Thursday, March 09, 2006

Yes, Virginia, there are songs there.

Monday, March 6. Day whatever.

Charlie and Celia, Charlie and Celia, Charlie and Celia…hm, I suddenly feel like singing Hava Nagila.

C & S were back in the studio. Charlie put down a sweet little mandolin part on She Knows God. He’s practically never played the mandolin before but, musician that he is, came through with flying colors (whatever those are). The part is sweet and nice and pretty and well played. Thank you, Charlie.

At the end of the day, Celia, Charlie and David put down some beautiful backing vocals for Metaphor, and Celia did some solo backing vocals for Every Step a Prayer.

Ed Ridley came in for a session first thing in the morning to start his keyboard parts. Ed is one of the best keyboard players anywhere. He just finished a run of “Love, Janis” at the Hanna Theater. He’s played with Aretha Franklin. We started putting down organ parts on some songs. When I say “organ,” think Wallflowers, not Bach. The studio has a Hammond C3 with a Leslie speaker. Ed did a great little part on Metaphor. That one’s just about done except for the keeper vocal.

The middle of the day was fun. It probably the first time I really had fun in the studio. We recorded the bonus track. Yes, you heard it here first: there will be a bonus track. That makes 13 songs for the price of twelve! And we did it live. Just like the old days. Like in the days of Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. We all set up live in the studio and recorded “Carry That Rock.” I played guitar and sang, Celia played banjo, Charlie played mandolin, Ed played piano, David played bass and Michael Seifert sat in on drums. It’s an old-timey kind of song. Sort of a sequel to Hallelujah Land (the song).

I came away from the day very excited and with a rough mix of three of the songs. Troy Dexter, producer, arranger, engineer and musician on Hallelujah Land, gave me some advice as I was leaving California with a rough mix of the record in my hands. He said, “Don’t fall in love with the rough mix.” Troy was left to do the final mix by himself and did a masterful, wonderful job. But I listened to the rough mix so much and so often that I did “fall in love” with it. That is, I got used to it. The final mix sounded strange to me. Now, of course, It’s just about perfect, but there was a reacquaintance period. This time I’ll be much more involved with final mix.

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