The strategies for recording music range from simple to complex. Technology gives more options every year. It’s dangerous though, because if you go complex these days, things can get really complicated quick, and you can lose yourself in the mix. But one strategy’s been winning for decades. Do your prep-work. Know your sound. Be good and don’t lean on technology too hard. The east coast classic rock’n’rollers The Highballers are one of the first groups to release a record in 2013. Their new record “Soft Music and Hard Liquor” (release date January 12, 2013) reflects the roots of rock music. They rolled into the studio, filed into the sound room, set the 2-inch tape rolling, and let it rip. The album sounds like... them. A roots rock group with a simple, proven roots rock album strategy.
The group shares credit for this new album with seasoned producer Don Zientara, who’s been running Inner Ear Studios in the DC-area for decades. As The Highballers lead singer Kendall Jackson explained it, Don told the group “we’re gonna produce a piece of art and that piece of art is going to be what you sound like... so if you want tremolo on your guitar, then you need to put it on the recording because we don’t want to add it later.” There would be few embellishments and no technical crutches to lean on. Don added that the result is an album that has the feel of a great show live show, where “everybody’s on key that night, everyone’s got the emotion behind them, a couple of beers but not too many...just to get a good base on.”
Under Don’s guiding hand, the group laid down eleven tracks and ended up with a new album that carries on the legacy of roots rock and Americana into the new year 2013. The Highballers will follow up the release with another winning move. This spring they’ll take their rock show on the road, heading up the east coast, then back down into the Carolinas, and on across the gulf coast to Texas.
Buy a copy of this new album for your collection and learn about The Highballers here:
BONUS: Listen to the finished version of the song your hear Kendall working on in the video here: