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Studio News

THE LATEST AT MACKINAW HARVEST

December 2023

 

Greetings Music Soldiers!  

Hope this finds you all well and creative. Here's a peek into what's been happening around here for the past several months:

It's December 13, 2023 and it feels great to be back in the studio working with Ed Dupas on his forthcoming full-length album.  This is the 4th album we've done together and we're going at it a little differently this time with much of the root of each tune beginning with just Ed playing his beautiful 1965 Gibson J50 ("Hank") and singing, going for keeper takes of both guitar and vocal simultaneously.  Instead of using a click track, I played a hi-hat along with Ed so the tracks retain human feel while still staying together on a reference point.  Learned this trick from Rick Rubin working on Tom Petty's Wildflower's album.  Works great! Oh, and LOT'S of candles and campfires involved with making this record. It's that time of year :) For more on Ed, click here

Last month, Mackinaw Harvest Music Group helped Phil Biggs release his new record "This Great Stage" with a special private release show at The Collaborative Lab in Grand Rapids.  Troll for Trout joined Phil and Kevin Paul for the show that was live streamed with amazing video from the Collab lab and Shutterwerks' Steve Steketee. The gig also served as a fundraiser for Hope Network.  The event raised over $50,000 for the charity which works with the homeless and provides mental therapy services to Kent County residents.  Check out Phil's record here:  https://www.reverbnation.com/philbiggs

November also saw classical harpist Martha Waldvogel-Warren in the studio for the second time this year.  This time, we recorded her beautiful Christmas record. What a pleasure to get to listen as she masterfully plucked away at her incredible instrument!  Such a spiritual experience to record her.  To hear it and learn more about what Martha is doing, go here: https://harp-source.com/product/the-mellowest-christmas/

On the sad day that Jimmy Buffett passed away in September, I got a text from my old pal Dennie Middleton.  As you may know, Den is a huge Parrothead and this news hit him exceptionally hard, inspiring a great song that he wrote the same day called "One Last Hurricane".  Den came in the studio with me a few days later and we cut it.  And special guest harp maestro Hank Mowery stopped by and gave us his best "Fingers" Taylor impersonation. What a nice tribute to the man, the legend.  A powerful song!  Check it out here:  https://music.apple.com/us/album/one-last-hurricane-single/1709600683

I finished 16-year-old, Brigid Byrne's full length record back in August and we released it Sept. 10 with a special benefit show at The Lit in downtown GR.  We put a band together to showcase Brigid's tunes with her singing and performing on piano to a sold out crowd!  The record addresses the many mental health issues that are unfortunately common amongst young people these days.  The songs are heartfelt and hopeful offering encouragement to anyone struggling with depression.  Brigid is well beyond her years as a songwriter!  Donations benefited the group "I Understand" , a local non-profit that is focused on the awareness of suicide, prevention and support. It's message centers around bringing a new mindset about mental health that gives help to those who have been affected by mental health crisis'. Check out her fine debut record here: https://www.brigidbyrnenobodyknows.com/

My tried-and-true brothers, Troll for Trout ,finally finished and released our new double-album "North Downriver Road" in May 2023.  We spent several days in the studio over the winter cutting new songs and polishing up a few that had been around for a while. The record includes 15 new studio tracks and 4 live cuts from a 2022 concert.  We are current working on the official music video for the song "Fences" which is slated to be released in late January 2024.  The video was shot at The Collaborative Lab with Shutterwerks' Steve Steketee and looks amazing!  For now, check out the record here:  https://www.troll4trout.com/listen

Northeastern Michigan's Laura Frawley finished and released her album "Where do we go from here?" in May 2023.  It's a really solid collection of songs about life.  Her rich alto voice is the perfect vehicle to deliver these tunes.  And I had a blast putting together the team of brilliant players including Jeff Moehle (drums), Drew Howard(steel and slidey things), Channing Lee (bvox), Max Morrison (cello), Craig Griffith (harmonica).  Check it out here:  https://open.spotify.com/album/1FV7Z2BN5LjlG3TQC7X4kF

 

Back in April, Phil Biggs and I took another road trip to Nashville for publisher meetings, client visits and studio tours.   Nice to catch up with Doug Frasure and Kimber Cleveland, Kent Maxon, John Strohm, David Kamulsky at Addiction Studios and Rolff Zwiep at Blackbird.  Always love the energy in Nashville and spring time is the perfect time to be there!  Looking forward to our next trip in early 2024.

Also in April, John D. Lamb released his latest full-length album "Good Hart".  We began working on John's record on location at a beautiful modern cabin on the shores of northern Lake Michigan near Cross Village (ie: Good Hart) back in April 2022.  The uber-talented Jim Bizer was on hand and played lots of instruments and helped with arranging ideas too.  That was a special treat for me as I've always wanted to work with Jim.  We completed all preproduction and got most of the basic tracks recorded up at the cabin over the course of 4 days.  Then, we brought the tunes back to Mackinaw Harvest to add overdubs and cut some additional tunes with a live band.  A great hang with some of my favorite people.  We ate well and had nightly campfire-bourbon chats.  Really good collection of songs here!  Well, duh?!, John is the founder of Lamb's Retreat for Songwriters!  The reckad was released in April.  Check it out here:  https://johndlamb.com/

Our pal Josh Rose recorded and released his latest record "Foreverland" over the fall/winter months in 2022.  I got to sit in with his band for the sold-out release show at the Midtown.  Josh continues to consistently pen deep songs that reach into your soul.  He has a gift for marrying, nature with science and emotion.  And he's a pretty darn good fly fisherman too!  More on Josh here:  https://www.josh-rose.com/

Throughout all of most of 2022 and all 2023, I've been working closely with Christian artist Bethany Rae on her next full-length record.  Bethany gets right to the root of her messages and thoroughly dives in 100%  every time with her soulful vocal style.   It's been especially rewarding for me to get to create all of her music tracks based on her melodies and lyrics.  The new record titled "Cut Me Loose" should be out in early 2024.  In the meantime, check out her first record we did in 2021 here:  https://bethanyraeworships.com/bethany-rae-wts/#:~:text=Worship%20Through%20Song%20is%20a,to%20sing%20in%20that%20setting.

Detroit's Mike Soboleski has been in the studio several times this year as well.  Sobo and I are writing and recording together, stockpiling a nice collection of songs.  Our latest tune "Mowana Wahine" is a tribute to curvy surfer girls everywhere!  Hoping to get it released within the next month.  Mike is back in here soon to continue our creative pursuit. 


Lots of other cool projects happening over the past several months including with singer/songwriter Rebecca Rodriguez and her project Rabbit Fur,  singer-songwriter Brenden Stark, roots-rock band Whiskey Hunter (GR, MI) folk-rock band Citizen Keen - (ex-Four Lincolns-GR, MI), Lexi Adams (Kalamazoo, MI), Casper (GR, MI), singer-songwriter Samantha Goodell (Brighton MI), Charlie Walmsley & Crazy Chestur (Mt. Pleasant, MI), Hannah Rose Graves (GR, MI), Kevin Spaans (GR, MI),The Rockford ACES(Rockford, MI), 80's tribute band The Marathon (GR, MI)

Hip-Hop/R&B producer extrordinaire James Grey continues to stay busy in Studio B.  Give James a shout to book sessions with the master!  NAzzTheHitMaker@gmail.com

Additionally, our commercial wing of the studio, The Creative Cabin has also been writing and producing jingles and content for Priority Health, Bergsma Plumbing, The Michigan Sports Radio Network among others.  If you have a business and would like help getting your product or service embedded in people's minds, give us a call!  

And finally, we had a fun time throughout our Fall run of The Mackinaw Harvest Recording School.  The class collectively produced a cool song titled" The Ballad of Hope and Faith" from indy-Americana singer/songwriter Steven Trosin (https://steventrosin.com/home).   Lots of guitars on that one!.  Our Winter class will begin soon in mid-to-late January.  If you or someone you know is interested in learning about studio recording, check out our page here and give us a shout!  *NOTE: Deadline for WINTER 2024 sign up is Monday December 30.  Call 616.901.5982 or drop a note to michael@mackinawharvest.com for enrollment info.

OK, well, that's quite enough for one installment!  Hope you are enjoying your holiday season.  Let us know how we can help you reach your music goals. 2024 is going to be a great year for new music!   

cheers!

Colonel

PS:  Some talk occasionally still surfaces regarding a rumor that I moved the studio north and closed the GR studio.  NO WAY!!  While I did get married in 2017 and am spending more time at our home in Traverse City these days, we are still very much in business at Mackinaw Harvest in GR.  We're making records every week!  So if you're looking to do a project at the studio here in GR, please do not hesitate to give us a shout.  We also have a high-quality mobile set up and can come to you!

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Ed Dupas candle sessions Dec 2023

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Phil Biggs release w Troll for Trout at The Collaborative Lab - Nov 18, 2023

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Martha Waldvogel-Warren harp sessions - Nov. 2023

New isolation booth in progress at Mackinaw Harvest

Working on Brigid Byrne's record with Sam Avila and Tim Ross

Colonel & Lane DeBoer displaying finished tracks for Troll for Trout's new double album-March 2023

Max Morrison, Laura Frawley & Colonel

Kimber Cleveland & Colonel in Nashville - April 2023

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Jim Bizer & John Lamb - preproduction at cabin in Good Hart, MI

Sierra Cassidy & Josh Rose working on backing vocals for Josh's new record "Foreverland" 

Citizen Keen

Donald Fagan's "Nitefly" board at Blackbird-Nashville

Journey's board at Addiction Studios-Nashville - Don't Stop Believin and countless other classics were recorded on this board!

Our dueling Hammond b3s at Mackinaw Harvest

The Rockford ACES - Spring 2023

Charlie Walmsley & Crazy Chestur

Mike Soboleski in the vocal booth

Jeff from Whiskey Hunter-Spring 2023

Guitar wall #1 at Mackinaw Harvest

One of Miss Zuzu's favorite studio spots

John Gist, Bethany Rae & Colonel

MH Recording School - Fall 2023

Tracking with Kevin Spaans 2023

Live tracking with The Marathon 2023

Live tracking with Crazy Chestur Nov. 2022

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