When I wrote the songs for my album “I am Free” it was just me and my guitar. There were times when I played live that I had the support of a full band, and at other times it was a solo performance. I really enjoyed both ways of playing for an audience. It was an absolute pleasure to practice and play in a band. The memories and stories would probably fill a room, or at least a small closet. It was also a lot of fun to just pick up my Martin, and head down to the local coffee shop and play for the lunch crowd.
Before I ever stepped foot inside a studio, I had imagined what each of the songs I wrote would sound like with additional instruments accompanying me on each track. As I stated in an earlier blog post, it was difficult most of the time to coordinate practicing with friends. Most of the musicians who were kind enough to offer their talents on this album, were actually referred to me by friends. Musicians, whom I have never met before, offered to take time away from their families and other areas of their life. I never asked any of them the question that I am pondering now?
What would cause a person, to choose to help another person in this manner, with the only promise being I would give them a copy of the final completed project.
I have a few thoughts. They may be right, or they may be completely off base. Whatever the reason, it is hard to put into words how much I appreciate each of their efforts. Their skills and contribution has added so much depth to my songs.
I’ll take some time to write a quick highlight in regards to each of them.
John not only did the recording , mixing and mastering of my cd “I am Free”, he also tracked the bass guitar for each of the songs. I remember on our first phone call, asking him if he would be willing to play bass on the project. Keep in mind that we had never met. I’m not sure what his initial thought was? I do know that he didn’t hesitate to say yes! Working with John was a blessing. There were occasions, several of them to be more precise, where I would get quite frustrated recording the acoustic guitar portion to the click – track. It needs to be exact, and if it wasn’t after we had been tracking the same song for a couple of hours, he would urge me into taking a break. That was usually the rejuvenating I needed to finish the song.
Alyssa’s vocals are a great addition to the music. I have been asked numerous times:
“Who is the female singing on this song?”
Alyssa was kind enough to take some time away from studying to add background vocals to a number of songs. I can’t imagine the songs without her vocals now.
Cam and Jim:
My two fearless drummers! I’m not sure why drummers always get so much flack from guitar players? It wasn’t that difficult to work with them. It was just………That constant pounding………At least when you are trying to have a conversation with a guitar player, and they are picking or strumming their guitar. Well, we may not be listening, but at least you can hear yourself talk. Right? Anyway, there is no truth to any of that, just the long-standing drummer – guitarist feud. Each time we wanted to record the drums, it was a long process to haul the drum set into the studio. Each microphone needed precise placement, and it took additional time to test the drum heads for the best sound, and achieve the correct recording levels. A lot of hard work from these two guys even before the first beat was played. Both Cam and Jim have a lot of talent, and it was a pleasure to meet them in this process. Acoustic Rock would be difficult to record with out percussion. “I am Free” would sound pretty lifeless without each of their efforts.
I’ve known Greg for quite sometime. I asked him if he would be willing to do some recording, knowing that he had moved into a finger – picking style of guitar playing. I was more than pleased when he said he would lend his skills to my project. All of the lead electric guitar tracks on the cd are Greg. I’ve said it before, in fact just yesterday I believe. He is the best guitar player I know personally. You can check out one of his songs here.
There you go. That is a small highlight, and thank you to all of the additional musicians who helped me create a great cd!
If you are interested in purchasing a cd copy, you can email me @firstname.lastname@example.org, I hope to have the songs available through iTunes and amazon in a week or two.
Here is one of my songs, I think it showcases everyone really well: