Production Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Production Notes 10/28/16

WE CAN TALK ABOUT NOTHING — We started work on this song in March of 2016. It’s pretty much all Glenn! Glenn sent me the demo to work on, and it had the programmed drums and the sort of harpsichord sounding track, and I liked it all just the way it was, so I just laid down a bass track using some tremolo for effect. The guitar I did in a similar manner using my Gibson Tal Farlow with flat wound strings for that mellow tone. Being early on in our attempts at recording using Apple’s ‘Logic Pro’ software, I experimented with their amp and effects library. I came up with some sounds that worked well here, but I opted for using my analog ‘live’ gear for pretty much the rest of the album. The general idea was to avoid using electronica, but it worked well on this cut. About the only other adjustment made to Glenn’s initial demo was to add a little slap-back echo on his vocal track…that’s an old 50’s trick where a thick texture is created by doubling the vocal part using a single echo but keeping the repeat so short and tight that it’s barely noticeable. The intimacy of the lyrics pretty much carry the entire tune! 

 

 

 

 

 

Production Notes 10/21/16

Twang It Up — Well, here’s one that turned out completely different than what we first attempted. We began work on this last year, and it started out with a Bo Diddley type rhumba feel…maracas, layered guitars, rumbling tribal floor tom, harmonica...very reminiscent of Diddley’s song, ‘Mona,’ or Buddy Holly’s (and later, The Rolling Stones') tune, ’Not Fade Away.’  After a long winter hiatus, I came back to the tune in March, but still wasn’t satisfied. It’s hard to put my finger on what bugged me about it, but it just wasn’t turning out the way I had hoped, even though I liked the groove. Glenn came up with the idea of stripping it all down. He said, “What do you think about keeping it REAL swampy? Like a back porch Louisiana bayou barroom feel, late at night…raw and earthy…maybe just a slide acoustic guitar?” We had talked several times about how to retain a ‘live’ feel, and how to avoid the refined and homogenized sounds of most modern recordings that miss the ‘live in the studio’ sounds of the records produced in the 50’s and 60’s that we grew up with and loved so much. At first, I kind of balked, because I had spent months working on the previous version, but not knowing how get around what was bothering me on that previous take, I thought sure, let’s give it a try. 

 

The Intro had some sixteen bars of dead space that couldn't get deleted without misaligning the other individual tracks, so I decided to just play the acoustic and fade it in. I was thinking of Stephen Stills’ terrific acoustic Intro to his song, “Black Queen”…I had always dug that drop-tuning and the instrumental set up before his vocal kicks in. Inspired by that idea, I took out my old ’41 Martin 0-18 and tuned it to drop-D on both the low and high strings, and then I just threw out  a passage that popped into my head. On reflection, I think it sounds more Led Zeppelin like rather than Stephen Stills, but it did the job and set the vocal up nicely. Glenn’s mournful opening line of, “Old Hank crankin’ way up loud…singin’ about Kaw-Liga with his rowdy friends, and his family style…it’s a tradition.”, really set up an image for the swampy feel we were looking for.  Other than the bass, the only other instrument added was my ’72 Les Paul played through a Victoria tweed Super, for the solo toward the end of the song.  — Simple, rough, earthy…just as we hoped for. 

 

Production Notes 10/14/16 

TIP A GLASS This was fun! Like Glenn’s other “Drunkard’s Anthem” on the album (titled, "Drink ‘Em All Down”...), we worked hard to create a ‘boozy’ feel for this one; a strict time signature wouldn’t do, and Glenn’s vocal phrasing intentionally slurred some words and drew the cadence away from a defined time signature. We wanted it to sound, ‘live,’ and even authentic as to what one would experience in a bar late at night when both the band and the audience had loosened up and perhaps had one too many imbibements of the alcoholic variety. The idea of ‘Tip A Glass,’ was meant as a salute…a universal communal toast to a former Lover with the instruction of what to do upon departure. LOL! The opening line kept me laughing for days on end. Glenn’s well crafted lyric, “Well, I cried, the day you left me…tears of joy ran down my face. Ever since you’ve been gone, the smile won’t go away.,” left little to the imagination. It’s a poetic turn of prose that suffices for several four-letter-words that could have been used in a less than subtle manner. :) — I think we captured the message and the feel just about right! 

 

For instrumentation, I started like I usually do with a bass track; then added a ‘drum’ track using brushes and a shuffle beat (recorded using a cardboard box instead of an actual drum). I wanted an old-time standard country sound on the guitars, so I began with a traditional type simple rhythm using my ’61 Gibson ES-175 through a 50’s styled tweed amp, and no effects whatsoever. I followed that with a pedal steel line, using a wavy volume-pedal which helped with the boozy quality we were hoping for. The other guitar is a ’63 Gretsch Tennesean through the same tweed amp. The drums were tough for me due to the odd meter and swaggering time, but I kind of got what I was hoping for after a few trail-and-error takes. 

 

Anyway, for all of those wishing to say a fond farewell to someone they really don’t miss too much at all, we salute you! So..."Tip A Glass!,” as we blow all y'all a sweet kiss good-bye in bitter remembrance!! — As Glenn likes to say…”YEEHAW!”

Production Notes 10/7/16

 

The Measure of A Man — I began working on this tune in late January of 2016 after having battled cancer during a long and tiresome winter.  I was weak…beaten up, and the message of the tune did not escape me. It’s about trying. I for some reason related it to our Veterans, and to military service; the sacrifice that it takes, and oddly enough when I went to produce it, I added a low bass drum part, sporadically, that Glenn at first, hated.  It seemed out of context, and it was, really, but I wanted it to sound like far off, unpredictable, unsettling, cannon fire…like a battle…like an unpredictable explosion. (…and no, you won’t hear it listen on your laptop or cell phone. :) ) 

 

The acoustic track was done using my Martin J-40. The lead I did using a Gibson Tal Farlow jazz guitar, and I used a ’63 Gretsch Tennessean through an old Fender Super Reverb amp for other other electric part. I kept it simple because the lyric and the intimacy of the vocal are what makes this tune.  . 

 

Good song writing on Glenn’s part here…hope you enjoy!

 

I too owe a thank you to Glenn for helping to get me out of bed, when a little encouragement meant the world to me…so thanks, Pard! 

 

Please visit us at jeffreyandbonney.net where you can purchase the entire album, and thank you. 

Production Notes 9/30/16

Somewhere Between Now And Then — This was the first song that Glenn and I wrote for the new album. Glenn came to Oregon from South Carolina to visit, and he showed me this idea for a very dark and moody song that he wrote about a couple's relationship once happy relationship that ended up with a nasty, acrimonious, divorce.  The mysterious feel of the song called for some dark voodoo, sound wise, so I used a Dan Electro baritone guitar for a low register that sat just about the bass line but below the rhythm guitar part. The drum tracks called for an angry war-like sound which added to the vibe as they come in almost half way through the song. I used my Sho-Bud pedal steel and a tape-echo effect in creating an additional haunting sound that goes throughout the tune, and at one time, I even attempted to simulate the sounds of ‘wind’ at the intro of the piece…that idea didn’t come out as intended, so I removed it, but the feel and vibe was one of stormy darkness, foreboding, regret, and longing; a theme which became constant throughout the album Glenn entitled, “Lone Gone,“ because concerning the relationship, indeed, it had...and she was.    

 

 

 

 

 Production Notes 9/23/16

 

LONG GONE — Well? Who doesn’t have a tale of tragic love loss and bittersweet memory? That’s what this song is about, and it’s theme pretty much dictated the album…thus, the title that Glenn chose. I suppose one of my favorite lines that he wrote was, “Well she keyed door on your four-wheel drive…in lipstick red on the window (win-da!), she wrote GOOD BYE!” — LOL! Classic….not that I’ve been there. :) But it’s a poignant tale of lost love, heartache, realization, and hopeful redemption (“Like a fine refrain in an old Hank song, that keeps you hangin’ on…”); that melancholy reflection one has after loving someone fiercely, only to have it fail for reasons beyond anyone’s control. It’s painful. We all get to experience it in some way, manner, or form…and then you have no choice other than to move on, because it is, indeed…”Lone Gone.” 

 

 

 

Sometimes it’s best just ta’ kick dirt over it, like a dog does…and move on with a since of purpose; unknown as that may be. 

 

 

 

The song starts with a vocal refrain that Glenn did in 4 part harmony. For some reason, I thought of Paul Simon, and the beautiful work on his album, ‘Graceland,’ that had this giant chorus of singers from South Africa’s 'Ladysmith Black Mambazo,’ so I suggested a more complicated and full chorus…more harmonies. Glenn thought of early Country songs that had J.D. Sumner singing bass along with that gospel-type choral music, and with those ideas, we set up the Intro for the song.

 

 

 

I initially recorded the bass part using a Fender Precision, and then added a Tele for some twangy-ness. I put on a Baritone guitar and then did the solos ‘ping-ponging’ the Tele against my old Strat…something that I recalled as a cool trick from having listened to the early ‘Buffalo Springfield’ albums (and Surf music!), where the guitars soloing were panned hard, left and right. The drums on this one were Glenn’s program work, and all I did was EQ and and process them a bit. 

 

 

 

Anyway, “She’s not just gone, she’s LOOOONG GONE!” — So, goodbye, Baby…adios! See ya later!! Sayonara-arrivederci-auf Wiedersehen-au revoir-bon voyage, n’ don’t let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out! 

 

 

 

And as all good cowboys and cowgirls say, “Yeehaw!” 

 

 

 

Production Notes 9/16/16

Life Turns On A Dime  — This poignant tune Glenn wrote while reminiscing about his father who passed away when he was a young man. It served as an important reminder to me and my family, as well, in that the song got put on hold while I was battling throat cancer…life really CAN turn on a dime, and one’s entire existence can be reflected upon during times of sudden dramatic change or crisis. 

 

Glenn asked for a strong hook line for the song, and immediately I thought of the Beatles classic, ‘And I Love Her,’ and that iconic walk-down lick they recorded on an acoustic guitar. In direct tribute and respect for the simple melody, I copped a similar line using a Fender Esquire. I hopes of keeping the story line the main focus of the song, I added the bass guitar, a Martin J-40 acoustic, a tambourine, and that was about it! These songs seem to take on a life of their own, so while reminiscing about the Beatles and the intention of keeping the production simple, I thought of the unadorned arrangement they used on, ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.’ That tune had Ringo playing a sparse tambourine beat, and I loved the intimacy of the non-embellished production, so I suppose that inspired the idea for me to find a tambourine. The rhythm guitar is a simple upbeat, a technique used often in old Motown tunes, and the simplicity of that appealed to me also. In reverence to the Beatles, I ended the song with a volume swell in hopes of the listener catching the intentional reference to another Beatles’ classic, ‘I Need You.’ — Not exactly the kind of things one usually finds on a so-called ‘Country’ album, but we didn’t want to get pigeoned holed by ideas of one given genre, and most audiences these days are well versed in many different styles of music and can appreciate what gets borrowed from our own musical past. 

 

 

 

Production Notes 9/9/16

 

It Started With a Kiss — This was a fun one! Glenn first told me this story over the phone, about how he met this great gal on Match.com and a budding romance ensued. He told me about how he got a ticket driving home, “too drunk in love to drive” for going 65 over some bridge in South Carolina. I laughed at the charming story while he told me about writing a song about it. I thought to myself, “Well? Match-dot-com, huh? This should be interesting. Maybe I should make it a commercial jingle using some catchy but nauseating repetitive musical phrase, like “It’s A Small World After all…It’s a Small World…,” well, you get the idea. Well, sure enough, before I know it, Glenn sends me this song that was EXACTLY as he told it to me. I was amazed! Rather stunned, actually. I told my wife, “I wish I could do that! You know…jus’ wake up, get out of bed (“...ran a comb across my head.” :) ) walk downstairs and make coffee, pat the dog on the head, and somehow make a terrific lyric out of it all.”

Nah…doesn’t happen.

But it happened here! LOL!! — Anyway, this turned into one of my favorite tunes on the album. For guitars, I started with the bass, and then layered on a Gibson 335, a Dan-Electro Baritone guitar, my Ricky-12-string, and a Martin J-40. I kept Glenn’s original acoustic guitar part too. The amp I used mostly was a tweed Victoria Super and very few effects…a compressor and a dash of reverb, maybe.

Happy Friday! We hope you enjoy listening!! — And please come visit us at, jeffreyandbonney.net

 

 

Production Notes 9/2/16

IF IT GETS ME TO YOU

 

I began working on the draft of this song at the beginning of March. I first used my '61 ES-175, because I wanted a Gretsch sort of sound, but didn't have one. That didn't quite get it, so I switched to a Tele and used an open-G tuning, and that gave it a bit of a Rolling Stones vibe due to that. I'm proud to say my son, Paul Matthew, played the drums, and did a great job sticking to the click-track.  — Around mid-June, I just wasn't satisfied with how things turned out, so I kept Paul's drums and the bass track I did but scrapped the rest. 

 

Between that time, I traded a much loved vintage Fender amp for a '63 Gretsch Tennessean (only 200-some-odd digits off George Harrison's!), and decided to scrap my original ideas and go with a finger-picking lick that involved some pull-off techniques in a Drop-D tuning. I tried various amps, and opted for a 1965 Super Reverb so I could keep it sounding authentic to the old guitar.

 

The song was a bit repetitious sounding, so I tried experimenting with ideas for a bridge, or a modulation, and after much discussion with Glenn, I asked him to try a most unusual idea, and that was to modulate up a fifth, from G, to D, vocally (that's quiet a jump!), so the two vocal parts, harmonies of one another, were switched around Marker 1:56, just as the solo comes in. The solo was a Tele through a Victoria tweed Super Amp. The Drop-D tuning is something that gets commonly used in the key of D, so the pull-off pattern fit in nicely, and Glenn pulled off the vocal without a glitch.

 

For some counter-point, I recorded direct, using a Baritone guitar and a ring shifting effect that almost creates a pump organ type sound...very odd! Anyway, we hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed recording it!!

 

Production Notes 8/26/16

Here are some production notes of the third tune of our new album, 'Lone Gone.' The song is titled, "Georgia Peaches" and it's one that Glenn Jeffrey wrote and we recorded back in the 90's with 'The Glenn Jeffrey Band,' made up of some of San Diego's most respected players and dear friends of ours...Bob Rosencrans (bass); Paul Cougill (keyboards); David Largent(drums...although Bill Ray was on this track). The old version was wonderful, but recorded on ADAT (a now dated medium that is non-transferable), so we decided to redo the song using just Glenn and I...we're all so spread out now, it's just impractical for us all to get together and record, unfortunately. 

Anyway, the opening line is a direct tribute to T-Rex...:) Glenn wrote this in the key of E, and that old rock tune immediately popped into my head, so I used a '72 Les Paul cranked up through a Victoria Double Deluxe amp that I stuck in the hallway. I then tuned to an open E and did the slide track. Prior to all this, I laid down the bass over the drum track Glenn had sent me. I used a Blues Harp for the harmonica part, and that was followed by the solo track that I recorded using a Telecaster Custom. 

This is best heard cranked up REALLY loud! LOL!! -- Enjoy!

( Please visit us at jeffreyandbonney.net )

 

 

Production Notes 8/19/16

This was a great "Beer Anthem" that Glenn Jeffrey wrote, and it was my first experiment using my Sho-Bud pedal-steel slide guitar with an altered tuning. I added my Martin J-40 into the mix, the bass, a Telecaster, and my entire family (along with Glenn, Ginger his gal, and our friends on the unified chorus of, "The beer's all gone?!") for the dramatic effect of making the point...I actually doubled the track and panned it left-and-right to make it sound bigger and more pronounced than it was. It's a fun recording, and perfect, I think for a beer commercial! LOL!!

Oh! One more interesting tidbit: Glenn had the terrific idea of actually cracking open a beer at the Intro. He first did it using a bottle (it probably took at least a couple of tries!), but the sound was metallic and harsh, so I suggested he use a pop-top can (...that probably took a few tries, as well!). The idea turned out great, and you can hear it just after the opening of the tune, right where he says, "It's time to get this party started..." -- We had a marvelous time making this album together. It was great fun!

 

 

Production Notes 8/12/16

Here's the first cut off our new album, 'Long Gone.' -- Glenn programmed the drum track, and when he sent it to me, I liked the lyric so much I decided not to do too much at all to the simple vocal/guitar/drum arrangement other than to begin by adding a bass guitar track. I then added a simple chicken-pickin' line using a 52' reissue Tele (used on the solo as well), and then bringing in an acoustic guitar slide part near the very end using my '41 Martin 0-18...kept it really simple due to the intimacy of the lyric line. -- Enjoy

 

 

Production Notes 8/5/16

 

Hello, Everyone! I thought I’d talk a minute about the fun we had in making this album. Glenn, residing in South Carolina, recently heard from a respected and prominent DJ of a renown major Country music station in the South. After hearing our album he stated that it reminded him of the sounds from Southern California, sort of an “early Mavericks” sound; one that was “unique…but in a GOOD way!” That warmed my heart, because that’s just what we had hoped to produce when putting the time and effort into making this album. In actual fact, Glenn and I did start out in Southern California, and the reference to the popular L.A. ‘Country Rock’ bands of the 60’s and 70’s, as well as the earlier recordings that came out of Bakersfield, were indeed influential on our personal tastes and inspirational with regard to our musical direction. We had almost daily phone conversations that had us agreeing not to over-produce the album, to let the lyric-line and the ‘story’ being told to be the predominant factors, so I learned a valuable lesson in editing…to pull things out rather than to put all the bells and whistles in, and believe me, in today’s recording software packages like the one we used (Logic Pro X…go Apple!), there are more processors and gadgets; even ‘auto-correct’ for pitch perfect vocal and instrument corrections, and we wanted none of that. We definitely wanted the ‘Old School’ approach, and even a ‘live’ sort of 60’s feel just like many of the records we grew up and loved when we were young. I think we accomplished that. Hopefully our listeners will pick up those cherished influences that we all enjoyed from bands in the 60’s and 70’s…the use of the Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar, for example, as a throwback to The Byrds and the Beatles; the Baritone guitar with it’s ‘Twin Peaks’ sort of Duane Eddy Surf vibe, and of course the Telecaster and Grestch tones that are quintessential sounds of most all Country inspired tunes, not to mention the Sho-Bud pedal steel guitar. Vintage instruments and amps were employed to authentically reproduce those early sounds, and even vintage styled effects, like the use of reverb or perhaps ‘slap-back’ echo on the vocal tracks.

 

Something else that comes to mind when asked about how the process works in creating a record: Glenn usually crafts the tune and would send me a “Scratch take,” meaning it’s just him singing and playing his acoustic guitar, enough for me to get the melody and chord structure of the song. I then begin recording various instruments to add to that (…and the songs sort of take on a life of their own, I might add!), and ultimately, Glenn comes back and will redo his vocal in order to do a ‘proper’ rendition. That happened regularly, and toward the final stages, I’d start to ‘mix’ the album…adjusting volumes, panning to right or left, adding compression or Equalization when needed, etc., but more often than not, right when I was thinking we were almost done, Glenn would call up and say, “I just did another take. I think it’s much better, check it out!” and I’d open Dropbox thinking, “Well, hell…the last take was pretty much perfect. What on earth is he gonna do to make it ‘better,’ for Goodness sake?!” But each and every time, he did! Sometimes it was just the slightest change in phrasing, or the pronunciation of a single word, or the articulation of syllables that were previously (an intentionally) slurred, into something that became more ‘intimate,’ more personal. It was remarkable to behold when my expectations were exceeded almost every time! — So there was a balance of sorts…Glenn sometimes doing a take over and over in order to capture an emotion and an intimacy, and then me, perhaps, ripping off an impromptu solo to share with him while asking, “What do you think? This guitar or the other one?,” all the while thinking my offering was simply an off-the-cuff example of an idea to be redone, only to hear Glenn say “Don’t touch it!” Why? Well, not because it was the best solo in the world, but because the spontaneity of playing without it being a polished take gave it a ‘passion’ and a visceral 'live-raw’ feel that sometimes suffers after doing a dozen takes. So basically, the emotional content began to be prized over the squeaky clean, homogenized and sanitized sounds one hears so much in the songs being played on the radio today.

 

It was a wonderful experience reuniting with Glenn after many years, and it was FUN to produce this and to have such a close working relationship. We sincerely hope you enjoy the album…at least as much as we enjoyed making it!

 

Thanks for your interest and support, and feel free to write us with questions or comments!

 

 

CRANK IT UP…PLAY IT LOUD! :)

 

- Mark & Glenn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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