Monday, Sept 7th, Labor Day. 4pm-midnight We showed up to the studio to get it all set up for Tuesday’s tracking. The Nest (The studio) is this great space way down south off 1826 in Austin. The ceilings in the big room are vaulted and about 18-22 ft high, so the acoustics in the room are great. The control room has this gorgeous mixing board and next to the control room is where the Analog Tape Machines live. 2″ tape rolling is magnificent to behold. Robb Kidd, JT Holt, Malcolm “Papa Mali” Welbourne, Chad Pope, Matt Hubbard and Myself all show up and the guys get busy on the mic set up. The gear is top notch and the mics set up on the drums alone takes about 4 hours. There are these great cylindrical baffles to muffle the sound. This isolates each instrument so that the sound from it doesn’t bleed too much into the next guy’s mic while recording the tunes live. We went over some arrangements, some feels for the songs. . . Getting excited. . .
Sept 8-10. Tues -Fri 12 hr days, Friday half day. . Tracking with Mark Andes on bass, Robb on drums, Chad and sometimes Malcolm on guitars, Matt on keys and me on scratch vocals and some acoustic guitars. The goal for Week 1 was to get all the basic tracks on tape. Bass, Drums, Rhythm guitars, textural keys etc. Scratch vocals and acoustic. Malcolm guides the band on stops while we’re recording. . . like a conductor cuing an rock n roll orchestra. Eyes closed, arms in the air, listening for every note . . Everyone’s parts start to jive as bass and drums link in to one another’s grooves. . . The grooves are laid song by song. . . we see the framework, the shapes of the tunes emerging. . .The studio is decorated in everyone’s fine sacred items, Chad and I have an ancestor altar working on one of the amp cases, Prayer beads, pieces from sacred gatherings, feathers, items from our beloveds, tapestries and candles. . . we gigged all weekend. . .
Sept 15-17, Tues-Thurs 12-15 hr days. . . This week’s goals were lofty. We set our sights on tracking all the lead vocals, strings on 4 songs, horns on 4 songs, percussion tracks and some background vocals. . . Tuesday, I sang all day. The guys set up this amazing little vocal temple for me in between sound dividers and baffles and we had 3 amazing vintage mics set up for all vocals. The one we used was the same model microphone used to track people like Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin. . . I had my little Ganesha statue, all my jewelry that makes noise and about 4 drinks. .Coffee, Tea, Water and Some Reserve Highland Park Scotch for the pipes. We nailed 6 songs Tues and 3 Wednesday Morning. . . At 1pm Wed, Dave Madden came in to lay down some keys on the grand piano . . .nailed it. . . and then Malcolm, Chad, Dave & I laid down some background vocals on a couple of tunes. At 5pm, Greg Williams showed up to play flute on one tune and sax on 3 others. . . ThenSteve Zirkel showed for trumpets and Matt Hubbard grabbed his trombone. Matt, Steve, and Greg laid down some sexy horn parts for 4 of the tunes. Steve Bernal and Leah Zeger showed up at 11pm to bow up some string parts on the songs. We were in the studio till 2am finishing the strings. It was divine to hear the songs becoming songs. . . and to hear this exquisite soul and musicianship. . Thursday AM, Steve was back for more cello parts (you won’t believe what this guy can do on a cello!). After Steve, I laid down the last of the lead vocal tracks and at 1pm Cyril Neville came in to lay down some tambourine and conga and bongo parts on a few tunes. T’was amazing to watch him make his rhythmmagic.
We have one more day of tracking. . . Right Now the songs are taking shape in amazing ways. Looks like we may have final mixes by the first week of Oct. . . YIPPEEE!
I can’t say enough positive stuff about working with these folks. Over gumbo and boudin on Tues morning last week, we talked about keeping the goddess in all the songs. . . I just love it. You guys are gonna FLIP when you hear the mixes. Malcolm is a great visionary and producer and Matt and JT could not be cooler in terms of technical studio support and engineering. . .
The whole team is brimming with excitement. . . We are tired, but satisfied thusfar. . .
Many thanks from all of us to Amy Fletcher for shooting some pics and bringing us a few meals during this lockdown. . . whew!
Check out Chad’s Studio tour for a visual on Youtube
Thanks to those of you who have already Pre-Ordered your album package. Once we get some final mixes, I will be sending you all a sneak preview track. . . For those of you who haven’t pre-ordered, ORDER TODAY! Your pre-orders fund the album’s production and mastering, the artwork and everything else and we have not made our budget yet. . . So we need you!
The album is going to be released in Feb 10, but Pre-Order Patrons will be receiving theirs months before. . . and all patrons will have some delicious sneak previews on the way. . .
If you’re not a fan, join My Facebook Music Fan Page Today http://www.facebook.com/wendycolonnamusic”