By James Pew
Andrea Gauster is a new folk artist who came to me with a desire to record a collection of her original songs. Over the past few weeks I’ve been producing six of them. The music has beautifully arranged melodies supporting sophisticated compelling lyrics, delivered by a soft & smooth but confident vocal style.
The subject matter of her songs ranges from chilled out bliss to intensely dark expressions of pain, anger and resentment. The first time Andrea played them for me, the melodies, and even many of the lyrics stuck. I remember singing some of the hooks as I walked home from the studio that night. You know you’re dealing with great material when it instantly becomes memorable like that.
My first instinct, which was also Andrea’s, was to produce an organic sounding recording with acoustic instruments and live musicians. Since Andrea doesn’t have a band, we decided to call in a couple session players to lay down beds. Upright bass and Drums played with brushes was what we needed. JD Katz, long time Euphonic Sound session drummer, and Grahm Smith on upright bass.
First Andrea and I spent a number of sessions in pre-production, deciding on things like key and tempo. During which I recorded guide tracks of Andrea singing and playing guitar. We used a metronome and kept the meter strict and pocketed. JD and Grahm laid there parts using Andrea’s guide tracks, along with a click track in some cases.
After deciding on the best drum and bass takes we brought in Shakey Dagenais, from the Gary Kendall Band, for piano, then re-recorded Andrea’s acoustic guitar and vocal parts. Then I laid down a bunch of back up vocal harmonies. That brings us up to everything included in the current working mix of Reverie that you can hear below.
Next we will be bringing in a series of guest musicians to contribute a variety of instruments. Fiddle, Mandolin, Hammond Organ, Pedal Steel, Hand Percussion, and more Harmony Vocals are a few ideas we have. Take a listen to what we have so far, and tell us what you think could add to the mix.Print This Post
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