Show Up, Set Up & Roll

“I don’t care how small the ring is, I’ll fight that chump in a telephone booth.”

- Muhammad Ali


It's a really funny thing when you recognize and accept your own personality traits. I have had a love of music for as long as I can remember. I've wanted to make music for as long as I can remember. I would lay down in the grass a lot as a kid, looking up to the clouds seeing myself up there traveling the world with all this music as my soundtrack. The one thing I've always had trouble with is staying still. I'm an Aries through and through. I like to dive in to whatever situation is in presented and figure it out as I go. To be quite honest, there have been times where my zealousness has gotten the better of me but it has served me well more often than not. I certainly would have never become the person I am today without it. This brings me to meat of this little self examination.


I love walking through the doors of my studio, turning the lights on, turning the gear on and getting to it. There is comfort in that familiarity. You know (most of the time) that everything is going to work and what to expect and I've made many recordings I'm super proud of that way. But I'm also always looking to the clouds. Over the years I have also made many albums outside of the studio in environments not originally intended for recording. These have been some of my favorite experiences. Probably because they allow me to be the true crazy Aries that I am. There is the excitement of traveling, the thrill of walking into a new and unfamiliar environment, the challenge of transforming an everyday space into a haven of creativity and the feeling of excitement when you hit record.


One of my favorite sessions was recording 'Shag' with OTS. The plan was to record this album out in Santa Cruz in a little guest house. I didn't have any photos of the guest house, just a description in an email from Danny. I packed up bunch of gear, some of which was shipped out via FedEx days before I flew out to California. On arrival, everything seemed to be going smoothly. My gear that was shipped was to be delivered on time based on the tracking info we had. Well that's where things got interesting. For some reason, the driver did not drop the gear off but decided to leave it on the truck even though he delivered some other packages. Danny I began a wild goose chase around Santa Cruz trying to track down the truck as we needed to get setup in order to stay on schedule. After visits to a FedEx location and many calls, we met the driver in a parking lot to retrieve my recording gear. And yes, it did look a shady transaction was going down, hahaha. Finally back at the house we began unpacking boxes and cases full of gear and went about setting up. The main recording area was about 200 square feet and the entire guest house was about 750 square feet. We set the guitar amp up down the hall in the kitchen, the leslie in a closet. It was great!! Danny Mayer says it best "Best session ever by the way! 24 hour studio access for a month". We certainly made the most of it experimenting with sounds, talking about life and most importantly enjoying each others company in the middle of the Redwoods. The travel, the delivery mishaps, all of the unknowns made that album one of my favorites to have been a part of and an experience none of us will ever forget.



I am not closing the doors on my studio but I am opening the doors of possibilities to all who want to record with me. If you have a space that you are really comfortable in, let's make it happen. Hit me with whatever environment you have. I will come to you and I'm sure we will have an amazing time!!


Hope all is well,


Al


p.s. Check out this quick playlist of recordings I've done in some unconventional recording environments!!




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