Last week I had the pleasure of recording in Nashville. It was one of the best days of my life. Will Van Dyke (my BRILLIANT writing partner) and I packed our backpacks and jumped on a plane last Friday morning. We headed down to the music capital of the country! We were off the plane at 9:45 and in the studio working by 10:15!
I had no idea what to expect going into the studio. It's very scary to present your music, concept, and sound to people that you've never even met. Will kept reassuring me that it was going to be fantastic. 'Fantastic' was a complete understatement.
The musicians that I worked with are some of the best in the business. The list included Pete Abbott on drums, Chris Donahue on bass, Gary Burnette and Pat Buchanan on guitars, and Tony Harrell on keys. Our incredible engineer, Dan Rudin, put this astounding group together for the day. We hope to keep Dan closely involved in the project as we continue. The man is brilliant and was so good to us that day.
The main focus for the day was to lay down (and essentially, create) the four original tracks we wrote for the EP. We wanted the sound to be authentic and we wanted to work with musicians who would be excited about creating these tracks with us.
We briefly talked about our first song and the guys all threw out a couple ideas on how they would approach it. I agreed that it all sounded like we were on the right track and everyone headed to their "battle stations." Although we weren't planning on using any of the vocals from the session, I still had mic set up to sing with the band and to lay down "scratch" vocals.
I put my headphones on in my booth and listened to the band play around a bit. Within minutes, Dan gave the go-ahead for the first take. I can't even begin to describe how exciting those next four minutes were for me. It was as if everything that had been brewing inside my head, instantaneously came to life. I'll admit I shed a few tears privately. I'm not sure if everyone in that studio knew how much that first take meant to me. I was stunned by the talent that I was surrounded by. I have never felt so blessed. This project has been a long time coming for me. From the fan support on Kickstarter, to hearing the music truly come together, the entire process has been very emotional.
The rest of the day went swimmingly. I am so excited to share this music with all of you. What was so fascinating about my day in that studio was how many directions we went in that I didn't even expect to go in. It's soul...it's pop...it's Otis...it's Hendrix...it's even a little country. It's not always what I expected, but it's everything that I wanted. After a full day, Will and I headed out for a quick bite with Dan, and then to our hotel for the night. The fact that we accomplished all of that in one day is mind-boggling.
We'll be tracking strings, horns, vocals, and two more songs here in New York very shortly. I need to get all of the tracking done by January because I'll be completely swamped with rehearsals then, so we are moving swiftly! I can't promise any date at this point, but I want to get this EP out to everyone by the spring. Mixing and Mastering can take time.
I have attached a short teaser clip for all of you. It isn't much, because none of it is ready to be heard yet...It's unmixed, and there is still so much more to be done! However, since most of you are helping to PRODUCE this EP, I wanted to give you all a glimpse into the process so far. The first clip is from the a cappella demo that I did on my iphone...these clips usually gets sent to Will at 2 am attached to an excited email. The second clip is from our first time playing through the song after Will (brilliant!) and I have put it down on piano. The third clip is from inside the recording studio...the band's first take.
The song is called "If Morning Can't Wait."