This project began at Eldorado Recording Studios in Burbank, CA on August 4th, 2009 and is now available a year later. If you’d like to purchase, click here and wait for the order form to load. Or you can go to iTunes and get it. I would recommend ordering the physical copy through this site, however because the audio quality is much better in physical cd format. (The price is the same at both places.)
Some project fun facts:
- • I paid for every step. Paid the band. Paid the studio. Paid for mixing. Paid for mastering. All so your listening experience was better. Actually, I’m lying. Guitar faces and profanity came free of charge.
• Most of these songs started as singer/songwriter tunes with lyrics. I recorded an instrumental cd, however, because I’m tired of animals showing up at my doorstep when they hear me sing. To hear the vocal version of “london”, go to TheToneChef.com/london.
• The players are effing awesome. Their credits include: Pink, The Lion King, Lilith Fair, Tommy Walker, Gwen Stefani, Hilary Duff, A Fine Frenzy, Brooke Fraser, Thomas Dolby and lots more. Trust me, I’m good, but I was a hack compared to the rest of the players.
• a member of the band, Linkin Park, gave me the earphones that I used to track my guitar parts in my home studio. Early demos were tracked on a home recording rig he gave me as well. I think that means I’m gonna sell 50 million of these babies.
• This project was Co-Produced by Chris Steffen. He also engineered it and mixed it down. Chris was the assistant engineer on John Mayer’s Heavier Things and his car runs on vegetable oil.
• the main rhythm tracks were recorded at Eldorado Recording Studios in Burbank. A 50 yr old studio with a rich history. Recent recordings include Jewel, My Chemical Romance, Avenged Sevenfold, Ben Harper and Relentless 7, The Cars, A Fine Frenzy and Jane’s Addiction.
• Two of the songs on “Strong” are cover tunes. “As I Am” (The Dailies) & “Landmine” (Chris Cox) are both available on iTunes and I played guitar on both of those records.
• I believe one of the greatest living guitarists is a guy named Tom Bukovac in Nashville. He did this YouTube video and I stole a little guitar lick that comes at 1:46 in the video. I created a whole little piece and it became the song “1:46”
• For the music nerds… in the tune, “When I’m 56”, the bridge is comprised of 5-beat phrases over a 6/8 time signature. It feels like 5 over 6 and is a play on the song title. Hard to dance to, but fun to play guitar solos over.
• Who is this “Luke” and why is there a prayer for him? On 8/4/09, while I was tracking this record, a friend was undergoing a kidney transplant with her very young son. I literally spent the day playing while praying.
• “Fumble” is my attempt at sounding like another guitar player I love named Andy Most. His music is bouncy and fluid and angular and makes me feel drunk on wedding champagne. Early mixes of this song had the drums all in the left speaker for MORE of a drunk effect.
• “Landmine” has almost a dozen different versions recorded. From screaming Ozzy to smooth jazz and NONE of them felt right. On the last day before the CD was due, I tracked the final in 20 minutes. To hear a screaming rock version, visit TheToneChef.com/landmine.
• In contrast to how hard it was to settle on “Landmine”, “Just So” was done with an Anderson Short T into an Egnater Tweaker with a touch of delay in the loop. The solos played themselves. The whole thing was done in 2 takes. boom.
• This is more for the musicians among us… there are 2 tunes on the record that are just guitar interludes with no band. The other 8 will be available in “naked tracks” for free. That means you can have the backing tracks to play along and make your own versions of my songs. Please do me a favor, if they’re better than mine, keep them to yourself.
• “Mastering” is the final step of the recording process. It’s like one last car wash to make sure levels are right and that the recording is radio-ready. “Strong” was mastered by Richard Dodd, a Grammy-winning mastering engineer who also mastered the last Dixie Chicks record.