Black Gum tape release party!

No, Rachel is not naked behind that box. 

Congratulations Rachel, Travis & David! The Black Gum EP is HERE!

Black Gum release party was smokin! Their self-titled debut is out on Monofonus Press here in Austin, and it's going fast! Last I heard they had sold almost all of the tapes. There was a pretty big turnout for the houseshow, which featured Black Gum in addition to a few other bands.

Feeling great about the first official Gunner Music release! You can buy their record here.

 

Capturing the unique sound of Bethany Solonika

What an absolute pleasure it was to record Bethany Solonika this evening. Her music is so mysteriously beautiful, so brooding yet also playful. As a songwriter she is deeply aware of her audience, and I wanted to capture this intimacy up-close and personal, while maintaing her unique sense of space, ambience and airiness. Luckily I have at my disposal the Wunder mic, which captured Bethany's sultry low tones with a gentle edge; nice and rich, full of character.

Bethany expressed her concern that in the past, other recording engineers haven't been able to do justice to the powerful sound of her autoharp. It truly is a beast, full of overtones and harmonics - and it sounds different from just about every angle. But boy did we tame that beast, and it sounds amazing.

In order to capture the full expression of the instrument, I boxed poor Bethany in with half a dozen different mics, and placed another few spaced around the live room to capture the reverb. The end result was marvelous. The Neumann 184s sound particularly nice. With all the mics combined with just the right levels we achieved a huge, well-rounded tone for her harp. Bethany was psyched!

In the upcoming months miss Solonika will be returning to lay down some vocal harmonies. I can only imagine how amazing these songs are going to sound after that! Stay tuned for an EP...

A lovely afternoon for some sad sweet songs

Had the privilege of sitting Jimmy Dawson down in front of a Wunder tube mic today. His voice is mesmerizing... dark & soulful, totally from the heart. I set up a stereo pair of AKG c-480s while Jimmy got into the feel of things & did some takes out in the live room, soaking up the quiet calm of the afternoon. Shoes off & voice warmed up, Jimmy lolled into the vocal booth and crooned his gravely magic. The Wunder captured him beautifully, and I ran the signal through a touch of the Manley Vox-Box just to give it that round glow. Look forward to an upcoming EP...

 

Livin' in the Country with Taber Maine

Had an impromptu session with Corey of Taber Maine today. He's such an awesome singer... I could just listen to that midwestern drawl all day long. He can make a 1-syllable word into 3. Corey brought his friend and sometimes drummer Jordan Teitelbaum along with him on this beautiful spring day and together they just clicked.

I was impressed with Jordan's tastefulness as a drummer, and his professionalism in the studio. Such a joy to mic a kit that sounds so good, played by such a talented fellow. He has a real deep snare drum, so we put 3 different mics on there, including an old Beta 57. The final result is awesome & really interesting. The mic on the top head is all punch, almost no snare even audible. I got a real nice sparkly crunch from the bottom head, and the side mic has a good midrange snap to it. Combining all three I was able to create a spectacular snare sound in the booth. This was also particularly useful mic'ing technique for capturing the way a snare brush stroke sounds.

Looking forward to doing some lead guitar overdubs in the upcoming weeks...

 

In the studio with Black Gum

Super fun session today with my buddies Travis Kent and Rachel Badger of Black Gum. These guys have a really awesome vibe - at times they're totally amped-up & energetic, while other songs cruise along to a more chilled-out, surf-ish groove. Capturing the different styles while maintaining a sense of unity throughout the session was an interesting challenge.

Travis & Rachel were an absolute breeze to record, nailing their songs after only a take or two. Later on in the night, as the stars came out over the hills of west Austin, I brought them into the live room to do some nice vocal harmonies together. There's great reverb in there and it fit their ambiance perfectly. I must say, Travis has an interesting way of dancing with headphones on while singing.

We're going to release the 5 songs on cassette-tape through Monofonus Press here in Austin.