Hey Y’all, Our new album “Haint Blue” is scheduled for release in July 2015. This record will include 8 brand new songs along with several bonus tracks. Of course, all the songs lean toward Rhythm & Blues (that’s what we do) and we’re thinking the dancers along the East Coast will find them very “shagalicious”! The first single, “A Night Like This”, is already making headway at radio and is charting quite well. Thank goodness! If you’re a music fan, you can stop reading now and listen to the new single below. If you’re a musician you’ll be able to relate to the following paragraphs.
For Musicians (If you’re interested):
Like many of you, I love performing live, love writing songs, and love getting paid for it! But to me, there’s nothing like recording in the studio. That’s my favorite part. For each album, I write as many songs as I can, weed out as many stinkers as I can, and narrow them down to what I consider the best material for that particular album.
I heard Don Was (one of my favorite producers) say there are 3 keys to a great record. 1) start with a great song, 2) get a great vocal performance, and 3) trust your musicians. Well, I usually have to break rules #1 & #2 since I write and sing the songs. But I always follow rule #3. I sit with the entire band, sing and play the songs with an acoustic guitar. Then step back and let the musicians give their input and ideas about the feel of the song, the tempo, the instrumentation. They bounce ideas off each other and me, frequently taking the song in a direction I hadn’t even considered.
For example, we were working on one song “Tender Moment”. It had the feel and groove we were looking for, but something was missing. Next thing I know, our guitarist breaks out a 1960’s original Coral Danelectro guitar. As most of you know, this gives you the sitar/guitar sound that was used on records like “Cry Like A Baby” the Boxtops, “You Are Everything” the Stylistics, and “Baby Come Back” by Player. I hadn’t thought about it, but our guitarist started laying down signature licks and riffs with it, and magically brought the song together.
I can’t help it, but when I write songs, I hear the horn parts in my head. But not a horn player, I keep those thoughts to myself, and our sax player, Jonas Schultz, does all the horn arrangements. He has a great ability to find parts that are not typical, but rather unique and always complement the song. You don’t hear a baritone sax as often as you did back in the day, but he broke it out on a number of songs. I had forgotten how much soul and feel a bari adds. His solos on tenor sax just blow me away.
Just like hearing horn parts, when I write, I hear background vocals in my head. Our guitarist, Sam Hankins, is a three octave tenor and can hit all the high notes I can only dream about. Again, I leave him alone and he does all the vocal arrangements. He and I have worked together for decades, so he knows me and my music, I trust him. He loves the background vocals of the Beach Boys, the Eagles, and believe it or not, he loves the background vocals from The Carpenters. You find elements of all these artists in the songs.
I could go on and on (you don’t want me to get started talking about the B-3, Fender Rhodes, the Yamaha Grand, etc) but I’ll save it for later. To me, the studio is where the real creativity happens. Rev. Bubba D. Liverance