Production Credits - "Good Advice"
Produced by Steve Connelly and Lee Bryant
Engineered and mixed by Steve Connelly at Zen Recording, Pinellas Park, FL
Mastered by David Pollock at The A Room Studio - New York
Additional Engineering by Lee Bryant
Lee Bryant – Lead and backing vocals, Piano, Hammond B-3 Organ, Electric Pianos, Farfisa Organ, Hand Percussion
Steve Connelly – Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel
Dan DeGregory – Drums
T.J. Glowacki – Electric and Upright Bass
Alex Spoto – Violin and Mandolin
Bobby “Tess” – Coronet
Chris “Crash” Clifton – Trombone
Jennifer Cook – Backing Vocals, Hand Claps
Cover Concept by Lee Bryant
Album layout and design by Lee Bryant and Ed Wohtil
Photography by Jennifer Cook
All songs written by Lee Bryant.
Copyright ©2006-2008 Maxhit Inc.(ASCAP) All rights reserved.
Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.
Made in the USA.
Production Notes - "Good Advice"
“Good Advice” started out as rough demos produced in my home studio. Much to my delight, the finished product is very close to what I had envisioned from the very beginning - a record that I would enjoy listening too. Hopefully it pays homage to some of my heroes which include the likes of Warren Zevon, Dire Straights, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and The Band. It might be classified as “Modern Americana.” The album was produced using a fairly conventional approach.
Bass guitar and drums were recorded first along with scratch vocal and keyboard tracks. T.J. used primarily an Alembic bass guitar through an Ampeg bass combo stack. He showed off his ability on the acoustic upright bass as well. Dan elected to use the studio drum kit with his own snare that his Grandfather once used. Some kind of rare sought after Gretsch. These two guys were real pros. Nailing solid thoughtful performances in one or two takes with out any rehearsal.
Later rhythm guitar was added. Steve used a variety of electric and acoustic guitars including: Fender, Gibson, Rickenbacker and Gretsch. These were run through various guitar processors into a Fender tube amp. Steve’s production skills really came through here. What I thought would be one or two rhythm tracks per song ended up being usually four or more in stereo, intricately woven together for a masterful layering effect. This is what gives the album a very big sound.
During this time I was recording the piano tracks at home to be later imported into the project. I primarily used an Alesis piano module which produced an amazing Bosendorfer sample and a killer overdriven Rhodes patch. On a couple of tracks I elected to use an older Kurzweil module which contained various Steinway samples for a darker more old school feel. I used an E-mu module for the Farfisa track on American Tourista. Finally, I took advantage of the studio Hammond B-3 organ and Leslie speaker. This appears on almost every track.
We then moved on to lead guitar tracks. Steve’s virtuosity really shone through here. Producing this part of the album was a joy. What I verbalized to Steve almost instantaneously came out of his guitar. I would say “give me Dire Straights here” and it’s as if Mark Knopffler walked in the room. Likewise “Neil Young, David Gilmour and Mike Campbell” seemed to have shown up for the sessions as well. Steve’s ability on guitar is only matched by his ability on pedal steel.
We finished up the instrument tracking with some odds and ends including: Violin, Mandolin, Coronet and Trombone. Alex Spoto plays Violin and Mandolin well beyond his eighteen years. His solos and vamps were thoughtful and exciting in all the right spots.
“The Devil Lives in New Orleans” called out for a Dixieland jazz horn section. Tracking down some players for this task proved a real challenge. After some diligent Internet searches I found a group of older guys who still perform this music every week to an enthusiastic crowd. Bobby “Tess” plays an amazing coronet. I was astonished to find out he plays entirely by ear and works out parts with his band mates over the phone. He also had never been in the studio. After some coaxing I got him and his talented trombonist Chris Clifton to come down to the studio to record.
Finally the vocals were laid down. Steve was instrumental in refining the harmonies and making helpful suggestions. His editing skills were greatly appreciated. Jennifer Cook put the cap on things with some nice harmonies to give even more variety to the album.
The technical aspects of the recording sessions were taken with great care. We used a variety of Class A pre-amplifiers and high quality microphones during the process. API pre-amps were used in later sessions and an AKG 4050 was used for the vocals after auditioning several alternatives. The tracks were captured and mixed using Cubase SX3 through Apogee converters. A Solid State Logics rack module was used for basic signal processing of each track. Various plug-ins were also used. Most notably a UA compressor and a Space Echo reverb unit. Some drum tracks were virtually replaced using a program called Drumagog to give more punch. Primary monitoring was achieved with a pair of bi-amped Mackie studio speakers.
Mastering the album was also taken with great care. After a couple of tries at Zen Recording, which achieved satisfactory results, we decided to do the album justice and enlist a dedicated mastering house for the job. Steve had worked with a talented engineer by the name of David Pollock out of New York and suggested we use him. Thankfully, I agreed. David used Pro Tools and Apogee converters to edit the project and a Chandler-Zener Limiter for processing. The Zener Limiter is based on the vintage EMI circuits used to record The Beatles and Pink Floyd. The basic signal path used is as follows.
--> Manley Vari-MU -->
Manley Pultec Mid-band EQ -- >
Chandler Zener Limiter -->
Apogee Rosetta AD ->
Waves Linear Phase EQ -->
Waves L3 Multimaximizer
The artwork for the album was conceived of by yours truly. Having done some graphic design work in the past I was able to come up with some pretty good ideas. It was Ed Woltil, however, that was able to take an amateurish effort and make it pro.
I chose Disc Makers as the reproduction house primarily due to their reputation and customer service. They also provide some nice turn-key solutions for online marketing and distribution.
Now the hard part begins. Stay Tuned.