February 1, 2012
January 10, 2012
Los Angeles, CA
There’s nothing quite like trying to make something cool happen – especially at the last minute. Longtime Shure user and recording engineer Cliff Goldmacher called me to see if it was at all possible to get hold of an SM7B he wanted to use the next day to track vocals with Antonia Bennett, daughter of the famous Tony Bennett. He was heading down to Southern California and could pick it up in the LA area if one was available. Antonia tours with her father quite frequently and Cliff wanted to catch her before she hit the road again.
I quickly placed a call to our local Rep firm, Audio Geer and it just so happened they had one in house. (Thanks guys!!)
I exchanged information on the result is what you see below. Antonia cut a track co-written by Cliff while listening through a set of Shure SRH840 headphones.
For those of you who are not familiar with the SM7B as a studio vocal mic, it is worth looking into as several Award winning artists and engineers use this as their “go to” vocal mic for recording.
January 27, 2012
January 19-22, 2012
Anaheim, CA – Anaheim Convention Center
Yeah, that’s right! We rocked at this show!
From our new products, awesome booth and even more awesome Shure staff, we had an amazing 4 days. We even brought in some of the most recognized names in the music industry to sign autographs and perform in our booth.
The very first day, Thursday, we had producer/engineer Ken Caillat in for an Q & A about his experiences with Shure products and more. Directly after that, his daughter Colbie Caillat jumped onstage to sing and then signed autographs for fans.
Following Colbie was a new group from the southern California called The Makepeace Brothers who sang a few short songs for host of attendees. They had great 4 part harmonies and have performed with endorser Jason Mraz in the past.
After the show closed for the day, a few of us made our way over to the Hilton for the 3rd Annual Worship Night which Shure has been a part of since the beginning. Israel Houghton & New Breed opened the show and endorser Lincoln Brewster closed it out. It’s always great to see this event well attended.
Friday’s lineup was pretty stellar! It kicked off with Heavy Metal group Meshuggah who were followed by Lincoln Brewster. After that, Alice Cooper showed up and were immediately followed by Korn. Two humongous lines encircled the booth for both acts…it was quite a site to see. Jonathan Davis, “Fieldy”, and “Munky” all came to greet fans.
Following the close of Friday in the booth, I was invited by my contact at Meyer Sound to be a guest at their table for the TEC Awards where Shure won for 2 new products – The Beta 181 side address condenser microphone as well as the PGXD Digital wireless systems. Meyer also won an award for their new MINA sound systems. Congrats to all the TEC award winner!
Saturday, the one and only Rob Halford or Judas Priest, a longtime Shure user came in to sign and stayed past his allotted time for fans. Following Rob was a new group called Dawes who sang a couple of songs and then signed.
Many other artists stopped in to say hello including Sheila E., Sinbad, Herbie Hancock, drummer Steve Smith, Richard Patrick of Filter, drummer Kenny Aronoff, and many more.
It is so awesome to have so many great new products to show everyone this year ! We have such a knowledgeable and engaging staff that love taking people through our products. Keep visiting this blog as well as our main website for more details as the year goes on.
Enjoy the pix!
January 13, 2012
January 12, 2012
Nashville, TN – The Ryman Auditorium
There is such a wonderful feeling when you know you are watching something special. Whether it’s a great movie, football games when everyone player giving 150 % (I’m talking Walter Payton 150 %), or a music group that draws you in.
Part of my role in Artist Relations involves seeking out artists that have the ability to influence other artists and people in many ways, but namely musically. After all, that is where it should start, right? You know from my past blogs about The Civil Wars and also from word of mouth (if you are now following them) that they are one of those artists.
How is it possible that 2 singers/ instrumentalists can grab an entire audience and keep them as quite as a sleeping child during each song? You just have to go see it for yourself. They have so much fun, sing and play so well, that you have absolutely no choice but to be quite and enjoy every second. Backstage before the show, I was talking with singer/songwriter/guitarist John Paul White who said he has been looking forward to this show for such a long time and that’s what I told him to do – “enjoy every second.”
After the first 2 songs, singer/songwriter/pianist Joy commented to the audience that she probably should not have worn too much black mascara and John Paul said “me either” which was just one of many funny comments during and evening filled with laughter and great music. Both Joy and John Paul were very emotional about this show and toasted the audience several times for making their first show at the historic Ryman Auditorium a sell out. It has been their dream to play here. When they initially got together as a team, neither imagined that it would lead to this moment.
Here they are though. Their singles and the albums have captured so much attention. Their live performances have gathered acclaim from many of their peers, including 2011’s Top selling artist Adele.Before Adele though, right here in Nashville, was where they captured the attention of a younger artist.
Towards the end of the evening, John Paul started mentioned how the group likes to give back to the community and help out “less fortunate” artists. He went on to say that they found an artist that they thought could benefit from an appearance with them but that she was a bit “shy.” John Paul and Joy motioned for her to come out on stage. Seconds later, Taylor Swift strolls on stage and sings a song with the group called “Safe & Sound“. This beautiful song is included on the upcoming release of The Hunger Games soundtrack. (I just finished this great book myself and am looking forward to starting the second book)
Taylor became a fan of the group when they performed at The Belcourt Theatre. She tweeted about them and this certainly helped their cause of trying to expand their fan base. Thanks Taylor!
I also got the chance to meet with the groups’ videographer Allister Ann. Allister has been capturing video and photos on the road for a while now and does some amazing work. She took the time to interview the group for us. You can watch that video here.
Many of their family members were in attendance for the show. John Paul jokingly commented that “My whole family tree is here and y’all are probably part of it since we are here in the South.”
Look up their schedule online and if they are not coming to a town near you, MOVE! Seriously, it is worth a road trip to see their live show…it IS something special.
January 12, 2012
January 9, 2012
Here we are, fresh into 2012, and what better way to kick of a new year than with a great new album!
Darrin Vincent, one half of Bluegrass super group Dailey & Vincent strolled down the hall with a copy of their new record, The Gospel Side of DAILEY & VINCENT, along with some coupons for breakfast at Cracker Barrel for my family (Thanks Darrin!) If you are not familiar with the works Dailey & Vincent yet, this is a great place to start.
The first track, “Living in the Kingdom of God”, is written by Darrin’s partner Jamie Dailey and the fantastic harmonies that have made this group so popular work their magic all through this record. Halfway through the record, there’s a track called “Family Bible” written by Willie Nelson. For this track, Darrin brought in his parents, Johnny & Carolyn, to harmonize with him. Pictured below are the three singing into a pair of KSM44‘s while Darrin is sporting a set of Shure SRH440 headphones.
Another fun track called “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord” showcases the bass vocal talents of group member Christian Davis.
Other songs covered on this CD on the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store label include: “Come Back to Me” written by Jimmy Fortune, “Daddy Sang Bass” by Carl Perkins and “Welcome Home” by Dolly Parton.
Next time you are on a road trip and see that Cracker Barrel logo coming up on the next exit, take a break, order up the Old Timer’s breakfast and then grab a copy of this CD on your way out. You’ll be singing along in no time!
December 7, 2011
December 5, 2011
Las Vegas – MGM Grand Garden Arena
This was the second ACA show for Fox Network. Production Mix Engineer Klaus Landsberg invited me to come out on behalf of Shure for this years’ show as they were going to be using primarily Shure wireless. Sound Company ATK Audiotek would be providing the 26 channels of UHF-R Wireless systems and the 8 channels of PSM1000 ear monitor systems with multiple beltpacks as well as a compliment of wired mics.
Before flying out for this show, I received a text Friday evening from Earl Neal, FOH engineer with recently signed Shure Artists The Band Perry that the group wanted to use stock Super 55 ‘s on this show. Prior to this show, they used darker gold painted Super 55’s on both the CMA’s in October and the Grammy Nominations Concert just last week. Earl said they wanted to use the stock model and did I know of any place in either LA or Vegas that would have those. I suggested a dealer in LA but that was the only dealer I could think of that would have 3-4 of those. On my way to the airport the next day, I called Earl to see if he had any luck. We talked about some other options but he then mentioned he might send his wife over to Soundcheck to grab the 4 that were stored in Patty Loveless’ locker (an artist he’s worked for). He got Patty’s permission. I told him I could swing by and pick them up on my way to the airport and carry them out with me. The Band Perry has now requested this mic on 3 major TV broadcasts! They love the Super 55!
I arrived after 10 pm in Vegas on Saturday. The next morning, I received credentials and headed towards the backstage area at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Stopping at monitor world, Mike Parker was deep into learning a new DigiCo console. About the PSM1000’s, Mike commented “I never leave home without them.”
Right next to him, I saw a table lined with over 20 P10R’s waiting for fresh batteries… a thing of beauty! Had to grab a shot of that! Behind me, I spotted another photo op. Two racks of UR, 26 channels and a rack of 8 PSM1000’s. Of the 11 performances on the show, 8 of the used Shure on lead and backing vocals. They also used 2 UR2/KSM9 transmitters for hosts Trace Adkins and Kristin Chenoweth. From Trace’s incredibly deep voice to Kristin’s whose voice is high pitched, the KSM9 worked very well. ATK also utilizes 2 UR1’s for their podium mic setup.
I then went out to Front of House where Mikel Stewart of ATK was at the house production mix spot, the same role he takes at the Grammy’s and probably many more shows. At the House music mix position was Ron Reeves, the spot he also enjoys at the Grammy’s (and many other shows). One of Ron’s first comments was to pay compliments to the KSM 137’s they have been using on overheads at this show. He likes to get most of his drum sound off of the overheads and loves these.
Klaus Landsberg was a wonderful host and said I could come into the production mix truck anytime I wanted to. It was also great to see a lot of familiar crew people in site. The rehearsals went very well, mostly ahead of schedule.
The Shure artists that performed on the show included Trace Adkins, The Band Perry, and Toby Keith. Other artists that used Shure vocal mics included Thompson Square, Scotty McCreery, Chris Young, Eli Young Band, and Alabama! Everyone used and enjoyed the use of the PSM1000 for their ear mixes.
Another show full of great Shure products with great artists!
November 10, 2011
Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NV
Every year, in the beginning of November, Latin music’s hottest acts converge on Las Vegas to celebrate the Latin GRAMMY’s. This year Latin GRAMMY week was busier than ever with interviews, rehearsals and pre-Latin GRAMMY parties that had city of sin sizzling with excitement. I arrived on Monday to attend rehearsals all week in support of the show and make sure that our endorsers and any artist using Shure were well supported and had the gear that they needed in order to sound how they want for their performances. I was happy to discover that the majority of the artists performing chose Shure mics and in-ear monitors for their performances.
Tuesday’s rehearsals kicked off with longtime Shure users Los Tigres del Norte featuring Paulina Rubio and continued with Reyli and Pepe Aguilar with his Maricahi. Later that evening, Shure Endorsers Calle 13 took the stage after arriving from a 14 hour flight from Chile and a four hour drive from LAX. After almost 20 hours traveling they finally arrived to Las Vegas right before their rehearsal was scheduled to begin. Once arrived, they were exhausted but excited for their rehearsal with the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar of Venezuela that was conducted by none other than prodigious Gustavo Dudamel. According to Calle 13’s Tour Manager, they have been on tour non-stop and have not had a chance to rehearse with the orchestra. He said that they had to send the music via email to Dudamel and this was the first time they would be rehearsing together. It was amazing to watch Calle 13 and the orchestra, come together as if they have played a whole tour together after only a few run throughs. Of all the rehearsals I have witnessed to that point, this one was the most powerful, and it would go on to prove to be true of the rest. I could not wait to see it in front of a full house.
Wednesday’s rehearsals were not to be outdone. They kicked off with Marco Antonio Solis and continued throughout the day with Wisin & Yandel featuring Sean Kingston, Shakira, Romeo Santos featuring Usher, Pitbull and Marc Anthony and finished with Shure Endorsers Maná featuring Prince Royce. Needless to say it was an action packed day that was highlighted by entertaining rehearsals by Pitbull and Marc Anthony as well as Maná with Prince Royce. Later that night I attended BMI’s Los Producers Charity Show where some of the industry’s leading producers and engineers formed bands to play covers of popular 80’s jams to raise awareness and hold a silent auction for The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. Many artists came to this event to support their producers and engineers friends who usually reside behind a mixing console.
Thursday was show day and after a full run through of dress rehearsals it was time for the show. While the lights in the arena dimmed and the Orchestra led by the maestro Dudamel played, Rene “Residente” Perez of Calle 13, armed with a SM58 in hand and the PSM1000, opened the show with a simple message, “I’d like to dedicate this song, to all of the Latin Americans that are here tonight, from the deepest part of my heart, and to everyone watching on TV throughout Latin America, I hope it transports to your barrios, to your streets, to your roots, to the pains of your countries and that you feel it here in your chest.” The song Calle 13 performed was “Latinoamérica” which later went on to win the Latin GRAMMY for song of the year. The song begins by saying…
“I am, I am what was left behind, I am the left overs of all that has been stolen, A village hidden in the peak, my skin is made of leather to withstand any climate. I am a factory of smoke, A peasant working hand for your consumption, a cold front in the middle of the summer, Love in the Time of Cholera, my brother… The sun that is born and the day that dies, with the most beautiful dawns…”
After a few more verses the chorus says…
“You cannot buy the wind, you cannot buy the sun, you cannot buy the rain, you cannot buy the warmth, you cannot buy the clouds, you cannot buy the colors, you cannot buy my happiness, you cannot buy my pain…”
These words received a very emotional standing ovation because it was a very fitting and touching way to start the show since it poetically describes the struggles that Latin America has faced and how it has conquered them with its people’s unity and resolve. Looking around the room I saw many tears in the eyes of those around me. It was the most powerful musical moment I have ever witnessed. After the performance, I stood their wondering how this was received on the other side of the TV throughout the millions of homes not only throughout “Latinoamérica” but also throughout the homes of Latinos around the world. Shortly after I started receiving messages from friends and family saying how beautiful that moment was.
Calle 13 would go on to take over the night by winning 9 out of 10 Latin GRAMMY’s they were nominated for giving them a record total of 19 Latin GRAMMY’s which surpassed Juanes’s old record of 17. After winning the GRAMMY for Song of the Year, their 8th time up to the stage to claim an award, Rene said to the crowd, “I don’t have words anymore, really this is incredible. I want to dedicate this award to Latin America because it taught me how to write this song, from Tijuana to Calafate. Cheers to a united Latin America.”
Other Shure endorsers who won awards on the night included, Zoé of Mexico and Maná who each took two Latin GRAMMYs. Of the awards they won, Maná won the Latin GRAMMY for Best Rock Album, and Zoé won for Best Rock Song. Aline Barros of Brazil won the Latin GRAMMY for Best Christian Album (Portuguese).
Another highlight of the night was that Shure’s newest wireless system Axient hit the stage for performances with Shakira, Wisin and Yandel featuring Sean Kingston, Romeo Santos and Usher as well as Pepe Aguilar and Reyli. The night was full of other great performances and Shure microphones and PSM systems were the choice for most of the performers to hit Latin music’s biggest stage.
For a complete list of winners visit http://latingrammy.com
November 18, 2011
November 12, 2011
The Vogue Theater- Indianapolis, IN
Never heard of them eh? Neither had I until a good friend of mine who does monitors for Ronnie Dunn introduced me to them. Mike Addams called me on the phone and said you HAVE TO work with these guys. They are about to explode. They have already taken off overseas and their record is going to release in the States early next year. Mike doesn’t call me too often to tell me me about a group so I knew this was going somewhere.
Mike introduced me to the band after the very last Brooks and Dunn concert in Nashville. Mona are based in Nashville but their rock music and interesting videos have already taken root in the UK and other countries overseas.
Tonight though, while I was in Indianapolis still for PASIC, they were coming through town and I did not want to miss seeing them. I arrived at The Vogue about 2 songs into their set. They were in the middle slot opening for The Airborne Toxic Event. The place was already packed and the crowd was definitely into them. Lead singer Nick Brown announced from the stage that it was Drummer Vince’s Birthday today “so everyone buy him a drink!” Nick is switching between a Super 55 (Black and Red) and an SM58 during his set. It’s obvious thought that he needs to go wireless because his is all over the stage working the crowd. The band is tight and they are “arena ready.” It was so great to see them in this smaller club first, kind of like when Bon Jovi got back together and I saw them at the House of Blues in Chicago. That was a great experience as well.
Immediately after their set, each of the guys in the band came out to the merchandise tables and began signing posters, CD’s, and shirts for fans buying them up. I even had to run out to their trailer for them to grab more posters. I hadn’t eaten a dinner so I asked the guys if they wanted some pizza. They were happy to accept. I went around the corner and ordered a couple up and talked more with the band as they took more pictures with fans. The pizza went fast. Nothing like hungry musicians after a gig!
Get used to hearing about these guys. They are something special and are hungry to make it big!
Here’s some links to their stuff:
and here’s some iPhone photos from that night:
November 18, 2011
November 10-12, 2011
The Percussive Artist Society International Convention (PASIC) is one of those events I look forward to every year. Being a drummer myself, this event is close to my heart. So are a lot of people that attend from many other great companies like Pearl, DW, Zildjian, Remo, Vic Firth, Vater, Istanbul and so many other individuals. I have been fortunate enough to have not missed one of these events for the past 15+ years. Everyone pitches in to help make each event happen and it’s such a great feeling to see all of the same people each year.
The convention has been in Indianapolis for the past 3 years so the drive up from Nashville is not too bad, when you’re rockin’ the iPod. Like the trip 2 years ago, I was in Nashville handling duties at the Country Music Awards and directly after the show finished, I loaded up the gear and headed North for Indy. I arrived at about 5 AM eastern time, grabbed about an hour of sleep and then brought all of the gear I had in the PT Cruiser into the convention center so it could be passed out for the various events starting around 9 am. After passing that out, I passed out in the hotel room for another 4 hours. After that, I went back to the Convention Center and caught a few clinics and chatted with some of the aforementioned manufacturers.
Later that evening, I was invited to 2 special events. The first was a short party for Pearl artists and employees. Shure Artist Horcio “El Negro” Hernandez was there as well as a drummer from Australia named Grant Collins. It was great to catch up with Horacio as he is always gigging somewhere in the world. He was happy to have a DVD from the Modern Drummer festival from earlier this year. His performance there was pretty amazing. Go pick up a copy and see for yourself! A 12 piece band complete with a Flamenco tap dancer. I’ve never seen a performance like this before where a drummer was trading 8’s with a dancer. It was very cool!
The next day, Friday, I arrived early in the morning as Jim Riley’s Clinic was coming up at 1 pm. I was able to catch drummer Rich Redmond’s clinic at 11 am, which was very informative. Rich is not only a great studio drummer but also tours with country star Jason Aldean. He had plenty of great advice to offer attendees about how to succeed in the music business and a lot of it has to do with having a positive attitude.
The first time I saw Jim Riley’s clinic, I was taken a bit by surprise by his ability to play other genres besides the gig that pays his bills – Rascal Flatts. He mentioned during his clinic that the last time he played at PASIC a few years ago served as his launchpad for doing drum clinics. He is very well spoken and a solid groove player. He has been with Rascal Flatts from the beginning and it’s great to see his success, not only as their drummer but as their Musical Director. I put up some Beta 98AMP’s on his toms and used the Beta 181/C for overheads.
AT 5 pm, Grant Collins, a Pearl drum endorser had an enormous kit but chose to not have us close mic it. Instead, we put up 6 condensers around the front of his kit about 3-4 feet off the ground to capture his toms and his cymbals, put a Beta 91A on each of his front 2 kick drums and Beta 52’s on the rest and his gong drum. It sounded pretty amazing!
Friday night after dinner with the Pearl guys, I stopped by the Army Jazz Blues Band concert up in the Sagamore Ballroom. Special guest drummers Peter Erskine, Simon Phillips, Keith Carlock, John Riley, and Ed Soph all joined the band for a few numbers each. It was great to see each drummers style shine through with this group. At the end of the evening, Jim Riley was side stage and I introduced him to Peter Erskine for the first time. Peter had noticed an article in the most recent Modern Drummer magazine about Jim’s studio.
Closing out the clinic events on Saturday for PASIC was Simon Phillips. His Tama kit was placed on stage and he had already brought his mic set which consisted of KSM137’s in shock mounts on all of this toms, 2 SM27’s for overheads, SM57’s in his Octobons and 2 Beta 52’s permanently mounted in his kick drums. Simon was interested in hearing how the new Beta 181/C might sound on a few of his toms. We listened to his stock mics then switch out 4 of the 137’s for 4 of the Beta 181’s. He liked them just enough to want to go with them for the clinic. Simon did a long drum solo and then took questions at the end of the clinic while also mentioning all his supporting companies and their gear.
Once Simon was done, I packed up a few more things and headed to go see a great new band Shure just started working with called Mona. I will talk about them in a separate blog.
Thus ends another successful PASIC and planning will begin soon for next years’ event in Austin, Texas. Looking forward to that trip – come join us, wont you?
November 14, 2011
November 9, 2011
Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
Having been down in Nashville for 10 years now, it is always great to be able to attend this awards show. It’s a reunion for both a lot of our Nashville contacts but also some of our East and West Coast based contacts as well. I get to hang with Michael Abbott, one of the Audio Producers for this and many other TV shows and J. Mark King, who does the production mix for the Academy of Country Music Awards also comes out to do this show. There’s Steve Anderson, who swaps out the input boxes between each act as well as the engineers from Music Mix Mobile (John Harris, Jay Vicari and Joel Singer) who mix the music for the show. The Nashville crews and the crews from each coast all dig in together to get over 20 performances on the air. Once the show is on, it’s amazing to watch it all happen. Even though most of this crew has been doing shows like this for years, they are always looking for ways to improve and present the best show for millions of viewers.
The same goes for Shure!
This year, Shure would play an even bigger role as we have a new series of personal monitor systems to present to artists. The PSM1000 was about to make its appearance on this show for the first time. Was I nervous? Not at all. The system has been out there for a while now and been tested in some high profile settings. Monitor engineer Jason Spence had just used it 3 weeks ago with Alabama and it passed with flying colors. The system was ready and so were we! Jason had been speaking with Shure about wanting to use this system on this show for months. He told Mike Parker, also a monitor engineer for this and many other shows, that he planned to have units there. Mike, also a beta tester, would not settle for anything less on his side as well. When all was said and done, ATK Audiotek out of California shipped 14 channels for this show as well as sending a rack of systems out for the Latin Grammies that same week!
Are you as excited as we are?? Seeing our packs labeled up for use with names like Taylor Swift, Lionel Richie, and Ms. Piggy is pretty exciting.
Jason commented on how beneficial it was for them to be able to adjust the output power of the transmitters so they could reach an artist clear across the arena, providing them with dropout free signal. That is very important to an artist who is performing in front of a live audience and in turn to millions watching at home. If their signal cuts out, it can be a real mood killer for an artist in the heat of the moment. Having those 2 antenna’s on the beltpack makes an amazing difference!
As far as artists on this show, we are always delighted when the list of performers comes in and we see a great representation of Shure Artists. Like Martina McBride who performed her new single “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” on a wired SM58 and Luke Bryan, who worked the stage with his custom chromed UR2/SM58 wireless on “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).” We also saw a great Glen Campbell Tribute perfomed by endorsers Vince Gill and Brad Paisley, joined by Keith Urban – all on Shure wireless. Both Lionel Richie and Kenny Loggins requested Shure to use on their performances!
New to the Shure family is The Band Perry, who performed on custom painted Super 55’s and went on to pick up 3 CMA Awards that night! Sara Evans sang her most recent big hit “Stronger” on a UR2/Sm58. Taking home the coveted Entertainer of the Year award that night was Taylor Swift who sang on a UR2/Beta 58A.
Endorser Luke Bryan also co-hosted the red carpet with Ellen before the show. His FOH engineer, Pete Healey, came by earlier that day to see if we could find him a Shure wired mic that Luke could use for that broacast. We found an Sm58 and thanks to Pete, another TV spot!
During the show, I ran into many artists, engineers, and managers backstage. It’s always a great time to catch up with them as they are usually out on the road or busy releasing a new record. I was waiting around backstage each time The Band Perry picked up an award to congratulate them. I also talked with Rascal Flatts drummer and endorser Jim Riley, who was getting set to travel up to Indianapolis for the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) to do a drum clinic later in the week. I would be traveling in the same direction right after this show.
After the awards show concluded, I went up to Jason Spense’s monitor “world” and talked with him and his techs about how the show went. Thumbs UP all around. One tech even commented that they received no complaints about dropouts or bad mixes, which he mentioned was very unusual for this show. That brought a big smile to my face!
A BIG THANK YOU to Mike Abbott, Jason Spence, Mike Parker, J. Mark King, John Harris, Jay Vicari, Joel Singer, Steve Anderson, and so many more for an amazing job. Thank you to the artists who continue to rely on Shure every night they step on stage. Most of all, thank YOU for spending your time on our blog site and reading this blog. Send it along to a friend !
Take care and keep coming back for more! (If you want more RIGHT NOW, here’s our press release on the show and the amazing PSM1000 system.)
November 4, 2011
Maybe you aren’t familiar with this Los Angeles based four-piece, but I’ve got a feeling you may find them to be quite infectious. With an intriguingly vintage folk rock sound and the musical chops reminiscent of their veteran folk rock predecessors, this group of twenty-somethings is, as told to me several times throughout the evening, the real deal.
On a rainy early evening at Metro Chicago, I caught the guys from Dawes during load-in and soundcheck. Needless to say, they were pretty happy with their new-found microphone situation on stage. Later on that evening, I would bear witness to the sound they are so grateful for night after night. I first ran into Taylor Goldsmith (lead vocals/guitar) who shared his love of the SM7B on his guitar amp. He also made mention that Dawes used the SM7B to record the vocals on their debut album North Hills. With Taylor back on stage, I was greeted by his brother Griffin Goldsmith (drums/backing vocals), in the middle of some much-needed drum head replacement. He walked me through the rest of the mics on stage and their respective applications, including the Beta 91A, the ONLY mic he uses on his open front kick drum. We were soon joined by Wylie Gelber (bass/gear geek of the band) who rounded out the conversation regarding the rest of gear situation on stage. Keyboard player and backing vocalist Tay Strathairn would later share his love for the Shure PSM 900 personal monitor system, stating that they made such a difference in his performance. Another life changed by the power of the PSM 900.
Of course traveling with a veteran front of house engineer like Wes Delk, formerly of Wide Spread Panic and Waylon Jennings, certainly contributes to how good those mics are going to sound on any stage every night Dawes plays. Wes is also the real deal, this guy knows his stuff and knows how and when to use it. Most importantly, he knows this band. He alluded to the fact that he kind of came out of retirement to work with these guys.
Apparently, Wes was asked to sit in for a friend one evening and serve as engineer at a local listening room in Athens, Georgia. Dawes hit the stage, and about three songs into their set, Wes Delk decided he really liked what he was hearing. The dynamics and space and harmonies were almost sweet nostalgia to his ears. At the end of the evening he went and met the guys at the merchandise table and jokingly offered to get on the bus with them one day and hit the road together. No less than a month later he got a call from Griffin Goldsmith, explaining that Dawes was to hit the road with Alison Krauss & Union Station and they needed to have their own engineer. Knowing he had an old-time friend in Alison Krauss & Union Station’s engineer, Cliff Miller, Wes jumped at the chance and took that seat he had joked about upon first meeting the band. Dawes is more than aware of what Wes Delk brings to their sound on stage every night.
Showtime had finally come. This was a late one for a school night, with the first band, The Belle Brigade from LA, hitting the stage at 9:00 pm. By the way, this brother and sister act definitely had everyone’s attention, check them out, next time you go downloading. Dawes finally took the stage at 9:45 pm and the place erupted. I’m certain that I was not alone while marveling at the dynamics Dawes had on stage. Some personal favorites from the evening’s set list were “If I Wanted Someone,” “When My Time Comes,” “Time Spent In Los Angeles,” and “A Little Bit Of Everything,” which, for a moment felt like a church hymn ringing through the rafters.
After witnessing Dawes, the live version, something tells me that we’ll be hearing more from this band in the years to come, one can only hope. Dawes is a much-needed breath of fresh air in the music industry.