Sean at Con Hall

Sean at Con Hall
Yamaha promo shot at Convocation Hall/Toronto

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Sessions

6:30 am here at the Kelly household...I've always been an early riser, which is gonna prove very helpful in a few short weeks...:)

ANYWAY, just wanted to keep things fresh here, and write about two great sessions I had this weekend...one was on a song I wrote with my good buddy Craig McConnell, and the other was with a new pal, Gavin Brown on a project for a new artist he is working with.

Craig and I have sort of come up through the ranks together....the first album we did together was 69 Duster's MANIA! in 1996, an album I still look back on fondly. Craig is now a highly sought after TV and Film composer, and is still very active in the pop world, having written and produced some new tracks on Keshia Chante's new album. He also co-produced, engineered and mixed my latest guitar album Where The Wood Meets The Wire.  For the session this week, we just needed to add some lead guitars to a song that we wrote with Marti Dodson, an American songwriter who scored some big Billboard hits with her band Saving Jane...the song we wrote was in the New Country vein, and Craig did a bang up job on the production (no surprises there)...I am so pleased with how this turned out, from the writing session with Marty, to the final product we will use to shop the song. One never knows if it will see commercial release, but as Craig and I discussed over our post-session burritos we are just happy to have made a piece of music we really dig that didn't exist before!

The next session was with Gavin Brown, a producer who is currently working with The Tragically Hip, and has produced hit records for Three Days Grace, Metric, Billy Talent and many others. I was pleased to get the call from Gavin to head over to Noble Street Studios, a gorgeous room in downtown Toronto. He was working with an artist by the name of Caitlin Kavanaugh (I checked to see if there was a relation there, as my grandmother was a Kavanaugh, we are still looking!). One of the things I love about doing sessions is the demand for instant creativity. Gavin had his crack team there (including engineer Lenny Derose, who has engineered records by KISS, Alice Cooper, Hanoi Rocks...i grew up listening to this guys work!), and the session went swimmingly. It was nice to finally record with bass monster Marc Rogers, who I had previously jammed with at the Yamaha Guitar Roadshow. Marc is a deeply creative player, and a lovely guy to boot. Gavin is very much the mad scientist in the studio, concocting amazing tones on everything he touches, and he is also a kick ass drummer. We laid the tracks down trio style, live off the floor, and then settled in for some guitar overdubs. The three songs were sounding great when I left, and look forward to hearing Caitilin's new vocals on the tracks (her demo vocals sounded fantastic!).

Surrounded by amazing gear, talented people, a vibey room and great music is a pretty great way to spend a day....and I got to do that on two occasions this week with two of the best producers in the business. Life is good.

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