I like to have the best band possible. The problem is, musicians are busy. My goal, in Maine or anywhere else, is to have a flexible live show. If there are a group of ten great musicians in Portland, then I'd like to be comfortable performing with any combination of them. It's kind of the same at the studio in Nashville. A producer has an idea of the music is his head, and a list of musicians he can call to manifest it. My producer had his favorites. On guitar, it was Jeremy Feter. On drums and percussion: Bryan Brook.
Myself, the producer and these two musicians formed the band in the studio. They were as good as any live band I've seen or played with in Portland. We recorded all eight songs in three days, straight to tape. "Tape" is how music used to be recorded before it went digital. It gives a raw and natural tone to the recordings. We worked full, creative and efficient days.
The band left, and the studio felt empty. It was just the producer and I. We spent the day sorting through the material we had recorded the previous days. Now that we had the basic tracks to tape, everything else would be “over-dubbed”, which means recorded on top of the tape track. Jon (the producer) played organ and keyboard over most of the songs. The best live or recorded music has an immersive sound. Oftentimes, keys fill the gaps in the music. They smooth it out. They add texture. They create the world of the music. That’s what Jon did. Producers that I’ve worked with in Portland, Maine, New York and Nashville all have had skills on a keyboard. It’s the building block of musical instruments.
Friday was an exciting day. We had three of Nashville’s best string players in the studio. They were a group of talented women, two violinists and a cellist, who sounded like an orchestra. I’ve worked with the best cellist in Portland, Maine, and I love the sound of the instrument. There’s nothing like strings to add emotion to a song.