showcase in the New Year!!! We�ll keep you posted.

Sunday we hosted the Panel Dinner at Sugarhill for the Demo Contest. It was a long night of judging but we were definitely in good company. Unfortunately the torrential downpour and tornadic activity of Monday forced the actual contest to be cancelled. I couldn�t help feeling really sorry for all those artists driving in from around Texas only to show up at a desolate Engine Room. Hopefully NARAS will reschedule the event, as the panel and discussion would be the most educational part!

Well, I�m off for now!!! Nothing else to blurb�or blog�or whatever! Ha.

I've returned from my motorcycle trip, which was wet, but wonderful!

Since my return I have:

Finished a mix for Solange Knowles, for Music World Music and Sony.

Judged the Texas Songwriters Demo contest for NARAS (the Grammy organization).

Cut some incredible basic tracks with Sarah Sharp's band.


Now I'm off to cut vocals for the group, Goddess.

I'll fill in the blanks when I get a moment!



Monday, November 10, 2003

MUST..... CONTINUE.......... TO... BLOGG.....

OK, tonight I just finished tracking vocals with Eileen Faxas. Rainel Pino helped with the vocal production chores and it went really well. I am still astounded with Eileen's ability to sing for 8 hours at a time and sound consistantly good, with very little 'vocal quality drift'.

I saw Tony Endieveri today and he chastised me for not writing lately, (and he's right), so here I am doing the deal after a 13 hour day.

This morning I got here early to finish listening to the demos sent to me to consider for the finals of the NARAS Demo Contest. I had to pick three songs out of a field of 45 to consider with the other judges next Sunday. This has been very hard because there was a pretty high percentage of good recordings. Mostly, I was impressed with the musicianship. The songcraft, (lyrics, arrangement), seemed average overall, and the quality of the recording was pretty iffy. The winner gets a bunch of studio time, and mastering and duplication. SugarHill Studios donated the grand prize, so I hope whoever wins tears it up in the studio.

Yes, I did hear some of my, and my co-worker's music, but I voted my conscious. (You figure it out). All of the submissions were anonymous so I didn't know who anyone was, (besides the few I recognized), and I liked that part of it. It really allowed me to focus on the music.

I also turned in my latest mixes for Solange Knowles. I should be hearing from Music World Music tomorrow re: approval.

Tomorrow I rehearse with Dreadneck, and then I'm off to ride motorcycles with my Dad, and brother Bill in the Texas Hill Country for a few days. I promise to keep writing when I get back.



Friday, November 07, 2003

Tonight I have vocal pre-production with the Goddess frontwomen; Brittany and Sheryl. The Goddess tracking sessions went really great with Brad the drummer getting the MVP award. Robbie Parrish did a fantastic job of getting our drums sounding great, and Al made the guitars sound very good. We had to do the basic tracks without Tushar, (bassist), but Al and Brad kept the song energy high throughout the process. When Tushar played his parts on overdub day, he filled in the blank as if he was laying it down with the band cooking live right along with him. Special thanks to the piano player from Houston's Drop Trio, Ian Varley. Our engineer, John Griffin recommended him at the last minute to cover a piano part that a song 'suddenly suggested', and BAM, in walks Ian 45 minutes after the call. Fourty five minutes after that, he was out the door, we were picking our jaws off the floor, and we had a great piano part.

Now all that I have to do is get some great vocals recorded, and maybe do a few extra parts myself, (although I am unsure as to what I want to add,..... I'm starting to get a few ideas. George Harrison is going to be my mentor on these parts).

Eileen Faxas' tracking sessions went INCREDIBLY well, and my thanks goes out to Rainel Pino, the 'Professor of Percussion' from the Havana Conservatory of Music. Rainel is best known for being an incredible jazz pianist, but he played percussion and the drum kit as well for this gig, along with doing the arrangements, and conducting the horn parts. This project just keeps exceeding my expectations. It's really good to be working with such talented people. Eileen recorded her first day of vocals this week, and she did really great. I sang her for the full 8 hours and she never complained!

I am evaluating three new artists; Winter Roberts-- a young lady from Houston, who has phenomenal singing skills and looks to be a good lyricist as well, Kendal Triplett-- a contemporary Christian singer songwriter from Arkansas who has a great old school R&B vibe, and Bianca, a contemporary R&B-ish singer songwriter from Hendersonville, TN. I am really honored to have such great opportunities to choose from. I'll keep you posted on the progress of these potential projects.

I confirmed the string section I am cutting for Sarah Sharp's next record. I'm super excited as band tracking and vocal tracking are just a few weeks away. In many ways, this has been the most involved project I have ever done. The teamwork between Sarah, Kevin Ryan, and myself has been SUPER rewarding. OH YEAH, we tracked a drum sampling session with Kevin, Steve Christensen, Robbie Parrish and myself last week--ostensibly to create sampled kits for Kevin to use for some of the songs he is creating with Sarah. It was the BOMB! Everyone on the session donated their time, and the results were some stunning 'in your face, old(er) school drum sounds. Kevin was pleased, and we all had a great time.

I had the opportunity to mix a song written and performed by Beyonce's sister, Solange Knowles. I'll be finishing the final mix this weekend with some help from keyboardist, Rick Thompson, from Moses Guest. I've been in Moses Guest withdrawal lately, so it must be time to go see them live. Most of you know that MG has a special place in my heart and these guys are busy trying to scare up a record deal. I cannot BELIEVE that they haven't been signed yet. They are stunning live, they groove hard, and their songwriting and lyrics are smart and accessible. If you are an A&R rep reading this, LOOK AT THIS BAND SOON!!!! They are going somewhere.

Sorry to be so long between blogs...... life has just swept me away. (I'll be back soon).