First day back in the studio with sessioneer NJ Brian for the Valley of Salt project. Sarah has kindly lent us her car, while she is away with Salim on the Rhett Miller tour. It’s a Prius, but how do you make it go? We’ve come to the conclusion that if you press all the buttons all at once, one of the sequences puts it into drive, which sequence exactly is the right one we may never know. We drove to the coffee shop in mega-posh Highland Park Village where there’s a man who is always there, every single day. He’s in his early forties, looks like a businessman, and is always talking to somebody in person and I’m almost sure it’s somebody different every time I see him – is this his office? I suppose that these days, your office is your computer anyway, who needs expensive rent? The days of downtown office space are over for the smaller businesses. The visionary entrepreneur can conquer the world from Starbucks.
We were back in the studio today with Brian, mainly to record Olivia’s string parts on the Valley of Salt album. It’s a complicated record musically and consequently, there are some involved violin parts, stacking of tracks, harmonies and all of it needing to fit with the instrumentation that’s already recorded. We also recorded the kids today for a children’s choir, also stacked. Whilst they were setting up, Brian and I went to Guitar Center to look at the possibility of picking up a Taylor 150E 12-string acoustic. They didn’t have one but we ordered one to try which we will be picking up from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, hopefully in the week.
On the way back to the studio we stopped off at a place called Potbelly for a sandwich. It was hard work – because I didn’t want it toasted or melted, I didn’t want pickle or tomato or dressing or onions or mushrooms. The simpler it was, the harder it seemed to be to make. The man behind the counter simply couldn’t believe what I wanted. It’s a different food culture over here in America. He was very concerned that I would be paying the same price for a sandwich without what he considered most of the flavour, haha. It was very nice of him to consider my satisfaction.
Back at the studio the choir kids had begun to get somewhere with the idea and were soon done so we could carry on with Olivia’s violin parts. We only have two days and she has to play the multiple violin parts on nine songs. John has been engineering these final days and doing a fine job. Between him and Kevin these three months mostly in Texas in the studio have been a blast working on three different records, sessioneer Brian’s Valley of Salt, sessioneer Fred Argir’s album and the mystery album.
It was good to have Brian back in here and getting close to finishing the actual recording. The record still has to be mixed but that’s yet to be scheduled in, and as tomorrow is the last day we won’t contemplate that till after we are done.
Music today has been Montrose, a real rocker from 1973. It was the debut album of guitarist Ronnie Montrose and starred singer Sammy Hagar, drummer Denny Carmassi and bassist Bill Church. We played this record to death when we were 15, it’s hard to shake off nearly sixty years later. Sadly Montrose died from a self-inflicted gunshot in 2012, we could never imagine such a thing as teenagers, we were so immersed in the music and we could never imagine that anybody would want to die if they had the opportunity to make albums.
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