Friday, September 28, 2007

Mission Accomplished

I'm here to report that our spanking mission was successful.

But first we got a lot of work done.

  • We met Stuart Duncan at the studio at 10 am. Like most of the other folks I've met in the bluegrass/country world of great players, he is humble, humorous, and cares about the music that he's making. It would be easy for guys like that to breeze in, wow us with some licks, and collect their money. He only played on one song, but he indulged our pickiness and was concerned about getting it right. Then he acted in another soon-to-be Oscar-nominated short film.

  • We ate lunch at a place called Stroud's Barbecue. The Friday special at Stroud's is barbecue nachos: pulled pork, white cheese sauce, baked beans, and tortilla chips. I needed a nap at about three this afternoon.

  • After lunch we set to work on the guitars for "All Things New". The astute reader of this blog will remember that we recorded guitars for this song weeks ago. Why would we need to repeat the process? It's because the song wasn't right. We were nearly finished with it and something about it was falling flat. I kept thinking, while listening to it, that there was no musical hook--there was nothing for me to hang my hat on. Jeff Taylor, Irishy player extraordinaire, played some Irish whistle on the old version of the song, and that gave us the idea to try and give the song a sort of jig. Ben worked something up, I took it home over the weekend and learned it on the guitar, and realized that the song needed it and that the song needed to be in the key of D instead of C. That put the chorus out of my vocal range, which meant rewriting the melody of the chorus. Basically, we had to start the song from scratch, something we didn't do lightly as far along as we were in the process. We were able to keep Eckberg's drums, but we'll have to re-record the bass. Today Gully got a workout, learning the jig in two different guitar tunings and on the mandolin. After he played his parts Ben added some tambourine, then I sang a new lead vocal in the new key. At the end of the day we basically had a brand new song.
  • Gully set up the camera while Ben packed his bag. He pushed record, I grabbed Ben and pulled him down, and we gave him roughly 28 violent smacks.
It was a good day. Those of you waiting patiently for videos will be rewarded soon. Have a great weekend.



Rebekah said...

My first thought about the re-do of "All Things New" was: Oh, goody, something for an upcoming appendix! ;)

Keep that version around, 'cause some of us are going to pay good money to hear it someday.

Glad to know the attack on Ben went well (???). That's the best I could come up with...not sure what to say about that! ;)


rednk-n-eurp said...

So with a seasoned studio musician like Stuart - who's parts on L&T are awesome - do you write out a specific part or just let him make up his own? Perhaps a little of both?

ps. The attack on Ben sounds like the annual ritual me and my sibs use to spring on each other on our lucky days. The mob would always find you if you hid.