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Friday, July 23, 2010

Weekly Update: 7-23-10

And now for the Evening FP News...

Things have been very busy this week. A huge chunk of this week has been allocated to various tracking sessions on both 'Marigolds' and 'Some Other Year':

1) The first session of the week was with Jake playing bass sections on 'Marigolds'. He has been able to put a lot more time into his parts on this one and we've spent more time per section than previously on 'Sycamore' or 'SOY'. Fortunately the extra time has proved to be worth the effort and Jake's bass lines have been quite stellar and have elevated 'Marigolds' to another level as a song. He's very very good and very consistent. And he's also got a natural knack for bass and is quite creative with it. Fun fun fun...

2) The second session of the week was with my sister Charlyn singing backing vocal textures for 'Some Other Year'. I had a couple of melodic ideas in my head that she was able to crank out effortlessly, and then she took several takes doing improv. It was stunning. And in the immortal words of my late Grandpa Bush, all I could I could do was raise my eyebrows and say 'Damn'. I wish I had her sort of vocal intuition and control. Under normal circumstances I would assume such a person with her natural vocal ability was not 100% human but rather part-alien or something. But alas I've known her since she was brought home from the hospital as a newborn and I in fact know for certain that she is a mere human being (unless of course I'm also part-alien...hmmm...never really thought about that until just now...)

3) The third tracking session was with an old friend of mine, Thomas 'Tommy' Holley. I had him come in and sing some unison vocals alongside the main vocal in the choruses. We never actually went through any sort of vocal tryouts or screening with him since I could still remember how Tommy had quite a talent for singing back when we were growing up. We had a good time and laughed a lot and he was a real pleasure to work with (as I figured he would be). Then after his vocal session, we (Tommy, his son, my youngest son, and myself) all went out to his place in the country and shot air-soft guns. I mentioned how badly those air-soft BB's hurt when they hit the palm of your hand (has happened to me only once and will only happen once), and so Tommy stuck out his hand to 'take one for the team' at point-blank range. That ended up being a bad idea. For Tommy that is. When my son Anderson pulled the trigger, Tommy ran off yelling like a madman and was shaking his hand wildly. Turns out he ended up with a crescent-moon shaped blood blister in the center of his palm. It was pretty funny (and impressive) after the fact, but I'd venture to say that will be the last time he (knowingly) volunteers his any part of his flesh to an air-soft BB at close range.

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk...

4) The fourth tracking session of the week was another bass session with Jake for more 'Marigolds' sections. Steady is as steady does. Did I mention that Jake is very good at what he does? Good tones. Good times.

5) And lastly, I have volunteered my mixdown services to a London band for one of their latest songs. They've done all of the tracking and leg-work and they are having me take a stab at the mixdown. It's good stuff and a good song, and I think I fell in love with the singer's voice (the singer is a 'she' incidentally). If this first one works out, perhaps there will be more to come? Will see....At any rate, this sort of mixdown work is fairly easy for me (and a lot of fun) and it offers a nice change of pace from the FP stuff whenever I need a mental change of pace.

6) I have someone else in mind for more backing vocals on 'Some Other Year' and so hopefully we'll get him into the studio early next week. And then I still need to sing more overdubs I think, and then I plan on setting up a four-microphone set-up on one of my 4x12 speaker cabs so that I can finish tracking guitars on 'SOY' and also begin tracking guitars on 'Marigolds'. One minute I'm a producer/engineer, then a freelance mixer, then a guitarist, then a singer. Plus a dad, a husband, a homeschool teacher (for my 10th and 11th grade sons), a guitar instructor, etc.. (And every now and then I need to slip in some fishing...) Keeps me busy. For now I have reduced my guitar instructor load down to three days. Hopefully that will suffice for a long while so that I can have time to pursue other options of music-related revenue. It's all good in the meantime...can't complain!

That's all for now. Keep checking back for more updates and FP news!

~ Todd

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