Monday, January 29, 2007

As far as I know...

... mission accomplished. I turned in my mixes for the Nicholas Alan record (title tba). In sad news today, 2006's Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was euthanized today. They tried to keep him healthy, but to no avail. Oh well.
Apparently, the new Marshall Tucker record is well under way. I can't wait to put a touch on it somewhere. There's also a small possibility that I might have to play sax & flute on the next gig in Bow, WA. David Muse's mother is not well. I wish the best for her & her family.
Other than mixing, I didn't do anything today. It was a great 10 hour mix session today. I only left to grap a bite to eat... however, time flie when you're having fun (or so I am told).

Private Parties

There's a lot of old money in Atlanta. Most of it was at this party that I played with Shawn tonight. It was an opening of a really cool eating place called JCT. We played surprisingly well for 27 degrees F. And the beat goes on.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

You have no idea...

The Y-O-U CD release was off of the hook... as off the hook as my phone will be tomorrow morning. I'm beat, but satisfied. Everyone brought their "A" game... even me! Mark Cobb is my favorite drummer. Kevin Leahy & Mark Bencuya watched him as they played "National Straitjacke." It was awesome.
My 65 Amps London really "showed up" tonight. I love that amp. Go download Y-O-U's new album legally for free @

Friday, January 26, 2007

Mixxy - closer

Nicholas Alan's record is one day from done... then he has to master it. Alex Lowe will do that.
I went to Dave Barnes' show tonight at The Loft. Matt Mangano is my favorite bassist of all time.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Slam it!

Compression! It took me 40 mimutes to get to the studio today. Normally, it's a 5-10 minute trip. It was rather frustrating.
However, it was a really great day mixing. I certainly got my "system" down.
It was my friend, Heather's, birthday. We went to Provino's for dinner. I don't want kids anytime in the near future.
I'm ready for tomorrow... I really like mixing right now. Especially Nicholas Alan's music.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ho Hum

For such an uneventful day, I am beat. I guess it has to do with the lack of sleep. That's usually a common problem with me. I hope to catch up on "the therapy" tonight. I was home by 7:30 tonight. I'm happy with that.
Nicholas Alan's album is turning into something great. We tried to record a last, acoustic song this afternoon. He wasn't prepared and he took his work home with him. I'll track his vocals on it on Friday.
I forgot how much I like compression. - Clay

Ahh, Movement

I couldn't go to sleep last night. Well, at least not until 3am. I paid the price come 9am. By 10 I was in the car and running errands around town. However, by 11:30, I was on my way to Easley, SC. Easley, a suburb of Greenville, is kinda small and boring. I met up with Marshall Tucker there for there first day of recording their new album.
I was only there for a minute. I was really on my way to Charlotte, NC... of where I "landed" by 4:30pm. I loaded in for a duo gig with one Shawn Mullins of "Rock-a-bye" fame. We performed for the 90th Anniversary of Cheerwine Soda. Cheerwine is a regional favorite.
Funny story: I spent a lot of time in gas stations and truck stops over the last year. One thing that I missed from my soft drink selection is Cherry 7up. It's one of those things that I missed when it was gone but didn't know that it was missing until, say, August. It has also given way to my new love of "Shirley Temples" at most gigs. Anyway, I took a sip of Cheerwine and realized where I could get my "cherry soda" fix right away. I haven't experimented with it much... but I think the best combination would be one part 7up/3 parts Cheerwine. The only problem is - you can only get it in the Carolinas. Good thing that I will be working for a Spartanburg based band for the next little while. Wheeew!

Monday, January 22, 2007


I spent most of the day preparing Nicholas Alan's "sessions" for mixing. I put track in groups and in the order that I like. I turn off all of the automation and mutes. I start from scratch. I also set up all of the automatic tricks... like sending the strings to a verb, then sending both the strings and verb to one stereo aux... then treating it like one track: compressing and eqing it like one instrument, even though it's 4 string players two times through with reverb. Silly guitarist... tricks are for kids.
I got each song in a good starting place as far as balance and pan. I did a little eq'ing and compressing... but that is for Wednesday.
We had Y-O-U rehearsal tonight. What a great band. I hope that it's packed on Saturday. They certainly deserve it.
You should read the Sunday Paper review from here in Atlanta:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

MidWest SuperBowl

I made french toast this morning. I didn't really care that the Bears won today. I will be honest, I was pulling for the Pats and was let down. I like the Pats because they're tough. One pro bowler (Richard Seymour - Bulldog) in the lot... and they made it this far. That's coaching and teamwork. Brady's pretty good too.
Let's look to the future shall we:
This will be the first time since 1977 that 2 former SEC quarterbacks will be starting the SuperBowl.
Without Googling it, can you tell me who those quarterbacks were (from SuperBowl XI)?
The last time the Bears went to the SuperBowl (1985) they won.
The last time the Colts went (1971 in Baltimore)... they won.
Both coaches and QB's are SuperBowl rookies.
Both coaches are black.
Both QB's are white.
The Bears '85 SuperBowl win was the first time that I payed attention to the significance of the game. My step-father & mother were never big sports fans. It's strange that my brother and I are so crazy about sports. Right this minute, my schedule has no plans for SuperBowl Sunday. I hope it stays that way.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Bursts of Work

I woke up on Friday morning at 4am in Las Vegas. I finally fell asleep around noon today. I played with Marshall Tucker last night in Minneapolis. I awoke this afternoon and Michelle & I went to see Pan's Labyrinth. It was excellent. The trailer sell it more like a fantasy. It's more a war movie. I'm sure that it would draw less people if it was sold as a war movie. It was very violent, but deserved. Just don't take the kids.
I've spent so much "time off." Since Christmas, I've only played 4 gigs, spent a day writing string charts, & spent 7 (long) days in the studio. I'm tired of working hard & then taking off for days at a time. I want to get in a groove. I want to start a schedule. I was built to make music. Let's work on that... shall we?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Please trade!

I don't do drugs. I have friends who do. However, they aren't a role model for millions of kids. Michael Vick has had 6 years to learn how to be an important sports figure... and failed. He's the highest paid player in the NFL & hasn't been to the playoffs in 2 years. He's also been an average role model. Maybe the Falcons should move Dunn to quarterback... at that point we would still have similar skills dropping back and running... & we would have a real role model leading our team.
My REAL solution: trade Michael Vick to the Raiders (he's Al Davis' kinda guy) & put Matt Shaub at QB. Draft a lineman... and go after the next decent, free agent receiver who becomes available. If the defense can stay healthy it should be "playoffs" for the next 5-7 years. Ofcourse, Petrino hasn't proved himself in the NFL, Hartwell & Dunn are getting up there, & Matt Shaub hasn't started more than 5 games in a row. BUT, I think that it would be a step in the right direction. Art Blank, quit wasting my time & your money.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I apologize for the lack of entries. I'm on vacation until tomorrow. - Clay

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Viva Smoke Vegas!

I guess it was the room that we got. It smells of smoke here IN the room. It's also rather dry in this part of the world. After a few hours on a plane, I'm a few quarts low. I can't drink water fast enough.
We're staying at the Harrah's. Maybe I'll go to Toby Keith's Steak House. Everyone knows how much I LOVE Toby Keith.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I finished writing the charts for Nicholas Alan's album. We recorded the strings tonight. It kicked up the album a whole new notch. I'm not writing about much because I just want to go to sleep. I'm going to Vegas tomorrow. I'm sure that you'll hear more later.
I found this picture of an eleven string bass. You can solo better with one of these.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pats, Colts, Bears, Saints

And so it goes... two new faces to the NFC Championship Game & two old faces to the AFC. I actually got a chance to watch the regular season matchup between Indy & New England. I was in a tralier park in Austin. The Patriots were still "finding" themselves back then. Tonight they found themselves beating the "best" team in the NFL in a sqeaker.
I write about this because my love for the Patriots grew in 3 different times in my life. The first was when I moved to Boston for school. That year, Bill Parcells took the Pats to the Super Bowl (consequently, losing to the Pack). The 2nd happened when they drafted Patrick Pass in 1999. Patrick and I played little league ball together. He was always one notch above everyone else. He may not be a stand out in the NFL (or college for that matter), but I root for them just because he's on the team.
The third reason is the hiring of Bill Belichick. This reason is in hind sight. I think he's the best coach out there. I guess I agree with most of the experts in that respect.
The members of Y-O-U are from the Indainapolis area. If they lose to my boys, then the rehearsal the following day might be a little awkward. However, I still want the Pats to win it all!

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Do you remember the last time music was good? Good music has always been there... but when did the record companies last offer consitent good material? I say '98-'99. The way I see it, rap rock & boy bands destroyed music for the record companies. In 1998 I was a fresh faced college drop out living with John Mayer in a crappy apartment in Duluth, GA. Half of the bands on the radio were good. I mean it.
I just listened to the 1st Owsley record today. I forgot how good it is. It's great poer pop. Fastball's "Out of My Head" might be the greatest production of 1998 or maybe even the late '90's all together. What happened to The New Radicals? Well, I know what happened to them... but what happened to the idea of them? Fastball, Semisonic, good Kravitz, good Alanis, & good Jewel were everywhere. Hell, Shawn Mullins managed to have the #8 song of 1999. Sure there were bands like The Flys, Sugar Ray, Smashmouth, but those bands have ALWAYS been there in my peripheral. Damn it, Ben Folds Five had a Top 40 hit with "Brick" in 1998.
Don't get me wrong, there are good new artists out there. But do you hear them on pop radio? No. I know of two great "new" artists who don't get ANY love from radio. I'm sure there are more. Which brings me to my fear for bands like Y-O-U. Maybe they NEVER get a good record deal. They certainly deserve it.
Britney, The Backstreet Boys, KORN, Limp Bizkit, Creed & Destiny's Child sold so many records in late '99-'02 that they brain washed the record labels to forget what art is about. Dawn it, I'm angry!


Here's a link to a really great article by Chuck Klosterman destroying the idea of a college playoff for football. He's so good.
I think this schedule is wearing on me. I haven't seen much of the sun lately. But at least I'm doing what I want. I could have to work some dead end job against my will. I consider myself extremely lucky... even if I don't know what day it is.
Nicholas Alan's record is turning out to be a gem. It has the potential to be my finest work.
I've really worn out Nostalgia & G-Media Mtron. I can't wait to cut the string quartet on Monday night. It should be the final touch to this record.

Friday, January 12, 2007


I came home tonight to the movie Ronin on AMC. I forgot how awesome that movie is. For every embarassment that DeNiro has made (i.e., 'Analyze This!' or 'Showtime'), he's made 5 good ones and 1 great one. This film lies somewhere in between. I can't even grasp that he made 'Casino' & 'Heat' in the same year. He also made 'Mean Streets,' 'The Godfather: Part II,' & 'Taxi Driver' in succession. Gushing over DeNiro is like gushing over The Beatles: it's been done... over & over. However, Kevin Spacey, I believe, has made the best "string" of movies. In order: 'Swimming with Sharks,' 'The Usual Suspects,' 'Se7en,' 'A Time to Kill,' 'L.A. Confidential,' 'Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil,' 'The Negotiator,' 'Hurly Burly,' & 'American Beauty.' He only made a couple of duds surrounding this streak. Impressive -
I played electric guitar, piano, Hammond organ, & Wurlitzer on Nicholas Alan's record tonight. He worked his way through his first assistant engineering credit. He did a great job.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Going through the motions

It was an early start tonight with Nicholas Alan. He had a great vocal night. He cut lead vocals on 7 songs and acoustic guitar on 4 songs. This might sound easy to some of you... but trust me - that's good for one night of work. I used my Sphere EQ's for the first time in a while. They're so musical. Sorry to geek out on you, but I felt I had to say something.
OnDemand is awesome. The fact that CBS puts their new episodes on there is great. Maybe I just need a Tivo. I'm never near a TV during primetime. B'Day, hint, hint. - -Clay

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Nod to Greatness

2 of my baseball heroes will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Cal Ripken, Jr. & Tony Gwynn are men among boys. Ripken had the highest amount of "yes" votes of ALL TIME. I can't wait until players from my '90's Braves teams are inducted. Glavine, Smoltz, (Chipper) Jones, (Andruw) Jones, & Maddux. I would assume that Maddux will go in as a Brave - wouldn't you think?
In local news, Nicholas Alan's 'day one' in the studio was an astounding success. I just want to walk around and congradulate myself on being me. It's hard to mess up Mark Cobb on drums & Sean McIntyre on upright bass. I'm sure that I'll talk more about it in our days to come.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


I haven't watched a Super Bowl since the Pats beat the Panthers in 2004. I missed my 1st National Championship game tonight. For such an avid sports fan, I plan a lot of work on critical sports nights. Congradualtions to the University of Florida for winning last year's Final Four and this year's football National Championship. That's pretty awesome.
Anyway, I finished mixing Chris Hicks' record tonight. I also burned rough mixes for Gareth Asher. We'll resume work on his record in February. I ALSO finished writing the lead sheets for the Nicholas Alan record that starts tracking tomorrow night. Talk about multi-tasking. I'm sleepy.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Well "Hello" Mr. Lt. Governor

I played the Lt. Governor's Ball tonight. The new Lt. Governor for the fine state of Georgia is Republican Casey Cagle. Casey never graduated college and is very nice. It's the first time in the history of this state that we've had a Republican Governor & Lt. Governor.
The Ball was a ball highlighted by performances by The Tams (Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy), Diana deGarmo (American Idolist from Snellville), Shawn, & Travis Tritt. He's actually shorter than I am.
The event was emceed by Rhubarb Jones. Most Georgians know Rhubarb as a country radio personality... and boy did he have personality.
Anyway, my sister, of all people, was there tonight. It was good to see her... even if it was from 100 feet away.
Back on message (that's what they say in politics). There are artists & there are performers. Shawn was the only artist there tonight. Diana deGarmo was the most fake, vile creature I had ever heard. I think that it would take years of Guantanamo type torture to get her to drop her artificial personality. The sadness lies in the fact that if, or when, you get to that point... there might be nothing there at all. She sang well in her lower range.
My foot is falling asleep.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

In Tune

The world was in tune. I was bright eyed and bushy tailed. My belly was full of fire. Things were going to happen today. Nothing was stopping me from making music today. Nothing stopping me but some one else working in my studio. Apparently some one booked the room today and forgot to tell me. Oh well. So I started writing charts for Nicholas Alan (with the NFL playoffs in the background).
I also did some slide playing in a new tuning. From what I've read, it's what Ry Cooder likes to use (DGDGBD). It's a version of open G. It's one string off from Shawn Mullins' "Lullaby" tuning (GGDGDBD). The dobro version is GBDGBD. It's higher and has less "bluesy" tendencies. It's pretty good for bluegrass though. Above is picture of Ry Cooder's main Stratocaster. It's been modified to use a Teisco & an Oahu pickup.
I got to hit the studio tonight at 8pm. I had some "moments" tonight. Things were clicking. I also spent the last hour cleaning the space. Organization is the theme of the year.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Studio & Stage

I just realized that I am going to be busy. More busy than ever. My next chunk of open time is in July. I guess I cam bragging. It would be stupid to complain about work in my line of business. Marshall Tucker, Shawn Mullins, & studio records are on the menu.
Gareth Asher had a very productive night in the studio. I wasn't home until 5:45am.
I need to get busy on the Nicholas Alan charts for his session on Tuesday. I need to buy another Calligraphy pen.
Also, today, the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach of 15 years resigned. Out of all the coaches in the NFL, I would pick him to get in a fox hole with. I'd even pick him even if he had a broken arm. He's a man's man. I wish him well.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Guitars are COOL

Don't tell Gareth, but I'm writing this blog entry while he's doing vocal overdubs. He may not appreciate me giving 50% attention to his take. Anyway... we're on day 10 of tracking for this record.
In "awesome news" today, I got this guitar pictured above. I sold other gear to aquire it. It's a reproduction of a solidbody made by Paul Bigsby. It's a Bigsby BY50. All of the brown stuff on the guitar is actually rosewood. I feel like I should wear a tuxedo every time that I play it. I am pleased. Let's make music, please. - Clay

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Slow Motion

I've been walking, knee deep in peanut butter today. No... not literally! It's been well over a week since I've worked at the studio. Not only did I get there later than I wanted to, but I left earler than I needed to. I doesn't really matter though. I was just doing some 'free time' overdubs for Gareth Asher's new album. I really like my new harmonium I got for Christmas. It has made an appearance on this album already.
It must suck to be a professional sports fan in Miami. They lost both their football coach and their basketball coach in one day. Nick Saban has left the Dolphins for 'Bama and Pat Riley has left the Heat for health reasons. They've also been threatening to move the Marlins somewhere else. I didn't even know that they had a hockey team. AND Miami Hurricanes football is in the worst shape its been in many years. If the weather wasn't so nice I would lobby for federal aid for the whole city.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Checking 1,2,3

Here we go. This is not a test. One of my New Year's resolutions is to keep a blog. It's part of my bigger resolution: to become more organized. We live in a world where crazy, OCD people have made hundreds of inventions and uses to keep oneself oraganized. I would think that this will be easy. Here goes:
Michelle and I have been doing our best sloth impressions of recent memory. Since the 26th I have watched BOTH CSI Season 6 AND 24 Season 5. She's sick right now. I don't know what to do to make her feel better. I was hoping that BCS football would do the trick but I see no signs of improvement. I have done a well needed organization of my CD's & DVD's. I'm also slowly getting my gear ready for the upcoming MTB summer tour and the upcoming Y-O-U CD release. Other than that, I had dinner with Matt Mangano tonight. Milltown Arms has THE best reuben in the city.