Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
In 1997, I was managing the indie jazz label, ARTIFEX RECORDS, as well as being a signed artist on the label. The label's owner asked me to produce a compilation album of Nashville's best studio musicians who were also writing and performing smooth jazz compositions. Nine months later, the THIRD COAST JAZZ ENSEMBLE was released to critical acclaim. Many of us recorded under assumed names as well. That album has some amazing musicianship and still sounds great by today's standards as well.
What are you working on at the moment?
We are currently in post production for the TREETOP SISTERS® new song animation, I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing. It is due for an early fall release.
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
This summer I worked with a wonderful guitarist from the UK. His name is Jay Stapley. Jay played both acoustic and electric guitar on my daughter's upcoming new holiday release, Very Merry Christmas. Solid player and good communicator. I certainly would recommend Jay Stapley, for sure.
Analog or digital and why?
Digital. Because I can provide them with an infinite number of ideas. Editing is so much more process as well. And as a vocalist myself, having a digital output signal to work with gives you so much more control over very important factors such as intonation and pitch.
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I will do my very best to deliver them professional, passionate, music.
What do you like most about your job?
Helping people to achieve their musical dreams!
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
How long have you done this? My answer, longer than you have been on this planet!
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That all of us in the music business are wealthy and we never have a problem paying the bills!
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What are you musical goals?
Are you planning on pursuing music as a profession or a hobby?
Who are some of your musical influences?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Before you hire me or any music pro for that matter, do some research and make sure that they would be a good fit for your particular musical style and genre. Also communication is key.
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
1. A solar or wind powered generator (how else would you get electricity on a deserted island?)
2. A really nice keyboard/workstation.
4.Condenser mic and stand
5.My fiddle :-)
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
I began as a singer/songwriter and released my first album back in 1978. I worked with a wonderful producer named Phil York. Phil had just won the Grammy that year for engineering Willie Nelson's masterpiece, Red Headed Stranger. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Los Angeles and took a position in the mailroom at Chrysalis Records so I could learn the business side of things. About a year later, I purchased a 16 track recording studio from the old Takoma Record label, located in Santa Monica, Ca. next door to McCabe's guitar shop. McCabe's was famous for doing small acoustic concerts in the showroom located in the back of the guitar shop. They were "unplugged" before the term "unplugged" existed! We ran a 16 channel snake across the rooftops and began recording a lot of these concerts. I was privileged to work with the likes of Bonnie Raitt, The Chambers Brothers, Maria Muldaur, and many other amazing artists. On the "artist" side of things, I began touring with Laura Branigan as a support vocalist. In the 90's I relocated to Nashville, TN and my wife and I along with our bandmate, Frederic Boyle formed the jazz vocal trio, TRIAD , and we were signed by the Nashville based indie jazz label, Artifex Records. We recorded an album of country classics with Nashville legends, Chet Atkins, Boots Randolph and Floyd Cramer. After several years of touring, my wife and I decided to settle down and raise a family. I had always loved the Ozark mountains, so we made the move here in 2005. We have 3 beautiful daughters and I have been working with them in the studio since the oldest was 7! The project is called the TREETOP SISTERS® Animated Song Series. I write, produce, and record the music and work with animators around the globe. In 2013 we charted on the Media Base Holiday Charts and the girls had their first hit holiday song, Nicki and the Crew. It is still played every year on Sirius XM's Holly channel as well as terrestrial radio stations across the US. We have 2 new releases due out this fall. Needless to say, I have been in the music business for four decades now and I have no intention of retiring!
How would you describe your style?
Laid back but organized.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
John Legend. He is very intelligent, has a fantastic voice and I feel that he has an amazing potential for expanding his artistry to new heights.
Can you share one music production tip?
LESS IS BETTER.
What type of music do you usually work on?
Usually indie singer/songwriter projects. We are just up the road from Fayetteville where Arkansas University is. Lots of young talent looking for an experienced producer to help them put their songs together.
What's your strongest skill?
Confidence and communication.
What do you bring to a song?
Years of experience in life and music BUT always approach with what the artist is envisioning.
What's your typical work process?
First things first, FIND A POCKET!! If you do not have a tight rhythm section, you will always be chasing it! Once I have the feel I am looking for, then I layer on top ending up with percussive motifs to sweeten the overall sound of the track.
Tell us about your studio setup.
As most of us are these days, I am on a digital platform running Sonar Platinum Producer Edition software, Roland Octo-Capture sound engine, and a pair of KRK Rokit 8 Monitors, with a variety of mics.
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Old school influences would be Quincy Jones, George Martin, and Ted Templeman as far as the production side. Paul McCartney, Michael McDonald, Van Morrison and Steely Dan as far as artist and songwriters. Today's influences would be Ed Sheeran, Pharrel Williams and the master, Herbie Hancock as the "bridge" between old and new.
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
Song and publishing demos are what I tend to receive the most.