Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Last night I did make sushi dinner with Austin producer/musician, Carlos Sosa. When I got to the resturant, Carlos had brought Austin bass legend, Bruce Hughes, who was playing that night with Carlos in Bob Schnieder's band.

If you are able, check out Bruce's other killer band, The Resentments. They have a standing gig every Sunday night at The Saxon Pub.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I don't do this very often, but I had an early morning rehearsal, (11am), with The Handsomes this morning. They were pretty much set up and ready to go at 11, which is nothing short of amazing. Our rehearsal and palaver went very good. The Handsomes are enjoying a big surge of early band success in the SE Texas area fueled by their ska-influenced rock show which features mucho audience, (read 'girls gone wild'), participation. This band is different from other 'rave up boogie bands' in that they have tons of musical skill and band personality in reserve. It is my hope that I will be a part of capitalizing on their early spike in popularity. More will be revealed, but if you are in Texas and get a chance, go see The Handsomes.

Back to SugarHill and more vocal edits on Sarah Sharp. Next week's mix session looms closer and I am making good headway. I do this type of work well by myself, but I miss the camradery of Sarah and Kevin, et. al. being there just for the vibe and the good hang.

Tonight I will do a songwriting session with Val Holler. Val and I met once and seemed to be on the same wavelength. Tonight will further that relationship. Finally, I'm going to have sushi with Austin producer/musician, Carlos Sosa. Carlos and I met at a NARAS panel event in Houston last month. I've been introduced to his work, and I'm really impressed with his horn arranging and producing skills.



Monday, December 29, 2003

I'm sitting at my desk, littered with coffee cups, Christmas cards, (thank you!), and TONS of CD's and EPK submissions to listen to. The first of the year is bringing me more production opportunities than I would have ever imagined possible. Logan is online with the epk stuff (electronic press kits -- pretty cool, check out, and I am listening to 3 Left Standing, The Googe, Liz Pappademas, Kendall Triplett, Val Holler, and Sound Breaking Ground.

I am in the middle of editing Sarah Sharp's vocals in prep. for next weeks mix-fest. While I have been working, Kevin Ryan has reinvented himself (yet again) to become our CD title, and graphic imagery guru. It is just SO handy having a renaissance guy hanging around. Kevin and Sarah have been shopping around for mastering opportunities.

My plans for the week are to finish my edits and load in the final tracks that Kevin has been tweaking.

On a different note, my brother Bill Workman took me flying in his new plane, a Cirrus SR-22 for you propeller heads, on Christmas Eve. This turned out to be my coolest and certainly most spontaneous Christmas present. We flew over Houston and I almost was able to see my own house in the Heights, but at the last minute, Bill requested a photo of the downtown skyline, so he's going to have to take me up again so I can spot it.

Monday, December 22, 2003

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Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I'm resisting the urge to simply audioblogg because I'm a bit tired. Buffalo Speedway, (Sarah Sharp's guitarist) wore me out today. He played parts on 7 songs, and did fantastic as usual.

I haven't had the chance to update the log re: the NARAS panel I served on here in Houston last Sunday, but it was a lot of fun and I met some great artists including Liz Pappademas from Austin, Junior (a band) from Austin (? -- sorry if I have it wrong, guys), and John Pointer (singer songwriter from Austin). I also got to hang briefly with producer Carlos Sosa who gave me an incredible CD he did for Warner/Curb records entitled, 'Salvador con Podor',.. sort of a progressive latin horn band. The CD is truly incredible.

OK, I'm out before I start writing illegibly.



Friday, December 12, 2003

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Thursday, December 11, 2003

OK,.... I'm coming up for air. We have finished all of the vocals for Sarah Sharp's record, and now I get to do a bit of editing. Working on Sarah's vocal tracks is always really cool and pretty effortless because I'm not trying to make her sound good -- she already sounds great. Instead, I edit for content and vibe.... putting her best perfomances together in a way that maximizes the impact of the song.

On a tech note, we ended up using Kevin Ryan's Neumann TLM 103 mic, and his Pendulum mic pre/eq/compressor on Sarah's vocals. The combination sounded really warm, present, flattering, and 'up front'. Even more interesting is that we cut most of the lead vocals with no headphones. Instead, we set up small powered monitors in an equalateral triangle with the mike. By setting the monitors out of phase, much of the bleed that arrives at the back of the mic gets cancelled out, or at least significantly minimized. This enabled Sarah to really work the song instead of getting too interested in how she was sounding in the headphones. Sarah is quite capable in the phones, but this was really liberating. (Thanks for the suggestion, Kevin!).

Moving away from the technical information, I am forced back to the super uncomfortable subject de jure: How incredible this project sounds. Have I said that this CD is going to be incredible? Have I totally leached the meaning of the word 'incredible' away with my hyperbolic reports of how great it has been working on this project? Have I?!!!! Well, it's true. Ok. No more about that.

On other fronts, Eileen Faxas' CD is already getting attention from the Houston Press. Editor John Lomax is making inquiry as to her press info.

The Goddess recordings are almost ready to mix. Brittany and Sheryl sang some more last Sunday, and Al and I are going to have one more overdub day. Then we mix on 12/28.

Finally, I have been approached about doing some songs with The Southern Backtones in the spring. I am VERY pumped about this. I have had a lot of positive feedback about their song that I posted on the soundboard earlier this year ('Talk to Me'). Pale want to do a couple of more songs.....Logan tells me that they are headed to New York in February for a show. Finally, I am thinking about doing a song with a really cool young lady named Winter Roberts. She is a killer singer who has a knack for writing some really cool 'thinking man's lyrics'. I'm hoping to get Kevin on board for the job. I am talking with a rock band called 'Sound Breaking Ground' about doing a few songs. They are somewhat metalic in their sound, (Logan really likes them). I am also talking with a band named 'The Googe' (really), and a band named 'Three Left Standing'. I have rehearsals scheduled with both bands. Finally, I am still hoping to get to work with Laura Stephens, and Kevin Ryan has made a comment or two about my getting to work with him on some of his personal material (heck yeah!).



Saturday, December 06, 2003

I awoke to a clear cold (rare) day in Houston. My first thoughts were about recording a string section for Sarah Sharp's new CD. I had seen the score penned by Kevin Ryan, and I knew how good the songs sounded already. I knew that we had my partner, Andy Bradley, engineering, so everything was going to sound sweet. So I went back to sleep! Usually, I am a nervous nellie before recording strings, but today I just knew it would be ok. And I was dead right! Not only did we get the strings recorded for the song, 'Be Still', but we were able to get strings cut on the end of a song entitled, 'Encounter' as well. Kevin had the forsight to bring the score just in case, and we got it done with ten minutes to spare.

It just doesn't get any better than this. After the session, Kevin, Sarah, and I reviewed our remaining studio dates to make sure we have all of our bases covered. We have two more days of vocal recording to do, then two more days of instrumental overdubs in the form of guitars, B3 organ, and a bit of 'we'll figure it out when inspiration strikes' type stuff. Maybe Kevin will 'play' a plastic garbage can full of wood again, but we will need to get studio Operations Manager Tim Wehrly to contribute to the mix on that.

Sarah's guitarist, Buffalo Speedway, (not his real name?), won the award for most valuable player last week when we recorded the solo acoustic guitar that we put strings on today, ('Be Still'). We spent over four hours, and went through two different guitars before we started to get the sound we were looking for. It was SUPER difficult because the part was very 'hyped up'.....ANY extraneous noise, such as clothing rubbing on the guitar, fret noise, string buzz, and yes, NOSE NOISE just ruined the sound. Finally, we controlled all but the nose noise, so Buffalo STUFFED WADS OF KLEENEX UP HIS NOSTRILS, LEAVING HUGE WADS OF TISSUE IN FRONT OF HIS FACE WHILE HE PLAYED HIS PART FOR OVER 45 MINUTES. You can only imagine the mirth in the control room as we watched Buffalo acclimate to having his schnoz stuffed.

Cool thing is, it worked flawlessly, and we got a super beautiful part.

I'm going home a happy man!!!