YAY! 2nd Year in a row I have been voted best music engineer or producer in Asheville in the Mountain Xpress's Best of WNC poll. Honored. I love this town and it feels good to get some love back. And Yes, Echo Mountain is without a doubt the best recording studio in town, in the southeast, and one of the best in the country. So blessed to call it my home.
So after working on 6 albums with this crazy genius and being nominated twice for a grammy, we finally did it. Best children's music album for "Infinity Plus One." We have never been prouder of a record that we have done together and it feels great to get this kind of recognition for something you have worked so hard at. Props go out to all the amazing musicians and other folks that made this piece of art what it is and a big thanks to everyone that voted for it!
So every year Asheville's Mountain Xpress does a best of the town survey. It includes everything from best restaurants to bars to artists and bands. This year they added some new categories one of which included best producer/engineer. I won! Which rocks. I love this town and apparently it loves me back. So nice for my love to not be unrequited.
Where do I start. A good place is with the Asheville symphony. For the last year I have been working on a record that is a collaborative effort between the Asheville symphony and 8 regional bands to create what has become a beautiful piece of music that crosses genres and generations. Not only was I afforded the opportunity to record singles with many of my favorite people from Asheville and the surrounding area but also forging new and wonderful relationships with the awesome gem of a symphony that we somehow have in this small town of Asheville. I say somehow, but the more time I spend with the symphony director David Whitehill, the more I understand what the somehow is... Its him. This idea to put local bands together with the local symphony was the brainchild of my close friend, colleague, partner in crime, and all around badass Jessica Tomasin and David. They made it happen, and it happened. It happened big time. They brought on Michael Selverne to oversee the musical production. Michael, a seasoned pro in the music business, with decades of experience putting together major productions brought his A game and a bunch of great arrangers, copyists, and all the other unseen cogs in the machine that it takes to make something like this come off right. The time I spent in the studio with Jessica, Michael, David, and all these amazing musicians was something I will never forget. The results speak for themselves so all of my puffery is really unnecessary. All you really need to do I check it out. http://ashevillesymphony.org/sessions
Also, this spring I produced a record with an amazing Asheville band called The Get Right Band. We spend many days in the studio making what is some of my best engineering work and what I think the band will agree is is their best musical effort to date. I just wanna say that I love these guys. I love the music they make, but I also love the people they are. Making this record was not only a fulfilling creative experience but also a great fucking time. We laughed at each other so much. And In my mind, if you are creating and also having a ball, well it really doesn't get much better than that. This record is not out yet and won't be until august but I can't wait for everyone to hear it because if you have half the good time listening to it that we had making it then we are all winners. Here is the first single from the record. https://soundcloud.com/the-get-right-band/whos-in-charge-radio-edit
Annnnnnd, for all the kids out there I bring you yet another installment of the incomparable Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Yea thats right. One of the things I am most proud of is working on Hip Hop for kids. You know why? Because it ain't just for kids. I am strong believer in the philosophy that kids don't need their music dumbed down. Screw Barney and the Telletubbies, and the Fresh Beat Band and all that other lowest common denominator crap I have been exposed to as a parent. I mean its fine and all but we can do better, and we did. Again. Like we always do. This 23 Skidoo record made no compromises. Yea we even pulled a 17 hour day right before mastering maybe because it had to be right. Because we care. We care about the kids and them having music that is worthy of them, but we also care about the parents that are gonna have to listen to it a thousand freaking times. So we made sure it was right. And it is. It will be released in July right close to my birthday, because yea. http://secretagent23skidoo.com/
10 records on here were done at Echo Mountain, 5 of them I engineered, 3 of which were in the top 20.
#4: Steep Canyon Rangers - "Radio"
#13: Jon Stickley Trio - "Lost at Last"
#19: Nikki Talley - "Out From the Harbor"
#34: Mandolin Orange "Such Jubilee"
#94: Yo Mama's Big Fat Booty Band: "Onward!"
I am psyched for the release of the latest Steep Canyon Rangers album "Radio." I engineered and mixed this album with Jerry Douglas producing and I just love how it came out. There is a song on here to fit most anyone's taste and the collection is well rounded.
We worked on it in a handful of sessions spanning about 6 months and really tried to focus on capturing how well the band plays together. Unlike many modern records, most of what you are hearing went down just as you would see live, often with a majority of the band actually in the same room with minimal or no isolation. This approach matches the bands down-to-earth nature and the result speaks for itself.
It was a total pleasure working with Jerry Douglas. His musicianship, production chops, and how much fun he is to be around were a huge factor in the making of this recording.