This was my 2nd recording session so far this year, and my first time recording with Robert, after an almost 10 year hiatus from recording. I was excited to get the call from Robert the week before letting me know that he wanted me to contribute to his new project. From my point of view I really enjoy the home studio atmosphere. Robert put me in touch with Dave Swanson the recording engineer and a former student of Robert’s. We set up a time for me to drop off my drums and get things into position, so Dave could place mics. I went off and returned at about 7:30pm. Corey and I arrived first and Robert came in 5 minutes later. I asked Dave what he thought of the snare drum I had originally set up and then set up my new Joe Montineri snare instead. Dave loved the sound and we stuck with that the whole way through the night. Robert and Dave set up his guitar and vocal mics while Corey snapped some candid shots in the studio.
Robert began laying down his vocal and guitar track first. Two takes and that’s it. It was beautiful to experience Robert’s vocals and playing, very soulful and confident. Next we recorded the same track with Robert playing bass and me on drums. When we tested out the sound with me playing the cross stick groove as we rehearsed, Robert was struck by the clarity of the snare’s click. That’s all he had to say. If he loves it, it’s the right drum for the song. We ran through the song once just to get the feel locked in, then just like that we put it down on tape, can I still say tape? Excuse my dated reference to analog recording. We played two takes of rhythm then moved on to the second tune.
Not having recorded prior to a month earlier for almost ten years I was nervous. Had I lost all that I had learned from playing and recording in the past? The answer was no. We jumped right into the next track, Robert did his thang’ on guitar and vocals again while Corey and I relaxed in the engineer’s room. The second tune had a beautiful sparse sound that I am always drawn to. Like the work of Gillian Welch or solo Eddie Vedder. The music draws you in and won’t let you go. Two more takes for Robert then we were ready to record drums and bass guitar. This tune has a few more twists and turns in it and there were parts where I was unsure if I was playing the right thing. What was great about playing with Robert was his trust in letting me do my thing and seeing if it sounded like the right feel. I am looking forward to future opportunities to create and collaborate with an amazing soul and beautiful person. Thank you Robert.
Thank you to my love Corey Tucker for catching us in the act. And of course Dave for his presence and gift.