FINALLY!! The long-awaited second Quenby & the West of Wayland Band album!!
We are very excited to be recording at Austin's eastside studio, 12th Street Sound (Lady Antebellum, Micky and the Motorcars, Mike Stinson) www.12thstreetsound.com with esteemed recording engineer, Kevin Syzmanski http://kevinszymanski.com from November 10th through November 13th.
The songs on deck currently consist of 9 originals and 2 covers. This album is shaping up to be heavy on the old rock n' roll feel with a peppering of different styles throughout. Baby Let Me Go (Sean Devine), Pretty Little Thing, My Baby Loves Me and No Sweat (Pinto Bennett) will set the tone for the record landing squarely in the old rock n' roll/rockabilly world. Easy veers off into the Tex-Mex world with a smooth cowboy cha-cha feel, accordion and fiddle. Russell and Ronnie hopefully puts you in mind of the bayou with its Bo-Diddley beat and accordion. You're No Good Unless You're Mine is my first song in the country blues feel. Falling Off Horses, a song I wrote years ago for a movie by the same name conjures an Outlaw Country feel with the half-time i.e., "Waylon" beat. Too Much, a melancholy ballad, and Wined and Dined, a rockin' shuffle redirect the listener to the country roots our first album grew out of. And finally, Anywhere is just a wild card. When it came to me, it arrived sounding similar to BobSeger's, Hollywood Nights. I have no idea how it's actually going to come out, but there it is to rediscovered in the studio. In case any of these just don't even approach what I was hoping for, I have also supplied the musicians with three alternates: Someone Else's Life, The Kind You Throw Away, No Rodeo Tonight (Duncan Vezain).
I am most excited about collaborating with some old friends and peers I used to play with when I lived in Texas. As of this posting, the musicians I have on board are Mike Bernal on drums and Chris Crepps on upright bass (Dale Watson), Doug Strahan (Doug Strahan and the Good Neighbors) https://www.facebook.com/StrahanATX and Phil Hurley (South Austin Moonlighters, Tracy Bonham, Gigolo Ants, Stonehoney) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Hurley are laying down lead guitar, Earl Poole Ball (Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash) www.earlpooleball.com will be tickling my ivories, Bryan Paugh (Tessy Lou and the Shotgun Stars) https://www.reverbnation.com/tessylouandtheshotgunstars will be sawing on the fiddle, Nathan Flemming (Amber Digby, Johnny Bush), Michael Guerra (the Mavericks, Texas Tornadoes) and TBD on lap….Don't miss being a part of this!
Since I have moved to Montana, I have met and played with so many talented artists and musicians and I am thrilled to add to this album the mastering expertise of my neighbor in Paradise Valley, Fred Baker.
This might be the perfect time to address the question I'm sure so many of you are asking by now. Why aren't you using those great Montana musicians and artists and their facilities? I went back and forth about this with myself over the past year and every time I imagined doing the record here at home I was plagued by memories of my old friends and collaborators, people that made a place for me and took me in in a very significant way to me musically. I just couldn't shake the compulsion to go back and revisit these relationships and fulfill some musical ideas we only had time to touch on when I was there. I have a hard time letting go of unfinished business, and that's what it felt like to me. I hadn't fully satisfied my intrigue with these friends and musicians who brought me up in Austin. So, we're doing this album back in Texas.
Now, as anyone who has ever made something out of nothing knows, the people it takes to help you are many and their roles are varied. I would first like to acknowledge Sean Devine https://www.reverbnation.com/seanmichaeldevine for blazing the path for me with his last album, Austin Blues, and for taking up the task of imagining and producing a new photo campaign for me around this new album.
Secondly, I am over-thrilled and astounded and the support of a woman I have become friends with here in Montana who is absolutely the most cheerful, capable and forward-looking person I have ever had the good pleasure to know. She approached me with ideas about how she could help, how she can make it more fun, how do-able the project is - and then turned her enthusiasm into commitments. Heidi Lea will be my right-hand woman in this project from pre-production, to getting me down there and back, to helping coordinate the revolving door of musicians, engineers, visitors and supporters, rehearsals, recordings, meals, maps and directions while we are in Austin. She's dubbed herself Gofer-Chauffeur, but you will soon see - she is so much more.
I am also very excited to be able to bring back a good friend of mine and talented photographer whom I met because of his equally impressive talent on bass, Andrew Carrell http://andrewcarrell.webs.com. He is responsible for the photo that so many of you have seen that has become a permanent fixture on my postcards, on the banner our sponsor, Willie's Distillery http://williesdistillery.com, had made for us and currently the photo ID of this fundraising campaign. He will be in studio part of each day to capture in-studio stills of us in the process and this time, because of all of you, I get to compensate him for his good work!
Finally, some of you may be familiar with my side career in the film business. Well, in all the years I've been working on other people's projects, I've never had anything made of mine. I couldn't be more excited to be collaborating with one of the best camera operators I have had the privilege of knowing and working with, Robert Rendon (Robert Rodriguez) http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0719377/ . I pray for our sakes that he doesn't pick up a job between now and then because he is The Man and I want him as Director of Photography on this project! The plan is to have him and another camera operator in to film some of the process resulting in either a music video or 'making of' DVD for those that pledge at the $2000 level and above. Which brings us to our next topic:
We have them! We will be offering everything from a signed poster at the $10 to having a song named after you at the $10k level! And if somebody out there wants to pledge the whole enchilada, I pledge to name the album after you or a loved one.
For the rest of us, there will be CDs, signed posters, signed photos from the studio shoot, tshirts for men, women and kids, ball caps, cozies, canvas military-style caps, premium tees, sweatshirts, framed and signed poster of the album artwork or in-studio photos, DVDs of the making of or a music video (TBD), house concert or private show in the venue of your choosing and executive credits and your photo on the album.
I would also like to take a special moment to highlight the donation of a great fan here in Montana, JB Gans who owns Rancho Picante, a grass-fed, Montana-raised bison ranch operation. Another wholly independently motivated angel, JB approached me months ago to offer his fine bison meats for incentive gifts, including refrigerated shipping. We are offering a package of 1lb of ground bison, 1lb of breakfast sausage and 1lb bison brats starting at the $500 pledge level. But supplies are limited! So be sure to get in on this treat and pledge early and pledge big! In the meantime, please check out his company, Rancho Picante, at www.ranchopicante.com
To make sure you know exactly what you're getting, read through the the tiers of pledging from the beginning. Some gifts being offered at the level you're considering may not be explained at that level but rather are described in detail at a lesser tier where the gift was first introduced.
Also, although there are specific packages assigned to specific pledge levels, ask me if you want to trade items out for other items. Gifts that share a similar value and cost can easily be interchanged.
Detailed business plan available upon request.
That being said, if this campaign blows us all out of the water and not only meets but exceeds our goal, here is what I'm prepared to do with your earnestly pledged money.
1. Pay for more studio time - recording and/or mixing - if needed. (For more on this, see below in the section that addresses risks and challenges of this project). Depending on the amount over, this could be another trip to Austin to capture musicians down there that we missed or could have used more of. If we only need a few licks here and there, we could easily and more cheaply get after-thought overdubs locally at Fred Baker's studio.
2. Research and hire radio promoters (you can have a hand in determining what market we do this in first for the right price. Put us on your local listener-funded or college radio station!) The going price for radio promoters is between $1000 and $3000 for 3-6months.
3. Back pay the photographer and her assistants who shot (for free) the album art in Livingston, October 2nd.
4. Compensate my Production Coordinator and point of sanity, Heidi Lea.
5. Increase the musicians modest pay.
6. Buy a Maserati.
Well, I think that does it. Hopefully I have started to address every possible question you could have, so please, comment, reply, email me, text me, stop me on the street and prove me that I'm wrong. Surprise me and I'll work really hard to come up with an answer. This project, in some ways, is just as much a mystery to me as it is to you. I trust the ingredients implicitly, wholly, but I have no idea what kid of a stew we're going to get in the end. Please, add your flavor.
Risks and challenges
So, part of any recording process, no matter how prepared you are when you get into the studio, is going to be an element of discovery and of limits. One of the most daunting aspects of this project to manage now is whether these songs will come together in the time i've reserved and budgeted for. Most of these songs I've played a million times before and can at least basically articulate what i'm going for. But there are a couple of wild cards, and there is no anticipating how long it will take to find them, if we can find them at all. Hence, the alternates I am preparing concurrent with my top 11 picks. Nevertheless, it cold be that we run out of time to execute the songs with the quality they deserve.
There are two ways to handle this depending on the money the campaign earns. If we meet our fundraising goal as I laid out but no more, then the smartest way to deal with running out of time in the studio would be to scale back the number of tracks on the record. We could just cut songs that aren't working to make time to give the attention we need to a few, say, 6 songs. So, worst-case scenario we would end up with an EP instead of a full-length album
IF, however, we don't just meet but exceed our fundraising goal. It would be more appealing to me to make a second trip and pick up where we left off with the group that's already invested in the project, make some adjustments and get after it.
Musician schedules also contribute to the difficulty of being 100% efficient. I know. It's just a fact. While all of the people I listed above are available during the week I have the studio booked, they aren't available all day every day, which bring me to my next difficulty.
Ideally, I would be able to cut each track live, with all the musicians in attendance at the same time. However, each track doesn't call for the same instrumentation as the last, and I can't afford to keep a musician sitting around the studio for four days waiting until I need them again. So, I think that some songs may end up being done in bits and pieces. You may not see that as a challenge or difficulty, but I am treating it as one and determined to schedule the smoothest possible session for everyone - accommodating the musicians and serving the song.
Another element of this recording process, even if we are winning and get to record live, will likely be going back and recording excellent vocal and rhythm guitar tracks. I have never recorded live before, so I have no idea whether my vocal performances will be worthy or if I will have to go back and over-dub them to get them just right.
If I need to over-dub them after the fact, I would prefer to do them in the same studio with the same engineer during the same trip.
If time and/or budget prohibits, I am prepared to complete them at Fred Baker's studio down the street from me here in Paradise Valley.
For reasons I started to address above, I also cannot guarantee the attendance of my DP, Robert Rendon and his crew as film jobs come up and take over your life for months at a time. As handsomely as I might pay him, it couldn't compensate for a 3-months or 6-month or 8-month job he might be offered or the relationships he maintains in accepting it.
For this challenge, I have an alternative video company whom I have worked with before.
Again, what haven't I thought of? Let me know.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (59 days)