It's been a great autumn here in Nashville and now the page turns to winter. As I peck this note and look out the window, the bare trees silhouetted against the grey sky and a cold snap in the air, I'm reminded just how much I love summer's sunshine and warmth. I'll be counting the days.
I've had some nice projects over the last months, one that I'd just begun as of the last up-date was the soundtrack to a movie about Hank Williams starring Tom Hiddleston. We recorded 20+ Hank songs staying very true to the original recordings and the music came out wonderfully. Those songs have been pushed and pulled so many ways over the years that it was really good to get back to what made them tick in the first place. The movie is still shooting, currently on location in Shreveport, Louisiana and I'll keep you posted when it will be coming out.
I spent several days toward the end of October in Cleveland, Ohio rehearsing and playing a big tribute show to The Everly Brothers put on by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Graham Nash, Peter Asher, Vince Gill, Keb Mo, Emmylou Harris, Ledisi, The Secret Sisters and Waddy Wachtel were just a few of the artists who were there to sing the Everly songbook and pay tribute to the brothers. It was a fabulous show with the artists teaming up in duo combinations to perform those fantastic songs. Sadly, Phil Everly died earlier this year but Don was at the show and accepted a Music Masters Award from the Hall of Fame then joined us on stage to sing Bye Bye Love. At 77 he still sounds like he did at 20. It was one of the best nights of music I've been part of.
Just on the tail end of a new bluegrass-gospel album with Dave Peterson, all recorded completely live, with no headphones, in the studio... vocals, harmonies, solos... everything goes down as a single performance. We recorded 5 sides for the record with mandolin legend David Grisman and it was an honour to share a studio floor with him. I'll keep you posted when this one comes out. Regardless of your belief system or lack of it, this is really great music.
Spent a day recording one song with Miranda Lambert a couple of weeks ago that will be used as part of an advertising campaign for Dodge Ram. I always enjoy making records with her. I also have been recording with the great L.A. folk rock band Dawes. This album is being produced by my friend Dave Rawlings who is a tremendous guitar player and partners with Gillian Welch. We recorded at the old Woodland Studios in east Nashville. The studio was built in the '60s and was formerly a movie theatre going back to the 1930s. I produced and played on many records at Woodland in the '80s and '90s but hadn't been in there in 14 years. Gillian and Dave bought the studio 12 years ago and use it just for their own projects. They've done a wonderful job in saving the studio as it no doubt would be demolished as the business is not what it used to be and the land it sits on is extremely valuable now. Gill and Dave have been restoring the studio to it's original state tearing out all kinds of '90s "improvements". It was so good being back in that wonderful facility again and playing with Dawes was a joy.
I just heard that my friend and legendary recording engineer and producer John Hampton died. John was a fixture at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee for 4 decades and a whole lot of folks including me are going to miss him. He mixed a lot of the records that I produced and I always looked forward to spending a couple of weeks with John at Ardent. He was a wonderful guy.... no one else like him. Here's to you Hampton and here's a link that tells you a bit more about him:
I've been in the studio for my own new album since the last up-date and heading in again in January to wrap the whole thing up. I plan to have it out in April of 2015.
The holidays are on us now and I wish each of you a happy season and all the best in the coming year.