Hello everyone! What a beautiful Spring it has been! Having recently been in Texas (I Love Texas!!!) and seeing the gorgeous Texas wildflowers, namely Texas Blue Bonnets, it makes me just want to move there. Read this….
I had a great time with my buddy Kelly Barber in Hawkins getting guitars and amps ready then over to Kelly Donnelly (engineer) at Eric Johnson’s studio. I also went to see Eric and met Mike Stern there at the studio as they were recording a new project together. That… by the way is going to be incredible!
I recorded some things for my compilation album of all original songs from the mid-nineties up to 2005 when Bridging the Gap was recorded. I re-recorded Gitarre 2000, Passings, and Nothing’s Too Good for a Friend. Kelly Donelly and I also revisited some things I had started on for my new album before I really got involved in the Christmas record last year. Which now brings me to what I did last week…
I went to San Fernando, CA to “Aspen’s Place” that belongs to the great Aspen Pittman of Groove Tubes fame. His engineer, Brian Ascenzo is an old friend who I first met at Paul Huber’s store in Fraser, MI. Last year I recorded several songs at Aspen’s place for the Christmas CD (Greensleeves, Christmas at Knebworth (with you). Since then, he has added a wonderful isolation room for recording acoustic guitars, vocals, drums or whatever the need is. It was so cool recording around Aspen because his inventive and creative spirit is always at work. In fact, if something comes to mind that makes it better or an idea of something that we’ve never tried… he jumps to it! Just to see all his cool tube pres and such makes for a very interesting and pleasant experience.
This pretty much explains Aspen’s ability to take something such as ampifier tubes and eventually become the King of that domain… that is until Fender bought him out a few years ago. Still, Groove Tubes remain the authority in the music world. Another thing about Apen’s Place is… well, actually many things… many many things. I’ve never seen such collections as his in mics, guitars, amps, cars, car memorabilia, studio related memorabilia, lava lamps and even the guitar players’ stool (which I indeed used the entire time) from the old Columbia Studios in Hollywood that Tommy Tedesco, Joe Pass, Barney Kessell and many others used there. You never knew what car he was going to drive to the studio from day to day. Cool thing is, I got to ride in them. Once again we went to the “Bear Pit Barbeque” that was once partnered and endorsed by the Ole Pea Picker himself… Tennessee Ernie Ford. I think that day it was his 1967 GTO. Wow, what a week! I will continue to work on my project and keep you guys informed. Main thing is, I’m having a lot of fun with it and I hope it comes out sounding that way!
I had a great time with Guild reps Max Peterson in Abilene, TX and Paul Harris at Instrumental Music in Thousand Oaks and also at Kirk Sand’s Guitar Shoppe in Laguna Beach, CA. Each night was literally packed with guitar people. I love it! I love my new guitars and hope you’ll also come and experience one of these events in your area. I finally have all three of my signature guitars, the 6 string and 12 string acoustics and my Kirk Sand/Guild model.
Already we’re seeing some storm devastation around the country. When the wildflowers bloom storms also come up. Pray for these folks and their families in these affected areas. These are strange times. My mother and I were talking about this just today. I don’t remember ever seeing or hearing of this type of thing so common as it is today. Please watch the news or your cell phones or computers and try to keep safe. I trust you all will be and please come out anytime I’m in your area.
Until then, have a blessed Spring!
(By the way… did you read above “I Love Texas in the Spring?” Read it again… slow.)
*Studio Pictures below: Aspen’s Place Studio in San Fernando, CA. (with Engineer, Brian Ascenzo)
Check out some of Doyle’s workshop at Instrumental Music in Thousand Oaks, CA!