Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Where are we?

I'm having an espresso (okay, four) at Caffe Medici in Clarksville (ATX neighborhood of the staahhhs) trying to answer some frequently asked questions.

How was L.A.?
My manager (Brian Conway) and I went out to Los Angeles to work with Emile Kelman (part of T-Bone Burnett's award-winning production team... think "Oh Brother Where Art Thou," Willie Nelson, Gregg Allman, Cassandra Wilson, Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, etc.). We brought all the recordings that The Finest Kind and I (drums, bass, keys, and vocals) made over a day and a half in November in the beautiful East Austin Recording studio (owned by producer Stephen Doster and engineer James Stevens).

Through Brian's fearless "the-worst-they-can-say-is-no" ingenuity, Emile agreed to arrange and mix the album, though outside his normal role. He would maximize our recordings by polishing up the sound while maintaining the raw integrity of the original performances. We like his style.

From February 15th to March 1st, we were in Emile's Beverly Hills studio (The Night Kitchen) every day and into the night. The work required a lot of intense listening, which is a lot more tiring than it appears. It was amazing to watch and hear Emile work. I grew to really trust his ears and his taste, so things moved faster once I got out of his way. It was a great lesson. Like a vision quest, we hibernated in the studio for weeks with a visionary teacher, coming out of it with music that sounds better than I could ever have imagined. Emile took our recorded performances and made them worthy of being played over and over and over on your favorite stereo.

What happens next?
The basic flow of making an album goes like this:
1. Record
2. Arrange
3. Mix
4. Master
5. Duplicate
6. Promote

We're between steps 3 and 4 right now. Emile suggested that we not listen to any of the mixes for 2 weeks after our sessions in L.A. Then, we'll revisit the songs once our palates have cleared. We'll make sure they sound like we want them to and move on from there to the mastering phase. We'll have mastering engineer Gavin Lurssen put the finishing polish on the album before we duplicate it and release it to you! Of course, we'll also be working with the incredible Renee Fernandez of Decoder Ring Design on the package design and liner notes in the coming weeks.

When can I buy the new album?

NOW! You can pre-order the new album and enjoy all sort of extra goodies while supporting the effort to finish the CD and get it released into the world. We're shooting for a June/July national release, but anyone who pre-orders will get it a month early (among other things)! Go pick out your pre-order package and tell your art-loving friends!!!