I’ve had the idea for a couple years to call a record “Bob On A Stick” with the songs and a PDF file of the liner notes and lyrics on thumb drives. That time has come. On this memory stick are 14 new songs and here, on this PDF file, are the liner notes, lyrics and lots more info about this project.
I lived in Sacramento for 15 years during the ’70’s and ’80’s playing and singing with a group of fabulous musicians including Pat Minor, Jim Caselli, Shelley Burns, Lance and Kelsey Taber, Tracy Walton, Bruce Leino and Larry Tagg who also became lifelong friends. We all recorded many hours at David Houston’s Moon Studio from its early incarnation as a 4-track, then an 8-track, then 16 and finally a 24 track two-inch…all analogue.
On March 11th & 12th and November 18th & 19th of 2017, those favorite Sacramento musicians/friends joined me at Moon Studio to record the 14 new songs on this memory stick. A single AEA R88 ribbon mic was used with David Houston engineering and giving astute production/arrangement advice on every song. He strategically placed each of us around the mic as we recorded 7 songs on each weekend. Spending those two weekends with this group of talented friends had the magical feeling of being in a bubble of creativity driven by love that came from decades of friendship and working together.
The sessions were a group participation with excellent arrangement ideas and on-the-spot creativity of song parts. The approach was to run thru each song a few times with everyone finding their places and then…hit the record button, play-and-sing with no overdubs, no splicing and no mixing. As the recording of each song ended, it was done!
Some of the tracks had orchestrated endings while others had ride outs the often ended in spontaneous outbursts of glee knowing we’d made it to the end of the song with no mistakes. I wanted to keep it really live and capture as much chatter during the sessions as possible. However, that idea got greatly diminished in order to fit all the songs and the PDF file on 128 megabyte memory sticks.
In order to bring the songs in under the 128mb limit, we had to fade a few of the planned endings and cut out most of the chatter bits that were hilarious in the spirit of “Ya had to be there”. Living with the songs for many weeks, I also realized there were a few edits that would not only cut off some time but also tighten up a few of the song arrangements.
My pal Chris Gage at Moonhouse Studio in Austin mastered the songs on January 17th-18th, March 2nd and 27th of 2018. I’ve worked with Chris on most of the recordings I’ve done over my 8 years in Austin. He is the fastest ProTools engineer I’ve ever seen not to mention his total command of every instrument in his studio. He is currently the guitarist with Jerry Jeff Walker and has a career-studded past working with the best of the best.