double duty at cambridge sound studios

we got a solid start to the kelly talley project the last time i was in, and this trip i had two missions – finish up her material, and add mandolin to several songs for a band who had come in from ireland to cut tracks for their new album with jim at the helm – a band called karma parking.

the mandolin family in the lounge at cambridge
the mandolin family in the lounge at cambridge

i’ve learned that, with jim, sometimes he asks for exactly what he wants..and sometimes he has a vague idea and i have some degree of flexibility with regard to what the track might need.  for the karma parking material, i decided to take the extended mandolin family with me as well…so i packed my mandolin, my mandola, and my ocatve mandolin.  i didn’t bring my bouzouki, although in retrospect i can’t remember why.

i had to bring my acoustic and my dobro in as well, to finish up the kelly talley songs…which we were doing before the karma parking guys arrived.  so i had roughly a two-hour window to cut two passes of acoustic guitar, two passes of mandolin (one with the standard whole-note “chops” and one with some single-note solo style stuff interspersed), and a dobro track.  i was originally going to play banjo on this track as well, but i didn’t think that we’d be able to get it finished in the amount of time we had available, so i didn’t bother bringing it in for the session…i left it in the car.

listening to the mandola playback in the control room
listening to the mandola playback in the control room

we finished kellys’ stuff around noon or so…about the time the KP guys came in.  it was evident that they’d been there the night before, due to the telltale pile of jameson whiskey bottles in the studio kitchen…these guys take both their work AND their play pretty seriously.

originally, i was going to cut mandolin on one track, but they had just finished basics for a new song the night before, called “cambodia”, and jim thought that it might have a space in it for something as well, so he put it up for me to listen to – so i cut mandola on that track after dropping the high string down a step for a drone effect, and we did several passes of it just to make sure that they has something that they liked.

with jim salamone, karma parking, and an oversized octave mandolin
with jim salamone, karma parking, and an oversized octave mandolin

then we moved on to the other song, the one that jim had sent me because he thought it would be a mandolin tune.  i played a pass of it on mandolin for him, and then went out into the hallway and got the octave mandolin and ran that by him, and he liked the ocatve mandolin more than the standard one – which was the reaction i figured i’d get…it just sat in the track better than the standard one, and i was also thinking that there was a possibility that theese guys were thinking, on some level, that they didn’t come all the way to america to make a record only to have it dressed up with irish ornaments after they got here.

we finished up in the space of a couple of hours, which meant that i spent a total of roughly five hours in house, and got two paychecks for the day from two different projects.

if only every day were like that. 🙂

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