THE MAKING OF AN ALBUM . . .Pt 2

At the end of August 2014 and with the studio booked, I had to start thinking about Musicians who were going to cut the tracks with me. Stuart had recommended a Drummer whom he had worked with, Ross McFarlane, the drummer with Texas and the also their Bass player, but I personally wanted to use David Levy, the bass player who played on my last album, so I got David. The keyboard player Dave Major, my life long friend was also available so I had the musicians in place.

I quickly got to work on some rough demos so that the lads could hear the songs and the arrangements. The demos were really rough but it gave them a chance to hear the feel of the songs that we were going to record, and be a little bit more prepared for starting on the eighth of September.

A few days before we started Pete Lincoln, the singer and bass player from The Sweet called me, and we got talking about the usual stuff and I told him I was starting my album, (Pete was also in the middle of a new solo album) so we swap ideas so to speak. . . . . . Pete had mentioned he'd like to come down and check out the studio and was that OK? . . . . I said sure, bring your guitar . . . . so now I really had a full band, and having Pete meant that I had another guitar player to bounce ideas off and it allowed me to concentrate more on vocals and my lead guitar parts . . . . It turned out to be a great benefit.
We all met on Sunday the 7th of September in Castleford, went to the pub and I bought all the lads to a rather fine Indian curry . . . . We had great fun and everyone got to know each other and we had a great lads night out !!!

On the Monday morning I had to go collect a new amp from Hughes & Kettner so I ended up turning up not late, but the session was ready to go, Ross was sound checking the kit . . . . that was my first hearing of his playing . . . . Wow . . . I was knocked out.

I said previously that "Lock You Out" was the first track to be recorded, but I now recollect that we kicked off with "Visting Mr J" . . . . I thought this would be the title track, however I'd have a change of heart a couple of months on.
The track came together really quickly although we couldn't agree on the the feel, so we played a couple of versions, one straight and one in a swing feel. after much debate we ended up with a straight feel, but we put the swing feel back into the song for the long outro . . . It worked a treat.

We moved swiftly on to "Cross the line" the simplest of the three planned songs, now if you remember from the last blog, this was the track that felt mediocre to me, and it proved so on that day, we all had to work hard on the arrangement and it took the longest I think to record of all the tracks and it felt a bit of a struggle . . . . not a god sign!!!
That Monday felt like a long day . . . . We all went to the pub . . .again.

On Tuesday 9th September, we all did our overdubs and I worked on some solos, there was great banter around the studio and it just "Felt Alive" . . .  we were all buzzing and I knew everyone was really enjoying what were were doing and the effort they all made was really quite inspiring for me, and I was let's say . . ."as proud as punch"
We'de had another long day . . . . . We went to the pub . . . . again !!!

On the third day of recording we started "Lock You Out" . . . . . Ross and David nailed the feel and we all fell into line, halfway through the song Stuart stopped us and said "That's it lads . . .  "That's it . . . ."let's go for it !!
I think we played it twice, in the end, from what I can recall, we used most of the first take.
The rest of the day I think we did a few overdubs and David Levy went back to London, Ross packed away his stuff and prepared to go back to Scotland. That evening I did some vocals again . . . . I think we went to the pub? . . . . . Again !!

Thursday 11th September . . . It all felt quite lonely, Ross, Pete, and David Levy had all left, we had little banter and myself Stuart and the my trusty engineer James got down to editing, making fixes, overdubbing some guitar parts, Dave Major would work some keyboard parts later on that afternoon, before he would say his goodby's.

I was pretty drained but I'd made a start on my new album and I was; if I'm being really honest,  "buzzing" and quite proud that we'de accomplished what I imagined, only a few weeks earlier on that acoustic guitar in Spain.
If my memory serves me right, James the engineer and Stuart went to the pub . . . . . . . I went to bed.

Pt 3 . . . . . .Coming soon.












 

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