Friday, August 31, 2007
Don't you all remember picture day at school? It's been quite a while since I've had one. Since high school, I've only been in 3 other 'planned' pictures: MTB in 2000, my band in 2005, & Y-O-U in early 2006. We had new Tucker pictures taken today.
I dropped Michelle off at the airport this morning at 7am. She is going to Boston. Mark Cobb picked me & all my gear up at the house at 8:45am. He took me BACK to the airport to meet the bus.
I took a nap on the way to Spartanburg. We checked into the Best Western. Later, we took pictures late in the day. I hope some of them look good.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I paid a visit to Georgia Case Company this morning. They made a custom case for the in-ear rack for The Marshall Tucker Band. I always spend too much time when I visit. I picked up Chris Hicks' amp from Jeff Bakos. He did a rush job for us in repairing it so fast. He's the man. I also had a good conversation with mastering engineer Larry Anthony. He runs CSS Mastering. He suggest a few changes to the control room & that I read a few publications. I was just looking to learn more about the science of music. I know that sounds weird, but sound is just manipulated vibrations. It can't hurt to know 'why' something happens in addition to 'how.'
I came home & prepared for the road tomorrow. I made a few sandwiches for the bus. I also packed & brought in the plants from outside. I'm such a Suzy Homemaker.
Michelle & I hit Vortex for a burger. She's been having some back pain. The doctor gave her some muscle relaxers so she's out soon after consumption.
I spent most of the day running errands. I dropped Chris Hicks amp off at Bakos Amp Works on Ponce. It needed some serious TLC. I took a mic to Music Go Round & sold it. It was probably the 15th best mic in my collection. It's purpose was served better as cash. I actually hated it. I won't trash the name of the mic... but it was made in Baltic Latvia. I then paid a visit to Gerry Hansen's Creekside Station Recording. Shawn Mullins was finishing up his tracking there. I had to drop off a few things. I then traded my Fender '59 Bassman 4x10 RI for a Two Rock 2x12 - for use with a head to be named later. I also bought some new heads for my kit at the studio. It's been a few years since it has been reheaded.
I had dinner with Michelle at Mellow Mushroom. Then went back to the studio to meet Emily Kate Boyd. She was a little late so I restrung my Nash Tele. Emily Kate Boyd, or EKB, will be making a record with me next month. We took tonight to talk about the direction of the record & feel each other out for ideas. I'm really excited about this record. No offense to her previous work, but she's finally writing songs that match her wonderful voice. She's coming into her own as an artist.
After she left, I experimented withmy 65 Amps London. I'm excited about using that amp for a while. The stage volume has dropped a little for us... so the 18 watt monster is ready to play.
I came home and 'built' a pedal board for the road. Then I watched the final episode of ESPN's The Bronx is Burning. Well done. A pleasant distraction this summer. Can't wait for the DVD.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I love bus life. I've lived car life, van life, & even RV life for about 9 months. We're living a comfortable bus life. We own the bus, so my bunk is my bunk. For years, Tucker rented buses by the week or the month. Sometimes you could play every weekend & leave town on a different bus every week. This IS the life. It helps focus on the performance as opposed to focusing on our 'condition' or our travel situation. I know this may sound premadonna... but we travel for a living. We play shows for fun. And the word 'tour' is not very descriptive for how we do it. 'Tour' implies an end to the madness. For better or worse, The Marshall Tucker Band has been on 'tour' since 1973. There's been slow years. There was even a year in which the original band broke up & was reformed a few months later.
Anyway, I like the bus. I don't mind that I got in town at 3pm today. If I would've flown from upstate NY, I would've gotten 4 hours of sleep & probably had a lay-over in Cincy or something. This bus is good for me & the rest of the fellas. Just thought that I'd say it.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Lynyrd Skynyrd are a rock'n'roll band. Gary Rossington seems to be the most miserable rich man that I've ever seen. He never smiles on stage. Skynyrd music is happy music. There's no reason to grimace during 'I Know A Little." Anyway, their crew guys are great. The "new" guy, Sparky, is an old friend from Charlie Daniels Band.
It was a great crowd. A great set. A good night to be in Tucker.
Ahh... the Obetz Zucchini Festival. It was a weird sounding stage. Every now & then we'll run into a acoustic vaccuum that we use as a stage. I started out at a comfortable volume. Doug asked us to turn down... & turn down... & turn down. At a certain point, I was unable to even hear myself over the acoustic sound of the drums. Finally, when I sang a song (Take the Highway), I cranked back up & we all "let the bears out." It finally sounded right. Everything was fine for the rest of the show. It's hard to find that balance sometimes. It's usually best to do a REAL soundcheck, but this band does what is referred to as a 'line check.' The crew sets everything up & sets a 'relative' level out front. Each instrument is checked individually - not as a band.
Anyway, the crowd was great & we were happy by the end of the night. I'm sweaty... I need to change clothes for the ride to NY.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I got up at 5am to go to the airport. Josh, my brother, had a 7:45am flight. The bus picked me up at 7am. I slept until somewhere in North Carolina. We played at Hampden-Sydney College. It is a small college in Virginia. The kids were having a blast... no matter how think I drunk they got! At least it was outdoors. It was a beautiful campus. A great night all around. I fell back in love with the Les Paul/Bassman combo... I did figure something out though: you have to be at 50%+ on the volume, which is rather loud, to make it sound good.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
I spent the morning tightening up Jesse Ruben's mixes. I'm really happy with the outcome. I backed eveything up & made the reference mixes. He picked up everything by 3pm. Michelle & I went to see Superbad. It was pretty raw, but really funny at times. I feel like I could sleep for 20 hours.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I spent most of the morning singing background vocals for Jesse Ruben's album. I also did some elctric guitar overdubbs. By the time Jesse & his friend Athens showed up, I was ready for him to fulfill the last cracks left in his record: a couple of overdubs. I started mixing this afternoon. Also, Mark Cobb came by & played some percussion on a track.
Jesse was worried that we weren't able to finish in time. I see it totally different.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I got home in the afternoon. Michelle picked me up at the airport. She has hurt her back. She has a bad habit of overextending herself physically. We're staying in the guest bedroom because that bed is more firm & that makes it easier for her to relax. She's been asleep for a couple of hours... my clock is screwed up. I feel like I'll be awake for a while. Big Love was good... so was Flight of the Conchords & Entourage. What did I do on Sunday nights before HBO?
Saturday, August 18, 2007
We played the Kalamazoo Wing's minor league hockey arena. The Atlanta Rhythm Section opened up. They sound pretty good. I spent an hour restringing the pedal steel this afternoon. I also caught up on some rest in the dressing room. It was a good set tonight. Good volume, jamming, singing... & so forth.
It was a benefit for the Great Lakes Burn Camp. It's a summer camp for kids who been burned in house fires & such.
Why not Georgia City, AL or Oregon City, TX? Who comes up with these names?
Buffet: good, I suggest the baked Cod.
Venue: low ceiling, but it sounded good
For some reason, Stuart won't be out with us this weekend... so, it's the Chris Hicks & Clay show on guitar this weekend. I love my Les Paul (however, I'm in talks with Jim from WCR pickups about making me a set).
Friday, August 17, 2007
I was picked up at the airport at 3pm by the Tucker bus. I slept until we got to Spartanburg. We were ruffing it. The batteries that powered the 'house' electricity went down. We had no lights, tv, or outlets inside the bus... until we got to Prevost just outside of Nashville. After the tv's went back on, I was delighted. So delighted that I passed out in my bunk with a smile on my face.
Also, I had some Chester Fried chicken from a truck stop outside of Knoxville. I DON'T suggest it!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Jesse left the studio around 2am last night. I played bass & electric guitar until 6am. I then went to Kroger & bought some water. I came back & copped a nap until 8am when the piano tuner showed up. I left the studio at 9:15am. I was successfully asleep by 10:30am. Up by 2pm. Shower... back to the studio. I did some administrative work on the record until Nick Niespodziani showed up at 4:30pm. He & I set up for the night: Hammond, acoustic piano, electric guitar, & more vocals.
Nick was priceless tonight. I was understandably "toast." We got (almost) the rest of the record tracked tonight. I go home now. Tired!
PS Everything is sounding great!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Mark Cobb did it up last night. He's such a good drummer.
I had my first NARAS board of governors meeting this afternoon. It's a new experience in this music world. I'm trying to jump right in and swim.
Bakc on the ranch, Jesse played acoustic guitar on most of the record today. He also will sing some coming up here. We have a long night ahead of us.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
I made charts this morning for the Jesse's album. Jesse & his 'people' met me at the studio at 1pm. We did some preproduction & Jesse laid done the scratch tracks for the drums songs. After dinner I started setting up for the drum session. I ended up using 11 mics tonight. It sounded really organic. I plan to use this setup again.
Mark Cobb truly has a gift. He made every song better. I suggest him for any future projects that you may have. Like 'Cube said "Today was a good day."
Monday, August 13, 2007
Michelle & I have been going through a family emergency lately. Sorry for the lack of updates. I didn't go out on the road with Tucker this weekend. I'm sure they did fine without me. I start on Jesse Ruben's record tomorrow. It's a lot to keep up with... but we're doing fine. She's a smart one. The Braves looked good for a couple of weeks but they're starting to falter. Tiger wins another PGA championship. Even though it was presesason, the Falcons looked really bad the other night. Their immediate future is very uncertain. On a bright note, I really love Hillshire Farms Deli Select Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast (not pictured). It's really good. I suggest it on your next grocery trip.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
I worked on my record for a few hours today. The talented & great Marty Kearns engineered drums for me today. Nick Niespodziani was scheduled to do it but he ended up with strep. I'm rather prone to strep - so we didn't chance anything.
Anyway, the drums sounded amazing on the 3 tracks we cut. The night was cut short by a family emergency. Things are on edge.
Oh yeah, Bonds broke Hank's record. I was hoping for a sniper shot to take him out a few games ago. A man can dream.
I spent all day & all evening finishing the songs that I have basics for. I will record basics for 3 more songs tomorrow. It's hard to put together 21 songs. They've been written in over a year's time. It's almost like reading some one's diary from different times of the year - & put only certain pages in a book - & call it a complete thought. There has to be a common thread. I'm trying to pinpoint that now.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Here I am, again. I could grow to love this place. Saw the Bourne Ultimatum today. It was possible the greatest 'spy' movie ever. I'm thinking about quitting my job & learning to be an assasin. Flight of the Conchords was funny (as usual). Well, early day at spy school tomorrow morning.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Sometimes ya gotta do nothing. After being dropped off by the bus at 2pm - Michelle & I did nothing. Then, I went to the studio to work on the record for a bit. Slow coming on that. I'm coming to some realizaitions about it though. I'm just glad to be home for more than 2 days.
The cafe in the bottom of the hotel was pretty good. I don't remember the name. I spent most of the day working on preproduction for Jesse Ruben's next album. We start on a week from Monday. It's never too early - ya know. Ofcourse, I had time for the occasional film on the HBO. I think I watched Star Trek 61: In Search of a Skirt for Spock. I could be wrong.
Tonight's gig was a little out of the ordinary due to the lack of one Chris Hicks. He stayed home for this gig - reasons unknown to me. No big deal - it's only one show. And what a fun show it was - covering his parts as well. I got to show off a little at the Cole County Fair. I always knew I would make it big.
Now were on our way back home - worn out a little & satisfied.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
One & out. We'll be home by Saturday afternoon - no sweat. I spent most of the day finally working on my record. I could work a week solid on that thing & it may not be done. That's the price you pay for doing it all yourself. Michelle & I spent the afternoon together. And then... it was off to meet the bus at the airport. I guess I'll watch the Braves & pass out before Nashville. The new kip looks good! He hit one in his debut last night - & he hit one tonight. Maybe they don't suck as bad as I think.
I got up early today & headed into the dentist. There was a spot on a rear molar that he was growing suspect of. He took care of that lickety split. I then went to the studio & set up for Shawn Mullins & Kip Conner's arrival. They had Marty Kearns track Hammond organ today. I went home while they tracked.
Michael Tolcher & Gareth Asher showed up at 9pm & we started tracking a demo for Michael. It's just guitar & vocals. He also needed a piano version too. I'm about to send them on their way. Everything is going great. I hope the record company likes it.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
A.K.A. Gerry Hansen's old 3 car garage. Gerry's made some improvements in his studio since I worked there last. Everything was working out real nice! We worked on Shawn Mullins' new record today. I played pedal steel guitar, lap steel, acoustic, & bass. For those of you keeping score: late 70's Sho-Bud Super Pro, late 40's Rickenbacher B, Shawn's 66 Martin D-28, & 63 Precision. I also picked up my repairs from Southeast Guitar Repair. Brian Malone had been waiting for Lindy Fralin to rewind a set of pickups for 6 months now. It feels good to get the Everett back. She was getting sick - so I took her to the doctor & got her fixed up.