Friday, May 27, 2005

Three Songs Done for Yamisse

I'm home, tired,.... totally baked, actually, but satisfied. Day two (out of three) mixing the song, "Sometimes" really became a chore. The session file was corrupted and we had to reboot way, way too many times. We got the song, and I suspect that it is better than I feel about it at the moment. Steve and I had to stay way too much in the 'technical' side of the mix process. Listening to that song on the way home, however, revealed that we had done a much better job than I had thought. The fight with the computer just colored our perceptions, (and wore us out).

Today's song went great, and the computer percolated along, fat, dumb, and happy. Ralz got to help out with the mixing chores, and his imput was welcome. Steve nailed the low end with a couple of new tricks. Props to the Bama Boys who wrote and recorded our instrumental tracks. They were kickin' and the sounds were very, very good.

Here's the highlights reel of the sessions:

Here's Steve, myself, and Ralz. Tired but happy:

A couple of shots of Yamisse at the mic (U47), and at the console on Mix Day 1:

Ralz calling the shot:

Yamisse's little brother, Harold the Third came to visit. He looks like he's ready for the producer's chair, himself!

I'm out for tonight.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Mixing Yamisse/Alico/Logan/Devon

I'm sitting here in SugarHill's studio A, mixing Yamisse's three songs with mix engineer, Steve Christensen, and my co-producer, Ralz Mathias. I've got the headphones on & it's pumping. We did things a bit different for this mix and started with the vocals. I did the eq's and compression/limiting on the vocals BEFORE we started working on the instruments. This (we think) will allow Steve to sock the instruments in around the vocal better, and possibly give us a more cohesive mix. So far, I think that it's working. Sound like a fkn BRICK on the low end. Mostly, It's just cool to be able to hear the vocals in context when you are roughing in the instrumental mix.

While I'm waitin on my turn at the console I can bring everyone up to date on what's up. I'm working on signing on to do a three-five song job for Austin singer song writer, Chelle Murrey!! Woot! Chelle and I have been courting for a long time, and I'm really eager to dig in on her songs. She can sing, write and play very well, so I'll be really happy. I'm also talking to Austinite, Maggie Walters. Her 3 song demo came to me via Mike Perazzetti--whose radio show and internet podcasts are at the very top of the game --The Fevered Brain of Radio Mike. Maggie is a very mature songwriter. Her lyrics are augmented with some really nice melodic ideas.

My dear friend, Mark Ellis, of Mark Needs a Chick (RIP) and late of ALICO came to visit while he was in Houston, (along with his friend, Shannon--'Hi Shannon!'). Alico is up for two US tours, and a tour of Japan at the end of '05. Cripes! Can I go too? Mark is letting me in on some Alico songwriting chores. I'm slated to start next week. Very Cool. Mark is sporting new ink on his right arm.

We had some fun on the SugarHill lawn:

Shannon had a killer Cadillac belt buckle:

(Steve just made a mix move that made my hair stand on end)

Logan is busy. I just thought I'd tell you that. Yeah, she's busy all right. Force 'o nature busy. I mean! She's a-concentrating. Yeah. She's working it. One of a kind. Gotta love that Logan.

We just hired Devon full time. Go Devon!!!!!!!

I talked to Sarah Sharp who is back from her US/European tour for 8 days before she jets out to LA to play at The Mint. Kevin Ryan is going with her and is going to make a (to my knowledge, rare) appearance with her live. Go Kevin! Sarah is still stoked from her international tour.

OK,... just about my turn at the board.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

After editing Yamisse's vocals, I met with John Evans about starting a producer manager company. Basically, we would front office productions for other producers. John Evans, and John Griffin would be our guinea pigs. John didn't turn down the free lunch to talk about it, so we might try it out soon. I'm pumped! I have been approached by producer managers over the years, but I never found the right one. Now, I have Logan and Devon, who kick major ass as my support team (along with running another whole division of the company). Soon we might have another hand in the game!

Christine Wu and I met to do an arranging session for our performance art piece. I am really enjoying working with 'Wu'. She has a great personality, and is hyper talented. Happy Day!

Modern day arranging session:

Monday, May 16, 2005


I wish got you a GrammY:

(From today's email to Hank of the Southern Backtones)

Dear Hank,

Congratulations! As a result of some very enthusiastic reviews from members, "Everything" will be Track of the Day at

For 24 hours on Friday, the 20th of May, 2005 (PST) "Everything" will be featured on's Modern Rock front page.

We'd be thrilled if you would log in on Friday and support our boys!

This weekend, I am playing with Houston singer/songwriter, Kenneth Scott Peters. Kenneth is one of the more talented male singer songwriters I have ever heard. His voice, and his arrangements are memorable and compelling. He's also a very good acoustic and electric guitarist. I'll be playing lead guitar, and I'll be joined with a very special group of musicians: Andrew Amelang on bass, his wife Cheryl on keys, and Andrew's oldest son, John, on drums. This is a very heavy rhythm section, so don't let any thoughts of throw-down nepotism even cross your mind! Here's the invitation. I promise the show will be impressive and memorable. I had to take pictures of the invitations to post here,..... they really look a LOT cooler than this.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Yamisse Vocals, Strange Attractions, and New Projects

Work proceeds apace on Yamisse's 3 song demo. We finished our second day of vocals yesterday, and are going to close it out on song 3 today. Yamisse is really starting to step up to the plate. She has entered the game at the top level and I think that she is starting to see ALL the possibilities of her voice. I can't wait to get into the studio with her today. It's a real privilege to see a young artist start to get it.
I have some pics to post of our vocal session, but alas!... they are in my camera and not on the comp.... so more later.

I did more song writing pre production with Erika Anderson on Thursday. I was woefully unprepared for our meeting, so we did some deep background on the song we are co-writing: "Not My Fault". As before, I really enjoyed Erika's vibe, and her willingness to jump into the deep end of her life and bring back some intense experiences to prime the song-writing pump.

Erika has a gah-ROO-vey purse with a big 'E' on it. Pictures were very necessary:

While we taking photos, Koffee (I hope I'm spelling this right) was leaving the studio with producer, Tahl, after mixing some really good songs with Steve Christensen. I noticed that HER purse was awesome as well (what's up with the purse sightings?). I had the camera, so I did what came natural:

Back to work: I have projects on the back burner for Htown singer songwriter, Pete Simple, more songs for The Googe, yet another female singer, Liz Laura, and John Wedergren. I've got more stuff on the back, back burner for the Fall. I'm doing keyboard parts on a song for John Evan's new album and I am working with Christine Wu on a piece we are writing for an art performance scheduled for next Fall.

SugarHill is in the midst of our strongest promotions run ever, and we are working very hard as a result. Heba Kadry is keeping us all very busy! (Way to go, Heba).

DWMusic is entering many new territories, some of which are still top-secret, but I can mention that we are developing a series of 'ala-carte' services in the artist support/development realm.

Oh yeah, and I have a family, too!!! More will be revealed!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Yamisse, Heba, and Devon

I'm busy preparing the tracks to start tracking vocals with Yamisse Guidry on Wednesday. We have three excellent songs, and Yamisse is ready. Ralz Mathias is sharing the producer chair with me on this, and I am looking forward to working with him in this capacity. Wednesday will be a bit slow, performance-wise, with all of the microphone selection and hardware issues to work out, but I expect great things. More will be revealed.

I needed a piano part on one of the songs I am working on, and I just could not make it sound right. (Read as: I couldn't fake the part at all), so I asked SugarHill Marketing Director, Engineer, and Pianist, Heba Kadry to come help me out. She was AWESOME! Heba played piano on the Southern Backtones Record that we did last spring, and I swear I won't wait another year to have her play again.

Finally, Devon asked me to do the cutest thing this morning. She wanted me to take her picture to post for her UK boyfriend. It came out great! So all of you would-be Devon suitors, you are just going to have to BACK OFF! She likes this guy THIS MUCH:

Oh yeah! The SugarHill crew and I are all attending Tape Op Con. in June in The Big Easy. We hope to see you there!