Friday, September 9, 2011

MOJO at the Kudzu Ranch

I love the feeling of still recovering from one weekend as we're heading into another one, and this past weekend/week/upcoming weekend is a great example of the frenetic, random, sometimes intoxicated energy I've grown to love.

Over Labor Day weekend we had the pleasure of traveling south to play a one night stand in Chapel Hill, NC and record two songs for an upcoming 45 at Rick Miller's studio in Mebane, North Carolina.

Knowing that we had made a date to record in NC, I decided it would be fun to book a gig as well.  We played a great little dive called The Cave on Franklin St. in Chapel Hill.  It was a small but good listening crowd.

Rick in engineer mode at the Kudzu Ranch
You may know Rick as the guitar guru/humorist/total complete fucking badass behind Southern Culture on the Skids, but on top of all that he owns a wonderful recording studio in NC (aptly named The Kudzu Ranch) and is a great studio engineer, as well as a hell of a nice dude.  What I really enjoyed about his studio was how comfortable it was; it was clearly designed to NOT feel like one of those sterlie, "Grandmother's parlor" feeling studios that every recording musician has ended up in from time to time.  Bright walls and an awesome vintage bent are punctuated with cool '60's kitsch (velvet paintings GALORE!) and comfortable furniture for an ultra-deluxe clubhouse feel.  Can't beat that.
Seth plays the Assmaster.
The idea for a 45 was born simply out of Seth and I being righteous, unapologetic  over-achievers and a love of vintage vinyl.  We decided the 45 should be its own thing and stand apart from our first studio album.  I had hazy memories of talking to Rick after a SCOTS gig in Thomas, WV (hazy because I was a drunk of pretty epic proportions that evening) and him saying that he owned a studio in NC. When Seth and I first started discussing doing a 45, I immediately thought back to that discussion, as SCOTS put out a lot of vinyl and have consistently put out very well-recorded, well-crafted albums.  A few emails were exchanged, and we set a date to go to NC and lay down some tracks.

We wrote one new song for the session, called Done & Gone, which will be the A-Side and is a quick-tempo'd rock-country "love gone wrong song".  I think it'll master up pretty well. Glad we brought Mojo recording drummer (and drummer for YFS) Jared Roy along.  He's got a great feel and a great ear.  

Seth is holding the Assmaster.
What would recording in Rick's studio be without utilizing some of his ridiculously awesome vintage guitars?  For the B-side we recorded an electrified version of Crowbar on a beautiful,funky, bright green ("pimp burst") custom guitar called the Assmaster. It was a long day, but a productive day.  We got everything tracked and put a basic mix on it. Now to get it (and the rest of the tunes from our upcoming album) mastered.
Tonight is the annual Randolph County Community Arts Center Gala, one of my favorite Elkins events of the year. Seth teaches at the RCCAC.  Tickets are $50 and benefit the RCCAC, it's a good cause and a great excuse to get dressed up and schwasted and eat fancy food on sticks (at least I imagine food on sticks)

This weekend we play the Allegheny Highlands Trail Fest- a festival that benefits the bike trail!  It'll be a good'un (and you can hear that new tune.)