For some reason I love Sundays in the studio. They always seem the most relaxed, with or without Bloody Marys and bagels in the lounge. And although today’s schedule was a bit intense, time just felt different. This was our second Sunday at Invisible Sound, and on this July 1st we were joined by three friends who were determined to track some incredible music. After I recorded a lead vocal, Dave Hadley came by. Dave’s a brilliant pedal steel guitarist originally from Northwest Illinois who found his way to Baltimore. Adding to many firsts on the CD, Dave played pedal steel on a song called “Looking Out the Window of My Car,” taking the tune to the country-tinged place it wanted to be. I have always loved the pedal steel for its unique, almost wistful sound. Here’s a video of Dave tuning up in the studio before tracking…
Our old friend and band-mate Willem Elsevier came by next, with violin, viola and mandolin in hands. Love Riot fans will remember Willem, who played electric violin in our alt-rock band from days gone by. Love Riot found some fame in the nineties after winning a worldwide music competition sponsored by Yamaha, along with having songs featured on the NBC TV series Homicide – Life on the Street, several soap operas and a couple movies. When Love Riot ended, everyone seemed to go about making families, and Willem came to the studio accompanied by his beautiful 9-year-old daughter Amara. While Willem played violin on an instrumental called “Any Day Waltz,” Amara and I decided to test out our waltz steps.
It was great to hear Willem play again, and I love what he tracked on the waltz and a lullaby called “Starry, Starry Night.”
After Willem, Duncan Parke joined us, along with a friend and his mom. Duncan brought his electric upright bass and added a wonderful, almost watery bass line to Mikel’s instrumental “Sea Breeze.” It seems especially fitting to have Duncan play on this CD, since his dad Steve Parke has done the graphic design on every Milkshake CD except the first one (we didn’t know him, yet). I love that this last CD will include our now-tween kids playing and singing. True, they added voices on earlier discs – Jesse was the baby gurgling on the intro to “When You Were Born,” and both Eric and Jesse sang on previous Milkshake recordings through the years. But now they also play instruments – Eric plays drums, Jesse plays piano, and Duncan plays bass.
The day ended with Cord singing some Johnny Cash-inspired vocals on “Workin’ Kid Blues” and channeling sixties rock on “Rainbow.” Another Sunday well spent.