Studio Updates

Spent the weekend recording with Josh Harty at Studio 23 here in Madison. This was the second time I've recorded with Josh, the last time was a humorous disaster one weekend in Minneapolis. Ask me about it sometime. The session went much more smoothly this time around. Mark Hisey of the Selfish Gene and Joe Martinson of Auburn were the rhythm section this time around.

Friday night we all setup late, rehearsed and did a couple of takes of one tune, "One Particular Day In December". These takes were discarded the next day after changing some mics on the drums. Saturday we got a late start due to a flat tire, but we managed to get all the bass and drum takes that day. Josh had a bit of a meltdown when it came to recording his tune, "Which Way I Go". The tune is probably his most commercial, which of course doesn't sit well with him. We tracked two versions, one was a New Orleans-type shuffle, the other a slightly slower reading of the version he does live currently. Otherwise, the Saturday went down without a hitch.

Sunday I tracked both rhythm and lead guitars. Takes went pretty quickly. In fact I was able to do a few in one take which is a bit of an ego trip for musicians. One tune, which I only know by the name "Letter", wound up with a completly different guitar part than the one I've been performing with Josh live. I normally play a baiĆ£o rhythm for the verses and a Scofield-in-Cuba type solo. What wound up going down was more of a detuned Dick Dale type single note line through the whole tune, including the solo. I'm really excited to hear how it turns out in the mix! Other hightlights were the solo on "Empire Bar" which gave me chills, and the banjo on "One Particular Day In December" (a one-take affair!).

I'm really excited to hear this record once it's done. I think the group did a great job of interpreting Josh's vision for each tune and for the record as a whole. I also have to mention the engineer, Jeff, who was really efficient, laid-back and helpful all around. The studio itself was a joy to work in. It's a very creative space with a buch of old broken down instruments strewn about in a couple of rooms that look like a well used artist's studio. Jeff has a great approach to getting sounds and performances out of people. I think that if I can get Tank! back up and running this summer, I'll probably work with him to record. A great experience all around this weekend.

The record is slated to be released on or before July 1st. Look for it in stores, on the internet, and if Josh remembers, at gigs. It promises to be a great record!

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