DAY TWO OF THE WARNER/CHAPPEL RECORDING SESSION
I arrived at 10:00AM. This day was all about main vocals, harmony vocals and percussion at the tail end of the session.
I had to squeeze in as many main vocal tracks as possible before the professional harmonist, Kim Morrison was to arrive at noon to record her tracks. She would be singing 3-6 parts on each of the twelve songs, and doubling most of those tracks. Yes, that means three part harmony, with answering parts that also would have another three part harmony.
The pressure was on me to work fast and efficiently, not losing a hair of feeling or precision on my main vocals. I was able to record four songs before she arrived. It was important to lay down as many main vocals as possible, so that when she would record her harmony's, the rhythm and inflections would be aligned perfectly. So now I had eight of twelve main vocals recorded. I recorded the most demanding of the songs before she arrived.
Mark had never worked with such a powerhouse harmonist like her before. She knew her parts well and didn't waste a moment of time singing track after track. Her pitch was superb and her professionalism was stellar. She had sung with Roy Orbison, Mose Allison, Pam Tillis and countless other famous country artists.
I was excited for this day to work alongside a Nashville great! When she came in, you could feel her presence of confidence fill the room, as well as her lovely calming and friendly personality. Throughout the day, she would share stories of her extensive career, that dropped Mark and my jaw in awe. I had Kim start on 'I MISS YOU' - the song I was finishing up when she arrived, since that would be in her head, and fresh on her ears. I was in the engineer room with Mark, where I could hear her harmony parts, as she sung them in the vocal booth. The booth was encased in glass, so we could see each other throughout the session. She knocked part after part out. She clearly practiced and then some. She was a machine in that vocal booth!
She sang the extensive harmonies for six songs back to back. This in itself would have exhausted a 25 year old. Yet she had energy stores beyond imagination. She knew how to use her voice like a science. No wonder she made an excellent vocal instructor as well!
We now were at the song 'LOADED GUN'. This song is a 'Me Too' song and surely can be relatable to every woman in their own story, someway-somehow. It can be an emotional moving song that may evoke memories.
The next powerful song that followed was another emotionally charged song about the injustices of Native American Indians called 'Children Of The Sun'. We both had ideas of placing a sound of choral voices in the middle of the song. Yet she had perfected the idea and called me in the booth to help belt out the 'Hey-Ya's'. Kim was also part Cherokee and this song spoke to her deeply, as it did to me too. When we were singing together those parts, and stacking more and more vocal parts on top of the ones we sung, the energy in the room was SUPER CHARGED. There was an undeniable presence of Spirit (Great Spirit/God/whatever one calls the Divine) there amidst us, while singing this song. Mark felt it too!I could also feel that Kim and I connected deeply on a Heart level through those two songs. I almost felt like I reconnected with a long lost Soul-Sister. I was beaming with gratitude to say the least.
It was necessary for me to sing my final four songs before she laid down the harmonies. So I would sing the main vocals on a song, giving her a much needed break, and then she would sing the harmonies. We did that combination for the last four songs. It was a blast. We made a great tag team. We were on top of the world at the end of her session. Again, she was remarkable, in that she sung multiple tracks for twelve songs in one session. Kim was amazing in her personality, talent, skill, and professional delivery.
After she left, I recorded the percussion parts for several songs. I played tambourine, shaker and cabasa. There were songs that called for all of them. I had rehearsed well before recording. Each chart was marked exactly where and what rhythm I would play. Tamborine was marked in orange; the Shaker in blue and the cabasa was in pink. The colour codes helped me dial in quickly to each part.
After I finished the percussion, I perfected a couple main vocal parts sung earlier in the day. I also added another acoustic guitar track to 'Southern Wild'.
We called it a day - a Very Successful Day at that!