An interesting tune came in this afternoon and since I’m charting a few songs now as I write this, I’ve added it to the upcoming session.
It’s for songwriter Michael Jackson but I’m relatively sure he’s not the same guy who wrote Billie Jean and was a member of the Jackson 5. But then again they say Elvis is still alive and singing somewhere…who really knows? Michael, if you send a pic and you’re wearing a single white glove it’ll freak me out a little, that’s for sure.
Anyway I find it very cool and intriguing that this is one of those rare finds that could be translated in several radically disparate styles, and even more so that Michael has given me permission to go any direction I wish, even though I mentioned Little Feat, Train’s Hey, Soul Sister and Johnny Cash as possibilities. Wow!
Update: The song is charted and we’re ready to begin tracking on it this coming Tuesday. There’s no doubt it’s going to be a dramatic transformation from rough to polished demo. I’m excited!
Kerry McFate will be taking his flight back to New York City tomorrow morning just thrilled with the experience at Nashville Trax and stoked about the way the songs came out.
“Bill, I’m blown away, I can’t thank you and your team enough for taking the songs I brought in, mere kernels really, and growing them into these fabulous recordings!” Kerry exclaimed as we parted.
He’ll be the first to admit he’s not a highly skilled singer technically, but he has a great voice and with do-over punch-ins, plus a little help from software, reverb, delay and EQ, his strong baritone, (which has shades of deep register country singers like Hank Williams Jr., Johnny Cash and Jamey Johnson) sounds just great, even better than he expected. He also played his own Taylor acoustic guitar and those tracks mixed in, no problem.
Fiddle and steel guitar are featured throughout, which Kerry requested when we first discussed the project, and sound super, thanks to the contributions of my favorite calls on both of those instruments, Wanda Vick on fiddle and Mike Douchette on pedal steel.
The mixes are finished on all three songs, which Kerry intends to release on CD under his fictitious Clarence Lowden name.
Kerry has the stereo mix .wav files as well as the (Pro Tools) session files on his hard drive. That’s actually the 8th or 9th copy of all files on 4 different drives because at Nashville Trax we meticulously back up on external hard drives in rotation at each stage of the recording process: After each song is tracked, after each overdub musician or singer completes their parts, and of course, after the final mix.
With these first few tunes I think we were able to define a direction and create a unique sound for Kerry that can be explored even further as the album is completed- b.e. watson