Wednesday, December 31, 2008

San Juan Capistrano, CA

I slept in late at my Dad's house this morning. We finally both got our shit together by lunch time. My brother showed up & we made our way to that ever important southern Californian institution: In & Out Burger. It was fantastic. We followed that up with a matinee showing of "Valkyrie." I really enjoyed it. I will probably purchase this movie for my DVD collection when it comes out.
After the movie, my Dad & I picked up some chips & salsa & watched Georgia Tech get smacked by a very decent LSU football team.
The show tonight in SJ Cap was nice & short. An hour & a half is on the shorter side for movies & Marshall Tucker Band sets. I was given 2 reissue 65 Twins to use tonight. I couldn't get either of them to sound good. Boo!
With today's extra rest I'm still kinda fatigued. I guess it's the jet lag setting in.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

West Hollywood, CA

What a day. I was up by 7:30PST (you can't blame me - it was 10:30am at home). I spent most of the morning listening to Zac Brown & remedying my new iPhone sync woes. Both are things that once you get them - it's done for good.
I packed & left the hotel with the crew. After we loaded in our guitars & such to the House of Blues I took the rental van down the street to the Hollywood Guitar Center. I also visited Vintage Gear right next door. I bought a pedal steel bar & a couple of supplies for our guitar tech.
We line checked & then my Dad & Brother showed up. We had Sushi Dan's for dinner. It was really good. Josh, my Brother, turned me on to some new rolls.
The show tonight was fantastic. I really had a good night playing & the crowd was really into it. I must say, it was the best L.A. experience I've ever had on stage. I have more bad stories about playing in L.A. than any other city.
Thanks to the crowd for changing that luck.
I rode back to Orange County tonight with my Dad & Brother. I'm staying at Dad's new place tonight. Tomorrow should be exciting.

Monday, December 29, 2008

To L.A. & Beyond

I got up in a flurry. Rushing around the house to pack & get ready for my trip to southern California. My flight was supposed to leave at 1:30pm. Delta took the liberty to leave at 4pm (& change gates, crews, & planes at least twice). Even though we had a direct flight to LAX, it still made the travel day rather long.
The DirectTV on those Delta flights makes it rather bearable to sit in those seats for 4 hours. I listened to all 26 Zac Brown songs that I have to learn. I'm really looking forward to adding my spice to the pot.
At baggage claim I ran into Brian Butron (a.k.a. DJ Danger Mouse). It was good to see him. It had been a while.
We checked in to the LAX La Quinta & were done dining on Taco Bell by 8pm PST. I watched an episode of "House, M.D." & am ready to turn in for the evening. See you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Amanda Fowler (day two)

I got to the studio early. I set up my Leslie to play Hammond through. That took about an hour of set up & tracking. The of B is not my favorite key to play on a keyboard. I guess I just need to broaden my abilities.
We tracked a bunch o vocals takes: male, female, gang, etc. By lunch time, both songs were sufficiently tracked.
After a wonderful Savage Pizza experience, I started mixing. It was rather pleasurable. When something is tracked correctly, it's a breeze to mix. When I say 'tracked correctly,' I mean that the sound has been captured properly, each instrument has it's own sonic space via instrument selection or performance, & arrangement. It's this that I've learned to do over the past year mainly. I've always achieved pretty good sounds - it's knowing what to put, how to make it sound, how to play it, & when to do it that's the trick.
Anyway, after they left I went home for a quick dinner with my wife. The it was back to the studio to meet Coy Bowles, member of the Zac Brown Band, to talk through his songs. I'll be playing with them on Friday with no rehearsal. It was a good time. We talked about all sorts of things. It's going to be a good change. I'm pretty psyched about it.
Long day tomorrow. Better get some sleep.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Amanda Fowler (day one)

I was out of the house by 9:15am. I worked for Angela Motter today. She produced while I engineered (& played some instruments). We played two songs for her client, Amanda Fowler (who wasn't even in attendance). Tony Caporale was on drums & Angela played acoustic guitar. Vanessa Oliverez made an appearance close to the end of the day to sing vocals on it. I guess these two songs could be considered songwriting demos.
All in all it was a very productive day. We should have minimal work for tomorrow. A couple over dubs - then mix.
Rock n Roll.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Let It Roll

Some very interesting events for today. When I finally showered (1:30pm), we went to Atlantic Station for one purpose & one purpose only: iPhone. Michelle got me an iPhone for Christmas. We went to pick it up. I'm pretty excited about it. We also ran a couple of other errands.
We enjoyed dinner with our friends NIcole Jurovics & Greg Lee. We've kinda made a yearly ritual out of it now.
After that, Michelle walked a couple of digs & then we made our way to Decatur to meet up with a gaggle of my high school friends. That has also started to be a yearly ritual around this time. It's always good to see them. I feel like I don't see any of them enough. There's really no reason for it. Maybe that will be my New Years' resolution.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, Ya'll!

5am. Michelle's alarm went off at 5am. She had to walk a handful of dogs before our trek to Snellville. We dropped the boys (& lunch's ingredients) off at Michelle's Mom's house. We got to my Mom's house around 7:30am for our Christmas morning time with my family (& breakfast). We returned to Michelle's Mom's around 9:30am for Christmas with her family.
Then, I picked my brother up & we made our way to Wallace's Mom's house.
We came back to meet up with everyone for lunch & then off to the movie. We went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." I dug it pretty well. It's a 'one time' kinda movie. I don't think that I'll ever need to see it again.
Michelle & I returned to our house to take care of a couple of dogs, do our Christmas, & clean our house a tad. I also went to pick up my new MDX Missycaster. He finished the suede guitar. It's fantastic.
What a crazy day. It's time to crash.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

I got up, after my first decent night's sleep in a while, & bolted for my local Target store. I had a bunch of last minute shopping to do. Most of it involved Michelle's stocking. I didn't hit ay home runs but I hit a ton of singles. The experience was pretty comical. Needless to say, there were a lot of folks about today.
We left Atlanta for Snellville around 4pm. We had dinner at Michelle's parents' house. Normally, Christmas Eve dinner is buffet style finger foods. This year, she wanted to shake things up. They did steak & potatoes. It was a great change of pace.
Michelle & I got home around 11pm. We have an early morning tomorrow (as you could expect).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Christmas Carol

I had an über-late night last night. I left the studio at 3:30am only to return half way home because Reed had locked his keys in his car. I went back to call a locksmith, take Reed to an ATM so he could pay the locksmith, & I sat with him for an hour & a half. I got home around 5am & my car was beeping (like when you leave your lights on & open the door of your car). I gave up after 10 minutes & taking the boys out to potty.
I slept from 6am-11am. We went to see the midday 'Christmas Carol' at The Alliance Theatre downtown with Michelle's parents & our friend Heather. It was entertaining at best. The music was fantastic though. It was harp, piano, & percussion. Well done.
We came home & had a couple of friends over for dinner & Wii tonight. I sure am tired. It's time to relax.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Reed Turner (day twelve)

I slept in a little today. Michelle's a little ill still. We watched "Scrooged" on OnDemand today. I couldn't believe that she's never seen it before. I love Bill Murray. He's great in most of the roles he's in.
We ran a couple errands then I was off to work. It was the last day of this marathon record that Reed Turner & I started exactly two weeks ago. I'm very, very proud of it. It's my favorite record that I've ever done.
Final day is a little tedious. You have to keep from second guessing yourself. It's a day that can shake your confidence to the ground if you let it.
I'm proud of this thing. Can't wait for you to hear it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reed Turner (day eleven)

Michelle was a tad ill today. I did some chores around the house. I realized how much I take her for granted around here.
I also wrapped all of her presents for Christmas. I've decided that her bounty is a little light this year - so maybe I'll get her something else tomorrow.
I got to the studio around 3pm. I spent the next hour preparing all of the sessions for mix. Luckily, this whole album was tracked fairly well & shouldn't take very long to mix.
Around 4pm, MIchelle called & asked me to thelp with one last errand. I fit it in & was back by 4:40pm.
Reed showed up around 5pm & we worked all the way to 1am. This thing sounds really good. No matter how good it is, I can't wait for my work to be over for these holidays. After late tomorrow night, I have until the morning of the 27th off. Bring it!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Celebrating a Tad Early

I left the house around 9am for the day. I met my brother & mother in Loganville & we all drove to Spartanburg together. It was great to spend time with them. My brother lives in southern California & I never get to see them. I've hardly seen my Mom this year either.
It was great little family party in Spartanburg. It was good to see all of them too.
We drove home in the same rain that we drove up in. After dropping them off in Loganville, I went to pick Charlie, my dog, up at Michelle's Mom's house in Snellville. I was back hoe after that. I spent 11 hours on this trip: 2 back & forth from Snellville, 6 back & forth from Spartanburg, & 3 in Spartanburg.
After I dropped Charlie off I did couple of jobs around the house. I then made my way to Eddie's Attic. Ed Roland from Collective Soul had his annual Christmas show tonight. I played on 3 songs: I did "I'll Be Home Fo Christmas," Eddie & I did an impromptu version of "Santa Clause is Coming to Town," & Will Turpin, Michael Tolcher, & I did a version of "Let It Be." It was fast, but fun.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Reed Turner (day 10.5)

I was up before noon (after a 5am bedtime). I spent the early part of the afternoon tightening up Reed's string arrangements for today's session.
I showed up at the studio at 3pm for our 4pm session. Due to holiday traffic, the quartet arrived a good 15 minutes late.
We breezed through the three arrangements. It was definitely a step up for the record to have real strings on it. I'm really psyched to finish this thing. Two days left on that. It will be done on Monday night.
I came home around 6:30pm. Michelle's father's side of the family came over for a Christmas party tonight. It was nice to see all of them.
I need to recoup from the past two weeks & get ready for my Spartanburg trip tomorrow. Peace out!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Reed Turner (day ten)

And here we are... swinging for the fences.
I started Reed Turner's string arrangements (in normal last minute fashion) this morning.
I had a dentist appointment today as well. I'm pretty focused on Reed's record right now. We're very, very close to the end of tracking it. I've spent 10 of the last 11 days tracking this album.
Today wasn't any different from the others. I spent a few hours editing fades & crossfades for every track. It is the least entertaining activity about making a record, but a necessary evil I must say.
We had an amazing dinner at The Vortex (pictures) in Little Five Points. I've been looking forward to it all week.
Reed sang a handful of background vocals & the final lead vocal of the album. I made a ton of weird noises for the record this evening. All of the really strange stuff mostly happens last.
We a two hours (string quartet session tomorrow) away from finishing the tracking for this record. To be frank, this one will be a cinch to mix. I can't wait for it to be done though. I'm ready for a break.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reed Turner (day nine)

So I couldn't get to sleep in a timely fashion. It was 4am. Because of that, I was out until noonish.
I took Dwight Maddox a box of parts so he could finish my new guitar this week. I'm pretty stoked about it.
Michelle & I watched the season finalé of Dexter on OnDemand this afternoon. I love that show.
Work was fairly typical tonight. Reed (pictured) sang some background vocals along with his friend Shannon.
Dawn from Ear Everything delivered my in-ear monitors tonight at the studio. I'm looking forward to playing with in-ear monitors. I used to use them with Marshall Tucker when I played sax & flute but they weren't custom molded. I used the new pair to monitor part of the session tonight. It's quite amazing what a difference they make when they're molded. They make a tight seal & don't let much sound in - making for a better, quieter mix in your immediate ear.
It's been really warm for December over the past 2 days. It's easily in the low 70's here today. It felt like summer time tonight when I came home & let the boys out.
Who let the dogs out? Me!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Adrianne & Reed Turner (day eight)

Pulling a double. I don't do it often... but I have lately. I did the Gareth Asher - The Bridges day... & the Camp Jam Benefit - Reed Turner thing two days ago.
I need more rest.
After a 3am bedtime & a 8:30am wake up, I showed up at the studio around 9:15am. Derek Murphy (pictured) brought a car full of drums to The Small Room shortly after. He is a very inventive drummer. I love working with him. We worked solid from 10am-2pm (with an hour of breaking down). We cut 5 songs on drums & I threw in a tune on bass. It was rather productive.
Is printed home in hopes to relax for the 2 hours that I had off. Michelle made a late lunch (or an early dinner - it matters how you look at it).
I spent an hour doing administrative work on the record. Sometimes you just have to clean up the clutter. It helps you work more efficiently. Mark Cobb came by around 7pm for percussion. He knocked it out of the park (as usual).
Around 8pm people started rolling in for the small choir that I've requested. We cut a couple of sections for Reed's album. Shortly after that, Reed & I had dinner.
Then we came back & met Reed's friend, Shannon, at the studio. The night went on, Reed & Shannon alternating singing on the record. I can clearly see the end of this record in sight. It was sooooo far away a week ago.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reed Turner (day seven)

Slept in. Michelle & I watched The Muppet Christmas Carol today. It's her favorite Christmas movie. It's pretty good.
I then took a shower & we had lunch out & about. We also did a little grocery shopping.
I hit the studio around 5pm. I feel like I'm getting into a pretty good groove with Reed's record. He cut some vocals tonight. I cut pedal steel, baritone guitar, mandolin, banjo, & Leslie guitar this evening. It was rather productive.
After he left, I cleared the room & set up for tomorrow's drum session with Adrianne. It's going to be a doozy tomorrow.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Reed Turner (day six)

I slept really late today. Back on the old schedule I guess... to my benefit it seems.
I left around 1pm for the studio. I spent half an hour there learning some songs for the Camp Jam Atlanta Food Bank Benefit.
I showed up at the Hard Rock around 2pm. It was fun set. Y-O-U backed everyone up. Peter Stroud (Sheryl Crow's guitarist), Jeff Carlisi (pictured - .38 Special founding guitarist), Will Turpin (Collective Soul's bassist), & I played a little over an hour. The best news is that they raised enough money to feed 1,000 people this coming week.
I went straight back to the studio for tonight's session. Reed showed up around 5pm as usual. We spent the evening tracking acoustic guitar, piano (tuned just this morning), Hammond organ, & lead vocals. Reed's album is really coming together nicely.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Day Off

I slept in today. Not much to report. I went to see the progress that Dwight Maddox made on my new guitar. I brought him my '54 Esquire to make a cast of the neck. That guitar is going to be really, really cool.
MIchelle & I spent most of the day together. Errands are a big part of our time together as of late. Bruce Hornsby said it best: that's just the way it is, some things never change.
The big news of the day was the Christmas party tonight at a neighbor's house. I stayed for 3 hours. Michelle stayed an extra 2 after I left.
I caught Hugh Laurie on Saturday Night Live. It may not have had the most gut busting skits... but I noticed that the current cast of SNL are fantastic actors. Instead of comedians these are real actors. It was actually quite impressive & only heightened by the addition of Hugh Laurie for the evening.
Anyway, if it comes on again - I highly suggest watching this rerun.

Friday, December 12, 2008

MILK & Reed Turner (day five)

I shoulda had more sleep. I think I got about 6 hours. I have no earthly idea why I got up when I did - but I did.
I took a shower & Michelle & I went to have lunch & see a movie. We went to see "Milk," a bio pic about the political years of Harvey Milk (the first openly gay man to hold a office of higher power - City Supervisor of San Francisco in the late '70's). It was fantastic. It's been a long time since a movie really touched me. Coincidentally, the last time one did was "Into the Wild" directed by Sean Penn & starring Emile Hirsch. Both were actors in "Milk" too. I suggest it. I hope he wins his elusive Oscar off of this one.
I showed up at the studio around 4:30pm. Carl from the band Taveren showed to ask me for some advice. After answering his questions while setting up for tonight's session, Reed Turner showed up around 5:15pm. He got stuck in some serios Friday-Atlanta traffic. He'll know next time.
Tonight was pretty easy. We cut a couple acoustic guitar parts & then some lead vocal parts too. We had time to land two electric guitar parts before the night was done.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Reed Turner (day four)

I slept good last night. Damn it I slept good.
I got off of my couch in the basement around noon. I called back a bunch of voicemails shortly after I got up.
Michelle & I had lunch with our friend Jennifer at The Highland Bakery. It was fantastic as usual.
Then we took two giant boxes filled with a Two Rock head & a Two Rock cabinet to the post office. I sent it back to them. Joe sent me an amp to test that they designed for pedal steel. It sounded really good. I used it on Gareth Asher's album & live with Shawn Mullins at the Variety last month. I really didn't want to give it back but I'm in no position to pay what they want for that amp (especially as limited of a steel player that I am). Maybe if pedal steel was my only instrument. I love my Two Rock guitar amp.
Anyway, I spent 3pm-5pm tearing down last night's session & putting up tonight's session.
I cut Reed Turner's acoustic guitars all night. It was a nice change of pace from the past 3 days of "rock band" to acoustic guitars.
I guess I can find a way to complain about anything.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Regular Guys + Reed Turner (day three)

It was an epic of a day. I got about 5 hours of sleep last night. I was up at 7:15am to shower & head out the door. The weather was terrible this morning (& today for that matter). It took me an hour to get 10 miles to the Cummulus radio station.
It was a good scene at the new Regular Guys headquarters. I had a great time promoting the Camp Jam Food Drive for this weekend at the Hard Rock Cafe. Those guys are really, really quick & funny. I stayed until the show was over at 10am because I didn't want to get back in the rainy traffic.
I came straight home & crashed for two hours in my dungeon in the basement. I sleep so well down there during the day. It's really bright in our bed room during the daytime.
I showed up at the studio by 4pm. The guys were a tad late today. All we really had on the docket was one more song. Reed had other plans. We cut the final song & recut three others tonight. Then there was Ian's electric guitars. We spent from 11:30pm to 3am on that.
I rushed outta the studio & back home in hopes to catch some great sleep tonight. We'll see how that'll end up.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reed Turner (day two)

I ran a couple of errands with Michelle today. We went to celebrate her step Father's birthday at lunch today. We had a pretty good day together. I showed p at the studio by 4:15pm. Reed Turner & band showed up around 5pm. We knocked out another 3 songs tonight. It's super late & I have to be up early tomorrow for the radio. Good night.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reed Turner (day one)

I tried... I really tried my very best. I really wanted to sleep late today. I still found myself awake by 7:45am. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do. You're up.
I tried to take advantage of my new found time. I was in a minor fender bender (his fault) on Friday. I made contact with his insurance company this morning & got the ball rolling on that. I also did some XMAS shopping for Michelle. I love buying her stuff.
I also ran to Conyers, GA to swap out my neck plate on my Esquire. Peter Jones accidentally put the wrong neck plate on my Esquire when he refretted it last week.
I went home for lunch & to help Michelle hang a couple of XMAS lights on the outside of the house.
I then drove to Mark Cobb's house to pick up a couple of snare drums & a gaggle of cymbals for tonight's session.
I promptly made it to the studio by 3pm. I spent the next 2 hours setting up for the week. I set up drums, bass, electric, & acoustic with a vocal mic.
We started tracking Reed Turner's album shortly after dinner. We got 4 songs done so far. I'd say we might get another done before the end of the night. We're just cutting the basic tracks. His band knows the stuff back & forth so it's moving really fast.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Let There Be Chill!

Michelle & I sauntered into the breakfast area in the ballroom of the casino this morning. Free food is always good.
We caught our ride to the airport around 10am. Our flight left Tampa at 12:30pm. It was a painless flight. My guitar (in a roadcase) was waiting on me when we got to baggage claim. That's always a plus.
Even though the weather was fantastic in Tampa, I'm glad to be home. I love Atlanta.
We dropped off our luggage & changed clothes & left for Snellville. We got to Michelle's parents' house by 4pm. It was good to see them & our boys.
Michelle helped them put up their tree. We also had a pot of Michelle's Mom's brunswick stew. It was great.
It took us a couple of hours to decompress when we finally got home.
We watched Dexter & the season finalé of Californication. Showtime rules!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tampa, FL

I got up slowly today. Michelle & I had breakfast in the ballroom where we had dinner last night. We took a long walk around the property today. When we got tired we retired to the room. We watched the last 3 episodes of 'Heroes' on their OnDemand service. Hey, I'm on vacation.
The concert was simple. It's been long & a ton of bands in the past. It was Bo Bice, Confederate Railroad, us, & The Charlie Daniels Band. We were supposed to play at 2:30pm. However, these things never run on time. We ended up playing around 4pm. It was a bit of a cluster fuck on stage. There were 5, I repeat 5, guitarists on stage. From stage right to stage left, Chris Hicks, Dan Toler, Tommy Crain, Rick Willis, & me. It was still a pretty decent hour set considering that.
I spent most of my afternoon explaining why I am leaving the band. Most looked at me confused (like when I talk seriously to my dogs - they cock their heads funny). I caught a great deal of grief today. You would've thought that I spoke out against God in church or something & had to walk through the congregation to leave the church.
On top of that, Michelle & I have taken this weekend as an opportunity to eat shitty. I'm on vacation so I didn't care. I wanted to enjoy myself. What I got was a crappy feeling evening with a headache. I've never realized how much nutrition has to do with the way that you feel. & to think - I used to eat like this 365 days a year. For shame!
I feel crappy all over & a ton of people don't think a lot of me for making this exit. I can't blame them for their opinion - but I did the physical damage to myself.

Friday, December 5, 2008

To Tampa (& Beyond)

I love when you can fly anytime after 11am. This means that you don't have to get up before 7am if you don't want to.
We were up by 7:30am. Everything seemed to be going okay. I was pulling into 'daily parking' & some one hit my car with their car. Their fault. Not much damage but it still needs to be taken care of.
Our check in, security check, terminal wait, & flight was perfect. I couldn't have imagined it any easier. Not only that, but we walked straight to baggage claim & our ride & bags were both waiting for us.
They took us to the Hard Rock Casino in Tampa. The Marshall Tucker Band is a part of the Charlie Daniels Angeles Concert tomorrow. Tonight is the awards dinner. By awards I mean that they had a golf tourney today.
Michelle & I spent the afternoon in the casino taking pictures & perusing the memorabilia here. We also ate in the buffet. It was fantastic.
We hung out in our room until the dinner time. We got all gussied up & sat through the 2 hour dinner. It was pretty good (but a tad boring).
Until tomorrow...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bobbin' & Weavin'

I woke up this morning to some pretty cool news via a PDF attached to an e-mail. I'll be playing Bonnaroo with Zac Brown Band this summer. I'll also be playing Late NIght with Conan O'Brien too. Those are two things that I've never done - always wanted to do - & will do next year. I can't believe how lucky I am. Life constantly throws me fastballs & I keep making contact.
I rolled into the studio around 11am. I started doing some 'drive' maintenece. I backed up, defragmented, & emptied 2 hard drives. I will use one drive as a work drive & the other as a daily storage drive. I put Gareth Asher's album (as it stands) on both drives.
Nick Niespodziani came over around 12:45pm. He recorded me singing Cream's "Crossroads" & Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." I sang them for a project that he's working on. I also played a solo on a blues tune as well.
Then Dawn Linn from Ear Everything came to the studio & made impressions of my ears. She's going to make me some custom molded in-ear monitors for the Zac Brown Band gig. Those guys don't use stage monitors at all. It'll be new for me. I used to use in-ears for Tucker when I played flute but Tucker was so loud. This should be a little different.
Michelle & I spent the evening getting ready for our trip tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the 'vacation.'

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Missy Day

My schedule has been getting so hectic over the past year that Michelle & I have started to 'book' time with each other. Today was one of those days. Since I spent most of the day with her yesterday (unexpectedly), I ran a handful of errands today.
I made a couple of mixes for Gareth Asher's record. It will be a while before we resume recording. I'll be working on Reed Turner's new album over the next 3 weeks. I made mixes so he (& I) could step away & simmer over what needs to be done next.
I cleaned the studio as well. Things are coming together nicely in The Small Room. I'm very happy with my workspace... very turnkey.
I had lunch with Dwight Maddox. He's the guitar tech for Cowboy Mouth & owner/artist of MDX Guitars. He's going to build a guitar for me in his time off during the holidays. I'm pretty psyched about it. It's going to be very unique. I'm sure I'll be talking about it in the coming weeks.
Michelle & I spent the evening together. We started off by taking a quick trip to Atlantic Station. Michelle was looking for something to wear at the formal dinner that we'll be attending this weekend in Tampa for Charlie Daniels' charity.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

... just like any other day

Michelle & I voted today in the run off election for our undecided Senate seat. Apparently it was too close to call last month - hence the run off. (Wow - Georgia has more counties than any other state. It also has more square mileage than any other state East of the Mississippi).
We also ran across town a couple of times running errands. We got a lot done today. We also had a great day together.
I spent a couple of hours in the basement sharpening my chicken pickin.' I've never had a gig where I had to play like this. The funny thing is that I'm really good at it. I should have played guitar in a country band years ago. I just get it. It's über-natural to me.
Since Gareth is sick, & was slated to sing last night & tonight, I have the evening off. Michelle & I will spend it together... probably resting.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gareth Asher (day six)

Ahh, December. I remember it well. Michelle & I made a day of errands. It's good to spend some time together. We both know that I'll be consistently on the road in a month. We're making the most of the time now.
I rolled into the studio around 3:30pm. I cleaned up the weekend's mess & set up for the evening. Gareth finally showed up, sick as a dog. We comped 4 vocals from last week & then I sent him home.
Mark Cobb showed up around 9pm for percussion. He's really good at it. It only took him an hour & a half to play a whole record of percussion.
After he left, I set up & played steel guitar, Rhodes, & electric guitar. I also edited some of Mark's percussion; mainly muting things.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nada Damn Thang

I spent all but 4 hours in the bed today. I've got a really nutty December coming up.
I watched the whole season of "True Blood" on OnDemand. That show was well done. I also watched the Falcons win yet another game.
I also forgot to mention that the Georgia Bulldogs lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets yesterday. That was pretty painful. They haven't done that in 8 years. To add insult to injury, I think we're going to lose our quarterback to the NFL this coming off season. You can't win 'en all.
Oh well.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Atlanta, GA

Today was fantastic. Michelle & I spent the first half of the day together.
Then it was off to Shawn Mullins-land.I left the house around 2pm for the studio. There, I picked up half of my rig for tonight (only because that's how much fit into my Saturn). I drove the mile to the Variety Playhouse & dropped it off. Then I did it all again, picking up the other half & starting the set up. It took about 45 minutes to set everything up like I like it.
Sound check was typical. Tiny sonic problems fixed with a twist of a knob. I came home after & watched the movie "The Departed" on HBO. It's nice to relax before a show if you can.
Chuck Cannon opened up. He & his guitarist were great.
Our set was pretty flawless. Gerry Hanse, Patrick Blanchard, Davis Causey, Randall Bramlett, & I were the band for the evening. I loved it. I'm tired though. Moving all that gear back to the studio after a day like that wears me out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mullins Rehearsal, Eddie's Open Mic FInals

Matt, Emily, & Maureen left the house shortly after I did. I arrived at the studio at 10am. I had a lot of 'cleaning' & moving things around the big room at the studio. I also had to set up my gargantuan instrument set up. It took quite a while to implement all off the instruments.
Kip Connor, Shawn Mullins tour manager & FOH soundman, showed up shortly after 11am. He set up a small PA & helped me get the room just right for a full house of musicians.
We had two other of the usual suspects: Gerry Hansen on drums & Patrick Blanchard on bass. We had two new addition though: Randall Bramlett on keys & Davis Causey on electric guitars.
It was a different sound. It definitely not Peter Stroud. It sounded good though - but different.
After a day of rehearsal I ran home to change clothes & make my way to Eddie's Attic. I was a judge at Eddie's Attic Open Mic Finals tonight. We started at 7:30pm & I left at 12:30pm. It was quite a night. I loved it though. I am tired too.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day

What a relaxing morning off! I watched last week's episode of Dexter on Showtime this morning on OnDemand. I finally took a shower & helped Michelle prep the house for our Thanksgiving Day party. We had a small party compared to our history here in the house. I think it was around 15 people this year. I was very relaxed & cool.
I stuffed myself silly. It's was kind of fun to have that change of pace. I changed my diet quite a bit over the past two months & none of it included stuffing myself silly. I'm not even going to eat dinner.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gareth Asher (day 5.5)

I was up at 8:45am to eat, print out the string parts, & take a shower in time to leave by 10am. I meet Russell Carter at the studio. We edited The Bridges' song that they're pitching to Coca-Cola. I also did a handful of alternate mixes for them. At noon, the string quartet arrived for Gareth Asher's session.
I was still setting up when they finally sat down & got tuned. It was pretty automatic. I took three takes of each song. It only took an hour & a half to play 5 songs. I had a little glitch in one arrangement but it only took 2 minutes to fix.
I did a bunch of mixes for Gareth to take home for the holidays. This was a half day for Gareth (hence the 5.5).
Then I made another couple of requested alternate mixes for The Bridges after a last second e-mail from Russell.
I was home by 4pm. Matt Mangano, Emily Brown, & Maureen Murphy showed up 30 minutes later. We had dinner & spent the rest of the night playing Wii, surfing the internet, & talking.
Today was great!
PS I also found out that my nuclear stress test was clean. I'm going to live another day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gareth Asher (day five)

Michelle & I left the house around 9:45am. I dropped her (& the boys) off at her parents' house. I, then, went to my doctor's office to take my nuclear stress test.
About 2 months ago I went for my yearly physical. He said my EKG looked kinda funny & suggest (but really told me) to have a nuclear stress test. So here I am.
They put an IV in my arm & administered a radioactive dye into my blood stream. Then they sat me down in this "camera" to take pictures of my heart while in a rested state. Then, after waiting another 30 minutes in the waiting room, they put me on a treadmill to get my heart rate up to 160 bpm. It took 13 minutes of constant exercise to do it. The technician said that most people with "problems" have chest pain around the 9 minute mark (where I didn't feel a thing).
Then they filled me back up with another dose of the radioactive dye. I then sat in the camera again. We'll see what the result is in a couple of days after some one reads the results.
Gareth & I resumed tonight around 5pm. I played Hammond on the rest of his record. He sang on a couple of tracks. Then the party began. Walter Ray showed up & played some great blues harp on a tune. Then a bunch of folks showed up to sing on a tune (gang vocal style). It sounded fantastic!
Most of the folks stayed to the end of the session to party & hang out. Gareth sang on a bunch of other songs. It was a very, very productive night.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gareth Asher (day four)

I was in the studio until 3am last night. I made a final mix for Russell Carter to submit to Coke for this commercial. We'll see if they bite.
I got here at the studio around 1pm. Mark Cobb was supposed to meet me at 2pm for percussion. He eventually cancelled around 3:15pm. So many things popped up during his last day in Atlanta before the holidays that he couldn't fit me in. I understand. Sometimes you just can't do everything.
Gareth showed up at 4:30pm & we started on vocals. We took a break when Ryan Newell showed up to play some guitars. He played some great stuff.
This album is going to be the best thing that Gareth has ever done.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gareth Asher (day three), The Bridges (day one)

We started at 11am (which means I got there at 9am). I played bass on all of Gareth's record this morning. I was really pleased with my work & also ahead of schedule (for a short time).
Some one dropped the piano (4 inches) off of the dolly at some point last night - & didn't put it back. I enlisted 3 folks to help me pop it back up on the dolly.
After that the day went to plan. I set up for piano, Hammond, & electric guitars. That took a minute or two. Scott Little & Josh Huff came & played electric guitars on a couple of songs. Gareth wanted to make a "guest heavy" record - & we're gonna do by God.
Gareth also finished final piano on the record. It was a very productive day.
I went home & had dinner with Michelle around 7pm. I returned to the studio at 8pm for my evening session. I don't double dip very often, so it's hard to pace myself for these days.
Ben Holst helped me engineer some tonight. He had nothing to do so he helped me. The Bridges finally showed up around 9:15pm. We cut drums, piano, bass, tons of vocals, electric guitars, & Hammond organ for a song for Coca-Cola. It's still in the pitch phase & uncertain for actual use. I'll let you know how it turned out.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So Happy Together

MIchelle & I spent the day together. My schedule has become so hectic that I have to schedule time with Michelle to ensure that we spend good time together. We ran a bunch of errands. It's just good that we spent some time together.
We had dinner with our neighbors tonight at a Turkish restaurant. I've never had Turkish food. As an American, I feel like it's similar to Greek food (but I'm sure Turkish people would take offense at that - but it's just an opinion - Sorry!).
I'm sleepy with a long day ahead tomorrow. Good night.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fly It On Home

It was a long flying day again. I was up at 2:30am for the 3am pickup. We rode an hour to the Sacramento airport. Our flight left at 6am for Phoenix. We had a 2 & a half hour layover there. Then it was on to Atlanta.
I got in around 4:30pm. Coincidentally, my Mom's flight came in two hours later. So I plopped my stuff in my on & moved it from off site parking to hourly parking. Then I met her at baggage claim. I brought her to the house where she jumped in her Benz & drove home.
Michelle, our friend Heather, & I went to see "Twilight." I was pretty disappointed. Such is life.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jackson, CA

I had no idea there was a Jackson, CA. They say you learn something new every day. After a late, late night last night (1am PST - after being in EST for the past few weeks), I got up at 6am this morning. No reason. Just woke up & was wide awake.
I started Gareth Asher's string arrangements. I made a pretty good dent in them today. I also made a ton of phone calls. I had a long list of things to do today & did every one of them. I feel very accomplished.
Our guitar tech forgot my pedal steel. It's still on our equipment truck doing nobody any good. Tonight's show was great though. Jim Wagner from WCR pickups sat in on half of the set with us. It's always nice to see him & Carol.
I'm watching Sweeney Todd on cable in the hotel room. The music in this thing is awesome. Brilliant really.
I have a 3am (PST) lobby call. I'd better get all of the sleep I can.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Travel Hell

I had a late, late night last night. I was in the bed, exhausted, by 3am. I got home & packed my bag & did a couple of errands around the house before I finally went down. I still had to get up at 9am to meet Coy Bowles at the studio at 10:30am. He brought me 3 CD's full of music to learn for the Zac Brown Band.
I came home & showered & downloaded these songs plus a slew of other stuff onto my iPod. I took the dogs for a short walk & then packed the car & took of for the airport.
The onsite parking lots were full so I had to go with plan B: off site parking. A little less convenient, but I'll live. Security was a non issue - which is always nice.
I HATE U.S. Air. Here's my flight-day: Atlanta airport by noon, ATL to Charlotte, 3 hour layover, Charlotte to Phoenix, 30 minute layover, Phoenix to Sacramento, then an hour car ride. I got in the bed at 3am eastern time. Traveling can suck... & it did today.
The only bonus is that I'll wake up in the Casino hotel tomorrow 300 yards from my gig.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gareth Asher (day two)

Michelle left early this morning for a quick vacation with her parents. My Mom showed up at 8:30am. I took her to the airport. She is going on a business trip. I came home for a couple of hours to relax & regain my composure. After a bowl of soup I ran a couple of errands & returned to the studio for a little piano tuning. Then I mic'ed the piano & set up some mics for acoustic guitar as well.
I went home & let my dogs out so I didn't come home to a house that smelled of urine. I quickly returned to the studio to meet a couple folks before our 4pm start time.
Gareth played acoustic guitar on 4-5 songs. Then we took a break & went to my house to let the dogs out again (& feed them). Then we fed ourselves at Little Azio's.
He finished the record on acoustic guitar then we moved on to the piano tunes. Gareth played piano on 3 tunes for the record. He's hasn't been playing piano for very long so it took him longer to get his takes right for these tunes. It's completely understandable but we got some great tracks.
I made a couple of rough mixes of what we have for some tunes. I needed to have something to listen to for arranging strings. I'll have a little down time over the next 2 days on the road. Well - maybe not downtime, but I have nothing to do.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gareth Asher (day one)

I met Gareth at the studio at noon for lunch. Originally, we were supposed to start at 4pm today. But since Gareth had to cancel yesterday we had to meet early. We started around 1pm tracking scratch tracks: tracks that Mark Cobb played drums with that line up with a metronome. We call them scratch tracks because we have no intention of them making the final mix.
We got everything done in a timely fashion & I had a little time to set up for Mark's 4pm arrival.
Mark was business as usual. He was great on the drums tonight. Marty Kearns turned me on to this snare mic that I love for a "quiet" snare sound: AKG 452 with an S capsule. Marty's got a pair of them. It doesn't work on a loud, rock snare - but for a controlled, fat sound, it's the one!
We had dinner with Michelle tonight at Rice Box. It was quite an evening. We had a couple of visitors to the session as well: Gareth's sister & Mark's wife. It was easy going & turned out some great tracks.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I was supposed to meet Gareth Asher for his first day of his new album. He called in sick this morning. That kinda throws my whole schedule in the blender for the rest of the month. I'll just have to make due.
I spent most of the day writing drum charts for Mark Cobb. He'll play on this record tomorrow.
I really didn't want to do this today. I guess it's the procrastinating 10 year old coming out of me. It was amazing the amount of things that I accomplished to keep myself from really starting this record. It's not that I don't like the music. I guess I wasn't in the mood. Mood is for cattle & love play!
I took a break this afternoon. Michelle & I galavanted to Atlantic Station. I needed a new pair of jeans. We also had dinner while we were out.
I started back arranging Gareth's music & finally finished around midnight. Here's to pressure tearing you up.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Big News

In a conversation yesterday with Milton, the Hammond guy, I realized that he had a stash of Jensen P12N's - which are useless to him. They are, in fact, very useful to me... & usually very expensive. Great guitar cabinet speakers! I went to his house this morning to pick up a pair. Original cones & everything.
I ran a couple errands today. I also informed The Marshall Tucker Band that I'll be leaving shortly after the start of 2009 - sometime around February. I will be officially starting with the Zac Brown Band. I'm pretty stoked about the change. They're really good guys & good musicians.
Michelle & I went to their CD release party at Stats. It was a private party at a upscale sports bar downtown. I was happy that she got a chance to meet everyone in the organization. I was also surprised & glad to see the enthusiasm for my addition to the group. This will be cool.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Long Time Coming

I ran a few errands today. Then I started printing Brian Wiltsey's mixes for mastering. Milton, the Hammond guy, showed up at 11:30am. We installed my Hammond into my control room. This way I can play Hammond & not hire an engineer to operate Pro Tools. I can do it all in the control room myself. I'm so selfish.
With an open afternoon & Michelle deep in a book I attended Brian Wiltsey's mastering session at Red Tuxedo Mastering. Alex Lowe & I have a great working relationship. I'm very pleased at the final result of Brian's album.
Michelle & I had some neighbors over for dinner & Wii. We made the grilled cheese & they brought the chili (which was fantastic by the way). Then we spent the next couple of hours playing Wii.
I'll sleep well tonight. I'm pretty pooped.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Almost a Day Lost

A slew of us Camp Jammers got to the Miami airport around noon. Atlanta was fogged out though. Our flight ran about an hour late. We were lucky to get out when we did. I got to rap with Jeff Carlisi for a while. It was cool.
I finally got home in time to meet our local Hammond guy, Milton. We were supposed to meet at the studio but a part he needed wasn't delivered by UPS in time. So we moved our appointment to tomorrow. At least it will get done.
I finished Brian Wiltsey's mixes tonight. He & I made the final decisions on all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Camp Jam (day two)

I slept in. I got an amazing night's rest. Kudos to the beds at the Hollywood Westin.
I showed up for lunch & shortly after our day really began. I was included in "the rock stars." However, they all split off to teach most of the ADC attendees to play instruments. I stuck with the songwriting group. We taught a room of 200+ to write a song.
It was weird & not well organized but everyone seemed to like it.
After that we had dinner & I took about 30 minutes to go back upstairs & lay down. It sure felt good - even if it was only 30 minutes.
Then, for the next 2 hours, the folks who ended up being instructed by the "rock stars" had their "recitals." That time was better suited to doing something else but I stood their & watched.
Then, the concert. Jimmy Hall from Wet Willie, Jeff Carlisi from .38 Special, Liberty Devitto from Billy Joel's band, Jack Blades from Night Ranger/Damn Yankees, & a slew of other performers headlined the event. It was fun to get to play with Jimmy Hall again. I really like his style.
My ears were ringing tonight but in a good way.