Posts Tagged ‘Music’

MFT#008: Cowboy Angels

Listen to MFT#008 w/ Cowboy Angels while you read!!!

The studio has been incredibly busy this past week and I feel like I’ve been running around like a chicken with no head. Despite being slammed with sessions, I still managed to find time to record another session for all of you fine people to enjoy. This week I invited Dan Schepper to come in and perform a few Cowboy Angels tunes. I’ve known Dan for a number of years now and I consider him to be a pretty swell guy. Dan is probably known to most people as the drummer for Everything, NOW!, but over the past couple of years his solo project, Cowboy Angels, has been turning some heads. Unlike the psychedelic space folk music that he plays in E,N!, Cowboy Angels can be pretty diverse. At times it sounds like a crunchy old school rock and at others it borderlines some sort of back-country shoe-gaze. Regardless of the styles and genres being utilized, every element has some strange vintage feel to it. The timeless tones that remind me of countless old records.

Since Dan writes and plays EVERYTHING it was a bit of a challenge to record a multi-tracked session in such a way that it would sound like a live performance. To pull this off we opted for single takes. Essentially we froze a piece of time with our technology so that Dan could go back and rock out with his past selves. Is your mind blown yet? I bet you never thought of a recording engineer as manipulator of time! No big whoop.

Back to Dan… He recorded 5 songs. 3 of these 5 are NEW. I could tell you which songs are new but that would take all of the fun out of the hunt. Do yourself a favor and head CLICK HERE to listen to MFT#008 featuring a multi-tracked performance by Dan Schepper. Try not to tap your foot. I dare you.

Now if you’re longing for something to look at while your ears are being stimulated, take a gander at some of these amazing photographs taken by Lauren Bultman Photography. She always does an amazing job and I’m not just saying that because she’s my fiance.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Last but not least… You can find Cowboy Angels on the internet in the following places.

MFT#005: The Bashville Boys

(Ryan Lash, Jim Flatford, Kyle Beaty, Ryan Cochrane)

Listen to MFT#005 w/ The Bashville Boys while you read!!!

It’s always a pleasure to work with The Bashville Boys and this session was no exception. They are a fun group of guys that have a real passion for the music they play. I have been looking forward to finalizing this session from the moment the guys had expressed an interest in being feature for MFT#005. The recording process went fairly smoothly with the small exception of trying to figure out how to record Jim’s vocals while simultaneously recording his Mandolin without excessive microphone bleeding. It proved to be a challenge but after a quick bout of trial and error we managed to get good results. Problem solving is a big part of any recording session so this is nothing out of the ordinary. These MFT sessions are all recorded live so it’s not only a challenge for the bands to exert the best performance that they can, it is also a challenge for me as a recording engineer to make sure that everything sounds as close to perfect as possible.

Lauren Bultman Photography was there to document the session in its entirety. As always, she did a wonderful job capturing the digital likenesses of everyone in the band. Please take a moment to check out the photo gallery below and get your giggle on. There are some boy band poses that should not be overlooked.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
The weather was PHENOMENAL! This was the first session that the basketball court was used since I started this Musical Family Tree collaboration. That’s not to say that things got serious enough for an actual game… But Ryan Lash got pretty excited about the basketball goal having an adjustable height. He was the slam dunk master. He almost wore himself out before the session had started but was able to regain his energy by eating nearly 5,000 calories worth of cookies and cheese puffs. This session could have easily picked up a three-way sponsorship of cookies, beer, and cheese puffs. Delicious.

Now it’s time to address a new addition to the original MFT format… In the past I have been including video interviews of the bands but starting with MFT#005 I have decided to switch over to a podcast instead. I have my reasons. I am a recording studio… My strengths are in audio and when it came to setting up lights and video cameras I was beginning to get a little overwhelmed. I feel that I am better equipped to deliver a podcast than I am a video. Furthermore, I feel that it’s easier for bands to participate in a podcast. There’s a lot less pressure and stress when you don’t have to worry so much about whether or not you’re making a dumb face and etc. Besides, the photo shoot already covers the visual aspect of the show. Duh! So give the podcast interview a listen and if you are in the mood to leave any feedback, send it to

MFT#004: Hotfox

Listen to MFT#004 while you read!!!!

I never know where to start with these things so I’m just going to go with the beginning. My first encounter with Hotfox was a while back when The Bonesetters were recording their album “Savages” at my studio. Oliver and Duncan had come  up from Indianapolis to lend their voices to the group vocal session. Prior to that day, I had no idea who or what Hotfox was which is sad but also good in a way. I think our MFT session benefited from my lack of a prior experience with their material and sound… Now, this isn’t how I would normally approach a recording session. Typically there’s a good amount of pre-production involved with getting to know the ins and outs of songs and figuring out the best way to tell the story/paint the picture or what-have-you. Anyway, my point is this… The majority of the songs that Hotfox had come to record have not been released before. These are new and previously unheard. I was able to listen and mix objectively and unbiased (to the extent one can be). I just had fun with it and tried my best to make it sound just like the performance I was hearing in the studio.

So yeah, enough of the philosophical shit. You guys want to read about Hotfox. Well, what can I say…? They are all stand-up gentlemen and scholars. They really are a swell group of guys. I’m sure by this point they are sick of reading reviews about how good they are for how young they are. I feel that just by mentioning the term in a criticism or review adds prejudice. This band is just good and that transcends age. I had a killer time recording this session. Seriously… Stand up doods. Passionate and ambitious musicians with the talent to take them wherever they want to go. I expect we will be hearing a lot from this band in the coming years and I welcome it. But enough praise… Let’s move on to some of the studio conversation highlight! Oliver explained the science behind his manicure techniques. He carries a piece of sandpaper on him at all times to help sand his thumbnail into a an ideal guitar pick. Upon further investigation I uncovered that he has experimented with a number of different grits to find the perfect thumbnail smoothness. Furthermore, Oliver also enjoys sanding and smoothing out anything and everything. If he’s been to your house… it’s almost certain that he has sanded something.

Although the weather was not ideal (it was actually pretty shitty out), we opted for an outdoor photo shoot that involved the burning of wet cardboard that had been sitting outside for weeks. It was one hell of a challenge to light damp cardboard but we persevered with patience and diligence. This makes MFT#004 the first session with a bonfire. Anyway, you can check out the following images by Lauren Bultman Photography below.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
I took a few moments to set up the camera and give the band an opportunity to address their fans. Check out the interviewish piece below and if you have a youtube account take a few moments to add my channel!

I would like to thank the members of Hotfox for waking up before noon and driving up to Muncie to record and share these songs with the world. I would also like to thank Musical Family Tree for allowing me to store these tunes on their servers. Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone that has been paying attention to these MFT sessions and I hope that you are enjoying them. If you like what you are hearing please take a moment to add the studio on facebook at

©2010 Real to Reel, LLC (Reber Recording)