Monday, May 31, 2010

Andrew and Steve Explore Mixing!

NEW SONGS HERE!  ---> Song Catalog

Nancy and I went to Ashton, ID this weekend to visit Andrew and Margie and I brought the TASCAM and speakers along. I haven't gotten any mixes I really liked; they all sound like I am in a box or washed out. When I try to get more depth I just end up with more "room space" and echo. We fiddled with knobs for hours to see if we could get better sound ... and we did! I have brand new mixes for "Reason to Believe" and "We Can Fly". We also remixed "Looks Like Rain", "Today" and "Us." I will rework “Looks Like Rain” this week with another verse. Nancy has a great idea to open the song with an instrumental chorus and finish it out with an instrumental of the bridge section. I will also be remixing "Don't Let Me Down", and "Roll Your Way", and "Today". I need to redo "She's My Girl" and play it just a little slower.

I played the guitar for "Reason To Believe" twice and spread the two guitars out left and right. It kind of sounds like a 12 string but it is two 6 strings. It was tough to play it exactly the same but I did it! I also modified the way I ended each chorus and trimmed this magnum opus down so it is less than 6 minutes.

The only major project left is to record an acoustic version of "Forever and a Day" for Michael and Cathy. Then my wedding repertoire will be complete.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sweet Celebration is ready for a listen!

I mixed Sweet Celebration using the backing vocals from Kate, Carson, and Branson (thank you so much!). It's pretty thick with tracks and is the closest I've come to what I envisioned in my head. I wrote this in 1984 and it sounds like it should have been done in 1984. But hey, I like it and I hope you do too. I have an acoustic version of this I will record sometime. The lyrics are the same but it's totally different. It's fun to see songs in various forms of development and ideas.

Check this and all my available songs here: Song Catalog

I'm getting good feedback in person and email. Go ahead and post your thoughts here in comments so everyone can see - Steve

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A very productive week!

Last Sunday I re-recorded the backing "choir" for Sweet Celebration with Branson, Kate, and Carson. It sounds so much better than a chorus of Steves (ha). I have backing tracks for "Reason To Believe" and "We Can Fly" done! They are just acoustic guitar but I am getting great sound with my two new Behringer condenser microphones. For Reason I played the guitar part twice which took a lot of practice (the week before) but I like the full sound. I think We Can Fly works with just guitar and vocal.

Today I worked on "O Freedom." As a writer I have my own favorites. This is in my top ten but I don't play it very often because I have gotten kind of a flat response. My friend Mark requested it if I could get it in the queue. I was flattered that he remembered it from so long ago. I have a basic drum track and I experimented with some atmospheric electric guitar and found something I like. I have plans for two guitar parts and the drums. I may add bass but we'll see.

I also have requests for "Hidden Meadow" (including Nancy as it is for her). It will take some practice to get the jazzy intro and finger picking clean (which is why I've been avoiding it). Also in the queue is "Rosemary Days"

Things are going a little faster now, at least technically. I hear arrangements of my songs in my head but have difficulty translating it to real sounds and things I can actually play. I can see how bands can spend every day for months working things out. It takes a lot of time experimenting with instruments, effects, sounds, harmonies to get something that seems to gel. So I will settle for the first decent thing I can get out.

My goal is to have a CD ready for the July 4th show in Ashton. So I got to get off the stick and make concessions. "Freedom" will be my last one with production for now. I have 9 that are finished and just need to be final mastered. Anything else I do will just be acoustic with vocal. I will need help from everybody deciding what makes it on and in what order.

I'm also starting to work on my web site ( which I hope to be up by July 4th as well.

Thank you everyone for all the support. It really helps keep up the momentum and I appreciate it very much.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Saturday's House Concert

I was invited to play three songs for intermission at the Sons of Other Mothers house concert last Saturday. I played Must Be Love, Rosemary Days, and We Can Fly. People were impressed with We Can Fly because I played with a broken string. It broke while tuning it to an alternate D tuning (not standard). It was a drone string, meaning one that I never finger throughout the song but use to create a sustained ring in the background (similar to bagpipes). The lower string also does that so I didn't lose too much. With the string hanging off my guitar I just ripped right in and did the song. Wow! Steve can play with a broken string! Now I'm a guitar stud hero via smoke and mirrors.

Sons of Other Mothers played two sets of well rehearsed and well presented material featuring their unique blend of guitar arrangements. Very tasty indeed! Check them out at reverb nation.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Posting Some Songs!

I've been blogging about songs but nobody has heard them unless they've seen me perform. A couple have never been performed live. None of these are finished but I'll throw some up anyway. After all, that's what this is all about, isn't it? Your comments will help me a lot. I am working in a vacuum. Any advice or input is greatly appreciated. Tell me what works and what doesn't. I added some vocals to "Looks Like Rain" but it really needs another verse. For now I repeated the bridge twice. I'm posting it anyway because I've blogged a lot about it used it to experiment with microphones and effects.

Must Be Love.mp3
Looks Like Rain.mp3 (co-written with Carl Franklin)
Us (For Carson and David).mp3
Riverton Boys.mp3
Mr. Barrett.mp3 (This is a true story. It upset me a lot)
Today (For Kate and Branson).mp3

Talk to me!