Saturday, January 31, 2009

CF Schmee Eff - this girl rocks

Just had a note from Adrienne (Pierce)...

If you have a moment check out Tess Dunn on her myspace page.
she is a 14 year old singer-songwriter/piano player from Santa Cruz
and i met her last year when i played a cystic fibrosis benefit there.
the 6 songs up on her page were recorded in 4 days last week and she
wrote all of them entirely be herself. some of them she wrote when she
was 12 and all the piano on this is played by her.
for most of this she is singing and playing at the same time. it is
mostly live. :)
The Make A Wish Foundation gave her a trip to LA to make an EP.
She has Cystic Fibrosis and she is a really amazing kid.
Carina Round and i did some background vocals and my husband Ari produced it.
I am trying to think of which songs to suggest you listen to but i
love them all.
One Heart's Battle and Marionette Of Me are good ones to listen to.

On it today

Busy day, Saturday's always are, but today is; rehearsal, gig, sessions, booking and writing and finding time to eat, walk dog etc...

First thing today we listened to a new mix of Bobby's 'Sweet like Poison' and saw a few stills from the Video. It's great when everything comes together like this...swoosh. And a great way to start the day.


Kind of a slow day, woke up far too early (we have construction next door)....

Did some booking for one of Elka's bands that is coming out a the end of Feb. (, they may play a date or two with Melissa, started to look at bookings for Keith to promote his upcoming album. Missed a meeting with Dave - (where are you?) And did some admin.

Oh also realized that I did not know how to wire speakers in series. Or rather I should say, I KNEW it in theory and could tell you what it means (as opposed to wired in parallel) and how it sounds, but I got a little muddled when it came to actually DOING it.....there was a spare wire in there...where did that wire come from? what is that one for? Turns out it was just a spare and is now removed.

Well excuses aside, it's done anyway.

Found out from the K&K tech that my mic DI is ancient and will probably only work on a sax and not my bodhran - we usually use the 57 for sax, but maybe we can come up with some other cool application for this little clip on...

This weekend will be spent in session with Melissa, we have 5 vocals to do, and probably another 6 by the weeks' end, as Jason will be back from tour...and I have to wrap up the Finland book and get it sent over.

It will be busy, but in the midst of it all you can bet I'll be taking a break at 11:30 to watch SNL. I haven't yet this season, but Steve Martin is hosting, so...need I say more?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Just some happy pictures...

Because a lot of people seemed to have had a bad day....

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I don't even know what title to give this blog update....

Now I know it's a fact, that you can find anything on the internet. Whatever you want to find you will find, and even things that you don't want to find, will find and point:

"Encyclopedia > Bodhrán

The Bodhrán (IPA [ˈbɔːrɑːn] or [ˈbaʊrɑːn]; plural bodhráin) is an Irish frame drum ranging in anywhere from 10" to 26" in diameter, with most drums measuring from 14" to 18". The sides of the drum are 3 1/2" to 8" deep. A goat skin head is tacked to one side (although nowadays synthetic heads, or new materials like kangaroo skin, are sometimes used instead). The other side is open ended for the left hand to be placed against the inside of the drum head to control the pitch. One or two crossbars inside the frame strengthen it. Some professional modern bodhráin integrate mechanical tuning systems similar to those used on drums found in drum kits. This drum can be mastered within 7 hours. Even some celtic hippies have mastered the instrument despite severe drug addiction.

A true beginner's/non-musician's instrument.

The drum is usually played by a celtic hippy with no musical talent in a seated position, held vertically on the player's knee and supported by his upper body and arm ........." etc etc

What scares me the most is that this website has a 'student's' section, as well as a 'lesson planning' section. Yikes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nothing can replace.....

.....hearing something yourself, live, especially in your own space....but if you want to get an idea of how a piece of gear could sound, we recommend these two sites:

Before we decided what new pre's to get last year, we listened to a lot of different products, tried some, spoke to a lot of people and read reviews. In the end we went for something we had tried before (Summit Audio), and something new, based on reviews and talking to our mastering engineer (Neve). We've had great luck with both, and made good choices.

If you know what sound you want, checking out these two sites could at least get things narrowed down for you before you begin your search. And it's a darn fun way to kill a few hours!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blues drivers

I wonder if you all know of the dangerous drivers out there? No, not the ones who are on their cell phones, smoking and drinking hot coffee while making left hand turns...I'm talking about the possible multitudes of harmonica players who drive and play...

Howard himself says that he likes to write music while he's driving and playing because he zones out...uhm yeah. I personally know half a dozen who do I know there's more of you.

Careful out there people!

Anyway, we are just sitting here with jaws hanging open watching Howard's second DVD....the man is a genius and I can't think of anyone else in his's unbelievable what he can do.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

CBC 2 Radio 8pm tonight

Melissa's live concert taping will broadcast tonight at 8pm local time across Canada, and streaming from for those of you listening overseas.

She'll be on after the Higgins...should be a great show!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Get Your Boots On

Here is the link for the new U2 Single from the upcoming release 'No Line on the Horizon'. I can't wait..

Weekly update

Another busy week ahead and behind us: New software in the computer, which feels so good, Bobby is in Calgary filming the video for his song "Sweet Like Poison", Melissa had a great review for her country album in Country Music News, Jan 2009 issue (hard copy), and Derek sent this tasty little site:

It kind of reminds me of Brian Eno's 'Oblique Strategies'.....( better because everyone can participate.

Gonzo Magazine has asked for articles, but I don't think we have time, I'm still on deadline with Finland and we're right back into the recording groove after the Christmas album. Still, it's nice to be asked!

We are also in the middle of watching The Extras and I haven't laughed so hard in ages. Ricky Gervais in a genie costume, it just doesn't get better than that.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Not lazy....

Just doing the grand spring clean of the main computer and have spent last night and all day re-installing software...ho hum tedium....

Thursday, January 22, 2009


OK everyone, we need to take a trip back to grade 8 science class. (And all of you guitar players who knew you would be rock stars and never need science, here is what you needed to know).

When performing an experiment you have to restrict the variables. That means if you are say building amplifiers and putting different speakers in them, and you wanted to say, show the different mid ranges of two different kinds of speakers, you should use the SAME guitar and play the SAME lick.

That's it. That's all you need to know. If you need a template, please refer to what these fellas have done (I can't say anything about the playing, but at least they paid attention in science):

And as a side note, it's probably a good idea to put your best foot forward when it comes to trying to sell stuff. I know it's kind to let your neighbors kid play on your sound clips or an ego boost to let your younger brother jam around on your 2500$ hand-wired amp, but it doesn't do much for the consumer.

Just a few thoughts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Was it Etta who said......

At laaaaaast......

After hours of trying to get the perfect guitar sound for one of Bobby's tunes, after having gone through nearly every amp we have, different mics and mic placement and trying all the we turned on the Dr Z and there was the song.

I love when that happens.

It should have been a no brainer, we have been listening to Brad Paisley's new album 'Play' for weeks.

And FYI, Melissa's track count today is back up to 14...I guess we'll see how that number evolves over the next month or so....

Monday, January 19, 2009


Having a difficult time tonight trying to decide which songs will make the cut for Melissa's next album. Saying no to a song can feel like cutting off your arm or abandoning you child (not that I know what either of those things feel like), but it can be a gut wrenching decision. There are three of us working on this tonight and I think we may have pared down from 16 to 12...but it hasn't been pretty, there have been promises made to these songs, 'next album!, many live performances!', but I guess we'll see if they will accept those terms....

January updates...

I didn't make any new year's resolutions this year, I think I always do the best I can, but one thing I did want to improve upon was keeping this blog updated on a more regular basis. Since we have now made it the studio home page it's nice for everyone to wake up to something different once in a while (nothing personal Derek!).

There's lots on the go right now; we are currently tracking a few of Bobby's songs, as well as one of Melissa's I'd like to get done and out on the radio as the single from her upcoming album 'Authentic'.

I'm also working on the Finland book and it should be ready to go for the March issue of Siirtolaisuus-Migration.

Along with that we're tying up the loose ends of the Christmas album and trying to make the dog comfortable, he twisted his leg running at the park today and is now in love with the heating pad.

And, the fog finally lifted and the sun came out. A great way to begin the week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One Smart Cookie

Derek is an amazing and lovely man, he always has something interesting to say and I am writing this because I just read the blog article he sent me last month about being a villain, and it made me feel so good.

Not everyone has to love me or my work.


So, B****, wherever you are, I know you haven't spoken to me in 4 years because I had to cut your song from the album....but it really was the best thing to do.


I've asked Derek to be a member of the panel at the 2nd annual Home Recording Symposium.

Check him out....many wise words....

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gear Review

I'm not going to write anything, so you don't have to waste your time reading, just email Tim and buy this - go now!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Here's to the happiest of years ahead!

It sure looks like it will be that way for us!

We'll be working with so many talented artists, on so many great projects. And tonight I would like to welcome Kat Hannah to the Rave On family, she will be illustrating one of my children's books, "A Piece Of Me". Please take a minute to have a look at her work, it is very inspiring, she is so talented!

Happy New Year everyone, be healthy and happy and drop by sometime and I'll play you a jig on the bodhran!