On December 21, I had a studio session to complete the vocals and harmonica for a couple of songs on a forth coming NiteRail CD (assuming we finish writing it). I chose to not be at the tracking session for these two cuts and hadn’t really had the chance to listen to them before going in.
I do not have audio from the session yet. I did take some pics and vids with my phone, but the quality of the audio was so bad I didn’t save it. I will post the rough mixes on this blog after Christmas.
I used an Ultimate 57 plugged straight in to my HarpGear Double Trouble. I chose to not use a delay pedal. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a short or long delay (or combo) on one of the tracks, so I decided to add it in from the board. Playing totally live in this particular room was really unforgiving. No hiding any mistakes here!
I did mike both my speakers, which are not stock. The condenser is on a Weber Sig Ceramic, and the 57 is on a Weber 8F125. I felt the playback sounded pretty much identical to what I was hearing in the room at the time.
For the two tunes, I was able to use quite a few harps. On one track (“North Wind”), I used an A, B, and E…the other (“Eventually”) was an Ab harp. The intro is in second position on an A harp. Then I switch to a B harp to follow a key change during the guitar solo. “North Wind” has some pretty crazy third position stuff towards the end on an E harp. Originally I cut the solo to be very melodic and spacey. The engineer suggested I try a few takes going all out. In the end, I kept the all out track…it is fast, flashy, and intense, but it fits the tune really well.
“Eventually” had me jamming over a short, funky vamp and playing back up harp (which is not something I do a lot of). Typically, I’d play third position for funk, but this song was dying for some low harp. In my head, I was totally hearing William Clarke, but the solo was so short (and only one chord) that I ended up with jazzier feel by phrasing around the 5th and 7th of the chord…almost like playing third position on the wrong harp! I guess I ended up with a Carey Bell meets Pat Ramsey sort of thing going, ha!