Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Live from SugarHill featuring Robert Ellis

Live from SugarHill: Robert Ellis from Dan Workman on Vimeo.

We've started a new radio/television show, broadcast live on the internet from SugarHill's legendary Studio A. The show is built around how actual recording sessions are run, but with a live performance imperative. We had our first show last month. Here's a clip of Robert Ellis performing. Our next live broadcast will be on Feb. 5th. I'll post the link and times later in January.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Repurposing Old CD's

Before I update, you need to click on this link (be sure and come back for you 'non-tabbed' browser folk!) and see how one enterprising soul is using a record cutting lathe to scribe music on old CD's--WHICH CAN THEN BE PLAYED AS 45's!!!!! I'm sure that the sound quality is not all that great, but this is just way too cool. Sort of the inverse of the little black CD's that are printed to look like a 45 RPM 7" single.

BIG NEWS: For those of you that know my work, you might be surprised to learn that I have been in cahoots with Jaime 'Pain' Ortiz, producing, engineering and playing for Dope House Records. Working with Pain, Slip, Shadow, Carolyn, and Arthur is shaping up to be an amazing experience. I'll post more about what, exactly, we're up to, but suffice it to say that all of my previous experiences working in the rap world (like, both of them) have been far surpassed by this amazing collaboration. More Will Be Revealed.

Rich Whiting and I finished our last two songs for Christian song writer, Susan Goforth. The songs, which were to be demos, have turned out to be full on finished product. Susan gave us a lot of latitude, and as a result, Rich and I had a blast arranging and performing the songs. In an uncanny twist of fate, I actually did a Zappa-esque RAP on the song, 'Spill It'. Is my world changing, or what??!!! Susan will be moving with her husband to the northeast. We hope to have some internet collaboration when she gets settled down.

I am involved in more than the rap scene. I've played Casio SK-1 parts for Eric Jarvis' client, Scott Spencer. Scott is a songwriter doing some innovative, rocking singer songwriter work. Eric trusted me to slather some SK-1 sauce on a few of Scott's songs. Eric claims to have been moved to the brink of tears by one of my parts--I hope that he regains his emotional balance soon, but appreciate the love-returned.

Rich Whiting and I will be recording vocals and some other overdubs on Jake Dalton's trio of tunes that we are currently working on. Jake is an amazing songwriter who, like Susan Goforth, has trusted us, mightily, to arrange and record his tunes. Seems like forever since our last arrangement meeting. I can't wait to get my hands on the tracks.

I've been mixing songs for LA songwriter/producer, Owen Thomas, on tunes for Mateo, and Pete Loughran. Owen has a penchant for infectious hooks and killer bridges. I've long admired his songs, and I'm honored to be playing parts and mixing for him.

Steve Christensen mixed Sarah Sharp's EP in time for an iTunes release during SXSW. Sarah was just at SugarHill doing the final vocals to complete the rest of the album. Sarah is pregnant with her daughter, Stella. She and Stella sang really well, and now I just need to comp the vocals and book a mix date. ALMOST DONE!

My work on Winter Wallace's CD continues. We have three, sweet songs in the bag. We are getting ready to cut violin and lead vocals. Everyone that knows of Winter's music, knows that she has something special going on. What I really need is about a week of continuous studio to finish her project. By the way, I got to play bass on these songs!!! I'm known as 'the bass monster' because my parts are all distorty-aggressive, but her songs are so freakin' beautiful. Beauty and the Beast. Sort of an inverse of my roll in my work with Pain Ortiz.

Today I start basic tracks on Jennifer Grassman's next CD. We'll be recording piano this afternoon. Jennifer has done well with our last effort, Keep Silent .
I don't plan to arrange and play on all of the songs on this next CD, but I'm sure that there is no way that I'm going to be able to pass on the opportunity to play on her songs. She is a magical performer, and I most definitely have the 'Jennifer Receptor Site' in my brain. I'm honored, as always, to be her producer and collaborator.