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
Wow! A truly fantastic day today tracking the first songs for the Kerry McFate CD at Nashville Trax. Two days of rain welcoming him to Nashville couldn’t dampen his enthusiasm that only increased as the recording progressed. Kerry ended that evening with, “Bill, this is way beyond anything I could have possibly imagined, just incredible, I’m so excited!”
Drummer David Northrup laid down fabulous tracks, including a couple of country shuffle beats, for Tom Wild, Wanda Vick, Mike Douchette and other session players to build on. As always, the Nashville Trax studio drum kit sounds were killer.
Kerry played his new Taylor acoustic purchased just for the session. It was routed through the Avantone CK-7 large diaphragm microphone plugged into the Avalon compressor/preamp, a combination I’ve come to rely on for acoustic instruments and it produced the rich, full bodied sound with excellent articulation it always does. We’re getting a reputation for delivering excellent acoustic guitar, fiddle, dobro and mandolin sounds.
Part of the fun for clients coming in to town is hanging out with the session players between takes. Kerry was treated to stories from David about his recent gigs with Wynonna and other artists, a story from Mike Douchette about how, back in the day, a master tape with hundreds of thousands of dollars of work on it, the only copy, was accidentally erased by some drunk guys clowning around who decided it would be a good idea to record their antics and grabbed the wrong tape to record over. Just lots of priceless stuff I’m sure Kerry will delight in sharing with everyone back home.
Tom Wild played two of the tunes on the same rig he used to played The Opry this past weekend, a maple Telecaster direct through his pedal board that could have easily passed for a Fender Twin Reverb amp.
Early vocal tracking on Kerry’s project, then mix tomorrow, I can’t wait to get at these fabulous tracks!- b.e.