Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hurricane Rita: We Dodged the Bullet

Well, there was quite a bit of controlled drama at SHRS this past week. Turns out that those of us who evacuated for hurricane Rita faired far worse than we who decided to stay.

We spent the days leading up to the storm securing our gear, but most importantly, securing all our tapes, media and data. FYI: audio tape can be dried out and cleaned. I once did a session on a reel of 2" tape that had sat in an abandoned car for seven years. The auto in question was a convertable!!! The box was a mildewed, wrinkled mess. I had to clean the machine constantly, but I DID get the session transferrred to clean tape and continued on. The music sucked, by the way. Had it stayed hidden, the world probably would have done ok.

Securing binary info; hard drives, digital tape, and dvd backups require a lot more TLC. We put all of our that stuff in water resistant plastic containers (they are supposed to be water proof, but what does that mean in a storm?).

We busied ourselves, covering all of our gear with plastic in case one of our 5 buildings lost a roof (or two). Turns out that we didn't even get a half inch of rain.

We took great care with the microphones. Our visiting/family producers all have gear here. We did our mighty-best to protect it all.

There are still six more weeks until the end of hurricane season,..... I guess that we know how to do it now!

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Thanks, Radio Mike!

Mike introduced me to Maggie Walters last spring, and today marked the day we embarked on doing two songs together, "Cowboy" and "Leaving". Both are moving, spiritual songs, and we go great basic tracks (piano, guitar, and scratch vocals).
Maggie was super patient, and we took the time to make it right. I took a lot of pictures:

Friday, September 16, 2005

Essential Sound Mastering

I'm going to do my part for our sister business, Essential Sound. Allen Corneau and Ashley Perry man the fort at Houston's only dedicated mastering facility. Ashley books the jobs, handles artwork coordination and duplication, and Allen is the talent back in the studio.

I've sung their praises here before, but I want to make sure that Allen & Ashley, and Essential Sound get their due. Allen has been pulling work away from some of the largest mastering houses in Texas, and has continued to win my favor over some very stiff competition. Call them up at (713) 785-6479, and talk to the A Team, or click on the title of this post for their website.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Jennifer Grassman/Jacque Jones

I'm doing preproduction with Jennifer Grassman at her home. We are embarking on a very cool project where Jennifer is reinterpreting 15th-19th century Christmas carols. The picture is of my assistant for the session (and moi)-- my daughter, Joe Ann. She was our protools operator, and she didn't miss a punch! We start recording piano and vocals in a couple of weeks and I am very pleased with Jennifer's work so far. This is going to be a very hip sounding project..... Jennifer and I are both passionate about the songs, and we want them to really speak to a modern audience. More will be revealed!

On another note, super sideman/producer Eric Jarvis joined Jacque Jones and I to help out with the song I have been writing with Jacque. His contribution was, immediate, solid, and opened a host of new possibilites. Now all I have to do is write two more verses and a bridge.

Work has begun on more Southern Backtones songs, and that is worthy of a whole 'nother post. Let's just say that the performances and sounds have been very, very high quality and that Hank Schyma, and John Griffin have been keeping Steve and I quite busy with all the new ideas. Todd's drums were VERY cool. We wanted a really huge sound, and Todd delivered by cutting the cymbals separately from the rest of the kit. This is a neat trick that I first heard about Sam Taylor using when cutting drums for King's X. Todd is one of the few drummers that could pull it off. Way to go TODD!