I found that working with this group on their new LP ‘Waste of Time’ was anything but. It’s difficult to put a finger on the exact genre of music this group creates, but I love the energy. Led by the primary songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist, Kevin Pfefferle, Stoned Evergreen Travelers releases a free-flowing style of music that has been influenced by genres such as metal, rock, rockabilly, and even some blues.
One stand-out aspect to this group is their unusual stand-up bass, which was recorded directly out through the Galen Krueger bass amp head employed by TJ Demots. This was an ideal setup for her bass tone because there was no sound bleeding in the room. We also chose to maximize the clean recording of the live drums by direct recording the guitar which was done using a Crate pre-amplifier, recording scratch takes that would later be re-tracked. All in all, the only sound in the room was the steady beat of drums, performed by Jeff Greer. On Jeff’s drum kit I got a chance to try a new microphone technique, using my new SM 81 microphone (yessssss….) as a center overhead mic. I ran the Sm 81 through the DBX tube preamp which gave the whole drum sound in the room a live feel and helped capture smack and the energy of the tunes. All of this was completed on day 1.
Day 2 consisted of setting up the two guitar cabinets, for rhythm and leads powered by Kevin’s custom amp. For each cabinet I used two microphones. The first one used the Cascade Fathead microphone in conjunction with an SM 57 for the tone. I often use this method as it allows to easily blend the best each mic has to offer to get a big sound. The Fathead short ribbon sounds thick and yet responsive, while the SM57 has the classic edge that helps the guitars cut through a dense mix. We had to adjust the microphone position a couple times just to get the right chunky rich sound that we were looking for, but when we got the right sound, it rocked (pun intended). The amplifier was made by Dave Bristol, a custom built 36 watt unit which we turned up the volume to, allowing the power tubes to push, which always gives the most pleasing distortion to guitar and what makes tube amps so invaluable. For the lead guitar amp sound, the Marshall 4 x 12, we used sure SM 57 microphone and a cascade long ribbon Vin jet microphone to blend those together.
The other wildcard of this group to the stand up bass came from Mischance Kianne who added some wicked fiddle playing, often going through a delay effect giving the music a cool, original twist to the songs. The final part of any great recording project is cutting the lead vocal… Kevin just killed it!
I had a lot of fun working with these artists recording, mixing and mastering their songs and
because of the level of trust that is built up over such a project I now consider them friends. Stone Evergreen Travelers just wrapped up a June Summer tour and you can find them playing all around the Northwest. Check out some of their songs on their website and news on Facebook.