Tuesday, April 29, 2008
At one point last week I was worried that I may be "mixing myself into a hole." Today, I was happy to realize that I'm not. These mixes are looking pretty good. I also like mixing at this pace: 3-4 hours in the morning, then lunch, 4-5 hours, then dinner, maybe 2 hours at night.
I went & picked up Jo-Jo today. She's a mut that Michelle dog sits. Her owner is going to Turkey for a week or so. Jo-Jo will be staying with us (& the boys). I'm sure the boys will keep her entertained for the time that she's here.
Go Suns (& take the Mavs with you!)
Monday, April 28, 2008
Michelle wasn't feeling well, so I babied her this morning. I still made it to the studio by 10am. I came home for lunch & dinner. After dinner, I chilled with Michelle. We watched 'House, M.D.'
She was asleep after that. I sprinted to the studio to recut a bass track for the record (at the suggestion of Matt Mangano). For fun, I pressed record on the first take. I then spent the next hour & a half cutting bass tracks. Surprisingly, I kept coming back to the initial take. So that's what I kept. That'll teach me to try & prefect something!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I was paranoid last night. In my 4 hours of laying in the bed, I woke up every 15-20 minutes to make sure that I had not overslept. Even though I got up & was in the shower, my wake up call came 15 minutes late.
I dragged myself to the lobby at 4:30am for our one hour trip back to the Ontario, CA airport. I usually don't sleep on planes. I don't know why I don't, but I don't. However, I had no trouble in sleeping this time. I was out before take off & woke up just before landing.
It was nice to have a direct flight. Everyone else in the band, but Barry, got on another plane in Atlanta.
I drove home & simmered in the bed with Michelle. Not much else to report other than that.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
We left the hotel at 8am, bound for the Sacramento airport. It was a quick hour flight to the Ontario, CA airport. It was a typical casino fly date. Upon entering the casino, I dropped my bag off in the room then made my way to the show room. I helped our new guitar tech, Darryl, set the stage & get sounds. After that I retired to the room to watch the Lakers' game.
My Dad came to the show & brought some of our family. It was good to see everyone. We played two shows tonight. The first show was great. However, the second show was weird. I couldn't put a bead on it but I think there were upwards of 60 people at that gig. That was the first time that I've ever played with Tucker to such a small crowd. It was a little uncomfortable. We still played well.
I have to go to sleep. If I play my cards right, I could get 4 hours of sleep tonight.
Friday, April 25, 2008
I got up around 6am this morning. That's early when you hit the hay after 1am. I don't know where my mind is lately. My only option for breakfast was Burger King. Such is the road sometimes. I tried to take a nap or find a way to pass the some time - but all attempts were fairly futile. I watched "Cool Hand Luke" this morning. No matter how many times I see 'the egg scene' I get anxious. It's like I don't know what's going to happen.
I was so board that I left for load-in with the crew at 1:30pm. It was normal fare for a set up. I liked trying out the new Gibson Melody Maker. I'm using Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb Reissues lately. The Melody Maker was so bright that I had to set the bass to 9 & the treble to 2. It's a part of growing up. You learn use convention to a point. I used to set both treble & bass to 5 & whatever happens happens. Now I actually listen to what's going on & making adjustments (imagine that).
The show was slamming. We're in the zone as of late. It's the most inspired that I've ever seen this bunch. Everyone seems to bring the "A" game ever night. I'd say the highlight was "Ramblin'" tonight. It was blistering.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I got to the studio early this morning to bounce all my rough mixes to listen to on the plane trip tonight. I think I made some pretty severe changes at the last minute. I have a bad habit of doing that. We'll see how I did with that.
Not much to report. I flew Delta this afternoon to Sacramento, CA. I was sweatin' all the way to boarding time. I was slated for a middle seat for the 5 hour flight. I ended up pulling rank on some folks with my Sky Miles status. I got the only aisle seat that was released just before boarding.
The flight was uneventful. But that's how you want it. I watched "Hitman" on my iPod. It was as expected.
We landed in Sacramento & picked up David Muse shortly after. The ride to Colusa was a little under an hour. I'm gonna crash.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I was mixing it up early today. There's not much to talk about. I came home from lunch. Then went back to work. We had dinner with our neighbors at Stella in Grant Park across from the cemetery.
The album (& the mixes) are pretty much done. I'd like to step away from it one more time to make sure. I am lucky enough to have that luxury right now. My mixes aren't due until next Friday.
I'm dreading tomorrow's flight: 5 hours to Sacramento in a middle seat. Hopefully I'll get one of the seats that they release (if they're available).
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I got to work in the studio for 3 hours this morning. Shortly after that I met Michelle back at the house. She worked this morning too. We jumped in the same car & drove to Snellville where we met my Mom for her "birthday lunch."
We then paid a visit to our "old" house to assess what needed to be done cosmetically to be put up on the market. Structurally our house is fine. It just needs a few days of real TLC to get it back up to snuff to sell.
We came home fairly late. I also haven't eaten dinner. But I ate so much at lunch that I'm not even hungry at 10pm. I guess I'll save it for breakfast.
Listening: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles
Monday, April 21, 2008
I started the day off with 3 one-on-one games with my Dad. I took the first & the last. I also played him my new stuff. After he left I resumed with my mixing duties. I made some good headway. I'm not far at this point. It's all stylistic changes, additions, & subtractions at this point. The busy work is all done now.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
THe bus rolled into to the Atlanta airport at 6:18am. I rolled on home & crashed in my own sweet bed.
After I woke up I got ready. Michelle had a lot of surprises in store for me today. The first one is that my Dad flew in from California. I was not expecting that. We had a bunch of family over for Danny Ligon's famous (or infamous) barbecue. It was wonderful. My whole family surprised me with the purchase of a piece of my childhood. She bought a guitar from my Uncle Ray. It is a 1960 Gibson Melody Maker (single cut, single pickup). I've always loved that guitar - even when I was a little kid.
It was a wonderful day. There was some great sports on today. The Braves won. They're 9-9 now.
30 doesn't bother me in the slightest. People keep asking me if I feel any different. I think it's just like getting married. Nothing has changed - just time has gone by. I do look forward to what I'll do between now & 40...
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I got up pretty late. Maureen, Michelle, & I had lunch at Doc Green's. Then we sat around for a couple of hours.
The bus picked me up at the airport at 5:45pm. We took our time on the way to Tuscaloosa. We picked up David Muse at the Birmingham, AL airport.
I saw some of the best basketball I've ever seen today. San Antonio, Phoenix, Utah, New Orleans - everyone looked ridiculously good. Chris Paul is amazing. Tim Duncan is the most uninterestingly spectacular player that I've ever seen. I've never had so much watching round one of any best of 7 series. You gotta give it up! The NBA is thriving for the first time since Jordan left (the second time).
I'm not sure exactly what the gig was for tonight. I do know that Costa Del Mar sunglasses were the sponsor & there were a lot of college kids. Eric Church Band opened up. They were pretty good (for a Nashville style band - of which I hate that type of band). Our set was blazing. We also were playing really loud - but in a good way. We were on our way back home by 3AM EST.
Friday, April 18, 2008
It was a slam dunk day. Long story short - the show at Eddie's was wonderful. Everyone played great. Kevin Leahy & Will Robertson brought it. Everything was there. Nothing to complain about. Maureen Murphy is staying with us this weekend. I can't have a better weekend coming up either.
I just don't know what to say.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I started mixing when the clock struck 9am (literally-I watched it change over while I waited for Pro Tools to open up). I worked so intensely for 3 hours that when I finally stood up my back hurt. Man, I was focused.
I went home for lunch. Then I dropped off a DVD to Mark Cobb & took a backseat full of gear to Midtown Music. I traded all of that for a Star Nova. Star Amplifiers is the latest company from Mark Sampson. I really don't know much about him, but I do know this: he's the most important amp maker of the past 15 years. He started Matchless Amps - & left. He started Bad Cat Amps - & left. He started Star Amps a couple of years ago. I think that he's regained his magic. The Star Nova is a tweed Champ on steroids. It's built like a tank. It's 5 watts. It's perfect for Eddie's Attic.
Anyway, I started mixing again around 2pm. Then, some one decided they wanted to cut loud guitar tracks in the middle of the day. So I left around 3:30pm. That's the thing about mixing: you can't force it & you can't work under dire listening conditions. I used to be able to... & my mixes used to suck too.
I returned after dinner to a quiet studio. Actually, I was the only one there. He must have driven everyone off. I worked for 3 more extremely productive hours & went home.
I've touched on all 14 songs. In a pinch, I could turn it in right now. I could live with myself. However, I say that now...
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
My car was packed & I was out the door with no time to spare to pull into the parking lot of the rehearsal space at 11am. We tightened up the show & had lunch all before 4pm. That's when I ventured to the studio & started my mixing day. My ears were pretty burnt but I had a lot to do (& most of it didn't need super-critical ears, at least not today).
I blazed through 4 songs today. It was very pleasing. I'm glad I get to take my time on this thing. Sometimes it's hard to be objective, especially when you're the only party involved in the decision making process.
Michelle & I had dinner & I left the studio a little before 10pm.
I'm ready to relax & prepare for tomorrow. Just mix!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I guess you could say this is day one, but not really a full day. I dropped off my prescription, deposited a check, went to Music-Go-Round in Lilburn (40 minutes away), picked up my headphones from Atlanta Pro Audio, checked my soldering connections at Mark Cobb's house, had lunch with Mark Cobb at Cantina La Casita, & got to the studio by 2pm. I left the studio at 6:30pm. Michelle dinner & I made time to spent some time with her. We drove around for an hour polluting the air, spending gas money, & spending time together.
When we got home, I rebuilt my Aslyn pedal board & crammed two new Aslyn songs in my head for tomorrow's rehearsal.
I did get 5 songs in a really good spot. This album shouldn't take too terribly long to mix. Ofcourse, that's how you jinx yourself.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I packed my car accordingly & showed up to Kevin Leahy's rehearsal space around 10:45am. We rehearsed in closer quarters than I'm used to. However, it's probably better this way considering that we're playing at Eddie's. I've been forced to get a better sound out of my amp at a lower volume. Good luck to me.
I did a chunk of work on the new record & set up, for what I hope is, the final tracking session for my record.
Nick Niespodziani showed up at 8pm & cut me playing Hammond organ on 2 songs. Shortly after that a bunch of my friends showed up for a clapping session. Their claps were the only sound that I didn't make on the record. There's only so much sound that one man can do.
I am extremely excited & elated! I can see the finish line. It's been a year & a half since I started this thing. It's about time to finish it!
Listening: The wonderful music in my head.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I rolled out of the bus at the Atlanta airport around 6:30am. I drove home & crashed out by 7:30am. I got up around 11am with nothing to do. I could get used to this but there's much work to be done... starting tomorrow. Michelle went to the Renaissance festival today. I was actually trapped at the house because my car was blocked in. So I made the best of my time. I put together a pedal board for the Aslyn gig on Friday (& rehearsal tomorrow). I ran through most of her tunes. I simply needed a day at home with my fellas (Pete & Charlie).
John Adams & The Tudors were excellent tonight.
Listening: Aslyn's new stuff
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I was up by 11am. I rolled out of the bunk into the parking lot into the hotel. I relaxed ALL day. I watched most of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on TNT (with commercials).
We (The Marshall Tucker Band) played the Gulf Coast Ribfest. I had some killer bar-b-q tonight. It was also one of the best shows that we'd ever played. It was one of those nights that you'd wished that some one rolled tape on. The Les Paul & the Two-Rock are perfect for this band. I love playing with this band. It's automatic for the people.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I spent the day with Michelle (big surprise). I went to Mark Cobb's house to help him 'install' his studio in his basement. I wired in his wall plate & we installed Pro Tools & Logic on his computer. We watched the Braves destroy the Nationals. I came home to a sleeping wife. I packed my bag & made my way to the airport. The bus picked me up at 1am bound for Florida.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Nothing to report. I recovered my mother-in-law's dining room chairs. My right thumb has been tingling & numb since then. It's been nice not working on music today. Sometimes you have to just step away.
We had dinner at The Corner Tavern in Little 5 Points.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I was up & showered by a reasonable time. Michelle went to work for a few hours & I did the same. I went to the studio to listen to all of the tracks for the new record. I took notes. I tried to be objective. After a few hours of that I came home & we had lunch. It was a late lunch. Then we chilled downstairs in the basement for a couple of hours. It's starting to get hot in Atlanta. It's a little unwelcome.
I came to the studio officially at 6pm. Barry Borden met me there to pick up a couple speakers that he lent me. Michelle & I had dinner & then it was full blown work. I corrected or took care of every note I could come up with today. I'm backing the record up right now as I type. I have a good feeling about this thing. I have Monday night left for tracking. Nick Niespodziani will engineer for me. It will be thing that I can't do by myself like Hammond organ on a couple of tunes & some miscellaneous percussion.
The Braves lost another one tonight. They just can't seem to get it together. I guess it's good that the season is 162 games.
I found this picture of a crazed Earnhardt fan. It cracks me up!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Due to my erratic sleeping schedule yesterday, I slept really hard last night. When I finally got up, I was kinda worthless until I left the house for the monthly NARAS Governors Board Meeting. Business as usual. We ushered in our new officers. After that I went to the dentist. I had a pretty good checkup.
I came home & chilled with Michelle. We had dinner & I split for the studio. I getting everything done. Only two more nights & then I tear into mixing this bad boy. I'm pretty excited. It's been a long time coming.
Monday, April 7, 2008
For no reason at all Michelle & I popped up out of bed at 3am this morning. Usually I'd call 3am last night, but it was the beginning of my day. I was in the studio by 6am. I put a full day in by 2pm. Michelle & I ran some errands & had dinner at Cantina La Casita. It was a weird day. I just finished watching Memphis lose their game against Kansas for the College National Championship for men's basketball. Congrats to Memphis.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I went to bed at 4am last night. I got up at 11:30am today with 6 hours left to ride. We had lunch at Bates House of Turkey in Greenville, AL. It was the best vegetable soup that I've ever had. I bought a quart to go. I guess we'll eat it tomorrow.
Not much to report. I left my wallet on the bus. I guess that rules out driving until I get it back. I have new Tudors & John Adams to watch.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Ahh, the beach. I've spent a lot of time around beaches this year... & mainly either inn the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean. I didn't do much today. I, however, was rested & ready for our gig. We played a fund raiser for the Texas State Aquarium. The had an auction before the show. They sold two Mexican Stratocasters signed by the band for $10,000 each. WOW! It's funny what happens when you get a bunch of wealthy folks in a room who try to 'out rich' each other.
Our set was super short. I'd say we only played an hour & 15 minutes. It was good though. I have realized that the Fender Hot Rod DeVille is not my cup of tea. I think that when we do another rental I'll try a Fender Deluxe Reverb RI. At least that way I'll be able to crank the amp up to a respectable level of saturation without peeling the paint off of the walls.
In sports news, the Kansas Jayhawks & the Memphis Tigers destroyed their competition today. They were both great games. I would assume that the championship game will be a throwdown with Kansas' defense & Memphis' offense.
And now for the 17 hour trip home...
Friday, April 4, 2008
I woke up in the hotel parking lot (like normal). Jimmy (our driver) is the man. I went for a run today. It was absolutely beautiful. I could imaging that this town gets pretty hot in the middle of the summer. I'm pretty much 5 miles from Beaumont, TX.
It was a pretty boring day. Tonight's gig starts at 11:30pm (Central Standard Time). My body & brain are still in Eastern Time, so it was pretty late. The gig was slamming though.
The opener tonight was an hour of bull riding. It was insane. I've never seen it live. It kinda freaked me out. I think it's a bad idea on all fronts.
I really have found my sound on the electric guitar with this band. The '59 Reissue Les Paul & the 50W Two Rock Custom Reverb Signature are IT! I am extremely comfortable with that situation.
I'm not 100% on the steel sound from night to night. I'm thinking of switching from the Peavey Nashville 400 (1x15) to a Fender Twin (2x12). The Twin is what we normally rent & 9 out of 10 are usually perfect for what we need it to sound like.
The stage tonight was easily 15 feet, if not 20 feet, off of the ground. It was really weird looking at the crowd from that height. It sounded awesome & everyone played great. It was a good night.
We have a 6+ hour trip tonight. I would hope for the same results tomorrow.
Listening: 'Under the Pink' by Tori Amos
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I hit the bed hard last night. It was easily as hard to get up this morning. I drove to the courts but no sooner than I got 3 shots off, a down pore ensued. I came home, unfulfilled.
I then went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. It was a run of the mill kinda day.
The bus picked me up around 8pm tonight. I'm kinda excited about my new record. Tucker isn't working a lot right now. Normally, we would be 3 nights a week by now. Because of 'history' I haven't booked any records for the studio. That leaves all of my attention & free time up for the completion of my record. It's hard to make an album in a bubble. I've been the only one in the studio for easily 90% of this record. It's easier to make a record when there are other opinions & other ears. They can tell you "yes" or "no" or when something is right - & definitely when something isn't working. I still have a few nights of tracking left. The goal is to finish tracking the record before the big 3-0 (which is about 2 weeks away).
Listening: 'Detours' by Sheryl Crow
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
We started the day off with a little wet court basketball. It was still fun. You just can't be aggressive with your feet.
We had lunch with my Mom at her new workplace. She seems like she likes it pretty well. I showed up at the studio to work on my new record. The current studio traffic kept me from making the adequate noise that I needed to make. So I left to run some errands & go home for a few hours. Michelle made some pasta, beef, tomato thing that was pretty good.
I then went back to the studio from 8pm to 2am. I got A LOT done. I wish every time I was as productive as I was tonight. I feel pretty good about myself. However, it's time to sleep.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Michelle & I started our day on the court. A little free throwing, a little one on one. It's a good way to get the blood flowing in the morning. After shower time, I made my ways to the studio. I worked on my record for a few of hours. Michelle showed up with lunch - so I ate. Then, Brian Wiltsey showed up a little after 1pm. I set up a mic & he played his new tunes. Mainly for a production reference. By time I was bouncing his mixes, Gareth Asher showed up & did the same. He needed the piano for a couple tunes. By the time I was bouncing his mixes, my 5pm appointment showed up. It was an artist wanting me to work with them. We'll see.
After dinner, I met Nick Noespodziani back at the studio for tracking. I played electric guitar & some Hammond organ on the new Y-O-U album. After a few hours of that, I came home - & am about to crash HARD!