Inside the Recording Studio

So much for live blogging the vinyl => mp3 recording process. Halfway through the first album the PC locks up an I lose 20 minutes of recording and 15 minutes worth of writing. Oh well.

The recording is going well. This could take awhile. Got through six albums yesterday. Six down, several hundred to go.

aerosmith_-_rocks.jpgStarted out with Aerosmith’s “Rocks”, their 1976 follow up to their highly successful “Toys In The Attic” (which is also on my to do list). The big tracks were “Back In The Saddle”, “Last Child”, and “Rats In The Cellar”. I also enjoyed hearing “Sick As A Dog” again. Nothing really remarkable about this offering from the “Bad boys of Boston”, just their usual fare.

Followed that up with a change up, Johnny Duncan’s 1978 “Greatest Hits” album for The Esposa. I suspect based on the stories she’s told that Esposa had a small crush on Johnny back in the day, so I felt obliged to ship her a few mp3s to load up on her iPod. “Stranger”, “She Can Put Her Shoes Under My Bed (Anytime)” and “Come A Little Bit Closer” with Janie Fricke were the top cuts on this album. Although I liked “Jo and the Cowboy” and “Scarlet Water” as well. These were two of Johnny’s more obscure “greatest hits” but I preferred them over some of the more popular tunes. Maybe because I heard them on the radio so much back in the day.

Sticking with the country theme my next project was Gary Stewart’s 1978 “Little Junior” album. This album contained cuts I already had from the “Essential Gary Stewart” compilation. Cuts like “Whiskey Trip”, “Stone Wall” and “Single Again”, so I didn’t bother with those. But the “Little Junior” album is a treasure trove of lesser known gems like the title cut “Little Junior”, “I Got Mine” about a crap shooting scalawag who always seems to skate just before the cops bust the game, the amazing “Tequila After Midnight” a signature Gary Stewart love-gone-wrong-drinking song complete with his singular wavering vibrato voice. But the best cut in my opinion is Gary’s cover of Marshall Tucker Band’s 1973 tune, “Can’t You See”.  I saw Gary in the late 90’s live at Cowboys near White Rock Lake. He was highly underrated as a musician and guitar player. Much more to Gary that honky tonk drinking songs.

Returning to the rock genre, sort of, next up was Sea Level’s self titled 1977 album. Led by Chuck Leavell (C. Level, get it?), Sea Level had sort of a rock/blues/jazz fusion thing going on. Chuck had already spent some time with the Allman Brothers Band and was headed for greatness as the “6th Rolling Stone”. Some great instrumental jazz tunes like “Rain In Spain”, but the shining moment on this album is the southern rock tune “Shake A Leg” with it’s Little-Feat-Dixie-Chickenesque sound.

madeinjapan.jpgThen it was time for some real rock & roll so I busted out Deep Purple’s “Made In Japan”. My favorite cut on this album is “Strange Kind of Woman” recorded in Osaka in 1972. All the greats are here “Highway Star”, “Lazy”, “Space Truckin”, “The Mule” and of course “Smoke On The Water”. More on Ritchie Blackmore later when I get to his post-Purple, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow album.

Finished up the day with a trip back to the country and the great Merle Haggard’s “Big City” released in 1981. Cuts like “Big City”, “My Favorite Memory” and “Are the Good Times Really Over for Good?” lead out on this country standard. The latter has a particular personal significance to Esposa and myself but that’s a blog for another day.

 Peace. Tough out.


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