This weekend ended up being a blast as far as music goes. On Saturday a big box of microphones came in the mail, which made for an evening of testing and tweaking in the studio. I’ve got a pretty good idea of how to use them all now, and I can’t wait to bring some session players to the house to get some tracks down.
Sunday morning was incredible, with Wendy Hinkle singing with our little group of players. We ended up doing a very cool, black gospel version of “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” that cooked. It almost didn’t happen that way, but when I went looking for a suitable arrangement of the old hymn on Rhapsody, all I could find was a terrible live recording of some church doing it up right with organ, bass, piano, more percussion than any reasonable person would use, and a leader that knew how to get a crowd going. Needless to say, we ditched the original arrangement and tried to do our best to rock the socks off that old hymn. I think we did pretty well.
Rebecca Best was incredible on “Take Me Home” – which isn’t supposed to be a gospel tune, but has eventually become one as Steve K’s taken to blowing the solo section off the rails and straight into Glory Land. Yes, I just typed “Glory Land.”
I spent some time listening to Sam Cooke’s old gospel records this weekend. As a musician, I know better than to conflate the lifestyles of the artists with the music they sing, but I can’t help but consider Cooke’s death when listening to these old spirituals. The man was singular talent – one that I wish I had the chops to emulate even a tiny bit.
Also, if you haven’t checked out Raphel Saadiq’s performance on Conan O’brien, make sure to do so.