After lunch, Jason and I headed over to Foxtrot Studio to meet up with Shawn Stroop. Foxtrot is a relatively new place and Shawn has been putting it together. I think it has just gotten up and running recently. Shawn gave us a tour of the place. It’s really very nice. The tracking room is spacious and has a great live feel to it. He has a lot of great gear including a very beautiful Hammond B-3 organ that we planned to use today.
The control room and lounges are really comfortable. It was quite easy for me to settle into my sofa chair, log onto the internet and catch up on some emails while Jason and Shawn took care of technical matters.
We brought in a few musicians to add overdubs to songs. First up, we called an organ player by the name of Chris Sater. He is someone Shawn recommended to us. After a quick phone call, he came by the studio. I had charted out “Don’t Want To Believe” and “The Answer” for him. After just a few listens, questions and practices, he performed several great takes for us in different styles, e.g. straight ahead and wild tracks. He wasn’t able to stick around very long because of family duties, so I didn’t get much of a chance to talk with him. Nonetheless, I am really glad he could come by and play on these songs. His parts gave them a huge lift. If you ever read this blog, Chris, thanks!
For being a pretty new studio, I have to say everything was set up well. We hardly had any technical difficulties getting things up and going. Once we trouble-shot just a few minor things, we were able to take advantage of the beautiful room Shawn built. This is an impressive place and I’d definitely consider coming here again to track songs. On top of all of that, Shawn and Nick Scallorn are awesome people. I had a great time hanging out with both of them.
The next musician to come by was Buddy Flett. This was a pretty special moment for me. I grew up watching Buddy play in Shreveport. He is a living legend. Each time I have had the chance to talk with him, I have learned something profound about playing guitar. He has influenced nearly all of the musicians I know from Shreveport. On top of all of that, he is incredibly kind and generous. I was really excited that he was able to come by and play guitar on “The Answer.” The way we tracked that song requires a huge amount of feel on the lead guitar. It requires someone like Buddy to play on it.
I charted out the song for reference. Before tracking, Buddy asked me to play the changes on the song with him. This was way cool. First, I was playing guitar with Buddy. Second, I was playing him my song. He said he liked the song which is very cool. Anyway, Jason took a picture of this moment. You can see I’m sporting a pretty big smile. Making records is definitely fun. Buddy laid down a really great track. It is sparse and has just the right feel.
The next musician to come by the studio was Tim Brogan. He plays violin and we asked him to track a part for the song “Vanish.” Tim is a really great player. I think I have seen him play before. He jams. Upon hearing “Vanish” for the first time in the control room, he picked up his violin and played a part that was EXACTLY what Jason and I wanted. We didn’t coach him at all. Not a word. This was crazy. He gave us two amazing passes. The problem was going to be which take to use for the song! The solo we used is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait for you to hear it.
Within just a few hours, we had gotten three awesome musicians to overdub amazing parts! Oh yeah. I also managed to play a small organ part on “Time Is Taking Me Away.” This was my first organ part I have ever recorded. It was epic. Actually, it was just a very small part, but it was still fun to play!