Kenny Howard, Kenny is a young rapper that
impressed me a lot when he came to the studio. He was calm, sharp and know
what he wanted for his songs. He asked if I could add some live instruments
to his tracks.
Another year has come and gone and I for one am happy to put another year in the books. It was a good year and I am hopeful that 2019 will be equally good bringing more prosperity to us the common folks in these United States. There is one thing I know and feel for sure. Living in America is still much better than any other place that I have traveled in the world. Lets remember we are all Americans first. United we stand, lets remember to be and to remain united. Happy New Year. 1-1-2019
December 2018 I have been so busy this Holiday season with my band Sly Fox, that I have neglected to keep up the studio news. One of my new years resolutions is to rectify that problem. and resolve to better in the new year.
I have continued to work with Herman Franck. The
last song I worked on has been sent to a Chinese singer that is now in China
and has booked some time in a local studio there. She will re-sing and
record the song that was sent to her. Once that has been done I will
mix and master it for Herman.
November 2018 Ok, things are back to normal and I'm ready to get back in the swing of things. the windows are great and the sound deadening is a real improvement. Since we're approaching the end of the year things are getting busy. I'll be up dating soon. 11-30-18
I had planned on entering lots of up dated info today but I have had to tear my studio apart to allow for the replacement windows that are to be installed in the studio today. I cant even access the material on my main computer (a Mac) because it had to be disconnected for this job to be done. The good news is that the room should be much cooler in the summer and quieter all the time. Time will tell if all that was promised will come to fruition. But I am hopeful and I will up date the studio news as soon as things are put back together again. One thing is for sure, taking things apart allows for the removal of lots of dust that collects in hard to reach places.
Faith Mystic; Faith was introduced to me by a fellow who called me named Derrick Parker from Washington DC. He has a studio there and wanted to see if I could schedule Faith for a hurry up session. I agreed to fit her in and two days later Faith was at my door. We worked through the session and she was happy with the studio and my bed side manner. She has since called to come back in for another session to do some of her own music along with her partner Athena. More on that later. 10-15-18
Meet Heva Pakzad, who called me to request
some studio time as he needed to record some voice-overs for a
This is the band Flyism, headed up by bass player Larry Melton, Clark Goodloe on keyboards and Russell Brown on guitar. Together these three players kick out some very a nice smooth funky jazz music. Larry comes up with a bass line and the other two musicians jam to his line and together they find the groove and play the hell out of it. 8-19-18
I have continued to work with Herman Franck producing his songs and have delivered a couple to him. The latest being "A girl like you".
Speaking of magic, I get a message that
Magic Fraga, a former client of mine had a computer melt down and lost
all of his files from his CD project from several years ago. I quickly
located the files and sent them to Magic and now he is back in to the
business of shopping his music to some record industry big wigs including
Jay-Z. It seems Magic auditioned for a talent show that is produced by
Jay-Z. So keep an eye out for Magic Fraga, (he's easy to spot as he's
May & June 2018
This is Freeze AKA Jeremy Foster, who called me to arrange some studio time last month. Jeremy disappeared from my radar for two years almost to the day. But then he surfaced to get back into the studio to continue his quest to find his voice in music. It was good to see and hear him once again. He's now living on the coast right on the Pacific ocean. He mentioned it's expensive to live there but the weather is much cooler. I will post his music once we have it more completely worked out. 6-15-18
During March and April I was completely booked recording foreign languages for the up coming California election that is to be held on June 5 of this year. It's a daunting task to say the least. I was charged with recording Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean. There were only 95 pages but that's a lot of scheduling for the readers. Below are some photos of the readers and their proofers. It was the second time I have undertaken this assignment.
After many trips back and forth to the studio the readers and the proofers were happy as was I to put it all behind us. Now I am awaiting my next adventure which is always just a phone call away.
January & February 2018
Boy oh boy! The time has flown by. Here's a condensed version of some of the latest sessions from last year.
In December I recorded an acapella quartet called The
Good New Singers who performed at the service of my former client
Diana had a very full life and I was impressed with how long the list of accomplishments she had in her life. One thing she was most proud of was being the organist, vocalist and music director of a church in Folsom for over 50 years. In all that time she never missed a Sunday performing in every service. She also won many notable beauty contests including winning the title of Miss San Francisco. She was a high level official at the Bank Of America in San Francisco from where she finally retired. She had many credits including marring a pilot and enjoying over 30 years of a happy marriage. Diana will be missed by many including me. She was a class act.
Gary Bowman and Otis are pictured after
Otis played a blazing version of a hoedown for Gary's latest album project.
July thru October 2017
Kim Stokley. We have logged some 22 hours transferring her father Bob Williams tapes to CD's and there's still more. .
Kid Shwazee also logged in many hours working on his project. Also I wrote and produced 8 songs for Herman Franck
as we march thru his musical aspirations. Herman keeps giving me ideas to put music to. Ours is a very symbiotic relationship.
Richard Ryan and Jackie
Nova. Rich is a film
maker with 18 projects to his credit. Jackie is his long time girl friend
and both are starring in their Oxfilms latest production titled
Art of Deception. There is a boxing scene in the film that Rich wanted
to have some rap music in the background, So he contacted a composer friend
of his located in New York to create some music that he and his other friend
Josh could rap over. Jackie helped out on the chorus' (hooks)
and it was a quick study because Rich and Jackie were headed to LA to meet
some marketing people to further his project. Richard had me send the files
back to his friend in New York for final mixing and mastering.
Meet Brian Williams. Brian called me to
set up studio time to record his original songs. At first the plan was to
just record one or two songs. But once in the studio Brian became enthused
by what he was hearing and feeling and we laid four songs on two hours.
Granted these are not finished works but it was the beginning of what he
could expect form the studio. I found all of his songs to be rhythmic in
nature and very pop oriented.
Peter Mundy was back in the studio after a short illness and he was in good form.
Peter presented a new song that we toyed with for a couple of hours. More on Peter later. 5-2-17
Meet Kim Stokley. Kim called me to request that I transfer her reel to reel tapes that were given to Kim by her father Bob Williams, Bob was a multi talented musician who sung, played guitar, steel guitar, tenor sax and just about anything else. I broke out my old tape player an began transferring the songs as she and I talked a lot about her father being a professional musician. We had a good time listening to songs that were recorded in 1962, Here's an example of a live recording with Bob singing and playing sax from that era. Jambalaya (Click to hear) 4-21-17
Kid Shwazee was back in the house continuing to work on his break out project. He had taken off a couple of weeks to get prepared and he was ready to come into the studio with both barrels blazing. We got right down to recording and worked on his newest song titled "Look at me freestyle" Check it out (Click to hear) 4-7-17
Meet the Letelema'ana Sisters. Sister Ray called me two days ago needing a track for an up coming funeral service in San Francisco where the sisters would be singing. I had just two days to get a piano track produced and bring the sisters to the studio to record the chorus' for that service. They arrived yesterday during a torrential downpour that left them all soaked to the bone just running from their car to studio. Though once inside, things came together rather quickly. The sisters all hail from the Samoan Islands. They sing beautifully together and I could hear immediately that they had the buzz associated with singing families. I have heard that buzz many times before. We finished their track then recorded a dummy lead vocal track that I am using just to give an idea of their individual voices. So here are the Letelema'ana Sister singing "Missing You" (Click to hear) 3-23-17
As I mentioned before I have been working on
producing some radio shows for Herman Franck. Well I can see the
After six week illness, Peter Mundy has returned to the studio to carry on with his newest project. He has been busy writing and came in wanting just to record some guide tracks to establish the tempos and arrangements. We recorded six new songs and we'll produce them once Peter has had a chance to work out some kinks. Here are several snippets that I edited together to give you an idea of Peter's music. "Peter Mundy" l3-17-17
This is Caleb Johnson AKA Kid Shwazee. He's a young rapper that has really his act together. We've had two sessions in as many weeks and he knows what he wants to hear and he holds himself to a very high standard. His style is modeled after Jay Z's spoon fed method. Making sure that the listener understands what he's talking about. here some samples of Kid Swazeey's music. "Edited Kid Shwazee" 3-11-17
Meet Duey Wielinski soul
singer. Duey has been coming to the studio for over 15 years. We have had a
storied past working together on his music to put together an album. Fast
forward a couple of years and here we are once again , but this time we're
going to "get er' done"! Settling in on a plan of meeting once a
week, we'll keep the ball rolling to reach Duey's end goal. We now have
three songs very near completion as we forge forward.
I have been working on a restoration project and
needed to pick up a used cassette player. (Mine is in need of repair) The
player worked fine at the persons home where I bought it. Then when I got
home it stopped working. But I needed to keep going to finish the project on
time. Look closely and notice the pencil I jammed into the play tab to force
the player to play when it didn't want to. This what I call Gorilla
recording. Sometimes it's not all sterile like in the movies. Here is one
of the songs from the project. I wrote and recorded it in 1986, Thirty
One years ago. I wrote it for my mother.
Peter Mundy is an old friend and former client of mine. Peter want to record new material and have me help him set up a Pro Tools system in his studio that has yet to materialize. But it's in the works. In the meantime we're working on some new songs and moving forward. We generally meet up every two weeks and his music has always been of interest to me. 1-20-17
It's a new year and here at Pudding Stone we're getting into the swing of a new year and a new president. On the left is Drew Rosen who has graced my page many times. Last year Drew asked me to help him set up a studio in his home to record songs he's written lately and to record his band Prowler. Once that was done I didn't hear from him for some months. Then a call for me to return to his home to organize his Pro Tools files and to help with some new material he has written. The picture on the left is Drew laying a rhythm guitar part on said song while the winter storms rages just outside his studio window. It's fun for me when the weather is bad but the music being recorded is good. 1-11-17
Well 2016 is
waning fast and I and every body is looking to the new year hoping that it
will bring more prosperity and good fortune to us all. In looking back this
was one hell of a year for me musically speaking. The studio was fairly busy
and I got to meet and work with some new artist's. I recorded over 50 hours
of foreign language namely Japanese and Korean for the California
Voters Guide, that proceeded our election. And what an election it
was. I was stunned by the outcome, but in retrospect I have to say that we
needed a big change and now we have one. Time will tell if it's the right
change, but I am hopeful that we'll all be doing better. One thing is for
sure, the new incoming President Elect Trump has a much better
economy to work with than the out going President Obama had. By next
year at this time we'll see the cards on the table and have a much better
idea if were going to be better off. I certainly hope so. After the
election, to say the least, I was stunned. So I did what I often do, I wrote
a song about the election results and how I felt the Democrats who stayed
home and didn't vote caused the results.
It's not often that I have an opportunity to break out the old tape machine and get back to the analogue world. My friend Bill Chiechi called to have me transfer some 50 year old tapes he had from back in the 60's. His band at that time was called The Entertainers and they were performing in San Jose at a dinner house and they (the band) would record their shows. Well the drummer and lead singer Gil, is now in the hospital and in bad shape and mentioned to Bill that he'd love to listen to the old band one more time before he passing on. Bill called me to do to a rush order to get this music to his friend as quickly as possible. Which I was able to turn around in just two days. (By the way this was a four piece band) Here's one song from their show. "Only the Beginning" (Click to hear)
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good life. Bruce Bolin 12-24-16
(12-26-16 Sadly when Bill come over to pick up the CD's this morning, he mentioned to me that his friend Gil passed away last night. But since I had emailed Mp3's of the two shows to Bill, he had forwarded them to Gil's wife who played the music for Gil while he was on his death bed. She said Gil smiled when he heard the music.
I have continued to work with Herman Franck on his radio shows and we are closing in on the end of the first 9 shows. Herman has forced me to get pretty far out of my comfort zone and I applaud him for doing so. I have been discovering many new roads to travel working with Herman and we have become fast friends in the process. I will be posting some more of the newer songs as I finish them. But for now here's "So easy" written by Herman and preformed and arranged by me. (Click to hear) 12-20-16
Two year ago Jim Reinhart came to Pudding Stone to have me transfer some music files and prepare them for his project. Last week Jim re contacted me to do more of the same. He brought with him some Cassettes and Digital Audio Tape masters to be transferred. We got underway last evening working and reminiscing about the glory days of our combined past musical experiences. It was fun to go back in time and listen to Jim's stories of playing in the 80's and how things have changed so much in this the new millennium. Although there have been many changes, we both agree that the love of playing and hearing good music have never left us. here is Jim's "Wait Until Midnight" (click to hear) 12-8-16
I have been working on a Christmas program that
will be preformed this December 11, at my church The Valley
Community Church. This program has been in the works since September.
It's big deal with a cast of about 20 actors and a choir of 15 singers.
The behind the scenes support crew will be about dozen including
spot lights (2) audio (2) video (3) and various other folks helping to keep
the younger people in the cast in line. It has been very nice to
be involved in this project. It has given me the opportunity to get to know
more of the people in the church and we're all working closely to bring all
of the moving parts together. I have been working on the audio. Including
the background music for the songs, special EFX and some voice over tracks
that needed to be pre-recorded. We ran into a problem where the audio files
were not compatible with the computer program that we had planned to use.
After several miss-fires I think I have the problem figured out. I needed to
flip the phase on the stereo files to get them to work. I'll find out this
Sunday as we head into one of our last rehearsals before the big
performance. I'll post some audio as soon as I'm sure it's all working. Wish
me luck, or better yet say a prayer for me.
The Christmas program was performed on
December 12, 2016. It was warmly received and enjoyed by the church
It's Herman Franck lighting up the pages once again of my studio news. I have been working with Herman for some time now and he's been keeping me busy writing songs and producing the music for his up coming Radio Show. There will be three episodes of which I have two ready at this time. It's interesting work making me dig deep into my talent bag to find ways of delivering things that are musically in Herman's head. he is a prolific author and has written many books. he's also an very well spoken and interesting guy. Check out "Keeper Girl", (Click to hear) 11-3-16
My client Herman Francks (pictured on
the right) has had me working an one of his songs for a couple of months. We
have been looking for the right instrument to perform the intro to the song.
I mentioned a violin and he agreed. So I called on the Sacramento State
music department to see if I could fine a competent player to perform
this piece. One of the heads of the music department replied to my call. So
today Ardalan Gharachorloo and I got together to record this piece.
The music is usual because it's out of time and musicians like to
play in time. We struggled with it for a couple of hours, but here it
is in all it's glory. "I'll
never know why-Intro"
Larry Melton met up with me in August wanting to record with his band Flyism. We settled in yesterday and got right to work. Things moved quickly and smoothly and after an hour and a half we had two songs ready to go. Flyism's sound reminds me of Special EFX, a group that I have several Cd's of. Yesterday the grooves were nice and the playing was solid. It gives me a good feeling to be close to the music when it's going down. I love to feel the heat of a well crafted track. Few jobs are as fulfilling as being in the studio. Check out "Sweet Heat" (Click to hear) 10-27-19
Lady's and Gentlemen, presenting Miss Mercury Rising. Mercury has been a regular in Pudding Stone Recording Studio for the last three and a half years. I have been putting together her music for her many performances in downtown Sacramento. She has captivated her audiences in four of the clubs that she regularly frequents every weekend. To say that Mercury "brings it", is an understatement. With well choreographed dance sequences, Mercury has an athletic performers approach on the stage and the dance floor. Once the announcer state's "Ladies and Gentleman here's Mercury Rising", there's no telling how she will look or how she will tear up the dance moves that always accompany her performances. Check out "Kimono" Click to hear 10-21-16
I have been working with and for Herman Franck for the past six months. I have been writing and arranging his songs and it has been a nice symbiosis. But when he has asked me to do the latest song I ran into a brick wall because parts of the song were so out of time. he wanted it exactly as he gave it to me. Well I struggled to try and get it right and having gotten two of the three parts together I'm on a roll. Now to finish that last part to get me and Herman to the finish line. In the meantime check out one of the former songs I did for Herman called "Tell Her" (Click to hear) 10-7-16
Here's Bryant Brown a young rapper who's experience and view of his world makes for some interesting songs. Bryant brought a flavor and an energy to the several sessions we had in September that left us both feeling like we had just run a mile. At the end of one of his songs we were both sweating and exhilarated by the end of the number. His original take on life comes out in Bryant's music. Here's "Burj Khalifa" in his own words 9-23-16 (Click to hear)
Darren Roebuck is a professional voice over talent. Darren who hales from Colorado, was here in Sacramento visiting some relatives when he got a call from his parent company to rush a voice over file to them ASAP. Darren called me and we arraigned to have him come in to the studio to record the needed voice over. It was unusual for me to give or the controls of the studio to Darren but I did. We recorded his voice over and then he sat in the drivers chair and proceeded to edit the voice over we had just recorded. He mentioned that he has done it so many times that it would save him studio time and money if I would let him edit his files. I agreed and watched his move quickly and smoothly through the files. Here is a sample of Darren's voice over. "Vending" 9-09-16
Meet Darla DeMoss. Darla called me because she wanted to re-write a song she had recorded 5 years earlier. Now with the rash of police being shot at and some being killed she felt her song was both timely and relevant. We struggled with the lyrics of the song as I felt the story wasn't being told in a visual way. But over several sessions we began to bring all of the lyrics together and I began working on the music. Over a three week period the song was born and was in time for her performance on September 8, 2016 in Lake Tahoe for the Policeman's Association . Here is "The Man in Blue" 8-29-16
Dellndi Kintaundi called me last week needing a 60 second commercial radio spot produced. My first question was "do you have a finished script"? he said yes but when I saw what he had I knew the script needed some major editing. I began working the script and noticed that it was a bit short. So I mentioned that by producing a 30 sec spot, he could afford more radio time. He called in two ladies to record the voice over named Cathy and Delinda. They both turned in some good reads and we finished up his spot for the 100 Black Man annual "White Linen" event. Click to hear 7-15-16
When I received a call from Tiffany Tamaribuchi from the Sacramento Taiko Dan Japanese performing group of Sacramento needing to get into the studio ASAP I was delighted to have a slot open for them. We agreed to get together to record some tracks that will be a part of a puppet stage show early in September. I have recorded many ethnic instruments from many countries, but had never recorded these Japanese instruments. The players are from L-R Sasha Fascha, Tiffany Tamaribuchi on drums and Michiyo Koga on the Koto. It was an interesting session. It was fun and we moved quickly through the three sound tracks. Here is "Sai" . Click to hear 7-3-16
Meet Herman Franck, Herman is a local attorney here in Sacramento that has led a rather storied life. Now I have met many hundreds of people in my life many of whom have interesting stories that have taken places in their lives, but Herman has written a book (and I do mean literally) that caught my attention from our first phone call. He has authored several dozen books, hopped around the globe, rubbed shoulders with the elite and married a super model. He loves to write and he is (needless to say) an interesting fellow. When he approached me about writing a song for him I immediately recognized that the subject matter was not the standard fare. So we met and he told me his story as it relates to the song. I could go on but one song is worth a thousand words. I'm sure you'll get the point. This song features Valerie Marston on vocals. Here's "I'm not gonna stop being hot" Click to hear 6-28-16
Jeremy Foster returned many times to the studio to record and he has a blast while he's doing it. Recently he has taken up his old street name from his early days. So from now on he's Frost. Frost is a motivational team leader that wanted to record some tracks to help motivate his crew that sell energy saving plans all up and down the state. He has recorded many tracks during his half dozen or so sessions. Here is another one of many of his recordings. Back in the day. (Click to hear) 5-16-16
During the month of May I have been concentrating many of my efforts on my band Sly Fox, from recording original material to planning for a new band demo video for promotional opportunities. I will be posting the results of these and other efforts in the coming months. Check back often. :)
Meet Jo E Mo a promising young rapper that called me a week ago to schedule some studio time. He and I got right down to working on his music and we hit some nice grooves early on. Jo E, listened to the playbacks and asked me to add an effect to his ad lib track or to slowdown the end of the first song. he also had ne add in a stutter effect that worked out well. The first song Jo had written, but the second was free style rap. I felt he really found his groove on the second song, it was called Rich. After some mixing and the making of a CD. We had come to the end of our session. Check out Rich (Click to hear) 4-11-16
Gary Bowman is a songwriter that records an album every year. it's his passion to "keep em' coming"! In the last five years, he has had Otis Mourning (holding the clarinet) play on one or more of his songs. This year was no exception. Last Wednesday 3-23-16, we reconvened to record Otis' parts. The sessions seldom last more than an hour. This was no exception. Gary is very prepared and Otis and I know what our respective jobs are. The results speak for themselves. Here is Aldo's Song. (Click to hear) 3-29-16
Meet Jeremy Foster and his friend Cash. Jeremy set up some studio time to try his hand at recording some motivational rap music. He said he has looked all over the web and can't find any. Jeremy and Cash have a team of sales people that sell door to door and he wants to play his music for them to get them motivated. He had such a good time on his first outing in the studio, that he came back with Cash for some moral support. Jeremy feels like he's on the right track and wishes to continue recording his songs with hopes of getting some traction on line. here are two songs that I edited together to give you an idea of his style and his sound. I call them Jeremy On The Loose (Click to hear) 3-7-16
Recording many different types of music has always interested me. Meet Gurjit and Sukhi. Gurjit is a DJ who authors a Podcast and wanted to have Sukhi record a drum track to a mix that Gurjit had made. Gurjit said that Sukhi was famous for his command of the rhythm. Once that big drum was unpacked, we did a sound check to get the right levels, then it was Full speed ahead. Sukhi was an incredible drummer but I was astounded at how loud that drum was. Mind you I have recorded many loud bands in many situations, but that drum almost made my EARS BLEED1. I needed to put on ear plugs in my ears and still it was very loud. It was also very good. We mixed the drum track to the other track according to the wishes of Gurjit & Sukhi and they happily strolled out of the studio. They mentioned that they'd be back. All in a days work. Listen to, Podcast (Click to hear) 2-23-16
Greg Kiefer graced Pudding Stone Recording Studio once again with another album. Like the Eveready Battery, Greg just keeps on going. He is the most prolific music writer I think I have ever met. Every night he sits at his piano and composes music records it and brings it to me to Edit and Master for him. Then he up loads it to CD Baby for people to hear and down load. This time he brought some Chinese and some Indian food that he had prepared for us to eat before getting down to business. It was good as was the session. 2-22-16
So I was down at the local car wash yesterday and I get a call. It was from a fellow from the UK named Paul. He inquired if I could do a quick voice over as he needed an audition example of his singing ability for the Stone Temple Pilots. "I replied, hell ya!" He and his guitar player Rich from the band Cradle of Filth were to be appearing last night at the Ace of Spades night club. That's Paul in the first picture and he is joined by Rich in the next. Paul was excited to get the recording done quickly and he and Rich were on their way back to the club to perform at 9:30. It was a slam dunk recording session but the results were pretty good. He had all his tracks tucked neatly into his Mac Pro and he will be sending them off in the morning and hoping for the best. Here a sample of the session. Interstate Love Song .
(Click to hear). 2-21-16
My old friend Lloyd Banks paid me a visit last week. He wanted to work on a recording that he had started some years ago to give to his wife for a Valentines day present. We proceeded to get the files up and running. Soon it was mixed and ready to be burnt on to a CD. Within one hour Lloyd was on his way back to Stockton to give his special gift to his beloved. All's well that ends well. Check out, "Charlaine" 2-15-16
Meet Bobby Yai Yai. He's a self professed songwriter who called me and said, "I have wanted to record this song for the longest time, and now is the time" I replied "come on over". We met at the studio an quickly got down to work. Bobby laid a rhythm guitar track and I added a drum track, bass and a piano plus some percussion shakers. Well once Bobby heard the music, he said "I want to do a video also and put it on YouTube". We made plans to shoot several days later. I brought in my friend Dario Lizarraga to shoot the video while I directed the session. Dario took it home and edited it. He and I got together two days later to tweak the video and add some titles. In less than a week Bobby had his bad self on You Tube. To see it;
Open another tab (window) and then go to You Tube and copy this link https://youtu.beTQzADLysckl in the address bar, then you can see and hear what we did.
Or go to You Tube and type in Let Me Tell You Truthfully By Bobby Yai Yai. Life is good! 1-18-16
So here I am again at the end of another year. The holidays will quickly fade and we'll all be starting over again by picking up the pieces of having spent too much money during the Christmas season.
This has been a good year in general. I have worked on some nice projects and that always makes me feel good both during and afterwards. No matter what is going on in the world (and this year was a tough one in many ways), the studio always presents me with challenges' and rewards in equal measure. Overcoming the challenges' and feeling the pleasure of a job well done is what makes my job so rewarding. This year I have spent many hours working on a double album project of my own material and I am almost finished. Closing the door on that project will allow me to open yet another door on writing some new material. Many of my songs are about life experiences that I have both lived and observed. I am sure that theme will continue into the next and for as many years as I am able to write and produce my own music. I feel that this year was a good one in that I improved my skills in the studio and that shows that it's never to late to learn and continue to grow. As my final offering of 2015, here's a song that I wrote for my mother-in law who has been fighting an up hill battle with her body breaking down. I could elaborate more but I think the song spells it out pretty well. As I always do, I want to wish any and all of my fellow human beings a Happy and Healthy New Year. God bless us all and God bless America. Here's Don't get mad at me when I'm getting' mad at you (Click to hear) 12/31/15
Vishal Kadiam on the left wanted to give a song to his girlfriend for her birthday. He enlisted Diane and Chris to help him. We worked through the process and in the end he was very pleased with the song as was his girlfriend Shirley. (Click to hear) My Love 12-19-15
My band Sly Fox has been working on a single to offer to our fans of one of our most popular songs when we're playing live gigs. This song is available on CD Baby as a download for only $.99. If you like it you can down load it. The band is pretty happy with the song. We have two versions of it. The second has a protest rap that condemns the Twin Tunnels our good Governor Brown has been trying to squeak through the congress to get his idea of sending lots of water around our central valley Delta to the thirsty farms in the southern central valley. (I believe these same corporate farmers have given Mr. Brown lots if incentive in the form of campaign $$ when he was running for Governor. Anyway this is the non protest version of the song. Please listen and enjoy "Down On The Delta" (Click to hear) 11-4-15
This is Crazy Pill, a group that called on me to record and produce a demo for them. It has been over a month since I first met Tim Harland the guitar player. I drove out to his home in Fair Oaks a week before the session to see his set up and it was perfect. The band rehearsed in Tim's large spacious living room. I took up a position just outside the sliding glass doors leading to the patio. From there I could see the band and I was sheltered from the volume which allowed me to clearly hear what I was recording. This was to be a live recording. We spent 4 1/2 hrs. tracking. Then I came back to my studio to begin the post production process. Crazy Pill is not a namby-pamby sounding group. They are powerful and very serious about their sound and their direction. That's Tim on Guitar, yet another Tim on drums and Mark on the bass. We did some additional sweetening in the studio and the results speak for them selves. Here's Crazy Pills Demo 2015 (Click to hear) 10-22-15
Lady's and Germs, presenting Sister Swing at the third annual Hot Jazz Music Festival.
Labor Day Weekend found the Sisters back in
action doing 8 shows over the 4 day holiday weekend. As usual, I am there to
be sure that they will sound as good as they are by mixing the band (as I
have happily done for over 23 years). They knocked it out of the park
with their tighter than the average band The Chopped Liver Orchestra.
It was a good time and these festivals always leave the bands and helpers
(me) pretty pooped out after a solid weekend of playing and moving all over
the festival site (not to mention the partying that is part of the
This is Drew Rosen showing two sides of his studio experience. On the left he's concentrating on his keyboard part and on the right he's happy for a nice take recorded on the drums. Drew had me help him set up his studio in October of last year and has invited me back several times to put it to good use recording and arranging his music. I am always happy to pass on my knowledge. :) 8-28-15
This is James Bradford, musician,
songwriter, pastor of his own church, owner of his own HVAC company and all
around good guy. James called me in early July wanting to book studio
time to record some of his latest songs. When we got together we dove right
into transferring his music from his synthesizer into Pro Tools. Once that
was accomplished, we moved on to his vocals. James was a quick study when it
came to singing and things moved fast. They needed to move quickly as I
learned that James was headed to Texas and Oklahoma for a class reunion and
to visit some family during the trip the next week. It was a scramble to get
all of his music together so he could assess it during his travels. Here are
two samples of some rough mixes.
I called my old friend Dave Johnson to write and record horn parts for my current project with Magic Fraga. I had written a Motown song at the request of Magic and I needed some horn parts to help give the song that Motown sound. Dave was quick to respond and we recorded several horns including a trumpet a valve trombone and a flugal horn. Here's the almost finished version of "Where'd my Motown go" (Click to hear) 7-28-15
I received a call from a man calling himself Magic who wanted to meet with me to consider a CD project he wanted to do. After we met I was surprised to see that he's 6'8" tall and a real sweet heart of a person. We hit it off and have been meeting every Wednesday since early June. Magic is a former Marine Corp Sergeant and a white rapper who had a minor hit back in 1983 with a song about the Marines in his unit called the Devil Dogs. We have had a lot of fun in the studio and I have enjoyed the stories he has writes and has written. His project will be very eclectic and cover many genres of music. Along the way we have become very good friends united in his cause and we are working well in the studio. I will post a picture of Magic soon. In the meantime here is his 1883 hit "Devil Dog Rap". (click to hear) 7-12-15
Hello again. For any regular readers of my studio news can easily see, my regular entries have been conspicuously absent. That does not mean that I haven't been busy in the studio. For the last several months I have been working on a number of projects including teaching Pro Tools software to two students, writing, recording, producing and cataloguing my own music from the last 50 years. This means that I have been archiving from reel to reel and cassette tapes, Adat tapes, hard drives and several older Mac computers. As one might imaging going back to these older formats meant getting my older equipment repaired and put in good working order. I have dredged up my first live recording from 1963 while being stationed in Berlin Germany on a R to R tape recorder that I borrowed from my future father in law. When I started this project I had no idea how time intensive it would be. My repair bills are stacking up and although I am making headway, things are moving slower than I had expected. 5-25-15
I was contacted a week ago from Armando Delgallego in upper New York state to see if I would record a voice over session for his home company Born Collective. Once I agreed he said I would be meeting up with Ron Domingo, a voice over talent and host for the last 17 years of a show for Cooper Vision, a company that makes contact lenses. Ron will be on stage and a part of a large gathering in Phoenix, AZ this year to promote the business and he will be appearing in a skit that will kick off the show. In this sequence he will appear on stage on a recliner, appearing to be sleeping and his voice and image will be shown on several very large screens. This voice over is Ron's and will be played as he is dreaming. Once he is awakened by his co-hostess, they will segue into the rest of the show. Here is the Voice Over for this portion of the show. Ron's VO (click to hear) 4-8-15
Ken Parquette called me because he needed to have two versions of Sweet Child Of Mine edited together for the father daughter dance at his daughter's wedding. He had the songs on his phone and I pulled them from the phone and edited them together and sent him on his way. He sent an Mp3 to his daughter in LA and she liked the edit but felt the quality from the phone was lacking. I found one of the versions preformed by Taken By Trees and down loaded it and spliced it to the other version by Guns and Roses and wa-la-the deed was done. Here is 2 mins & 49 sec's of Sweet Child of Mine (click to hear) 4-1-15
On the left is Raul and Augie, two horn players
that were brought in to record some horn parts (arranged by Raul) for a song
that Frank Lizarraga and I (Bruce Bolin) have been working on
for some time. These horn lines were to be the final parts for our song
Mad Love. These guys played their hearts out getting it all together and
when it was over I simply said "Boys, it's Miller time". We drank a
beer and called it a night.
If Greg Kiefer
spends any more time in the studio, I'm going to need to
move a cot in for him to sleep on. (Not!!!) But he returned to have me level
out all of the songs and add meta data (names to show up when the song is
played) . By the time you read this his album will be on CD Baby. (Go
This is Jkar and his brother Denzel (otherwise known as) Him & Me. They had visited the studio twice in February to have me master some of their music and also to record a couple of songs. They hail fro Vallejo, Ca. These two brothers needed to get their music sounding as good as possible to present to some radio stations with the intent of getting some airplay. They tend to have a good time in the studio and compliment each others style. Her are a couple of edited versions of some of the music of Him & Me. (click to hear) This is how we grove and 2015, 2-24-2015
Greg Kiefer has been paying regular visits to the studio with some piano tracks that he has recorded at home. These tracks needed some editing and cleaning up. Also we have been recording flute tracks with other instruments including my playing guitar, bass and drums. All in all we have been having a bang up time since most all of our recordings are one take live recordings. That is very unusual in this day and age. Greg remains committed to continually making songs that are not in any way over produced, if fact they are under produced by design and there for very raw and real. I'll post some examples soon when I have some more time. 2-16-2015
On February 5th, Ron Jones assembled some of the finest jazz players, playing music from the 30's and 40's. The players included Bob Draga (clarinet), Jason Waner (Piano) , Shelly Denny (Bass), Ron Jones (Drums) and special guest vocalist Valerie Marston. This was the fourth annual pre-Valentines Day concert in Rocklin, Ca. This group of musicians put on an exception demonstration of musicianship. I have acted as the sound man for all four of the concerts and always thought it sure would be nice to record them since the music was always so spectacular. Well on this last concert I finally did record them and although I did not take any pictures, the music speaks for it self. I just happen to have a couple of pictures of Ms. Marston (whom I just happen to be married to). :)
Take a listen to Let's fall in love 2-5-15
Meet The Kicks. When Wayne the bass player called me, inquiring about making a band demo I mentioned that I could come to his home where the band rehearses to make the recording. I said that the band was comfortable and familiar with both the surroundings and the sound. We agreed on a date and yesterday I showed up, set up my rig and began recording the band. They were relaxed and felt that turning the living room into a recording studio was a pretty good idea. Now I will mix the rough tracks and give them a finished demo to show to prospective clients for club and event engagements. Check out Riders on the storm (Click to hear)1-25-15
This is my old and very dear friend Dave McAsey. I have known Dave for more than 40 years. We have played together many times and we share many of the same values that most old friends share. Anyway about 15 years ago we began recording an album of his music. It has been mixed for many years and he called me yesterday and said he wanted to have me master the project and then to get some CD's made. It's funny that the music sounds very fresh to me although I have played many of the songs with Dave. here is an example of some of Dave's very fine work. Bardo Roll (Click to hear) 1-22-15
Once again I spent some time at Drew Rosen's studio with Drew running over many of the finer points of Pro Tools as he begins to take the reins and record his music in his own studio. We have covered lots of ground and I am sure that as soon as he runs into something that he can't figure out he will once again call on me. 1-5-15
Happy New Year! I am looking forward to a great year in 2015.
Meet Greg Kiefer musician and businessman. Greg came to Puddingstone because he wanted to release two new albums before the new year. His MO is to jam songs that he has formerly worked out so as to capture the essence of a live recording. (The third picture is of his friend Frank, a singer). The instrument that Greg is holding and playing is a Native American Flute. We recorded several songs and then Greg mentioned that he wanted to record a blues jam song. I asked if I might accompany him and he said "hell ya"! We jammed to a drum track that I had programmed and I later recorded a bass and guitar solo and the Blues Jam in E minor was born. (Click to hear)
Greg has published his music and it can be heard and purchased at;
I want to wish you all a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and A Safe New Year.
This is Ken and Jackie Laca. Ken is sporting a cast because he had a very heavy bed fall on his foot shattering the bones in his big toe. "Ouch"! Ken is my cousin, Jackie is his wife. Recently we met up at a family funeral and they inquired if I could record a song for them for Jackie's retirement party next month. I said, "of course I can". We agreed on a date and time and yesterday they came to the studio. They had a karaoke version of Leaving on a jet plane that they had made lyric changes to become, Leaving in a motor home. It's their own comical version that they want to perform at Jackie's party. We got under way and had many laughs in the process because both agree they are not singers but that's the point. When the final song was finished in about an hour and a half, we laughed some more and parted company It's always nice to rub shoulders with my family and to have the opportunity to share my world with them here in the studio. Here is the edited version of that song Leaving in a motor home (click to hear)11-14-14
(A foot note) The Fabulous Funky Fox Brothers played for the California International Marathon on December 7th at 8am. It was a foggy morning but the Fox Bros. came through in high style and had a good time in the process.
The Fabulous Funky Fox Brothers will be tearing it up at Judy's Wild Wrangler Saloon in Vacaville, Ca again this weekend. I mention this because we have had to operate several times without Tressa our lead singer. We have found that we can pull it off and rather well. Particularly since our drummer Howie has begun singing and secured a nice vocal monitor. Our year has been a very busy one but now things a re calming down just in time for the holidays. Also tonight we'll be trying out the new PA system with active mains and monitors at The Rivers Edge located in West Sacramento. It has been a really good venue for Sly Fox and we have been performing there at least once a month for the last six months. Sadly it will be closing it's doors at the end of December. Our last gig is Dec 6th. So we will be bringing our A game to these last two engagements. 11-7-14
Drew Rosen called me last week wanting me to help him set up his studio in his new home located in Lincoln, CA. Drew has been a client of mine for many years. I drove the 40 miles to his home and assessed his situation. First we cleared the room of all guitars/basses, several amps and his PA. Moved the drums into a corner utilizing some closet space to make more room. Then began resetting up the room to be more functional and neat. Once that was finish Drew asked me to get his Pro Tools rig working and ready for him to begin recording. It took 5 hours to get his place squared away but now he is ready to rock, jam and record his next hit song. 10-29-14
This is Jim Reinhart leaning against my Otari reel to reel machine. Jim called to ask if I could transfer some 20 year old reel to reel 1/4 in. tapes and convert them to CD and Mp3. I said yes and we set a date for yesterday. I tried the tape on my smaller machine but the tapes required a tape speed of 15 inches per second (IPS). Where by I needed to break out my larger machine that could attain 15 IPS. We talked about how Jim wrote and sang on all three songs that were recorded back in the early 90's. It was a good session and in the end he had both a CD with high quality wav files and a CD in the Mp3 format. Here is a short example of Jim's music. It's called Throw away (click to hear) 10-8-14
While listening to a playback, Richard Krivcher who was the producer for this Haiku project that we began some ten years ago, sits with eyes closed taking it all in. Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry that has been around for centuries. To say this project has dragged on for over a decade in an under statement. But this weekend, Richard is hosting a Haiku reading in San Francisco that will draw many readers form far and wide to be a part of this historical event. It amazes me how so many of my old clients come back around in time. In fact yesterday right after I spoke with Richard, another old friend called me and today I just heard for a former client that I have not seen or spoken to for over five years. "Ain't life grand?" Here is an example from Richards Haiku project.
Fort Mason (Click to hear) 9-17-14
This is Sara Fallahi, she is from Iran. She called to book some studio time to record her vocals to some music tracks. She showed up with her friend seen here in the photo. The plan was to have me record her while her friend held the phone that was on a Skype conference call to a fellow in Iran and also at the same time to a producer in Stockholm, Sweden. This was one of the most unusual sessions I can remember. Both of the people on the call were telling her how to pronounce the words and phrases in the song while I couldn't understand a word. Her friend held the phone and posed for the picture. After we finished I uploaded the vocal files and sent them off to the producer in Stockholm. Some times things can get pretty weird around the studio. 9-2-14
Idara Udoffia returned a couple of times to the studio to record some vocal tracks for an up coming performance in Oakland, CA. She needed to send some guide tracks to the members of the band so they could get familiar with her material. She and I had many long conversations about planning live performances and how to maximize the sound on them. 8-8-14
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the night clubs, the Fabulous Funky Fox Brothers are revving up for more fun than you can stand. Yes my friends, the Funky Fox Brothers are at it again. Bringing our special free form music to the masses. We have been known to play with reckless abandon and to bring people to their feet screaming "Gimmi' more, bring it on you funky guys"! What can I say, we're in it for the fun and the girls and the fame and, well you get the . I'm thinking we need to record some of our special funk covered music and share it with the masses. 8-3-14
My band Sly Fox has been keeping me very busy playing engagements during the summer months. Also we needed to get some new promo photos and this is one of them. 7-16-14
This is Vince Harris. Vince is a promoter of fishing tournaments. Vince has been coming to Pudding Stone to record his radio and television commercials for up coming events. Vince appreciates how quickly he and I can get him in and out of the studio as time is always important. So we have perfected a nice symbioses where by we really fly in the studio. 6-11-14
Lloyd Banks put in an appearance to continue working on his song Spangled Banner. We now have an arrangement and he made a quick recording for copyrights.
I just finished the transferring project for Mai Cha. It took eighteen and a half hours. I was working early in the mornings and sometimes late into the night. But it's done and he now has a pair of CD's ( I made a copy of each CD) for all of his material. Considering in the advancements in the recording technology since the 80's, these songs recorded back then still stand up and they'll stand the test of time. 5-16-14
Today is Mothers day and as I reflected on my mother who died April 11, 1999 I also reflected on a song that I wrote for her as she was approaching her last days. The song is titled "She was still there". I thought it fitting to play the song and share it with any and all who have lost their mothers. She was still there. (click to hear) 5-11-14
It's beginning to seem like old home week here at Puddingstone. This fellow is an other old client of mine named Mai Cha. Mai came to me some 10 years ago to have me transfer his reel to reel 24 track 2 inch masters to a digital format as he wanted to re-sing some of his vocals. Mai is of Mong heritage. I have worked on half a dozen Mong projects in the last 22 years. Mai is a delightful guy that I am always happy to see. Mai called me a month ago asking if I still had his masters as somehow he had lost all of his music during a house re-model. As it is my practice not to get rid of my clients projects, I told him that I still had his music. There are about thirty songs so transferring them is a time intensive project. Mai's music is very melodic and although I can't understand his native Mong language, I do appreciate his music. Here is an example of Mai's music. Can't let you go Reggae Click to hear 5-1-14
is Idara Udoffia. I snapped this picture of her while she was
intently listening to a playback of a vocal track that we had just recorded.
Adam Aldama and Frank Lizarraga and Adam and Me look like they are having a good time, because we did! We just had a very creative session with Adam singing a song that Frank wrote the lyrics and I wrote the music. The song is "Mad Love". For me, I wish all of my sessions could be this easy. We had a nice flow of ideas and Adam interpreted and sang beautifully. When you're grooving in the studio, there's not much that can compare! 4-3-14
Will you look at these happy faces. This is Lovetaxi, a group that I have recorded many times over the years. As the band is winding down, they came into Pudding Stone to record one last song. It was a good vocal session and by the end of the night everybody involved was feeling good about what we had captured. I have always enjoyed working with this band. I wish them well and hope that our paths will cross again soon in the not to distant future. 3-20-14
Meet Lorena Reynoso. She is a young singer that has her eyes on the prize of getting much more You Tube exposure to gain a larger listening audience. Lorena's mother Sandra called me a week ago to make arrangements to have Lorena record a popular cover song that will placed be placed on You Tube. After down loading the music Lorena stepped up to the mike and delivered a very good rendition after two warm up try's. I added some guitar and did some addition production work and here is the final version of Radioactive. Click to hear) 3-18-14
The Sly Fox Band is happy to announce that it's new original EP album is finished. After many, many requests to by our fans and friends, we now have this CD for sale. We are selling them for only $5 each. What a deal in these recession times. Although we have many more songs these are the ones that we play most often at our engagements. It's like the old saying, "Anything worth having is worth waiting for".
Oh Lake Tahoe (Click to hear) 2-27-14
Tressa Gaye is the lead singer for the Sly Fox Band. She has been working hard at getting her new solo CD album project together since last summer. While that was taking place, she was also singing on the new CD album for the band titled Oh Lake Tahoe. Needless to say, Tressa and I have been very busy trying to record two projects at the same time. Well the good news is that her project is nearing completion. Just a few more tweaks and it's off to mastering. (Click to hear) I only have eyes for you. and Stop draggin my heart around 2-22-14
Meet Rachelle Byrne. She is a singer that I suggested to my client Jeanette Bleckley would be a good fit to sing Jeanette's songs. The three of us met yesterday afternoon and began to work on the vocals. Things just seemed to come together quickly as it was evident to my ear that Rachelle really had a handle on this number. She was good at taking direction and sang in a way that really complimented the song. Then she sang some back ground vocals and we called it a night. here is a very rough mix of last nights work but it's easy to see that once mixed this will be a very nice piece of music. Stay Until the Morning . (click to hear) 1-23-14
Happy New Year!
I spend some time at the end of the year reminiscing, but this year I am
thinking out of the box and my usual comfort zone.
I received a call from Todd Troutman who needed an audition recording made quickly. It was due on Tuesday and he asked if I could record him on Monday Jan 30th. I said yes and we got together the next day. Todd was auditioning for a play and needed to show his vocal range and singing skills. He started off with a classical piece, then some scales and finally a jazz song called slap that bass. Although I did not take any pictures of Todd in action but I have an edited example of his Slap That Bass rendition. "Slap that bass". 12-30-13
Tracy Trotman called my to book some studio time, it seemed he needed a short notice session because his artist was leaving town the next day and he needed some verses recorded to complete his latest song. Enter Toni Cruz, a bay area rapper with attitude. After some introductions we got right to work. Even though Toni had not listened to the track she quickly got in to the mood and attitude of the song. We were able to record her tracks, add some ad libs and increase the intensity of the song. check out "Life", (click to hear) 12-27-13
I received a call today from Gary Hawkins a rapper and his beat writer Ken, both live in Stockton. They wanted to get some studio time to record their latest ideas. Once we were getting comfortable in the studio, I loaded a couple of beats from a thumb drive and we began to record. The idea was to get it all done in two hours. Gary took to the mic and began his rap while Ken looked on. We got the first song, took a break and recorded and mixed the second and they were on their way in record time. Take a listen to; Boomer and Lots-O-Dough. 11-15-13
As I have mentioned before, Sly Fox have been recording a new CD for Tressa Gaye (lead singer for Sly Fox). I have two rough mixes of some of her material. Give them a listen. You're no good and Unchain my heart. The band feels that these represent the bands live versions pretty well. Click to hear. 11-14-13
Last week I happened to stop by the Hanger studio complex where I had my studio located for the last eight years. When I moved out in March, I knew the reason all the studio owners were vacating was because the building was going to be re developed. But on the day I stepped back into the building I had called my studio home for almost a decade I was still surprised to see that it was just one big room. I strode those hall for so many years that it looked very foreign to me. But then this was not my first experience with this sort of change. Twice before I have had to vacate a studio space then return some time later to se that everything was open up and not at all how I remembered it. Change is healthy and we must all learn to adapt and adjust. I must say that i like my new studio surroundings. 11-6-13
This is Gloria Heidi. Gloria is a singing performer that travels to various places entertaining people that are unable to attend concert performances. She and her manager Peter (in the second frame) have secured a nice circuit for them selves and she informed me that she has done over 1500 performances. Heidi needed some additional tracks for a new show that she and Peter are putting together and whey wanted to have keyboardist John Wielder record the tracks. We have done this before some years ago. So we set about getting the musical arrangement down and then John played as I recorded to a click track. John has a system where by he can get many different sounds out of his synth. Playing piano with his left hand and bass with his right, he can trigger both horns and strings by stepping on two separate pedals. Our session went well and when John was finished I added some drum and percussion to fill out the tracks. 10-28-13
All through the month of October, Sly Fox has been in the studio recording our original music and I am happy to announce that we have finished the tracking. With some additional production and some duplication, our EP CD will be finished. These pictures show the set up we used to get the best possible sound for the tracking. The drums were mic'd and the guitar and bass were direct. That yielded clean tracks with no bleed from one instrument to the other. I will post some examples when they are mixed. 10-5-13
Anthony Valero returned to record some vocal tracks. He is a dynamic singer and he has a handle on his vocal abilities. We were able to record all of the vocals for this song in just under an hour. Part of it quickness is because I am pretty adept at my job as engineer. Working together and staying focused can yield goor results in the studio. We both agreed that Tony will be back for more. Meanwhile listen to; Work Twerk 9-18-13
Almost five years ago I got a call from an office of The State California inquiring if I could do replication on a CD project. I said yes and I was handed the project to get 1000 copies for Jahari Sai, a local artist. It has been a long time coming but I can now say that the CD's are in route to my studio. I have always tried to do my replication/duplication locally so that if there are any problems I can go directly to the vender and get them resolved. However Jahari wanted to use a vender located in New Jersey. Once I finally had the master and the graphics in hand it was time to contact the vender and get the project moving. I thought all was well after I tried unsuccessfully to up load the audio master and after many frustrating hours I suggested to a tech. at the company, that I would just overnight the master to them. However, I was able to up load the graphics. I then got word that the master had failed the quality test for some reason that they could not explain and I needed to go the studio where the recording was made and pick up a new master. While there, (Paradise Studio) the engineer Craig checked for errors and couldn't find any. So the 2nd. master was over-nighted to the vender and this time all was well in the world. It has been a long and sometimes tedious trial. But in just a few days it will all be over. Check out a song from her record. Time Brings Change (click to hear) 9-12-13
My band Sly Fox is continuing to record weekly and moving ever closer to completing the new CD project. We have been tracking rhythm tracks and today Tressa recorded several vocal tracks including lead and back ground vocals. It always tightens up the band to record our originals songs because we can look at them with a fine tooth comb. 8-21-13
Joey Cort called about getting into the studio and
we got together today. Joey needed a demo for his web site. After we
worked through a very difficult song that required a very high range to
sing, we talked about a CD project he would like to record. Right now he's
re-locating from Arizona to Placerville, with hopes of getting something
going in Nevada City. He's a modern day heavy metal rocker who is willing to
let his music tell the story. That always works for me. Give a listen to
Joey's version of
This is Anthony Valero. He is a very energetic young man and quite a singer. Anthony needed to have some tracks edited for a performance he had scheduled in San Jose. He called and because I was unavailable he came by the studio and dropped off his tracks. The next day I edited them and I noticed that his music was well produced and well sung. Good singing always gets my attention. The nest day when he came to pick up his performance CD, we got to talking and he asked if I wanted to hear him sing? I said sure and he stood there and sung acapella and did a fine job. No stumbles no fear. Just solid singing. We talked about some future things and I look forward to having Anthony back in the studio. Check out Anthony's song "Criss Cross", Click to hear 8-17-13
Drew Rosen and I have been recording his music for over a year an a half. Now Drew has his own Pro Tools set up (which I set up for him) and he is ready to step out on his own. Although having the set up does not necessarily guarantee success when it comes to recording. There is a steep learning curve to using this soft ware as well as knowing about mic placement and many other facets to recording. But if Drew continues to step up to the plate, he will learn lots and he can always call on me for advice. I got his back. 8-3-13
Recording music isn't the only thing we do around here at Pudding Stone. I was called upon to help out Sister Swing at a photo shoot on a Sunday morning last month. Paula Chaffe-Merrial(right 1st picture) borrowed that moon prop that was 8 feet high. It was to big to set up in the studio so we put it up in a parking lot. The black starry background is at least 13 feet high. We had to duct tape it to the wall of a building. Then we called the photographer and he shot the pictures. In all it took two hours to erect this prop, and about 20 minutes to take it down. In the end it felt like quite an accomplishment to help out and get the promo shots for the Sisters. That's Leigh Hannah on the left and Valerie Marston in the middle most shots. Once again we all banded together and got the job done against the odds. 8-2-13
Sly Fox has been recording a new CD project to bring the band up to date with regards to our ever increasing original music line up. We have been playing these songs and they have been getting a very favorable response from friends and fans alike. When we get requests for our originals, we know we're on the right track. Plus there is a real benefit to recording this music. We have to play the music right. Many times while playing live, there can be some variations in the music that can go unnoticed or forgotten before the next rehearsal. When a band is recording, you listen to the playback immediately after the recorded pass. This shows any weak areas in the music that need some extra attention. I have always found that a band always sounds better after having recorded their music. The new studio has been a plus for the band and it is comfortable and up lifting. We will continue to work on this project and then we will begin on Tressa's new solo CD project. These two projects will keep us hopping for the next couple of months. I'll keep posting the progress of Sly Fox. 7-28-13
Lloyd Banks booked some time to
re-record the vocals on his song Country Love with his wife
Charlaine singing a duet with him and harmonizing the chorus'. This was
in preparation for their YouTube video project. Charlaine felt
right at home in the studio and Lloyd was so impressed with her recording,
that he felt he needed to re-do his vocals. He did it in just one pass and
it was the best he had ever sung the song. There was no need to fix anything
or do any over dubs.
Sly Fox has been playing a lot this spring and summer. To find out the bands schedule just click on this link; www.slyfoxband.com and you will see the schedule as well as be able to hear the bands original music and the demo video + many photos of the band playing gigs. We are going to be recording some of our original music featuring songs written by Bruce (me) and Frank the bass player. We are trying to get together a CD of our latest originals to have for sale for the Hot Jazz Festival and any of other venues Sly Fox plays. This will be a good way for the band to up date the originals and feature new material as well as tight harmonies and arrangements. I would also like to mention that today is my wife and favorite singers birthday. So I'd like to give a big Happy Birthday Hunky to her for bringing much happiness, joy and balance to my life. . 7-9-13
This is Ken McMurry, Ken is the festival director of the Hot Jazz Festival that will be taking place over the labor day weekend August 30-31-September 1-2, 2013. I have been helping Ken find a sound company to work the only out door venue for the Hot Jazz Festival. It took some time but I was able to secure a local company and things are moving forward. This will provide an opportunity for many local and non local musicians and bands to have an additional place to play, entertain and sell their CD's and other products. My hat's off to Ken for ram rod-ding this idea through. It takes a lot of planning, meetings and logistics to get something like this off the ground. Good going Ken. 7-2-13
Well things have been heating up in the studio. After
having done a voice over for Frank Mirahmadi about a week ago that
was to be used as a radio commercial, I have been doing many other projects.
Each year Gary Bowman does a new CD project. Gary is a very prolific
song writer. I have now been involved in the recording of several of his
projects. Mostly involving recording master sax man Otis Mourning playing
solos for one of Gary's songs. This time however Gary wanted a New Orleans
sounding horn section for one of the songs on his newest CD. I started with
Ron Jones and Steve Wall playing drums and acoustic guitar at 9am in the
morning. later at 3pm Dave Johnson (trumpet), Bob Williams
(trombone) and the afore mentioned
May 2013 Well I skipped several months as I was in the throws of disassembling my studio and moving it to its new location in my home. I had to remodel sound proof and do a lot of painting. Oh! did I mention that I needed to get rid of a lot of stuff in order to make room for bringing the studio home. It was a sizeable job that will take more time and effort but for now most of the really hard work is behind me and I'm up and running and pretty happy with the room . It has a better sound and is larger than the15th street studio. The clients that have visited me have liked it too. I am trying out a different concept called an open control room.
Now that I have moved the studio I will need to up date my web site too. Here are some 360 degree pictures. Not bad huh?
Once again Diana Draper has returned on two separate occasions to have me record her for some presents that she wanted to present to some friends for special occasions. She and I work well together in the studio and I have on gone to her home and recorded her playing her baby grand piano and singing. These have been fun projects and the results were greatly appreciated by the recipients of said songs. 4-22-13
Meet song writer Jeanette Bleckley (on the left). Jeanette approached me earlier this year to help produce a CD project that has been lying in waiting for over 20 years. She said the time was right and she's ready to plunge full steam ahead into the project. She and I first met in the early 90's when I recorded a song for her daughters wedding. She was so pleased with the work of Jimmy Malone and myself that all these years later she has returned. Jeanette is seen here with piano player Chris Goslow performing her songs as I recorded them with my mobile recording rig. Then the songs were given to Jimmy (who is blind and unable to read the sheet music) so he could hear and begin to re-produce the music. Once that is finished I will compile and mix the tracks and master the whole project for Jeanette. 4-13-13
Steve Davis seen here in the booth singing his heart out and I put our heads together and produced a video of a song that I wrote and Steve liked enough to write some lyrics for. We called it "My baby's a tease". It can be seen on You Tube at; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hBEfyl3mYY It was a lot of fun and we like the way it turned out. check it out. 3-14-13
Steve Davis came
back for his final Pro Tools lesson. At which time he mentioned that he did
not like his vocal on Soar like the Eagle. It was to high in his range. I
told him that we could maybe transpose the tracks and lower the key by a
whole step. Once I tried to do that I soon found that the bass sounded to
weird with artifacts that made it impossible. Plan B was to re-tune
the guitar down a whole step so he would be playing in the same position and
not have to re learn the song with new chords. So we recorded the new tracks
and he was much more comfortable with the new key. Check it out "Soar
like the Eagle"
Lloyd Banks returned to re-record some of the lyrics on one of his songs. While doing this I mentioned that I wanted to change something in the mix that has bothered me for a couple of years. Lloyd agreed and in less than 20 minutes I had the new mix completed with Lloyds new vocal track. In the second picture Lloyd was caught taking a nap. It is not unusual for some of my clients to find the listening couch very relaxing with the winter sun streaming in the window warming every fiber of ones body (and I think it reaches down to their soul). I have been there many times. As I look forward to the new year moments like these that were experienced yesterday in the studio give Creedence to the fact that life in the studio is a wonderful place to be. There are moments of extreme creativity followed by taking a nap. It's all good. Take a listen to "Country Love". Click to hear. 1-9-13
Merry Christmas, on this Christmas Eve of 2012, I am seen in this picture of me in the costume and character of Santa Claus. It was suggested to me by my friend Lynda Draper who owns the costume. I have had two opportunities to portray the stately Christmas icon and both times I have learned new lessons in life. The first is that Santa has a lot of creditability with old and young alike. The second lesson is a very valuable lesson and that is that to be a successful Santa you need to be a good listener. All I needed was to ask, what someone wanted for Christmas. Believers and non believers alike would open up and tell me of their wishes and many would share stories with me that were comprised of memories both good and not so pleasant. I have never given much thought as to what it takes to be a good Santa. But now that I have tried to fill those large boots, I have come away with a far greater appreciation of the importance of Santa and all that he means to people during the holidays. I also sang many Christmas songs and even recorded one of my favorites. On this Christmas Eve I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and my sincere hope that you will have a wonderful holiday season and a fruitful new years. May your dreams and wishes come true and may God bless us all. Here is "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas". 12-24-12
Steve Davis. He is a singer/song writer who for many years stopped
writing and singing to concentrate on raising his children. Now that the
family has grown and is no longer needing his every day attention, Steve has
once returned to his first love. He found me quite randomly on the internet
and once he had looked at the web site called to make an appointment. Steve
a week ago and I met and cobbled together a plan where by I would teach him
Pro Tools and show him how to record his music. On our first session
we recorded "Soar like the Eagle". On our second session I suggested
we move on to another song. He replied, "I just wrote a new song". I
said "lets get er' done". What better way to learn than by doing. The
second song came together even faster and when Steve left I recorded an
additional lead guitar track. These are two unfinished songs but this is to
show the progress after just two sessions.
Now that Diana Draper Nary has completed her album
project, she now has time to concentrate on the holiday season. Diana and I are
slated to get together next week to record two songs for her family for
Christmas. The plan is for me to go to her home and record her singing and
playing on her baby grand piano.
This is Lloyd Banks. Lloyd has been coming to
Pudding Stone for over a decade. In that time both Lloyd and I have under
gone many changes in our lives. We usually get together for lunch prior to
having a recording session. Yesterday Lloyd came in to re record a melody on
one of his songs titled "Country Love". Lloyd was accompanied by his
new wife of just over two years. The three of us reminisced after Lloyd has
recorded his vocal track. They were in route to North Shore Lake Tahoe
for the weekend. Check out "Country Love".
Click to hear.
Africa Style is a four man acapella group from Angola, Africa. They were brought together in an African church and all have come to America as students. These young men bring a rich back ground of culture from their native Africa. When they entered the studio I asked them to sing for me so I could get an idea of their sound. They began to sing and I began to smile. Their sound instantly reminded me of the music of "The Lion King". With bass, baritone, and 1st and 2nd tenor, they have a rich sound and a very good sense of harmony. They all are very polite and that is always a hit with me!. Listen to this song. (Click to hear) "Aleluia" 12-3-12
Drew Rosen has been making his regular trips to the studio working on vocals and recording an occasional new song. drew and I have been working together for one and a half years and he has amassed a rather large collection of music. Now with his eye on the prize, Drew is moving to finish the production on many of his songs. Also he wants to be schooled on Pro Tools so he can capture some of his ideas at home. 11-12-12
Meet Fresh. He's a popular young rapper from Washington DC. While visiting here in Sacramento he decided to record some tracks to show case some of his new rap ideas. We worked through several songs (beats) and settled on two. We were able to finish recording them in just under three hours. I asked him how he likes the weather in Sacramento? "It's just fine" he grinned. :-)
On another note, there's a misconception
with some people that the studio is a place to party , to get loose in order
to make good music. I have seen how loosing one's focus can make what sounds
really cool today seem less than cool tomorrow.
It's been a long time coming but just today I was able to finalize the new Demo Video for my band Sly Fox. Most of the sound track was recorded live when we played one weekend at the Feather Falls Casino in Oroville. I hired my friend Lynda Draper to come to one of our gigs and she shot some additional video that was added to the stills that we already had. A few transition and the video is ready to be seen and hopefully help us to secure more and better gigs. Have a look for yourself and I think you'll be impressed. Demo Video (click to hear) 10-4-12
Meet Peter Munday. Peter first came to me several years ago and over the course of a year we recorded his first CD project titled
M "Bridge of Light". I was a very satisfying project. The music was good and our friend ship developed nicely along the way. I mentioned all of this on a previous posting. Anyway we have been trying to get some of Peter's latest songs recorded to allow for more complete arrangements. Yesterday I spent some time on three of his songs adding some simple drums and bass lines just to get a feel of where I thought we should go with the music. I emailed the music to him for his evaluation and he seemed to like the direction. When we get together again in a week, we will further discuss and record some more ideas as we begin to layer different instruments woven into the fabric of the songs. 10-3-12
PS I like the picture with the reflection of the sky on his guitar.
I received a phone call two days ago from a Sugar Box recording studio in New York city. They needed to have an interview recorded with some talent who lives in Sacramento. I agrees to book the session and early yesterday morning I was at the studio to meet with Lee Norman. Lee owns an automotive repair shop located in Rancho Cordova. As the session unfolded, the interviewer spoke with Lee asking questions while I was recording the whole conversation. It took almost an hour. It seems that Lee's story about his relationship with Chase bank will be used in a nation wide commercial. After the session was over I uploaded the file to a web site where it will be edited and used in the commercial. I just never know what the next adventure will be. Opp's there's my phone, I gotta' go, it might be that next adventure. 9-8-12
Drew Rosen has amassed a whopping 48 songs in the year that we have been working together. This guy is a writing machine. But Drew feels that it's time to take a break and regroup. He's off to New York for a much needed vacation. But before he leaves he wants to get all of his music copy written. Then when he returns he can begin to flesh out the necessary arrangements and get the songs ready to put into finished form. I have been busy making Mp3's of each song for him to up load to the Library Of Congress for copy righting and storing in the newer digital format. It's been a good ride with Drew and we both hope to continue putting the final touches on his music. 8-28-12
Diana Draper has spent a considerable amount of time with me in the studio to finish her project by August 27th. That was her last official day to perform at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Folsom. It was right down to the wire but I was able to get a local duplicator to make the CD's and she was able to reach her deadline. Those two pictures of Diana and me we of me making the delivery last Friday. The third picture is of Shelley Campbell who sang in the church choir and played flute on one of the songs. Alls well that ends well and it was a relief to make the tight deadline pulling all the strings that I could muster. Click to hear Via Dolorosa 8-26-12
Diana Draper was back in the studio to record another song for her album project. Her song choice was "You raise me up" by Josh Groban. Soon after we had recorded a satisfactory vocal track, we modified the music at the end of the song to work better with Diana's vocal. She remarked how pleased she was to learn of the flexibility available to her in the studio. 8-1-12
Peter Munday returned after a three year absence. Armed with some very powerful new songs and a new direction, we began by him playing through the songs to give me an idea of their content and so I could best determine how to best approach recording them. Peter and I set up a plan of action which we will begin working on next week. It is good to get back together with former clients who became friends during the course of their recording experience. 7-25-12
This is the 150 year old Trinity Episcopal Church located in Folsom Ca. This is where Diana Draper has been the organist and principal choir director for fifty years. It's always a challenge to record choirs in churches because I never know what to expect once I get there. This assignment was no different when I showed up to record the choir. I did not expect them to be singing in the loft. I soon decided to capture both the choir and the organ played by Diana with all of the ambience that the church possessed. In other words this recording would sound just like the regular church members were used to hearing. I quickly decided against any close mic-ing. I placed the four microphones in areas that to my ear represented the best sound to be gotten in the church. The choir rehearsed for fifteen minutes then I began to record them. We needed several takes to get a well blended recording. The church has a nice natural reverberation that lends to the overall sound of the recording. Once again I used my trusty 24 track digital hard recorder to capture the complete sound. 7-24-12
Meet Supa Saa and his crew of young rappers. (He's the man with the New York Yankee's hat on) Supa hails from Africa and has been a rapper enjoying some world success. He has taken some local rappers under his experienced wing to give them an opportunity to learn the craft both from a studio and a stage standpoint. He guided each rapper through their verse in the song "Make it Vibrate" and added many suggestions to bring an energy to their raps. I could tell he was an experienced producer. There was some talk about them hitting the stage in a local club soon. Let me tell you the studio was alive with many bodies each waiting for their turn to show off their skills. Listen to the song Make it Vibrate. Click to hear. 7-20-12 We all had a good time :-)
This is Diana Draper and her husband Clark. Diana has been playing the organ and leading the choir in her church for fifty years. I first met Diana two years ago when she came to the studio to record a quick song for a funeral service for a friend. Back then she and I talked about her wanting to make an album project that she could give to her church membership as she was at that time considering her retirement. Fast forward two years and now she will step down in late August. She came in to record one song to begin her project. It went so well and quickly that we tried a a second song where she was joined by Clark her husband. He had never heard himself recorded singing. As is usually the case most people are put off by the sound of their recorded voice as it sounds unfamiliar to how they perceive they sound. But given a little time to adjust their perception, they get used to it quickly. Diana and Clark are going on vacation and will return to the studio in mid July to continue the project which will necessitate my going to the church to record Diana playing the organ and accompanied by the church choir. It should be quite the adventure but I am up for it. 7-1-12
My band Sly Fox has just completed our new demo. It is a mix of some of our recent performance at the Feather Falls Casino in Oroville. It is a good example of the how the band sounds live. On order to keep current, we felt a live recording was in order. In other band news, Sly Fox has been working on performing some of our original music. We play three songs at our last outing at Judy's Wild Wrangler saloon on Saturday June 16th. The music was well received and we have turned another page in the life of the band. Listen to the demo, (click to hear) Sly Fox Demo 2012 6-18-12
Drew Rosen continues to make his weekly appointments at the studio. Drew's catalogue now numbers over thirty songs. Still Drew is writing new material. He has become quite adept a recording new ideas on his cell phone when ever and where ever he happens to be. His feeling is that as long as he is on this creative writers "roll", he will capture each new idea and then record them. From my point of view, I have seen great gains in his singing ability as well as in the area of his arranging skills. Drew and I both agree on one thing, as long as this train keeps on a-rolling we'll ride it to the end of the line. 6-16-12
Meet Madysyn Rose, she is a ten year old singer who according to her mother Sherry, has been singing since the ripe old age of four. Madysyn is one of the five children of Jack and Sherry Vale. She has some real promise as a young singer and Jack wanted to show her skills to his agent to see what could be done to spotlight her talent in the music business. Madysyn got in the booth and performed three takes before deciding she had done her best. I agreed and I finished producing the mix of the song. It's a very popular Taylor Swift song called "Mean". click to hear. 6-1-12
This was a guy at the Musical Festival this weekend I'll call him Silver Man. He was very interesting because he had such control of his body and the dude was cut, big time. Meaning he had nice muscles. Look at his biceps. I found my self going back to watch him five or six times. He was balanced on a pedestal smaller than a small saucer and still was able to move in ways that I found entertaining. The fact that he paints his body in silver paint may do him harm later, but for now the guy was fun to watch. 5-31-12
As memorial day approaches, the Sacramento Music
Festival is ready to enthrall music lovers with a variety of
musical genres' unequaled anywhere in the world. Sister Swing has
been playing the festival for the last fourteen years. This year they are
breaking in some new music as they branch out into the "Doo Wop"
music popularized in the early 50's. Given the Sisters harmony skills they
will surly draw more fans into the Sister Swing family. So I'm of with the
Sister's to mix their sound for each of their shows. It's always a crazy
time for us but exciting to move from venue to venue and perform a one hour
show. Given that the venues are so close the shows are all different. Come
on down and give them a listen they are truly pros.
The video for Mans Ruin is now completed. We delivered it to them exactly eleven days after having shot the video. If you'd like to see it go to www.mansruinrocks.com and click on the video. I think it's quite impressive. It was a lot of work but the results speak for them selves. I know this video will help the band secure some good gigs and open doors for them. They were a good group of people to work with and we interacted well during each phase of the project. Lynda Draper did a good job on the shooting and editing of the video. Once again I have to say it, "Life is good". 5-25-12
Gary Bowman is a song writer that has produced a CD project a year for the last four years. About a year ago I recorded Otis Mourning playing on one of Gary's songs. Fast forward a year and here we are again in the studio with a new project and the three of us happily having a good time in the studio. There were some truly magic moments as Otis wove intricate melodies into the music. There's not a lot to say except listen, the proof is in the music. Click to hear "Plastic Pink Flamingos" 5-17-12
This is Mans Ruin. They are an exciting new group that is headed up by Dam Snyder Oliver. Dan is a former student of mine who I gave some Pro Tools lessons to. This band hired me and my partner Lynda Draper to produce their Demo video. Last week Lynda and I drove to Stockton to record the band live in Dan's studio which is located in a large building on his property. I then mixed the music and finished the sound track which we used to have the band perform to while we shot the video five days later. Lynda is now editing the video and soon Man's Ruin will have the final product to use on their website as well as in their press package. Their package is quite impressive. Take a listen to "Man's Ruin Demo", (click to hear). 5-14-12
This is Wendell Woods. Wendell is a rapper that wants to bring some positive energy to the art of Rap. After several missed tries we were able to get together yesterday in the afternoon as I sandwiched him in between two other clients to record and produce his song. Once his rap was recorded, I went to work adding some sweetness to the song with additional effects and blending. In about two hours we had the finished product. have a listen to "Nothing can hold you back" (Click to hear). 5-10-12
Meet the Clarksburg Chimers. They are (L-R) Shelly Wilson, Charlyn Connor, Tressa Dahlberg and Lorna Bagdy. They played the very beautiful chimes that were the backing tracks for vocalist Shari Winkler to sing over. This whole production was overseen by executive producer Claudean Thomas. This music is slated to be used by a local artist who creates Moveable Art. His name is Jim Piskoti. Once we had the entire group assembled, we had a few run troughs' to determine the tempo as this music needed to be about 55 seconds long. Then is was a matter of capturing the best performance. The chimes have a very pure sound that is considerably softer than bells. When played in harmony, they sound very sweet. Then it was time for Shari to step into the booth and record the vocals. Add in a little compression and some reverb and Walla, some more magic in the studio. Listen to "It is no secret" 5-8-12
Once again here is Sister Swing lending their
talents in the latest Pudding Stone Production. With my long time
friend Lynda Draper, I have been participating in a contest put on by
I just received an email from Ashok Mundkur with the accompanying pictures. Ashok also corrected some of my errors in the information I wrote in my previous accounting of our shared experience in the studio back in March. I was somewhat overwhelmed by all of the information and I not only got their names wrong (Ashok not Astook) but Rita is his wife not his sister. The last correction I need to convey is that they hail from Bombay now called Mumbia not Bangkok, which as Ashok pointed out is in Thailand not India. I should have paid better attention, but in the rush to convey the story I was confused by the details. There is one thing that I really got right. That is that I thoroughly enjoyed my time with these people in the studio and and if given a chance to work with them again I would jump at the opportunity. I have always been intrigued by the diversity of people that have come to my studio and I continue to love my job and the people that it brings into my life. I've said it many times but it bears repeating once again, life is good. 4-7-12
Drew Rosen was back to continue his quest to get his music in a finished form. We worked a lot on his vocal tracks for one song and he will be back soon to record some of the ideas that we tried to clarify today. There was once a song called, "It don't come easy", and we found that to be true today. It takes time, effort and dedication to get your music into a presentable form. But if you preserver, you will reach the finish line and be better or it. 4-5-12
Carlos Lastra and his band Doug
(left) and Anthony (right) AKA Set To Score, came loaded for
bear on Wednesday afternoon. We started off recording some acoustic guitar
tracks then vocals and before long all three of them were in the booth
clapping, singing and in general having a good old recording time. I have a
little work to do with the tracks before I mix them into the final mix but
all in all it was a good session with Carlos showing that he is a force to
be reckoned with when it comes to song writing. The group will be back next
week to display more of their young energetic music for the masses.
On April Fools day, Dave McAsey, Greg Ayala and myself (Bruce Bolin) preformed in Davis at the International House. We played a rousing one hour set to the delight of the audience that had gathered in this bohemian establishment to hear and see local artists. This includes musicians, poets, and acts that want to share their talents with the Davis cadre of eager listeners. Once we had played our set, Greg and I were invited to play behind the MC who, at my insistence, called up a cello player to join us that had preformed earlier. We finished off the night with a couple blues numbers and all in attendance soon realized that they had not been the butt of an April Fools Day joke. 4-2-12
Valerie Marston (my wife) was in the studio yesterday to record vocal tracks for another Union Pacific railroad sixty second spot. We got right to work by going over the lead vocal melody line. Once that was sounding solid Valerie stepped into the booth. After we had the lead recorded, we began recording the three part harmonies that make up the back ground vocals. I had recorded each part with a guitar so she could hear each part. Frankly her ear is so developed from singing with Sister Swing for the last twenty years that she could have figured them out cold. We had all of the vocals finished in a little over two hours. Is a pleasure to record Valerie because the quality of her tone and excellent pitch make the job fairly painless. (Click to hear) " Union Pacific 60 second spot" 3-30-12
Greg Ayala on the right and me (Bruce Bolin) continue to meet weekly as we have for the last six years to write and record original songs. We have been a songwriting team for some time and still we can't wait to get together for our weekly meetings. here is an example of a song that is still in the rough stages of development. But it and others get the Sly Fox treatment until they are polished like fine jewelry. Check out "Party in your car". 3-28-12
Here's Drew Rosen back for one of his weekly visits as we continue to record his music. Drew is experiencing a very creative period. Each time he comes to the studio he seems to have written a new song. Last night after Drew recorded a guitar track and some scratch vocals, I recorded a bass track. The song has a real nice grove that is very infectious. It was getting late and I took a minute to shoot a photo of the recording booth with the monitor in the fore ground. That is a room that if the walls could talk, it would speak volumes. 3-27-12
This is Alex Cosper. Alex is a former local radio DJ, program
director/programmer, musician and a self admitted nostalgia lover. Alex came
to the studio yesterday to interview me about my musical experiences back in
the 60's and 70's. Specifically Alex wanted to learn of my exploits with my
70's band Puddingstone. After a five minute video interview, Alex
asked me to create several short musical pieces that can be used as music
backing tracks for videos. I cranked out three, one each for the 60's, 70's
and 80's. It's what I call the "Wham, bam, thank you Ma'am", crank
em' out music tracks. beginning with a drum track played in time, then
adding a bass and a guitar or synth track and on the 70's a percussion
track. On the 60's a horn track and a Moog sounding synth on the 80's track.
Check them out.
One of my oldest
and dearest friends Bob Lobner stopped in to record a theme song for
an internet radio disk jockey named Rockin' Richard. Bob and I
played through the song one time then I set up a room mic with Bob on a
stool playing his twelve string guitar and singing on one side while I
played my Stratocaster and sang opposite him with the mic set in a figure
eight pattern. This means the mic was picking up our audio on both sides. We
made one pass and recorded it, then we sang some back ground vocals and I
added a bass and drums. Now Bob will deliver it to his friend in Truckee and
I hope to hear it being played on the radio show.
This is Carlos Lastra. Carlos is the son of photographer Julia
Marin. He is also a talented young songwriter/musician. Julia contacted
me about getting Carlos into the studio to help him in the recording of some
of his original material. We got together a week ago to have a getting to
know you session and it
well. Carlos and I decided that we should meet weekly to work on his music.
The first session was pretty fruitful in that we were able to get a good
handle on one of his songs called "Let you know". Once we had a
good guitar track that was played to a click, Carlos recorded a bass track.
Then a vocal and then a harmony vocal. We then added some drums and it was
time for a quick reference mix. Here is his song. Click to
Let you know
This is Ashok and his wife Rita. They are from Bombay, India. They are film producers. Astook on called on me to mix the sound track of a documentary about a shipping company that was his client. I was told that the video had been seven months in the making. We had only one day to complete the mixing before Astook and Rita were due to return to Bangkok. This turned out to be a very difficult project as there were eight testimonials that were each filmed in eight different lactations by eight different camera people all over the world. None of the audio tracks sounded anything a like. My job was to make them as uniform as I could get them, then to mix in the music track under the testimonials and also mix in some sound effects. After four and a half hours they were very pleased with the result and after a nice lunch I bid them a fond farewell. One thing I have noticed about the people from India that I have met, they all seem to be calm and a politeness that I find very easy to be around. 3-19-12
After a six month absence Abdule Masood has returned to the hallowed halls of Pudding Stone Recording. Abdule has a cousin who owns and operates a studio. Abdule took his hard drive containing all of his music to his cousin who told Abdule that he thought Abdule needed to re-record nearly all of the instruments. This was after I had recorded and mixed two of his songs. As it turns out Abdule didn't like the mixes his cousin made for him. So he's back with me to re-mix the songs. Retaining some of the newer recorded parts. This is why producers are hired to produce artists. You have to "Know when to hold em', and know when to fold em'." This simply means knowing when the song is finished. Although the song will most certainly take on a different texture with added instrumentation. I feel that it's a good idea to get the song completed and get it heard to find out if it has a chance of getting picked up. An artist can keep changing the music and later find out that the song was not in contention. There are so many opinions of what is right and what will be a hit. For me, I'm going to do the best job I can get it finished and move to writing new songs instead of continually working the same song for years. Mind you that this is my opinion, it works for me but may not work for some other artist. It all depends on how much one is willing to spend on a song to finish it. 3-3-12 Since then I have re mixed the song for Abdule and he likes the mix. I needed to listen carefully to the original song he had given me to try to recreate the reverb and delay sound of the 30 year old recording. 3-6-12
This is Dave Johnson. Dave is a very in demand trumpet player on the local scene. Dave always seems to have several balls in the air at any given time. When he's not leading the horn section in Sister Swing's band, he teaches thirty students a week and works for Skips music. He also plays in many other groups as well. When I called Dave last week asking him to come to the studio to record several horns for one of my songs, I was pleased that Dave could carve out some time to make the session. I sent him an Mp3 last week so he could begin to familiarize himself with the horn parts that I had laid down using my trusty synthesizer. Although I liked the parts, they lacked the bite I wanted to hear from the horns. We got together yesterday and began with Dave playing the first trumpet part, then the second trumpet followed by the slide trombone part. We did some adjusting for pitch and time and the parts really sparkle. Now I will mix the entire song and hopefully get some interest in it. 2-28-12
This is Dee Dee McCue. Her husband Mark called me last week requesting studio time. We settled on Saturday morning and they drove down from Coleville which is located south of Minden Nevada. We quickly got to work recording eight songs. I was impressed with Dee Dee's singing ability and since she sang half of the songs in Spanish (which I love to hear) I was enjoying myself quite a bit. Several of the Spanish songs sounded like classical Mexican music with interesting stringed instruments playing complicated rhythms. After five and a half hours the McCues had several CD's and a jump drive with all of the songs saved as Mp3's. This will allow Dee Dee to email her songs to prospective bands, agents and managers. It was a very productive day in the studio and I thoroughly enjoyed having this couple in my domain. Mark mentioned that they will be back as Dee Dee wished to continue to build her musical catalogue. Click to hear (Primabera Anticipata) (La Cigars) 2-27-12
Drew Rosen continues to make his weekly sojourn to the studio to record new song ideas and to add to some of the more than 27 songs that we have already recorded. Drew is always coming up with new songs and his list continues to grow. Our system is pretty down and we get a lot accomplished with each session.
Meanwhile I was able to get the recordings for the church group which is titled "El Shaddai", mixed and mastered over the last several days. This will be a nice CD project for the church. Considering it was recorded live in the church, it turned out rather nicely. Soon I will post some examples soon. 2-13-12
Pastor McDonald Jaa and Hanna came to the studio yesterday to do some additional vocal recording known in the business as "sweetening". They both entered the booth and we ran through each song that needed harmonies added to the original vocals that I had recorded live in the church several weeks earlier. Once they had their parts they sang with joy and passion and my studio was transformed into a satellite of his El Shaddai church for two hours. My job now is to blend the new vocals in with the others and make the final mixes of each song and to add some other edits including fading the endings on several of the songs. 2-8-12
Meet Justin White. Justin has long been interested in finding his voice in music. He called me a week ago at schedule a session where he could try his hand at recording himself to see if he had the right stuff to pursue a career in music. This after he had spent nine years in the Air Force. We downloaded the versions of the songs and began to record. Now Justin has the necessary demos to enter a contest being sponsored by his favorite rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. When I asked Justin what he thought of the recording process and his reply was " I'd like to do this everyday". Nuff said! Stereo Hearts (Click to hear) 2-6-12
On the left is Nino Cocaine (who resembles Ice
Tea) along with his friend and fellow rapper Mickey Cartel. Both
have graced the studio before. Nino came to the studio prepared to lay down
some smokin' tracks. Once I had imported the beats Nino stepped into the
booth and began a five song session that hit some fever tempos. His rhythm
were infectious and he had Mickey and me bopping our heads to the rhythm of
the music and rap. Nino was pleased with both his performance and the
production value that I added to his songs. He gave me fair warning that
he'd be back next month with more songs to record.
I received an email from Mark Butterworth wanting me to help him co-produce a vocal session at Paradise studio. We had done this about two years ago. That last session went fairly quickly. We met at the studio yesterday, Sunday at 1pm. We quickly got things rolling and were finished with the vocal tracking by 2pm. The singer was Tammy Brock. She is going for her PHD and will soon transfer from Sac State to another college back east to finish. I had gotten together with Mark the night before and we spent a good 5 hours talking about our experiences with music and as writers and guitar players. We found we have a lot in common. The session went well and I was back home in less than three hours. Our engineer was Scott Reams and I found him to be both efficient and speedy. It was a good day in the studio. 1-30-12
I have been working on a jingle for a railroad company contest with my old friend Lynda Draper. First I wrote the song and recorded it. Then she and I went to another friend of my who owns Royce Video Productions. His name is Robert Ansell. He shot me performing in front of a green screen so we could key out the background and drop in some footage of trains behind my playing and singing. You see this done every day when you see the weather people giving a weather report. After Robert did a rough mix he emailed it to me and I watch it. Now he and I will get back together to tweak the edits and finish it up. 1-26-12
I got a call from Jerry Cook who needed help getting his Bose PA system wired correctly for performing his single act. Jerry is quite the singer. I was able to get his system wired and set up so he can get back to being in the public eye once again. It really helps to be diversified, being able to work out of the box keeps the $$$ rolling in when things slow down in our slower than normal economy. I always taught my students to wear many hats and they could work many jobs. 1-23-12
I was paid a visit by my old friend and client Stu Goldberg. Stu always has an idea up his sleeve. This time he wanted to have me edit and transfer some recording that I had made for him last year of Janis Joplin when she was a young and struggling blues singer trying to make her way up the ladder of success. These live recordings of Janis singing in a small night club in San Francisco date back in 1963 and are some of the her earliest recordings. Stu wants to make these recordings available to Janice lovers everywhere. 1-18-12
This was a very up lifting session that was recorded in the church where this group regularly attends. Most of the members are from Africa. So naturally I assumed that the music would be sounding like African music. Oh no,, it was more like Caribbean music. The pastor could not stand still. He was in motion for the entire session which lasted from 3-10pm. The musicians and singers were filled with the passionate music and it was reflected in their joyful noise. I was put in touch with this group be my old friend Rick Smith who played guitar on the session. I began speaking with Pastor Mc Donald Jaa some five months ago about this project. Finally the initial steps have been taken to produce an album of very energetic music that will inspire many people around the world. This group was very committed to giving their all to each song. I will now begin the post production of this project in the studio. I took some pictures of my mobile recording rig. Not shown was a splitter to connect my stuff with the churches system and miles of microphone cables. 1-17-12
Here's Drew Rosen back for his weekly visit to the studio to record more original material. We have been repeating this scenario for seven months and he still has a new song nearly every week. Both Drew and I have worked out a nice method for recording and arranging his many songs. we have found that between the two of us, we can always arrive at a place where the song is well served and he can get a better grip on the music when he gets stuck on some part that slows him down. At last count we were over twenty songs. Still he'll get an idea in the studio and pull out his phone to make a quick on the spot recording of his new idea that will be worked out when he gets home. 1-5-12
This was the scene of the annual Sister Swing Christmas concert. This year the event was held at the Access Cable headquarters located on T street near 48th St. It is a fine old venue with plenty of room, a nice stage with lots of good stage lighting and a camera crew ready to film and later broadcast the event on the cable access Channel #17. For me it represented a very long day. I showed up at 9am and began setting up the sound. I also had to factor in the fact that the camera crew wanted to get a live feed from me to use with the video images. This means I needed to mix the front of house for the audience and for the video. This sounds easy but the live video mix never sounds like what I am hearing in the room. Therefore I have to compensate for that live mix. The best way is to split the mix between two mixing boards and everyone is happy. That's not what I did but I could have by carrying a splitter and another board. for the show being taped, I always allow a lot of time for preparation before the show. This is because invariably there is some technical issue that needs to be resolved before the show begins. Yesterday was no exception. However working closely with the camera crew we were able to get it all together and I am excited to see the show broadcast on television. 12-5-11
I have been working in Sly Fox's promo. Here's the new band photo and audio demo. There is a lot involved getting a good promo package together. Taking band photos, arranging and recording the audio demo. Finally putting the whole thing together and sending it out. I was very happy when I sent out this promo and immediately got some responses. I even managed to book some dates. Onward and up ward. Here's the demo click to hear. Sly Fox Demo 11-11-11
Abdule Masood has had me work on his song for some time now and today he will be coming to record his vocal. The last missing link was to get the drum tracks to his liking. When we have the vocals recorded mixed and mastered he will give me another song. I found this Afghanistan music of his to be both a challenge to play and it has begun to get under my skin and I found myself liking it very much. This makes my association with Abdule all the better. 10-29-11
Meet Marquis Gardner. She called me to set up a last minute
session to record a three song demo for an up coming fund raiser to be
help in Atlanta, GA next month. When she arrived at the studio for the
session and she presented me with her back ground music. Once I had it
imported in to Pro Tools, Marquis stepped into the booth and began to sing.
I was immediately taken with her singing chops and she had learned almost
verbatim the Christine Aguilera version of
Here she sings "I didn't know my own strength" 10-27-11
Drew Rosen continues his weekly sessions as we move ever closer to
his goal of recording an unknown number of new songs. He is a prolific
writer and each week he comes in with more new songs to record. Here, Drew
is at the Roland Fantom keyboard recording a part for on of his
Abdule Masood gave me the go ahead and I scheduled a session with accordion player Steve Stizzo. As soon as that session was over I went to work recording bass and guitar tracks for the same song. It seems like the accordions are alive and doing well on 2011. 10-10-11
This is Dave Lang and Marge Hansen. They have teamed up and call themselves "The Squeezers". They play a wide variety of music that has an old world feel. when listening to them I can close my eyes and imagine that I am sitting in a small outdoor cafe in Paris or Amsterdam. Dave and Marge came to record a demo. 10-6-11
September 2011 September was a very busy month for me. My band Sly Fox played every weekend. It was a lot of fun but took up a lot of time and energy. We had to prepare to gig at several different venues that required us to have to learn many new songs in order to fit in with the venues criteria. 9-22-11
Drew Rosen and I continue to get together each week. His song roster continues to grow as we record new songs each week. Because we have been getting together so often, we have developed a system that gets the job done efficiently and in the shortest amount of time. We are working on the arrangements and he takes a CD with him of the latest versions of each song. After a thorough listening to the new material, Drew can hear where he needs to make changes to improve the arrangements. We plan on continuing since we seem to be on a nice roll. So why stop now? 9-2-11
Abdule Masood is back in
the studio. he has a new song that he wants to record. I sent him to
I met with and recorded Adrian Jasper last week to record a couple of her poems over a musical background. These will be used to advertise an event that is to be held in Chicago later this year. Adriane will be one of many artists to perform at this high profile event. After completing the recording, I up loaded it to a fellow musician/engineer in Las Vegas via Apple's Mobile Me. It's a transfer protocol that allows the transfer of larger file types over the internet. Very handy.
The Beatles project sparked a renewed interest in me to collect all of the Beatles material. I have been all over the internet researching and gaining information to complete the collection. Those guys were a song writing machine. They recorded so many songs in such a short period of time that it's mind boggling to me. Anyway the search continues and the collection is getting larger by the day. Interestingly, the albums we got over here were different versions of albums sold in the UK. The same songs in different orders and with different album titles until about the time of the Rubber Soul album. By then they were a world wide phenomenon. 8-12-11 .
Here's Drew Rosen listening to the playback of a track we had just recorded. I'd say he's in chill mode. We have been meeting twice a week for the last couple of weeks. The sessions have been very productive and his songs are coming together quickly. 8-11-11
Sister Swings new CD "Triple Wide" ,is in the hands of the duplicators and will soon be available to appreciative fans. 8-4-11
An old friend of mine named Jerry Wymore, called to say that he had all of the Beatles songs recorded in chronological order on three 1/4 "tapes. He had recorded these tapes back in1981. The speed was 3 3/4 Inches Per Second. I did not have a machine capable of playing that slow so I borrowed a machine. It took me sixteen hours to transfer the songs to a digital format (Logic) edit the songs and burn four CD's. Three of which were a full eighty minutes long. This was a large task that required four days but was extremely satisfying. To hear all of the Beatles music from the first album thru the double white album was a thrill for me. As a song writer I can appreciate the skill that they had to write that many songs and to sing and play them as well as they did. It was and still is a lesson in true artistry by skilled musicians. 8-4-11
Lloyd Banks is back in the mix with yet another
new paretic song titles Spangle Banner. When he began singing
the song I quickly picked up my guitar and found some changes that worked.
Then I worked the melody a little and soon we had the song worked out enough
to begin recording a scratch version with guitar chords as well as a melody
line for Lloyd to practice with. This was a week ago. Tomorrow he will
return and we will continue. we will record his vocal and what ever I feel
we need to fill out the songs arrangement.
On July 27th Sister Swing preformed at a backyard concert. They had done this gig a year ago. These intimate concerts are becoming very popular and the Sisters as well as the band were on their game that night. I have been mixing their sound for nearly twenty years and these parties bring out the best in the singers and the band. This year sixty seven people were on hand to enjoy a summer concert on a lovely evening. if I do say so myself, "the sound was perfect". 7-28-11
Tressa Gaye has joined the ranks of Sly Fox as the bands lead singer. I worked with Tressa last year recording her depute CD project. She has a powerful voice and a wonderful personality. She will perform for the first time with the band later this month at the Brick House in Elk Grove July 15-16. It is my hope that with the addition of Tressa's talents, Sly Fox will gain more notoriety and become a more potent band. 7-5-11
Drew Rosen is a songwriter/musician who first came to me last year to have me teach him how to use Pro Tools. Drew has a lot of songs that he wanted to record. Fast forward to this year when he once again approached me to give him some more Pro Tools instruction but this time in my studio utilizing better microphones and a more sophisticated interface. Drew felt that with some hands on lessons in the studio he could get a better picture of the recording process. We met this week and began by me showing him how to use the studio beginning with how to turn everything on and get ready to record. Once he had written down the steps we began to record. Drew is an accomplished guitar player having taught guitar for ten years. Once we had recorded several tracks we went over the cut and paste procedure improving the arrangement of the song. Drew left the studio with a CD to work out the guitar solo and some small arrangement parts for the song and we plan on meeting again this week. 7-4-11
Meet Adrienne Williams. She is a vocalist who writes her own lyrics. Adrienne first came to me early last year with a song that she had first recorded at another studio. Adrienne was not happy with the results. She told me that the music lacked soul and feel and that she was un-happy with her vocal performance. I recorded a rhythm guitar that added some life to the song, then I added some drum and string parts. I gave her a reference CD to practice with and now we are going to get back into the studio to re-record her vocals. Some times it can be a longer road to getting what an artist wants than can be predicted at the outset of a project. 6-25-11
Here's Sister Swing performing in Walnut Grove last Sunday. All together they are a ten piece band and when they play people take notice. Did I mention that I run the sound and mix their shows to insure that they always sound as good as they can. I have been mixing them for the last eighteen years and I have a good handle on how their songs should be mixed. It helps that I have recorded all of their six CD projects. 6-20-11
This is Lydia Mendoza, song writer, musician and singer of her own songs. Lydia has been getting together with me for a couple of months to further her talents as a multi dimensional performer. She has responded to the suggestions that I have been giving her and she practices. It's easy to see the improvement when those simple rules are followed. She is very interested in improving herself and I am just the guy that can see a path to helping her to accomplishing her goals. We work well together. 6-18-11
Valerie Marston has been putting in some long hours in the studio as we continue to tweak the mixes. We are in the final leg of this Sister Swing project. Although they originally wanted to finish in time for the jazz Jubilee, they weren't completely satisfied with the project. They have a standard of excellence that they are not willing to compromise. To that I say, "right on sisters"! So during the festival they let their audiences know that a new CD was on the way and it is worth the wait. 6-15-11
The annual Sacramento Jazz Jubilee is in the history books once again. This year as in past years I worked with Sister Swing mixing all of their shows to capacity crowds and adoring fans. This year Skips Music equipped all the venues with modern state of the art sound systems which made my job much nicer. Not since 2005 when I supplied all of the largest venues with sound has there been really good equipment. The Sisters were on their game and the band has never sounded better. After the festival ended on Monday, we all (the band) and some other festival people went to an after festival party to relax and enjoy each others company. A good time was had by all. 6-3-11
I just realized that I did not post the newest Sly Fox CD on the studio news. Well here it is. There is more on this project if you go to the featured artist page from menu above and you can read about this CD and hear some cuts. 5-24-11
Here is the cover for Sister Swings new album. As I mentioned below, the sister wanted to come back into the studio to re-record some of their vocals. Well last Sunday they were back in the booth and most of the tracks were fixed to their satisfaction. Now they will concentrate on the Jazz Jubilee this week end and then some small tweaks and the final mixing. 5-24-11
Hello again. It's been a while since I have made an entry. So here is the scoop from Pudding Stone Recording. Sister Swing has decided that they want to re-sing some of their vocal parts since this is the first album they have recorded in five years. They are very serious about having their music be done the very best they can muster. This can happen as an artist or group gets close to the end of a project. At that point you're wanting to get this thing finished and in doing so you can have tendency to compromise your musical values. Don't do it! Step back and remember once you get your copies made, your project is out there forever. Lynda Mendoza has been taking some lessons from me for the last several weeks. I am coaching her on song writing, guitar playing and singing. Lynda has been putting my suggestion to work in her music and performance's. She has made some great gains in a short period of time. 5-19-11
Valerie Marston and I have been putting in some major mixing time in an effort to get the new project ready for this years Jazz Jubilee. She has the other sisters working on other areas to complete this project. Meanwhile Val and I have been tweaking the mixes and tonight the sisters will return for a final vocal session to fix one last nagging problem. This will put us into the last round of mixing and fixing. Then it's off to mastering and duplication. 5-2-11
This is Gerry Pineda. In the middle of February, Gerry recorded upright bass along with Steve Wall on guitar and Ron Jones on drums. This was the rhythm section for Sister Swings latest album. We had some problems with some of the bass tracks and Gerry was called to replay seven tracks. We got back together on Saturday. Gerry is seen here with his Jazz Bass ready to record some up tempo boogie type tracks. After those were finished Gerry retired to the booth and recorded his up right bass on several ballads. All in all it took us three hours to complete. After Gerry left Valerie Marston and I mixed for five hours. Chances are we will be back mixing in the studio today, which is Easter Sunday after some family time. Steve Wall was in on Tuesday to record several solos. He was out in under an hour. Anyone who knows Steve knows he's fast. Both on the fret board and in the studio. 4-24-11
Dave McAsey stopped by for a jam session and we wrote a couple of songs. It's always fun for me to get with Dave. We share a love of playing guitar together and we always have a lot of laughs along the way. Dave has number of videos on YouTube. Check him out. 4-19-11
Bonnie Otto returned for her final session of rhythm tracks and solos. Valerie Marston produced the session and the Sisters (Sister Swing) came in on Saturday to record more vocal tracks. Now Valerie and I will get on to mixing once Steve Wall records some guitar solos. 4-18-11
Gary Bowman pictured on the left is a song writer/producer that for the last several years does a CD project a year. His songs are about nature and all of it's wonders. His writings are constructed to be enjoyed by families with an emphasis on the younger family members. This is like reading a story book to your children all in song form. The songs are well written and produced. Otis Mourning plays saxophone. Gary saw him playing recently and wanted Otis to play on Gary's latest project. They both came to Pudding Stone last week and we recorded Otis burning through Gary's song. It was an exciting session and I could feel the magic that Otis brought to the song. By the way that's me (Bruce Bolin), chilling at the board after the session. Gary will now return to his home in Grass Valley and transfer the Otis tracks into the song, mix and master. It was a fine afternoon. 4-16-11
Bonnie Otto and Valerie Marston were back for another round of piano recording. In two and a half hours we recorded six songs. It will take one more session to finish the last three songs. Valerie and Bonnie were captured on my Android phone's camera. Obviously the color settings were off. So here is green, three handed Bonnie and Valerie in a blue mood. 4-13-11
Abdule Masood, Jimmy Malone and I met on Monday to begin the process of putting together the music for Abdule's next song. After several tries we decided that it was more time effective to have Abdule send Jimmy and me an Mp3 of the song so we could get a better idea of the timing and changes. Sometimes it's just to difficult to get it all off of the melody. 4-11-11
This is Bonnie Otto. She has been coming to the studio to record her piano parts for the latest Sister Swing CD. We have gotten together twice in the last week and we're slated for another session on Tuesday evening. Under the watchful ear of lead singer, producer and my wife Valerie Marston, we have been forging ahead full steam. We are hoping to finish recording the vocals and some guitar solos soon so we can get to the mixing of this project. 4-10-11
The Dave McAsey Trio will be performing at The Fox & Goose. Featuring Dave McAsey on amplified acoustical guitar and vocals. Myself, Bruce Bolin on lead guitar and vocals and Greg Ayala on drums. We always have a blast when we get together at the Goose. It's always a night of high energy music where I have a chance to explore the boundaries of my playing abilities. I have been threatening to record us and make a live album. Maybe tonight's the night. 4-6-11
Sister Swing has been coming to the studio
as we march through recording their vocals. We have most of the 14 songs
This is Tanjia Harris. She is a rising star on the scene. She took a
recording class from me several years ago and she did well in the course.
Tanjia has tireless energy and she is always acting on her instincts as she
looks for ways to succeed in the music business. During one of our classes I
mentioned that I wanted to write a song for a class exercise. Tanjia had a
few lines and a bass line concept. This is what we put together in a very
short time. It's called
Once again here are the sisters huddled around the ribbon microphone singing for all their worth. Yes one short day after our marathon session at Weston Studio, Valerie, Paula and Leigh were giving it their all recording some difficult Boswell Sisters songs. This is very challenging music to sing due to changing tempos and a complicated vocal style. But due to the tight schedule, they will be back in two days to do it all over again. They really pick over their harmonies and phrasing to be sure that every passage is in place. I can already tell that this is going to be an excellent CD once it is complicated. 3-22-11
This last weekend was spent at Weston House recording studio recording the horns for Sister Swing's new project. We began late Saturday afternoon getting things ready for a marathon session on Sunday. Valerie Marston was the producer of the sessions. Myself (Bruce Bolin) engineered and the horns were Bob Williams on trombone, Dave Johnson on trumpet and Otis Mourning on reeds. We booked a day and a half because we needed to record fourteen songs. The day was long but once we settled in and everyone understood how to communicate we began to roll along quite nicely. In the end we exceeded our expectations as we were able to record not only the horn parts but horn solos as well. It was a grueling but a very productive couple of days. Now it's up to the sisters to record their vocals and that's what is on tap for tonight. "There is no rest for the wicked". 3-21-11
This is Edwin Muela. He is from Ecuador in South America. Edwin is having me master his project. The music has the South American sound with guitars, bass and other stringed instruments. Plus rhythm sounds like conga drums and the pan flutes. The music is very melodic and rhythmic. It can set your feet to dancing. Edwin is looking to get 1000 copies of his master duplicated, packaged and ready for sale. Then he will sell them when his group plays at various venues. 3-17-11
Grape Scott has been spending time in the studio and in the booth. Grape is very quick when it comes down to recording his raps. He is always prepared when he reaches the studio with his lyrics in hand and a good idea of how he will be phrasing. Grape always tries to get his his recordings done in the lease amount of time. Grape is on a budget and he understands time is money. I have said it before but it bares repeating that Grape will make his mark on the scene and will rise to the top like cream on whole milk. Meanwhile. 3-15-11
Sister Swing continues to march forward with their latest project. This week end we will be returning to Weston House studios to record the horn section on the sisters sixth CD project. Meanwhile the sisters have been coming to Pudding Stone twice a week to record their vocals. They are true pros in the vocal booth and will accept nothing short of stellar performances for their music. I will post some mixes as soon as we get that far. 3-14-11
Here's Lloyd Banks again. Singing into his cell phone. Lloyd's been in the studio for the last three days still fine tuning his lyrics for his song and wanting me to add more instruments to the arrangement. After yesterdays session, he will be in today for what is to be the final mix down. If in fact this is the final mix I will post his song. Stay tuned. 3-3-11
"The Sister's are coming, the Sister's are coming".
Yes it's true, Sister Swing is back in the studio recording their
sixth CD project. It has been six years since we recorded the last CD.
Here they are in the vocal booth singing for all their worth. They plan on
recording all of the vocals for the thirteen song project in the month of
March. We have had two sessions and they are coming into their stride.
They have sung together for so long that they edit their parts in flight.
Lloyd Banks was back for some additional tweaking of his song, The Lady Charlaine. We spiced up the arrangement by adding some vibes to the main riff and Lloyd re-sung his vocal parts. I thought we were finished, but he called me yesterday to book some more time for another change. 2-27-11
Frank Lizarraga was back for a mixing session on Monday Presidents Day. We worked through the tracks on this Luvtaxi song. There were many rhythm instruments giving this song a real Latino feel and sound. Frank added some Moog synthesizer parts to put his special stamp on the music. Frank said it was one of the last Luvtaxi songs featuring all the original members. We mixed for two hours and Frank left with a reference CD to listen to. We will get back together in a week or so to tighten up any loose ends. Then a mastering session and one more song will be in the can. 2-22-11
Kamoha Lonewolf returned right on schedule Sunday to record two more songs. This week we moved more smoothly through the music and he has decided that he wants to make come back every month until he has finished his project. 2-21-11
Sister Swing is back in the news and in the studio. Over this last weekend we booked some time at Weston House Studios to track the guitar, bass and drums for the Sisters latest CD titled "Triple Wide". Steve Wall on guitar, Jerry Pineda on upright bass and Ron Jones on drums. We were able to record the rhythm tracks to fourteen songs. Next we will begin recording the vocal tracks and then return to Weston next month to record the horns for this project. It has been six years since the Sisters have recorded a CD. They feel the time is right because most of their fans have already purchased the previous five albums. Valerie Marston is producing this project as she has been the producer on all of the Sisters albums. She is also the lead singer. She worked tirelessly in the studio singing scratch vocal tracks to help keep the rhythm players together during the recording process. 2-21-11
Band Sly Fox is closing the gap on the third
Sly Fox CD project. I have been mixing and listening. Mixing and listening.
My song writing partner Greg Ayala has been eagerly recording drum tracks
for this as well as the next group of songs that we have been working on.
The good news is that Sly Fox CD #3 titled
This was the scene of a Valentines Day concert featuring Bob Draga nationally known clarinet player and funny man. He was backed by Ron Jones on drums, Jason Warner on Steinway grand piano Tom Hannochel on up right bass and Brady McKay on vocals. This was a fund raiser that took place at the Rocklin Sunset Community center located on Sunset Drive in Rocklin. It was a sell out performance with good snacks and drinks provided for the guests. There were many fine musical moments with this all star cast of musicians as well as many laughs as the crowd was treated to Bob's very funny sense of humor. I found my self laughing right along with the crown from my vantage point at the mixing station. I was providing sound for this concert. This was my fourth sound gig for these fine players. It is always a joy to hear such accomplished musicians playing freely and enjoying themselves. 2-15-11
This is Kamouha Lonewolf AKA Easy Mo Bee . Kamouha is a full blooded American Indian He's an aspiring rapper who holds few conventional methods when it comes to writing and producing his music. It seems Kamouha has little regard for the popular rappers of the day. He is willing to travel the the un-traveled path to success. I have never put music together like he heard it in his head. To say that it's unconventional is an understatement. We met last Sunday and will meet again this Sunday to finish his project. Once it is completed I will post some audio so you can judge for yourself where the Lonewolf is willing to go. 2-15-11
Frank Lizarraga continues to bring me music to be mixed and mastered. His latest is with his other Latino group called Ritmoz Latinoz. This group has been together for about a year and already they have garnered a large following. They appear regularly at the Fugu Lounge in Natomas. This group is on the fast track featuring Franks son Cisco Lizaragga and the lovely Yesenia Fuentes. Together this band is turning heads and turning out some nice Latin original music. It looks like Frank is not ready to lay down his shield and that is good news for the fans of Ritmoz Latinoz. I Blame Canada (click to hear) 2-14-11
I received a call from a lady who was calling me from London, England. She informed me that she needed a studio to shoot a video for an artist who lives here in Sacramento. I agreed to host the shoot and last Saturday I met with Piyah Martell, her camera man James and Jeff her personal manager. We quickly got underway figuring out how we would shoot the demo consisting of live video and still photos. We had just one and a half hours to get all the shots needed for James to cut together a nice demo which will be shopped to many venders looking for interesting stories. It seems Piyah has gone viral on the You tube circuit and is a minor celebrity. This demo will hopefully give Piyah more celebrity status. Here in a audio clip of Piyah's version of the song imperfect. Click to hear. Imperfect. 2-8-11
Lloyd Banks is back in the studio news. Lloyd wants to surprise his wife with a song for her birthday coming up in a couple of weeks. So Lloyd and I got together. He showed me his lyrics which are to be sung of over the 50's hit "Naughty Lady of Shady Lane". Lloyd had not written the second half of each of the verse's, so we needed to write more lyrics. We did so. Then I began recording the background instruments for the song. Guitars, bass, drum and a string tracks. Now all that remains is for Lloyd come back and record the vocals. He returns this Tuesday to finish up his project. 1-23-11
Josh Crosby AKA C-4 is a young rapper/songwriter/producer. He wanted to have me mix one of his songs. When I tried to open his Pro Tools session I couldn't get it play as he had done his work on a PC and I have a Mac system. So I went to his home and mixed his song on his system. It can be a little confusing to wrap your head around the different short cut key commands. But in about two hours I had mixed his 42 tracks and felt the mix was ready for mastering. 1-19-11
Out with the old and in with the New Year. Happy New Year. We are getting excited about the year ahead in 2011. I am looking forward to meeting new artists and further helping musicians to find their musical voice and get their music produced in order to achieve their musical goals this year. In the studio, I am looking at some new equipment to keep up to date with the ever changing technologies that have become the new medium of recording . My group Sly Fox is very close to releasing our third CD of original music. The future is looking brighter than it has in several years and I welcome any good news that is destined to come to Pudding Stone Recording Studio and to the greater Sacramento area music scene. I wish you all the best in the New Year. Bruce Bolin 1-3-11
Tressa Dahlberg now has her project in hand. It has been mixed and mastered. Tressa is weighing options for duplication and will soon have her copies in hand also. Overall Tressa felt that the project exceeded her expectations. I found her to be quick in the booth and she has a good wide vocal range allowing her to sing many types of music. "Orange colored Sky" Meanwhile the Wave Pilot project continues to pick up steam. Jimmi Spalding and I got together yesterday and ran through many of your arrangements. We are feeling very confident about the music and are eager to get out and perform it before an audience. 12-13-10
Megan Taaffe called to book some studio time to record a song that was looping in her head. This song "Falling Slowly" is not one of Megan's compositions. But she wanted to record it anyway. We began with Megan recording a piano track, then I added an acoustic guitar and she added a lead vocal and then a harmony back ground vocal track. We were finished in just two hours. Megan indicated she will be back to add some more tracks. Bill Chacon is a singer/guitar player that has wanted to record an album for many years. We got together last week and knocked out a song where Bill sang and played guitar. Then I recorded a bass, lead guitar, organ and some drums to the song. It all took a little over two hours and he was on his way with a CD to listen to. Bill mentioned that he'll return after the holidays to finish the project. Here's Megan's song. Falling Slowly 12-01-10
This is my old friend Jimmi Spalding. He and I have
been getting together to put a new spin on some music that we wrote some
seven years ago. Back then called ourselves Wave Pilot and we played
up to date Surf Music. It's similar to old surf but with an
Meet Annie Linn. A 16 year old singer that really surprised me with her talent. Her singing style and chops are far more developed that I might have thought. It was her first time in a recording studio but she quickly adapted to the studio and turned in a good performance. I feel confident that I will be hearing more about this young girl. Listen to "Fever" 11-14-10
This is Tressa Dahlberg. She wanted to record a CD
project and we have been at it for a week. She is a very powerful singer. We
have been having a fine time of it in the studio. Tresssa did some songs
with pre recorded big band tracks and others with just a piano played by
Greg Merwin. Then Tom Wallace came in and played some solos on both Alto sax
and clairnet. Then I recorded several bass lines added some percussion and
played acoustic guitar on one song. It's going to be a nice record that
shows off Tressa's considerable talents.
This is Guitar Mac, a bluesman that lives here in Sacramento. He originally hailed from Arkansas. Mac is one of the only clients I have ever recorded who just wants me to mix his music as it is played live. So last Tuesday we set up at the Rivers Edge for the session. It's a bar in West Sac. Mac did 20 songs. The two previous times I recorded Mac I went straight to stereo two track. This time I recorded the music in 8 tracks. That allowed me to edit some fixes and helped to get a better sound. I recorded him on Tuesday and mixed and mastered and delivered the finished CD project on Wednesday. That's fast. Check out "Taxi Blues" 11-10-10