Tuesday, November 15, 2011


You can think about it, talk about it, dream about it. In the end, you just have to go do it.
GO time in Nashville.
With input from Gary Beard, my producer,  I chose to record at Kenny Royster's studio --  it’s a small, intimate setting and I felt I would be comfortable there. Plus, Gary had worked with Kenny before, and that brought a certain comfort level from the start.
Our first session-  recording the tracks (music) that would go along with the vocals-  started at 10 am. I allowed myself one final round of nerves at breakfast. Who would love my children? My little songs – my babies – would these guys take them and love them and make them something I could still recognize afterward?
I was counting on Gary to bring his knowledge and his ear to the project, and help keep this train from derailing, sending car after car plummeting over the cliff, along with me and all my "children."
Okay,  that’s an extreme analogy. I wasn’t that worried. I didn't foresee disaster. I just really wanted the best for my songs, the hour was at hand, and I had one shot to get what I wanted. It made me jittery.
The basic process goes like this:
Everyone listens to the work tape (the songwriter’s rendition of the song, very basic version – in my case, a recording of guitar and vocal).
Everyone talks about what they are going to play, what they think would sound right, etc.
Everyone disappears into a booth or room at this point (including me)
Everybody can hear everyone else thru headphones
They start playing and I sing the song to record a vocal (I would record the final version later).
Everyone listens, and we see what works and what doesn’t and  go from there.
Repeat until as close to perfectly awesome as possible
In this case, I’m happy to say that we came away with 3 stunning tracks and 3 great vocal recordings. Oh, but we weren’t finished. That was only Day 1.  

At the beginning of the session - Jon, Dennis & Dennis: Guitar, Drums, Keyboard

Kenny Royster

Big pile of guitars
Pretending to have a clue

Gary Beard - Producer



  1. This is so exciting!!!!! I am all a-tingle for you! I can't wait to read more about this, and to hear the finished result!

    Good for you! Way to go, sis! Love ya.

  2. By the way, I like the shots inside the studio and the shots of your band. It's nice to have something besides my imagination, which somehow keeps picturing a group of studio musicians huddled around a single microphone like it was the Grand Ol' Opry or something.

  3. This is so freaking cool. Everytime I've ever seen Nashville recording activity, it was either Elvis, Cash, Twain or some such.
    Now I'm living vicariously through a real live person.
    Enjoy every minute...and the blog is going to be a great memory later. Wish I had thought of it during some of my adventures.
    Keep the updates coming.

    Your soon to be famous cousin because his cousin is soon to be famous. H. B.

  4. I'm so happy you're doing this! I told you long ago you should do this. I hope you find great success with it. Have you ever seen the video of Britains Got Talent when Susan Boyle did her first performance? The second she opens her mouth and starts singing, I love the reaction of Simon and Amanda. Eyes pop wide open, mouth drops...well that is what i thought when i first heard you sing. (not that you look like Susan Boyle LOL). That's why I insisted you call Ian Byrne and Brent Phillips. You can do it. Just don't forget all of us common folk when you get famous.

  5. You are my hero! You go and get 'em! Make us proud at home and have a great time! We are sooooo excited for you and know what a success you already are!

  6. does gary beard dress up like that in the studio? very dapper dann-ish. i love the pic of you "pretending to have a clue." if you hadn't added that caption, i certainly would have thought that you DID! can't wait to hear more about it all.

  7. so wonderful and exciting!!! I love that you are doing this.