Saturday, March 27, 2004

OK, I've neglected this column long enough. There is SO much to report, I'll probably have to revisit this with ancillary updates about the past few weeks. Here goes:

Sound Breaking Ground cut basics in SugarHill's studio B with Steve Christensen and I. This was interesting because our guitarist, Dave Raines, was out of town when we tracked. He came in a few days early and laid his parts down to a click track. I was super opposed to this idea in many different ways, not the least of which was lack of vibe. I was all set to reschedule when SBG's bassist called me and said, "what's the big deal we track without Dave all of the time". OK. Hmm. Now Chris (drums) was going to be really on the hot seat to give us the big love, and he was going to have to do it without the member of the band who was, in my judgement, the biggest influence on his playing & peace of mind. So the dates were set, Dave came in, and off we went. Robbie Parrish came in on tracking day and got the Pearl birch kit smokin' for us. Steve did his usual brilliant drum set up, and I got Michael (bass) and Channing (vox), set up in the control room. When we hit record, I was hoping Chris was going to give us 100% and he did. We got some outstanding tracks that will ultimately need only a bit of editing to be perfect. Next day we changed over to bass and Michael quit clowning around long enough to lock down some great parts. Steve hooked us up with a killer sound that was really inspirational. Michael and Chris!!!! WooooHooo. Way to go. We have a couple of weeks before we start guitars and vocals. This project is going great. Dave says he has some inspired guitar ideas (as do I, Dave).

Next on the list was SXSW. Our DWM launch party/Sarah Sharp showcase was the bomb. Around 300 people showed up for free Barbeque and drinks. It was a total schmooze fest with tons of new names and faces. I'm going to break form and not drop a thousand names, but I really enjoyed meeting Joe D'Ambrosio, Danny Kadar, Jennifer Cary, and Gil Holland. Sarah and the band performed beautifully. Two nights before the party, I got to see Sarah sing with Irish singer songwriter, Mark Geary. This was my first time to hear Mark play live, and I was really impressed. He has the rare ability to make his songs jump off the stage accompanied only by his guitar.

I came home to a hectic schedule. The next thing I knew, I was in the studio with The Southern Backtones. This has been total majic. We rehearsed a lot with this band and the payoff has been a total no-compromise record. Hell, I don't know how we could screw it up..... I know that Hank and Mike have had to do a lot of soul searching and hand wringing to give me as much control as they have, but I think we are all 'working on the same record'. One funny moment came for me yesterday when I had this great idea for a slide guitar part, and I played it, loved it, and then realized: "OMG" it was the exact same part that is on one of John Griffin's Row Zero much for innovation on my part. The part is sweet so it stays. Hank and John began the guitars yesterday. The drums, oh my, the drums!!! The drum sound is all we could have ever hoped for and more. Todd laid it down so sweet, and Stever C. coaxed new ambience out of SugarHill's Studio A. Then Mike played the coolest bass. I'm surrounded by competence and confidence. Did I mention that the songs are great?

Now I'm off to relax with the fam for a day and then go back in for some more Backtones' guitar. The Googe starts tracking next week, so I've got a lot to do! (Who booked my schedule,... oh yeah, that was me).



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