Monday, January 31, 2011


Recommended Utah artists to check out: 
Mary Tebbs
Steven Halliday
Parchman Farm Freedom Riders
Dusk One
Cache Valley Cartel (CVC)
Stankbot Tryanny

My wife and I have been trying to do some matchmaking, but without much success. As much as artists can benefit from collaboration, most in the valley are either intimidated by it, or their ego is too big. Some keep their art very close to their sleeve. I guess you can’t force things. We need to step back and find a natural flow we fit in.

Meanwhile, I am focusing more on my goals:
1) To just have a record of my work for my family, grand kids, posterity. I don't want to die and nobody ever heard them. I have a bunch my family may have heard just once or twice, some I've never shared.
2) I want to see just what my songs can become. I've listened to acoustic demos of famous pieces, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, etc. and it is amazing the direction the fully arranged band productions went from the guitar demos.

I’ve met a couple of others on the internet and we are working on some of each other’s songs in the virtual world. It’s an experiment and a lot easier than trying to work out rehearsal schedules and dragging equipment around. I’m collaborating with a fellow in Tennessee with “Hidden Meadow Song” and a Native American percussionist on my tune “Austin (Life is Good)”. I’ve also been sharing ideas with a guy in Toole. I don’t want to say too much until I see where it goes. At the very minimum I’ve made some new friends.

I’ve been recording some of my backlog as acoustic demos and posting on the ReverbNation site. I recorded “Fine! Fine! Fine!” and “Rosemary Days”

I performed at Pat’s once this month and played “Where You Are”, “Rosemary Days”, and “State of Confusion”. It was a good time. Kole Hansen was there with her new partner, Abel, from Austin, TX and they are fantastic! Their voices blend beautifully. Check them out:

I’m taking a class at Highland High for Sony’s ACID Music Studio taught by Steve Auerbach. He’s become a great resource with a background in performance, mixing, producing. He brought School of Rock to the West years ago. He also runs music garage at and he has some great resources.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


We had a great Christmas with the family and there was some fun jamming with my sons and my son-in-law.
Meanwhile I keep listening to local artists. I'm excited to see some artists are becoming more active and gaining exposure in the last year. Shaun Barrowes' has totally broken out of the gate! Live for Music tour has been a great success and he is continuing to gain momentum. I see other local artists that are doing more and more each month. Some are recording, releasing new material, playing more gigs, and even widening their performing areas. Artists I see that continually gaining exposure through dedication and hard work include Stankbot Tyranny, Steven Halliday, Melody and Tyler, Ryan Innes, Brett Turner, Whitney Blaine Whittaker, Crystal Poloa, Danielle Hyde Vaughn, Opal Hill Drive, Parchman Freedom Riders, and Dusk One

I performed two acoustic covers at a Christmas show in Draper - "Run Run Rudolph" and "Merry Christmas Baby". I did the Chuck Berry and B.B. King versions respectively. I was very satisfied with them and my performance. I've decided to start recording some of the cover songs I perform, especially when I put in rehearsal effort. So, I recorded both of them in my studio.

I also recorded "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White Tees and "Drive" by Incubus. I've got a few others I do very well I'll record in January. I'll do a few each month and then have these captured for posterity. "Delilah" was a very good exercise. Although I play it well it is a driving very steady rhythm picking between a bass line and a back swipe of the first three strings in the chords. I realized I wasn't getting through it without a few fluffs here and there and I couldn't punch it in very easily without it being obvious. I did the vocals with three punch ins. Eventually I got through it with one punch in on the last chorus. Maybe others can't hear it, but I know where it is. I cut "Drive" perfect in one take. I did the vocals three times and took the last take.

The covers have been a great exercise in the recording process and I am getting a better sound from mixing playing with effect ratios and EQ settings. I went back a remixed two covers I recorded last year, ELP's "Still You Turn Me On" and Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Pride and Joy". In the fall I also recorded a cover of John Denver's "Grandma's Feather Bed for my good friend Tom McKinney.

I recorded guitar and vocal for "Hidden Meadow Song (A Boy and a Girl). I put down two acoustic guitar tracks and  a vocal. The song has a jazzy finger-picked intro that is repeated somewhat at the end. I double-tracked this part which was a very good exercise. It took a couple of hours to play it exactly the same each time so I could double track it. Now I play it better. It needs some help with harmonies and what I hear is out of my range. Tom Callister is playing with some arrangement ideas for it.

So my new approach is to put down acoustic only versions for a while.