What started off a year and a half ago with the intention of doing a demo of one song, and wanting to give Mackenzie Paige some studio experience, turned into much more than that.
When we started the first song Mackenzie was just 14, and we kept the recording very basic. I must say I was very impressed with the songwriting and natural vocal ability coming out of her at such a young age. Every couple of months she would come in with a new song and a better vision of what she wanted. We gradually started getting into more production and arrangement ideas together. In the end, we had a very good collection of songs that made sense to release.
Her songs take the listener on a story telling journey using various musical styles including country, folk and ballads. It was exciting for me to watch such a young, up and coming artist grow and find herself musically during our time working together.
Below is a snippet of one of her songs and you can hear more music on itunes.
Needle In A Haystack-Snippet
Ronnie Rhoads is a guitar player who I’ve been hiring for session work on my projects for years. He’s not a guitar player who just comes in and plays licks and riffs over songs. He really listens to find the essence of the song, and adds just the right parts to really make it come to life.
He is also a songwriter, engineer and producer himself, which means he brings so much more to sessions than only playing guitar. He brings his own ideas of what may be best with the song and meshes them with the vision I already have.
Because he is a songwriter and producer himself, he has had many opportunities to produce other artists that have sought him out to do so.
Recently we have worked on two projects for singer/songwriters that are putting EP’s together. Joe Mohn Jr. was brought in to do drums. Having Joe behind the drums and Ronnie on guitar is like a musical dream team. They get the songs tracked with ease while giving it a professional feel & sound.
I always look forward to sessions with Ronnie because I know they will go smooth and we will get a lot of quality work done.
He is also available for live shows, and if you ever get the chance to see one of the bands he plays in, you will not be disappointed.You can find out more about Ronnie Rhoads here.
Because Jaret lives in California, he and I only get the opportunity to work together about once a year. I always look forward to working with him even more because of that.
Jaret and I got together for 2 days before Christmas, while he was on his holiday break, to record this song. I knew this song was very close and delicate to him because it touched upon life events of his childhood.
We discussed many options about what type of production would be right for this song to let it speak and convey his story.
Besides the acoustic guitar and lead vocal we decided to go for a very simplistic yet haunting approach by adding the background vocals and organ. For me it has turned into one of those songs that gives me goose bumps every time I hear it.
Meet At Sundown returns to release their heaviest and dirtiest album yet with their release of the “REBORN” EP!!!
The album is full of energy, passion and aggression. REBORN is the follow up to the 2011 self tilted EP and contains six songs that are brutally heavy yet incredibly southern.
REBORN has already garnered pre-release radio play. The upbeat track “Eternal” was featured on Harrisburg rock station 105.7 the X and “I Left My Heart In Dixie” was played on Dickinson College’s WDCV-FM 88.3. For more info on Meet At Sundown check out their website, and to buy or listen to their music go to their Bandcamp page.
Stephanie Slaybaugh was recently introduced to me by Anvil Media Productions, an all-inclusive media resource dedicated to Christian/Gospel artists. Another artist, Epicmic (aka Mike Rowe) was interested in featuring Stephanie on some of his new songs, and being new to the area, Stephanie used Anvil Media Productions to get in contact with me to make it happen.
Being that I was not familiar with her work, I was extremely impressed when taking a first listen. To give you a little bit of background, Stephanie has been singing since she was 5 years old, and began writing when she was 12. With her music now, she aims to bring a fresh and exciting sound to her listeners, incorporating a mixture of hip hop, ballads, praise, and worship. I’m definitely eager to work with Stephanie in the future, and excited to see what we can create when we combine forces.
I once again found myself behind the mixing board for another Nathan Veshecco record. As with his previous album, “Sunset again”, he recorded himself at various locations in the midst of his travels from central PA to Ohio.
Once he finished recording 30+ songs he brought them all to me and we locked ourselves in the studio for a couple of days, for mixing. When we came out he had selected 24 songs that he thought best represented the story he wanted to tell.
These 24 songs resulted in his eighth studio album entitled “Dreaming in Twin.” This double album consists of Part One, “Beautiful Secret” (tracks 1-12) and Part Two, “Weary Soul, Restless Bird” (tracks 13-24).
I have had the privilege of working with Nate Myers & The Aces for the past couple of years. They formed their band in 2001 and since then, have been performing all over the Mid Atlantic US. The band is lead by Nate Myers on vocals and harmonica and accompanied by Pete Netznik on bass and guitar, Mike Noll on drums, and Chris Purcell on guitar. They strive to create a casual atmosphere, but also have a little bit of something to fit every mood. They are just as diverse as their influences, which range from blues to hip hop to country.
They began releasing albums in 2002 and since then have released six full length albums all together. In May of 2008, I was able to work with them on their album “Persist” and again in 2010 when they released “Live On Derry Street”. We have recently been working in the studio on their brand new album “It’s My Music” which was completed and released in August of this year.
They are not only top notch entertainers, but also compassionate individuals who participate in many charities and charity events, including “Harpapalooza” in which they are able to raise thousands of dollars for diabetes research, as well as participating with the PA Vent Camp, raising money for ventilator dependent children.
They are a diverse, unique, and soulful group of guys that are absolutely a band that you should check out. You won’t regret it.
Here’s a little snippet of one of my favorite songs off the new record.
Back Porch Swing
I have recently been working with The Colt Wilbur Band on their upcoming album “The Reckoning.” Colt was raised in the backwoods of South Central Pennsylvania, explaining his draw to Country music. This quickly turned into a passion for Colt, and he is following this passion along with his band; Jason on Drums, Joe on Guitar, and Ryan on Bass. He has preformed at venues all over South Central PA, and has opened for Kix Brooks (of Brooks and Dunn), Love and Theft, Shooter Jennings, and Josh Thompson. He has also been featured on Red 102.3 and Z Country 106.7.
When Colt and I first started working on his album, the original intent was for it to just be him, doing acoustic versions of his songs that he had been playing for so long in clubs. After we got the guitars and the majority of his vocals laid down, he expressed some interest in adding other instruments and percussion into the mix. Before I knew it we had almost a full band on a few of the songs. From there, we chose some additional instruments that we could use to compliment the songs. One part was a pedal steel, played by Henry Cassel, who is one of the few “real classic country” pedal steal players in this area. We also utilized Raczar Lopatic on violin.
As it turned out, we went about tracking this project in a different order than normal, but I feel that a few unexpected twists and turns along the way gave it some extra character in the end. Since then, the band has become a well oiled machine and they have been tearing it up in venues all across central PA. This album captures the moments when The Colt Wilbur Band first met and came together as a band. I know they are hard at work and writing new material all the time. I’m excited and looking forward to what’s next for them.
For more information on The Colt Wilbur Band and to follow their performance schedule, visit their facebook page.
An artist that I have been working with for a while now, LouieJoJo, will be starring in a play entitled “Stories from Home: City Beautiful,” put on by Open Stage Harrisburg. The play received its name from a movement in the 1900’s put in place to beautify and improve the city of Harrisburg. This play aims to pay tribute to a group of visionary Harrisburg citizens at the turn of the 20th Century, which you will be able to see for yourself in various performances June 7th-29th.
We are very excited to announce that “Rise Up-Harrisburg” by LouieJoJo ft. Corianne Silvers, will be featured in “Stories From Home: City Beautiful” as the closing song. LouieJoJo was looking for the perfect fit to make this song a reality, when I suggested bringing in Corianne to sing on this piece, along with him. Corianne is a singer/ songwriter that I have previously produced for and between her and LouieJoJo, we achieved an amazing song, and we are very proud to have it included in “Stories from Home: City Beautiful.”
If you want to check it out, performances will be held between the dates of June 7th to June 29th at the Angino Family Theatre at Open Stage of Harrisburg, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8pm, with Sunday Matinees at 2pm.
I did an interview for WITF radio (the local NPR station) a few months back and you can now check it out online. Go to ThePerfect5th.com and at the top, click “Virtual Tour.” (My Part is a little more than ½ way through it.) I teach audio recording classes and do private tutoring at The Perfect 5th and this was part of an interview that the radio station did with a bunch of the instructors there.
My next class will start on April 23rd and goes for 4 weeks – one hour on Tuesdays at 5:30pm. It’s called Audio Recording Basics and covers software, microphones, acoustics, signal flow, etc. Read more about it on the website class page.
Better yet, stop in for the Open House this Saturday and talk to me about it then. Some of the other teachers that I’ve worked with will be performing, including Jeremy Hummel (x-Breaking Benjamin). He’ll be demonstrating during the second half of the Open House. I also just heard that during the first half, Rod Goelz (Groove Jones) will be performing with beatboxer Tony Carreira.
So check it out – free music, coffee and snacks – what else do you need?! The Perfect 5th Musical Arts Center is here in Mechanicsburg at 6240 Carlisle Pike. Contact Terry Selders for more info. He does all the marketing for The Perfect 5th, and also teaches music business and has done some private consulting with some of my clients, including Sixty. He’s my former manager (when I was in Grantham Road) and he managed The Badlees through all of their early independent and major label releases. You can reach him at 717-691-9100 or mail to: Terry@ThePerfect5th.com