I caught up with Eddie Christmas yesterday between our soundchecks at the Ram’s Head Inn. Eddie is one of the greatest drummers I’ve heard from New Orleans. Here is a video where he showed me the beat to Eric Lindells “Lullaby for Mercy Ann”, a funky Eddie Christmas original beat, and then a more traditional Treme Brass Band style New Orleans beat.
On January 15 2010 I did a follow-up session for Lucy Wainwright Roche’s upcoming album, which is being produced and recorded by Stewart Lerman at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ . The record is going to feature many guest artists including The Roches on vocals and Steuert Smith (of the Eagles!) on guitars and keyboards. I’m excited about this recording – Lucy’s songs are witty and poignant and the melodies are very clever and detailed. On this session, I used a cajon and several other small percussion toys as well as my Nodar Rode custom drums. Here is an overhead view of the setup:
The Nodar Rode drums include a 20 x 15 kick which I left pretty open. a 12 x 8 rack tom, and a 14 x 14 floor tom. I also used my Ludwig Acrolite snare. The cymbals pictured are Istanbul 13″ signature Hi Hats, Istanbul 21″ Special Edition Jazz Ride with 3 rivets, and a Zildjian 22″ thin Constantinople hi-bell. I used the Vater “Monster Brush” a fair amount on her songs for a full, but softer backbeat.
The mic set up: and AEA stereo ribbon overhead mic
a Neumann M49 as an overhead
a Neumann KM 84 on the hi hats
a Neumann Fet 47 a few inches in front of the kick drum
and an SM57 on the snare.
On Jan 6 2010, I tracked 13 tunes for Jon Solo’s upcoming album. Jon Solo mainly plays keyboards and acoustic guitar for Brett Dennen. Jn and I used to tour together a lot in the Jamie McLean Band. I’m psyched to be a part of his debut solo record. Jon’s songs are beautiful – his vocals and melodies remind me of Paul Simon as well as Sam Prekop.We tracked at Jeffrey Swart’s place, Kingsland Studios. Jeffrey got a really great sound. I used my ’66 rogers kit:
and occasionally used my 1941 radio king snare (pictured) on one or two tracks. Jeffrey has a lot of great mics and is clever about finding spots all over his studio to get some additional ambient sounds. Here’s a list of what we used:
Royer R-121 36″ in front of the kick drum
Sm57 as a “knee mic” – literally just over the bass drum on the pedal side pointing right at my knee – this got an interesting overall perspective.
AKG 414 and a SM57 on top of the snare – which Jeffrey blended for the top snare sound.
and a Beta 56a under the snare
A reverse wired yamaha Ns10 speaker [same thing as the yamaha subkick] and a beta 52 on kick.
Sennheiser 421 on the rack tom
Akg d112 on floor Tom. – I love when guys put kick mics on floor toms. It gets all the super low frequencies. (The surdo players in a lot of samba groups in Rio de Janeiro all use Beta 52’s and AKG D112’s pointing down on to the batter head. It helps get a real sub-tone to these canon shaped drums.)
2 Shure Ksm 141’s as overheads equally 50 inches from snare. tape measured it and all – sure enough the phase was perfect.
A Fet 47 in the kitchen, about ten yards away as a room mic.
An Sm7b on hats
Stereo sm 57s in an xy pattern in stairwell, outside the closed door. These got a really interesting high-mid reverb.
I cant remember what this mic was – some large condenser inside the bathtube. The bathroom was way down the hall with the door wide open. Strangely enough, the mic picked up some low end ambiance from inside the tub.
Jeffrey was talking a bit about the book by Bruce Swedien. apparently he divulges a lot of secrets in it.