Always a thrill to have the lead singer in the room, singing his songs, singing over a backing track that the band has worked on to give the perfect bed for the singer to do what he does, and in Rajan’s case with his lovely voice we were very happy to listen to him as we build the songs to their finale. After this we had Paul come in, who has already played bass on the three songs we’ve recorded. Paul has a great range and is really good with the harmonies. We brought him to sing one particular song, it didn’t work, so we tried some ideas on the song we didn’t need him for and it worked really well, welcome to making records.
One of the songs took me into a corner and demanded that I called Tess to get some cello parts added, so Tess was in today too adding lines and double stops and tuning down the cello to get some deep notes that sounded like thunder, appropriate for the recent weather conditions. Paul and Tess are in the studio with us often adding their special skills, the Dallas crew are something else, and I’m grateful for their presence and their input.
After Rajan’s lead vocal, Paul’s backing vocal and Tess’s cello, it was time for me to play electric guitar on the last song we will be recording. Rajan’s demo had a quite fuzzy, dirty tone, and when we did the backing track I had a less grungy tone going direct just as a guide for the drums and bass. So tonight I was after something in between and picked up a lot of different guitars but was having all kinds of problems with intonation, even with my newly set up Gretsch. There are a lot of guitars in the studio, but it would be too hard, too expensive, and time-consuming to have them all in pristine and playable condition all the time with new strings and ready to go. The problem with that is that when I arrive I’m trying them all out for sound and some have to go to the doctor’s if I want to use them (as has the 1983 Rickenbacker 330). It’s not good for being spontaneous, but unless you are The Edge with a 24/7 guitar tech who looks after your guitars like a hired nurse does a baby, there’s not much you can do. In the end, I settled on the Piers Crocker, which had the sound, had the intonation, worked the best – the Silvertone and the two Epiphones need help. We also didn’t have a screwdriver on hand to adjust the bridge and at the evening time we weren’t going to find one in a Dallas suburb, you can’t just go knock on someone’s door in America.
Music today has been The Magnificent Moodies (1965), The Moody Blues with Denny Laine in the band. It’s quite a different sound to the later albums, more of an R&B flavour, but it does feature the Laine-sung hit Go Now.