Hopefully everybody has come to grips with the loss of Piety Street Recording last month. Luckily, we didn’t lose any monumental New Orleans recording studios this month and there’s plenty to be excited about for recording around the city.
Jack Miele at Fudge Recording Studio has been doing a lot on the production side. He just finished producing tracks for Fort Walton Beach rock band Something to Yield. He’s currently producing a record for New Orleans blues/funk band Remedy Krewe. He’s also mixing Radio Silence, the second record for The Morning Life. “It’s sort of a long-awaited second record. The first record did really well and I’ve had a lot of people asking about the second one,” said Miele. He has an Amek Matchless console modified with John Hardy 990c op- amps, which he used to mix John Oates’ upcoming record. “For him, I love my Pearlman TM1 [microphone]. It’s one of the older ones that David Pearlman personally made for me that has got all the vintage Telefunken parts.” For Oates’ unique voice, Miele uses the Neve 33421 channel for his vocals and the Daking Fet II compressor. “He’s got a really distinctive voice and he likes to sing super soft— and he has a really fast attack when he sings—so I needed something that was really grabby but actually had some sort of mojo to it” said Miele.
John Oates isn’t the only late ‘70s hit maker keeping New Orleans recording studios busy. There’s a “Dust in the Wind” reunion happening at Studio in the Country as Kansas drummer Phil Ehart and producer Jeff Glixman return to the studio together for the first time since the album Point of No Return. “They came with the multitracks of the Leftoverture album to make stem mixes of ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ and to film interviews for an upcoming 40th anniversary reissue of Leftoverture,” said general manager and former Pixies soundman Ben Mumphrey.
Black Francis is sending Studio in the Country 1/4” analog tapes this fall of various unreleased sessions Mumphrey recorded from 2001 to 2004. “This is still in the works but should happen by the year’s end,” said Mumphrey. Mixing is underway for ex- Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra, Bill Davis of Dash Rip Rock, Pepper Keenan, Fred LeBlanc, Brian Broussard, the Egg Yolk Jubilee horn section and Pete Wet Dog’s newly formed Jello Biafra and the Raunch and Soul Allstars. Mumphrey is also working on mixing the new Rotary Downs album. Classic rockabilly singer Jim Oertling just completed a new album as well. “His excellent band normally backs Merle Haggard and George Strait,” said Mumphrey.
Chris George at the Living Room Studio in Algiers just finished recording the new Gold and the Rush (pictured) album with Eric Rogers as the producer. He tried to record the album so that every track had its own vibe to it. “We did tape delays, delays on outboard gear… Drums were all over the place: on some of it we’d strip some of the mics out to make it more minimal; some of it would be with a little more room; some of it would be a little closer. It was kind of all over the place. He [Jake McGregor] sang one track live that we split out of the vocal mic through the Leslie organ,” said George.
He’s also been working with cello player Monica McIntyre, who recorded all her tracks in a live session with her sister Marcia McIntyre and Thea Bashful on backing vocals, and percussionist Mike Jacobson. “She’s really good. It was amazing that we were able to record everything from a live take,” said George.
The new Freret Street venue Gasa Gasa is being used as a recording space for Afro-Cuban/Latin jazz percussionist Bill Summers. “To me, it’s all about the vibe and Gasa Gasa got the vibe. You can have all the best gadgets in the world but you can’t replace the vibe.” Summers is working with engineer Michael Seaman on the project.
“He [Seaman] designed the stage and the acoustics of the place and let me tell you, he is really, really, really good at what he does,” said Summers. The record will highlight the rich drumming culture of New Orleans and tie it into influences from Africa, Cuba, Haiti and Brazil. “They were playing the same rhythms at the same time in Cuba that we had in Congo Square,” said Summers. Listen for appearances by Russell Batiste, Stanton Moore, Herlin Riley, Derrick Moss from Soul Rebels, Benny Jones Sr. from the Treme Brass Band, samba percussionist Curtis Pierre, and African drummer Judah Mason. The record should drop by the end of November.