Smart-art alt country that makes you want to hug yourself
There’s something to say about recording “live off the floor”. That is to say, recording a band NOT using total isolation, separation, and multi-track via recording booths. There’s a special connection each musician makes with one another as they are able to feel the nuances between them to produce the best live-like performance as they can. This is where much of “the magic” takes place. The band can stop and tweak their playing to be able to capture the moments they end up manifesting on stage. I’ve been a studio musician for 13 or 14 years now, and I have to say there is nothing quite like playing live with your fellow musicians vs recording against pre-recorded tracks.
The Cowboy Buddha Band are a phenomenal trio of musicians whose range covers from art-smart alt country to good ol’ rock n’ roll and can easily switch into the ethereal. You may think, “Oh yea, I know that sound”, however, these three men who’ve been playing together for years and years have such a special sound, they can jump from one genre to another and hand over a plate of musical cornucopia – you will vacillate between being sated and craving more.
I had the fortunate experience of not only being able to record them, but run through their entire set list. Every single song the Cowboys played was truly amazing; it honestly made me want to be a better musician.
Karl Mohr of Multibeat Records joined us as a recording assistant and for some creative recording
input, as well, our Post-Production Supervisor, Corby Luke, of ENGINEARS. With everyone’s input, we came up with a brilliant mic selection and arrangement. Although multi-engineer/sound designer/mixer input can sometimes be a problem (no, THIS is the right way, or, this is the ONLY way to mic a kit), it certainly was not in this case. The blend was perfect. In fact, Karl complimented me with much glee that I was being less bossy than normal.
The recording consisted of 2 Neumann 184s on the guitar (hole and 12th fret), plus a DI plugged straight from the guitar. The Shure SM-7 for up-close and personal vocals. One Neumann TLM 103 for the clarinets and Husuli, and one more 103 for the back of the Cajun to pick up the amazing BOOM and high end of this fantastic homemade-style hand-drum. For a little extra high-end snare qualities for this puppy, I added an SM-57.
Because of the close-proximity qualities of these mics, we were able to capture some really nice audio separation, along with the trio being able to capture their acoustic, yet intimately powerful, emotive play-style.
The Cowboy Buddha Band consists of reeds such as the sexy bass clarinet and the double-reed Hulusi by Jeremy Edwardes, acoustic guitar and vocals by John Bridgins, and the DIY sound of the Cajun by Frank Locicero. Check out their facebook page for updates and show dates. Also – I’ll be mixing their demo, so be sure to check back in for that.
I really can’t say enough about these guys: friendly, performatively conversational, lovely to work with, and a really great sound.