When You Hold Me Tight was recorded at Golden Song Recording Studios in Las Vegas, Chicago Recording Studios in Chicago, and Avalon Recording Studios in Florida, this song has been a dream come true!
And I got to work with a lot of guest artists that I truly admire.
In the "real world", there is 3-part harmony. In my head, I hear a "wall of vocals". I was always told that the only band that ever added that many harmonies was The Beach Boys, and they never did Country songs.
Everyone who has a "style" - from The Beatles to Katy Perry - were turned down by recording studios for not being mainstream. Yet each pursued their heart and eventually won over the crowd.
Starting on this track, I've kept my wall of vocals, as that's the sound I hear in my heart.
Gene Sironen - Producer
Gene's been my producer since my first song - that says it all. Besides being a world-class musician, he has a knack of getting the best performance out of all the players. Rather then saying "That was terrible!", he'll say "I think you have a better one in you"! As you can tell from his picture, he wanted to add a horn section to this track, but he settled on playing bass and percussion :)
Ryan Copt - Engineer and Mastering
Ryan had the tuff job of mixing together 7 piano tracks, 5 steel guitars, 9 electric guitars and 14 vocals - and blending them into one cohesive unit. Fortunately, he was "in the zone" on the right day!
Enrique Corro - Guitars
Like Gene, Enrique has been part of my sound since day one! No matter what I ask him to play, and how far from reality my descriptions are - he nails it on the first take! Then I ask him to play harmony to whatever he just played - LOL. I think he played 7 different guitar parts on this track. It was hard picking the keepers, as they were all great.
Tommy Wayne - Pedal Steel Guitar
Another world-class player, he happened to be at the studio recording for another artist. I asked him to stay longer! He was just supposed to add "color", but his licks were so tasty, I had to bring him front and center.
Brian Littleton - Pianos
Brian isn't a "union musician". He's the president of a totally non-related company in Chicago. But he's a friend who keeps playing piano at a lot of parties I attend. This would be a rare chance for Brian to get his playing on record - and for us to actually play together. Plus... he owns a cowboy hat! So we sent the master tape to Chicago and I participated via Skype. We had 7 tracks of lead guitar, several tracks of steel - and at this time I didn't know which ones we would keep... so poor Brian had to record tracks that matched each one!
RJ Lamarche - Backup Vocals
What are the odds that the first person I met on Hutchinson Island was a lounge singer? I watched RJ sing standards at an Italian restaurant, and he was great! What the hec! I asked him if he wanted to go outside his Sinatra niche and help me add the oohs and aahs. And it was a lot of fun!
Volary - Backup Vocals
The cool part about being based in Las Vegas is that eventually, everyone you meet online at some point comes to visit. Sam was in town for a convention, had some time to kill... so I kidnapped her and took her to the studio! She did a total of eight vocals - and they were dead on! When RJ and I went in to add the "manly" vocals, we left her solo on the bridge. There was nothing we could have added - her vocals were already airtight!
Jesse Kay - Bass Slide
When we record, they give me a click track in my ear so I can keep time, then I play the song thru live - with or without mistakes. And then we build around that scratch track. Jesse has the distinction of being the first note officially recorded for this song! After that, he became the videographer and picture taker. And chief "grief giver" when I needed his guitar for certain parts!
__________ Behind the Scenes __________
Indie Music Bus - Crowdfunding Support
Walter finds and promotes great independent talent and he does it with passion and free of charge! He supports great music. The Indie Music Bus is also extremely fuel efficient! It runs purely on independent music! And I was a lucky beneficiary.
Pat Grady - Crowdfunding Support
Officially, Pat contributed an inflatable couch to this project... which of course was the most important piece of studio gear we used! Unofficially, he anonymously contributed. Pat is a stand up guy, a great friend, and a perpetual "also-ran" in the annual Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest!
WHEN YOU HOLD ME TIGHT - HOME DEMO
Before I head to the studio, I record all the parts myself
so that my producer knows the sound I'm going after.
Here's the demo I played for Gene.
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The original artwork used for the cover of Billy Kay's single When You Hold Me Tight