These guys are on a mission.
They want to combine the best of the old country and the best of the new stuff to create a special brew they call Red Eye Junction.
They came down from SLO to see what we could offer after having mixed results at a larger, more expensive studio in SLO.
We spoke about their goals, I explained how I like to work and then we dove right in.
I started with Curtis on drums but gave the guys amps to plug into so they could “shake their sillys out”, loosen up and give me a taste of their sound. I like to see what makes the band tick while I do stuff like check drum sounds and levels.
I was surprised to hear the band say they’ve never seen anyone mic both sides of the snare drum (top and bottom).
In preparing for this session I learned (by listening) that there are really no toms involved in the honky tonk sound. The snare drives the rhythm section along with that classic back and forth bass sound of early country and roots music, so I wanted to capture the the buzz of those snares. True to the genre Curtis did not use the toms at all.
Bass ran a line out of the Ampeg B5R direct to Pro Tools. Chad had a super cool Jay Turser hollow body bass guitar with a thick warm sound. We tracked bass with just a little too much low end, so bass will require a little eq-ing to sit well with everything else. (I try not to change another man’s tone unless I absolutely have to.)
John played a fine Tele and because we were focusing on Bass and Drums, we actually ran a DI to Pro Tools.
Even though the sound was far from ideal (we had no plans on keeping the track) the experience proved to me that a good player can sound good with ANY set-up. John was a mighty fine picker and a nice guy to boot, he’s giving up the smokes and I wish him well with that.
Reid is the foreman of the operation. He runs a pretty tight ship, so I could see why the band is doing so well. It takes someone with a strong work ethic and a sense of direction to get anything done in this world and the music biz is no exception. Reid played a Taylor acoustic which I mic’d with a combination of ADK micrphones. Reid commented that it was one of the best guitar sounds he’s gotten in the studio thus far!
Vocals were a snap with the exception of an opening line in one of the three songs we tracked.
Overdubs will be done at a combination of Reid’s home studio, & Certain Sparks. I look forward to future sessions with Red Eye Junction.