February 20 2014
Greetings! I just returned from a nice quick tour of England with oldtime stringband The Bucking Mules. Despite the weather, we had a lovely time and were quite well received! It's always great to dip into another culture for a bit and reflect. We have a new album that will be out in a few weeks.
I'm delighted that so many of my friends and clients and talented amazing humans are finding success! The Snarky Puppy recording got a Grammy! "Something" featuring Lalah Hathaway got best R&B performance... Great news for music education, and just really nice to see talented innovative musicians up there getting some credit. Hats off to all the amazing people that made this happen... especially Michael League of Snarky Puppy and Dylan Locke of the Music Lab at Jefferson Center.
Lake Street Dive's new record just hit the shelves, and though I had nothing to do with this one, I'm happy to report that it's a great record it looks like they are on the fast track to superstardom! The promo video for their last album Fun MAchine, recorded right here at Studio 808A has almost a million and a half hits now!
Curtis Eller's American Circus's new record has finally hit the shelves! "How to Make it In Hollywood" is getting great reviews and I'm really delighted with how the album came out. We cut the basics live at Soundpure in Durham (where the current band is based) and did a few overdubs and mixed at my place. I used a lot of rooms mics and crusty old analogue gear and the record has a really distinctive sonic footprint. I love Curtis's songs and the previous records have all been live in one room, so the options for mixing were always extremely limited. This time, we still went with (mostly) live, but we utilized iso booths so we were really able to go rock n roll on the sounds, especially the drums banjo and vocals. We both love some grit in the sound... Sun Studios stuff, Kinks records, The Band, 70s punk, so we printed our final mixes to tape super hot and got this delightfully warm and slightly blown out saturation on the whole thing, placing the audio somewhere in the dusty halls of american history with the characters and imagery of the songs themselves. I'm often in the "make a stringband sound like a stringband" world, so it was really fun to do something different! The reviews have been great, and my favorite so far is from Popdose:
"Eller and company stomp and romp through the record’s 10 tracks as if the building’s on the fire and there’s only one take to go before the studio’s nothing but ashes and regret." Yeah! Adam Gonsalves did the mastering and the limited edition Vinyl pressing sounds terrific. Get your copy today at Curtis Eller's Website!
Leyla McCalla's new record is out in the US and is gaining critical acclaim! The New York Times says "Her voice is disarmingly natural, and her settings are elegantly succinct: often just the barest lattice of plucked strings (cello, guitar, banjo), with an occasional turn toward old-time swing or Haitian rhythms. Her magnificently transparent music holds tidings of family, memory, solitude and the inexorability of time: weighty thoughts handled with the lightest touch imaginable." I'm so thrilled that she is finding success, it was such an honor to work together co-producing and playing bass on this amazing project! I really admire her for being willing to go simple on the production and let the text and her amazing musicianship be out front. The ability to do that is rare and young artists are often not willing to take that risk, but Leyla really created some magic on this album. Check out this video from the opening track.
Well, after having only the truthfacerecordings page with an under construction sign for the last 5 years, I thought it might be time for a new site! Things are going quite well this fall, and I've been busy launching the second semester of the pilot program Music Lab Floyd, as well as working in the studio. Music Lab is an an experiential learning program for teens that looks at music technology- recording, live sound and music business. The Snarky Puppy live recording made at the Jefferson Center earlier this year has been wildly successful on youtube and has been #1 on itunes. All proceeds from sales of this album benefit Music lab, so if you like R&B/neo soul/jazz/hiphop please pick up a copy... I promise you won't be dissapointed! Here are a few vids... the second one features 2 Music Lab students 12 year old Jayna Brown, and 15 year old Gabe Morales... wow!
It's such an honor to be working with such great folks!
We're almost finished with Curtis Eller's new record, and I'm super excited about that...
In other news, a few projects from earlier in the year are hitting the shelves... I just got an advance copy of Leyla McCalla's Vari-Colored Songs and it looks and sounds great! It's out in Europe now on Dixiefrog and you can expect a US release soon. I got to co-produce the album as well as play a little bass on here. Her settings of Langston Hughes poems are stunning and beautiful.
Kilby Spencer gave me a copy of the Crooked Road Rounders new record and it looks and sounds great too. These folks take the prize for most efficient band in the studio ever! They cut over thirty tracks in one day! All live, no overdubs, no playbacks, almost no second takes... and the record is awesome! This is a big band, but we recorded everything through two very carefully placed Peluso 2247 tube microphones in the live room. With the exception of occasionally making the banjo player stand on a stool and moving various people during tracking, there was almost no mixing... we brought up the faders and it sounded amazing! I added a little compression/limiting to get the levels up and off to disc they went! Peluso microphones are made right across town so this record was truly a southwest VA project including the people, the music, the studio and even the microphones!
Diana Jones' new record got a great review in No Depression, and The Guardian liked it too.... "recorded live in a cabin at Tennessee's Museum of Appalachia, with two sidekicks and a crackling fire, but its sound (guitar, fiddle, banjo) is rich, the playing faultless and Jones's distinctive vocals imperious." We recorded this one with my mobile rig in a little civil war era cabin... No depression remarks "DeJarenette’s production has created a beautiful, crystal clear, warm sound that the majority of Nashville studios would be hard pressed to recreate." Nice!