Wow, we did it! It’s Thursday morning now and we did the recording on Monday and it has taken a couple of days to recover. I think I may have finally caught up on my sleep. I was putting in some late hours for days leading up to the recording. Then there was the session itself that ran until 11PM followed by a three hour drive home. So to say I am exhausted is a bit of an overstatement, but I am dog tired. (What does that mean anyway? Our dogs never seem tired. They make us tired.)
Okay, sleep deprivation recap out of way, all I can say is WOW!! What an amazing experience. Calum Rees, the drummerist, recommended we record in Mushroom Studios, and so we did. (According to Calum, “drummerist” is the proper term used in the UK for someone who plays the drums. Now I have the official scoop.)
Mushroom Studios is legendary. Heart recorded their first album there. Also, Led Zeppelin, BTO, Loverboy, Queensryche, among others. The orchestral tracks for the movie Top Gun were recorded here. And I cannot leave out Sarah McLachlan. I played the very same piano she has played on her material. Remember her song “Angel”? I played the opening chords to “Angel” on that piano and had a moment. Very cool.
The building is now the home of Hipposonic studios and the facility has been through some equipment changes of late. The room where they tracked my piano has temporarily served as a storage area for the owner’s large cache of vintage gear. The lead engineer for the project and the studio engineer came in the night before to move some of this gear out of the way so they could fit the piano in there. So I shared the space with three vintage Studer 24-track machines, several Marshall and a plethora of other guitar cabinets, a B-3 and two Leslie cabinets, and even a table saw, (not kidding). To say I was a bit cramped in there is an understatement. But hey, it just added to the ambience.
But enough about the studio. We had a great time making tracks. We were underway at about 1 PM and finished up around 11 PM. It definitely was one of those marathon sessions, but everyone did great. For personnel we had:
- Scott Burnett on acoustic guitars, one of which is his new baritone guitar. I have known Scott forever and we have collaborated on many songs and recordings together. He was the producer for most of the studio work I did back in the 90’s. We are great friends. I couldn’t imagine doing this without him.
- Brian Thiessen on electric guitars. I have known Brian for about 20 years and first shared a stage with him at a large event in Ludenscheid, Germany in 1993 as part of the backing band for Brian Doerksen, Andy Park, Craig Musseau and others. We also played together on Brian Doerksen’s 1993 recording, “Light the Fire Again”. And we have worked together on many other projects since.
- Calum Rees on drums. The first time I played with Calum was a few years ago at a concert in Seoul, Korea, but it was when we played together at the conference in Penticton, Canada this past July that I knew that I had to have him on this record. He is one of the most inventive drummerists I know.
- Darcy White on bass. I have played with Darcy a few times prior, and he was part of the band at the Penticton conference as well. So yep, Darcy was a keeper for this project.
- Merrilyn Carpenter as Executive Producer. It was Merrilyn’s vision for me to record a piano instrumental back in 2001 and after the Penticton conference, when I mentioned doing the same sort of thing but with a band, she was all for it. Actually, it may have been her idea, I don’t remember. I am so grateful for her support of the project and that she took a day off of work to join us. What a blessing!
- And a special shout out to Chris Michel, lead engineer, and Brock the studio engineer.
Eric and Jane Takushi also joined us to hang out. Eric took lots of photos and shot some video footage. Thank you guys!!
I will share some about the material we created in a subsequent blog post. Till then, cheers!!
Talking over the next song, pictured left to right: myself, Brian Thiessen, Calum Rees, Scott Burnett, Darcy White, and the Hippo.