The blues/rock group Blue Laces has gone through different band member iterations over the last couple years but one constant remains, and that’s Blue Laces top notch-talent. I started with recording this project in September 2014, and they will be releasing this album April 19th here in Olympia. Good things come to those with patience. Blue Laces had been in the studio previously and recorded a number of tracks with great success so I kind of knew what to expect in round two.
Currently Blue Laces is Louis Van Camp – Guitar/Acoustic Guitar, Nikko Pisciotti – Vocals/Electric Guitar and Alek Gayton – Drums. Before Alek joined, additional drums for this project were added by Chris Shealy filling in on a number of tracks. Also sitting in was Nick Rawson on bass who had played in the Elliot Weeks Quintet with Louis that recorded in my studio number of years ago. Nick is currently attending the Berklee School of Music, and has amazing skill at playing the bass guitar with a great ear. This group of accomplished musicians know the sound they’re looking for and have the chops to put it to tape, or hard drives as it were 🙂 . It was a fun session, and I try to keep it loose at all times letting the guys cruise through the session at their own pace.
Louis plays guitar with feel and tone, and I know that within just a couple takes there will be some real magic. One of the new wildcards in the group is member Nikko who is a very accomplished guitar player in his own right. He is equally at home on vocal and has great pitch and real purpose in his voice. I really enjoyed his phrasing and selection of notes on the songs as his melodies are very consistent and solid. He has a keen sense for production and acted as producer through much of the session with Louis. I would later find out that Nikko and Louis have a great ear for mixing as the guys would take the tracks and mix on their own before bringing them back into the studio to master.
The guys brought in Chris Shealy a long time friend of mine to do drums. Chris is a fantastic drummer and it was good to have him back doing music with me again. I was impressed with his ability to pick up the tunes with these guys after having very limited rehearsal time.
Drums, bass, guitar from Louis and guitar for Nikko were all recorded simultaneously. Nikko also cut a scratch vocal track to guide everybody through the songs and give the playing some attitude. We spent two days recording 9 songs. Toward the end of the second day we did additional overdubs of electric guitar and vocals to fill the songs out. The direct bass guitar signal was re-amped out of the workstation and into the room through the base cabinet that Nick brought which was a Gallien Krueger combo amp. That was mic’d up to get a full, fat sound so that the direct sound from amp and the mic’d speaker using a Sterling FET microphone could be blended together. I then exported the tracks in high resolution to give the guys so they could continue with overdubs of other instruments and percussion, harmonies etc…
Ultimately they decided to record additional songs on their own after adding drummer Alek, who has recently gained the prestigious honor of being selected to the drum line of the Seahawks “Blue Thunder!”, sweet. Nikko and Louis also did their own mixing on the project before bringing me the files to do a final mastering. I’m impressed how well the songs blended together seeing that they were recorded in some very different spaces. That can always be a tricky thing to match during mastering, but care during mixing made it much more attainable.
Make sure to catch the guys playing soon as they have a CD release party for this project coming up here in April and they’re good, real good.