Obviously for most of us this has been a rough year. For myself and my fellow musicians, audio engineers, stagehands, booking agents and venue owners to name just a few of the cogs in the wheel of the entertainment industry; the word rough is an understatement. It has been downright devastating! I have seen venues close their doors for good. Bands stopped dead in their tracks unable to tour. Sporting events having to completely restructure etc etc etc
During this sad situation I am so grateful to have kept pretty busy doing the things I love most: performing music live and recording/producing music in the studio.
Because of the many many outdoor music venues in my home state of Wisconsin and due to the fortunate timing of Covid hitting in spring; I played many many shows at very well maintained and socially distanced venues and events. These were mostly joining Matt MF Tyner on guitar and mandolin. Mucho thanks Matt for getting me out of the house wherein I surely would’ve been bouncing off the walls after having everything I do stop cold!
One surprising and really fantastic thing that started shortly after the lockdowns; I started to get calls to record and produce many artists. Due to the layout of my recording studio I am able to completely isolate every musician and myself while working on music. Not ideal obviously as us muso types like to be in the same room to feel and feed off each others creative energy but thankful that we could do anything music related at all!
That said this is a shoutout to all the great artists that have helped me keep my sanity and my the rent paid during the past 8 months and currently!
Floor Model – got their record done right before Covid hit. It has been on college radio charts and is being very well received! Super fun power pop punk.
Julie Brandenburg – Julie and I were in a band in the 90’s called True Heart Susie. She asked me to finalize her first solo record (a theme for me in 2020!) and I am starting to mix it this month. Julie is a accomplished singer songwriter / pianist who also happens to have written many symphonies! She has a great teaching studio here in Milwaukee, WI – Be Sound Any local musician (or out of town through the magic of Zoom) would benefit getting vocal training from her as she has dedicated the last couple decades to this fine art!
Willy Porter – The legendary acoustic guitarist phenom/ singer songwriter himself came into the studio to record a ditty about 45 and his personal feelings on that controversial President. I played bass and guitar and had a blast working w him once again! Fun fact: Willy had the studio space I have now for Hamtone Audio and signed the lease over to me 10yrs ago or so. This was his first time stepping back into his old creative space! More songs to come as we had a wonderful time working on his song Lies Are All You Have!
20 Watt Tombstone – This crushing power duo came in to do a tribute single over the summer. We recorded versions of ZZ Top’s Just Got Paid and Chris Stapelton’s Midnight Train to Memphis. It rocks!! They were over the moon when I texted Bill Burr and gave them a shout out to him as they are huge fans (as am I!)
Tinker aka Jaymz Lennfield aka Michael Tierney – Beatallica founder and fellow bandmate came in and recorded his 1st solo record (see what I mean?? ) of acoustic music. Watch for a release later 2021! (And a bunch of great Beatallica news!)