Back in October of 1993, I took out a classified ad in The Nashville Scene, looking for a good musical opportunity. The newly formed group “Ricochet” was still looking for a permanent keyboardist, steel guitarist and bass player. I joined in October, followed by Greg Cook (bass) in January and Teddy Carr (steel) in February. Already in the band were Heath Wright (lead vocals, elec. guitar) and brothers Jeff Bryant (drums) and Jr Bryant (fiddle). Back in the mid 1990’s country music was incredibly popular, as evidenced by the number of country dance halls and big clubs that featured new and upcoming talent. We honed our craft on the road, playing 5 nights a week around the country. In June of 1994, Columbia records signed us to a developmental deal (we cut 3 songs in the studio). When they signed us to the label, our producers (Ron Chancey and Ed Seay) started looking for songs. we came across Daddy’s Money soon after Ron Wallace (another SONY recording artist) sang the demo. We immediately put the song on hold, and it became our only #1 record.
Much more on Ricochet in the coming blog posts. For now, enjoy our first music video, shot at Little Bit Of Texas, St. Louis MO, November 1995.
I keep busy throughout the year producing artists from around the country and most of them are experiencing the Nashville recording experience for the first time. In addition to the excitement of making a “record” in Nashville, there comes the importance of getting the most value for your budget, using proper time management and correctly completing the necessary contractual paperwork to record and distribute music.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about people who come to Nashville only to be ripped off by a less than honest producer or manager. Every chance I get, I try to educate aspiring artists about the true nature of the recording process; what to expect, what not to expect, and most importantly, where the money goes. Be wary of “project quotes” that don’t have every single expense clearly written in black and white. If your producer can’t tell you what something really costs (or give a very close estimate), move on! Trust me on this one!
There are many different scenarios that bring people to Nashville to record. Certainly the most common is the opportunity to make music with the most talented musicians and engineers on the planet earth. I’m not kidding. I’ve been doing this for 18 years, and I never cease to be blown away very time I sit behind a recording console and watch the magic happen. It’s hard to describe, but easy to hear.
So, in my future blog posts I’ll share some of the responsibilities I have as a producer/songwriter, and I’ll describe the recording process from start (looking for songs) to finish (holding the finished cd in your hand). I’ll include real world budget figures too.