Farewell To The Woods Hit the Studio for a Weekend of Fun

On October 18th 2013 I had the chance to work once again with the Alt/Folk/Rock band Farewell to the Woods. The band was in for an earlier session this year to record their song Col. Crane’s Fightin’ Train, and now they’re in to do a three song EP of their own original music.

As I typically like to do, I set up all the musicians in the live room.  I had Aaron set up his drums at a slight angle of the wall in one end of the room minimizing chances for any unwanted reflected sound.

Aaron preps his drums for the beginning of the session

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Sean is the low end back bone of the group, dropping in the pocket with Aaron the drummer for the rhythm section

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The newest addition to FTTW is musician Sean, a multi-talented singer and bass player.  We recorded his playing direct into the interface while in the live room there was a small amplifier we decided not to mic.

Next we had Alex on guitar playing through his VHT combo amplifier where I used an SM 57 to record the sound, standard method with it straight to the cone, just off the grill.

Alex is eager and ready to go...

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Guitar player Zach was busy Saturday doing dad duties with his two year old son Wyatt who was a real trooper till he was ready for nap time:)

Zach chats with the guys at the end of the session during vocal overdubs

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Things that I love about this group- they’re not afraid to experiment with different types of instrumentation including the custom floor tom stand on Aaron’s drums which is a storage tote. No sir, don’t need fancy gear to get a sweet recording.  Throw a little pillow underneath the tom and that tightened it right up giving it a nice snappy, punchy sound. Magic!

Day two at the studio brings a new energy with the sixth-member Trevor (vocals and keys). Such a dynamic guy and after some group discussion the band decided to re-take the three songs bringing a new fresh energy to them. We left the set-up the same focusing on the core instruments of the songs, and then would overdub all the remaining instruments including keys.  We even had the chance to break out some duct tape during a battery change on the acoustic guitar we were using for a scratch take…problem solved, battery’s in and no rattle, sweet.

Time to change the battery, cue duct tape...

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Trevor puts down his key parts for organ on the tune "Devil Man"

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Other overdubs included guitar work, harmonica, and lots and lots of vocals. This is where the true power of these songs came out, with the tight vocal arrangements between David and Trevor, with Sean adding a third harmony part, resulting in a couple ‘goose bump’ moments for myself.

David sets up his harmonica using a green bullet microphone playing through a Hoodoo Voodoo tube amp

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Although tracking is still underway adding a few additional parts such as percussion and matchstick guitar, I can tell already the songs will be great!

-Jason Suko