I recall at the end of my last album project, the lead guitarist, a very respected Nashville session player (of multi-genres), mentioned to me to call him when I was ready again to record my next project. I felt honoured that he was already wanting to play on the next CD! He said that he had a lot of fun playing my material and it was technically more interesting than much of the basic 1-4-5 Country songs he plays on countless sessions. (1-4-5 is a music term that comes from the Nashville Number System, whereby chords are converted to numbers so that musicians can quickly and easily learn/follow a new song. Most songs follow this basic pattern of three to five chords, with the addition of a 2minor and/or 6minor). I'm getting off course here:)
So, I gave him a call September and said,
"Paul, I'm ready to record the next album. Well I actually have four albums ready to record! (laugh) Anyway, this one will be Country. I do not know yet what studio and even the musicians accept for the keys and you - that is if you're in! I know you're more of a R&B/Soul artist. I will ask Ronnie Godfrey from my last recording project. Other than that, I know there will be twelve songs and I will be producing the project."
To my surprise, he then offered to set up the studio location on 16th Ave/Music Row, engineer and session musicians. He asked when I wanted to record. I said October. Paul called me back in an hour and said that he had the date reserved for session. The next day I had an email copied to myself, engineer, drummer, bass player and utility player (that a multi instrumentalist that usually plays fiddle, mandolin, dobro, banjo, etc.) I meanwhile called Ronnie and got a big "Yes" in wanting to be on this session. I also was extremely happy to get the Great Kim Morrison on board. She is a reputable harmony session singer here in Nashville, who has sung for many top recording and touring acts.
Finally, I needed to find the perfect Cover singer for this two day intensive recording session. This singer would have to be able to sing anywhere from 50-60 songs throughout a six hour period; would be requested to learn all of my twelve songs perfectly; would have studio experience; and have a high level of professional quality, since I run a tight ship in the studio. I made several calls to my various music contacts and eventually found the perfect fit.
Amanda Broadway, a singer/songwriter herself, sang every Thursday night downtown in a high energy groove band for four hours solid. Her husband was a studio engineer and she had extensive studio experience. Of course I gave her a sample of my songs beforehand and gave her the game plan, which meant that she would be singing my lead vocals, while I was recording my various guitar parts in the main recording room (Studio A) where the drummer and bass player were recording their tracks as well. She would be in her own little vocal room, with a window into the main room, singing a 'Mock' lead vocal/she was 'Covering' the lead vocals. More on the details of this later...
So all the musicians were on board. I had personally contacted all the musicians and engineer, providing each one the essential information to help prepare for the session.
Paul already knew that I would write out the charts, arrange and produce the session in a organised professional manner. Having worked with me before he already had a feel for my music.
For the bass and drummer, I gave them three samples of previously recorded songs. I provided Amanda all the demo'd songs as well as lyric sheets. I also provided the Utility player (dobro/fiddle/mandolin/banjo) all the songs as well, because he had specific themes to play on several songs. Many songs he would be playing two instruments. For example, he would play the fiddle on one take or two, and then play his banjo part on a following take.