Saturday, June 26, 2010
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
American Idol 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Disney's American Idol Experience
Friday, November 21, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Strings on Jeremy Camp's New CD
A few weeks ago I got this random email from Brown Bannister that said something like "do you have time to orchestrate a track - I need it in a few days." I happened to be in Nashville visiting Chris Sligh so we went over to Brown's studio. On the way I said "he probably wants me to do a demo or something." Chris replied "Brown doesn't do demos."
In the studio, Brown showed us his copy of the just-released 20th anniversary edition of Amy Grant's Lead Me On. I can't believe it's been 20 years!! I remember reading back then in the liner notes that one of the tracks had a Synclavier piano and I was amazed. A synthesized piano that sounds that good? Wow! What's funny is, 20 years later, the sound of my software piano from TruePianos.com sounds way better. Plus, TruePianos cost $180.00 and the Synclavier cost at least $200,000.00 (that's not a typo!)
After some chit chat, Brown says, "so, I have this Jeremy Camp track I need strings for..." and I, of course, nearly wet my pants! He told me a little bit of what he wanted, burned me the track and I got in my car and raced back home to Greenville.
Importing the track into Sonar, I started playing around with some strings and we emailed back and forth until Brown was happy with the arrangement. Four days later I went back to Nashville for the most exciting session of my life - 5 violins, 2 violas and 2 cellos - a 9 piece studio strings section stacked two times for a rich, full sound.
Brown said "can you conduct?" I said "sure" and mentally retrieved my conducting class from college LOL! Arranger Philip Keveren, who had arranged strings for two songs at the same session, was kind enough to let me use his baton.
Since I had previously done a syth mockup of the strings, I knew how everything would sound and the session, thankfully, went off without a hitch. You don't want to be sitting there with 9 highly-hourly-paid session players in a high-dollar studio (1st Avenue in Franklin) trying to figure out what's wrong with your charts!
I worked on Jeremy's new song I Know Who I Am which is on his upcoming CD. The last I heard it's coming out this November 2008. One of the songs Philip arranged is called You Will Be There and it has a very cool vibe to it.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Chris is currently on a multi-city radio promotions tour to support his new single, "Empty Me."
Since Greenville, SC (my home) has this crazy airline that offers one way flights for as low as $39, I thought I'd jet down to Orlando last week to observe this next stage of his adventures.
Chris is traveling with the talented Jon Skaggs, drummer extraordinaire. Jon acts as road manager, keeping Chris on schedule, then whips out his djembe on command to accompany Chris for in-house, live over-the-air performances.
Jon is a dream drummer who does two things, in particular, that I have begged church drummers to do over the years: he's happy to play to a click if need be and enjoys creating his own custom drum loops on his computer. That's probably why he's played with Nichole Nordeman, Bethany Dillon, Brandon Heath and Casting Crowns to name a few, and your church drummer... sells insurance.
The boys arise as early as 5am to make a station's morning show, entertaining folks as they drive to work. After lunch and perhaps a mid-day nap, they're off to another town for an interview on a station's afternoon show, entertaining folks as they drive home from work.
Most artists hate doing radio promos. Chris, on the other hand, is not your average artist, and loves promoting his music any way he can (plus he's had great experience doing radio promos while on American Idol.)
In between the excitement we managed to experience the wonders of the Magic Kingdom, and dine at my new, favorite type of restaurant: the Brazilian Steakhouse. Try the delicious Texas de Brazil the next time you're in Orlando. You'll be in meat-lover's heaven as "Gauchos" bring you all the slow-roasted steak and chicken you could possibly want.