THE LATEST AT MACKINAW HARVEST
2021 at a glance
Greetings Music Soldiers!
Here's a peek into what's been happening around here:
The Accidentals (Traverse City/Nashville) have been back at Mackinaw Harvest a couple of different times this year. The first time, we recorded the song "Welcome Back" with Ralston Bowles and had it mixed and available for purchase by the next morning just ahead of their first big live show post-Covid at Meijer Gardens Ampitheatre. Sav, Katie and Michael are true pros. Always a pleasure working with these guys! Click here to check out Welcome Back
Singer-songwriter Laura Frawley from Hubbard Lake, MI has been working on her full-length record (title coming soon). We recorded 13 songs in 2020 and now as of Nov. 2021 are back in now working on 5 additional tunes. From these 18, we'll pick approx. 12 songs that will comprise the LP. Laura's warm alto voice comforts you as you ingest her therapeutic stories and melodies into your soul. No release date set yet, but we will be sure to let you know when it happens in 2022.
During the Covid lockdown, the studio was completely closed down for 3 months. During that time, I had my home studio set up in Traverse City and bought a new Protools set up with a Universal Audio Apollo x8 and a bunch of new virtual instrument plugins. With 3 months off, it gave me the time to dive into learning the new gear and writing and recording an instrumental record. The record, titled "2 Chillay for Cats" has a euro-chill out vibe with lot's of smooth grooves I made with Superior Drummer 3 and Structure, piano, Hammond B3, Mini Moog bass, textural pads and melodies from the Falcon and Serum synths and rounded out by some Rickenbacker 12-string and strat parts. The record is finished and in the process of being prepared for digital release in early 2022. For more info, check our this story from Local Spins
Singer-Songwriter Brenden Stark has been back in recently to finish up his record we started a few years back. And as a result, we've made some nice revisions to the tunes. You may recall the bands, Chasing the Sky, Middlefield and Slant…..all projects that Brenden was previously part of. Cool songs with a bit of 80's flavor. I really like this stuff! Look for his solo release in early 2022. https://soundcloud.com/brenden-stark
We've begun preproduction with Josh Rose on his forthcoming full-length record. So far, we've been going through a heap of songs he's written over the past year or two and have been constructing the vision of the sonic palate for the record. More on this one soon! In the meantime, read more about what Josh is up to here: https://www.josh-rose.com/
Americana stalwart singer-songwriter Ed Dupas spent a year on Vancouver Island, British Columbia on sabbatical. Prior to his trip, he stopped back in the Mackinaw Harvest to work with me on a new single called "This Old Heart". The tune begins with Ed and I stomping our boots on the hardwood floor of the Studio A control room and then kicking in to a high-energy acoustic romp. Check it out here: https://www.eddupas.com/. And happy to report that Ed is back in AnnArbor.
Singer-songwriter Edison Kitt has been in the studio on a regular basis over the course of the year recording new tunes and preparing his debut full-length record "Whiskey Ramblings" which was released in October 2021. This is a quality collection of work featuring a pile of super honest roots songs about the life experience. Check it out here: www.edisonkitt.com
Lots of other cool projects happening over the past several months including country rock sensation, Brenden Monroe (Nashville, TN), big-league rocker Leigh Kakaty of Pop Evil (GR, MI), Pop-punk rocker Niko Saladino (GR, MI), new folk singer-songwriter Sean Miller (Petoskey, MI), Harmonica guru Craig Griffith (GR, MI), classic rockers Whiskey Hunters (GR, MI), the Majors with Mike Soboleski and Phil Biggs (Detroit, MI), singer-songwriter Jimmy Lindsay Jr. (GR, MI), vintage galactic surf rocker Fitz Green (GR, MI), rock guitarist Mark Schnotola (GR, MI), Christian singer-songwriter Bethany Rae (Saranac, MI), and folk singer-songwriter Sarah Rose (GR, MI), pop songwriter Kevin Spaans (GR, MI), and newcomer young talent Brigid Byrne (GR,MI)
Hip-Hop/R&B producer extraordinaire James Grey continues to stay busy working out of 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 busy writing and producing jingles and content. We recently wrote and produced a new PSA song for Grand Valley Metropolitan Council for their "Staying Seen" campaign. And maybe you've heard the new version of our old classic "Do Your Share for Cleaner Air". We teamed up with vocalists Serita Crowley and Val Gardner who added their brand of soul to a new fresh beat by our own Nazz. 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 have reinstated The Mackinaw Harvest Recording School. The Spring 2021 class was lovely. So nice to interact with real humans in the studio! And the Fall class recently wrapped up our production of a Ralston Bowles song called "Norman Blake's Guitar". Currently, we are forming our Winter 2022 class and planning to begin in 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! As of today, Nov. 26 we still have 4 spots left. Call 616.901.5982 or drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to sign up.
OK, well, that's quite enough for one installment! Let us know how we can help you reach your music goals.
PS: Again, I just want to clarify that we are still open, alive and well here on National & Bridge in downtown GR! There has been some talk flying around that I moved north and closed the studio. NO WAY!! While I did get married 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. I'm in the studio working almost every week. So if you're looking to do a project here in Grand Rapids (or Traverse City), please do not hesitate to give us a shout!
PPS: For previous studio news and happenings, hit the link at the bottom of this page
The Accidentals back in the house! From l to r
Colonel w Ollie Bean, Katie Larsen, Ralston Bowles, Sav Buist
Laura Frawley, Drew Howard & Colonel
tracking on Laura's record
Colonel live on WYCE Radio promoting "2 Chillay for Cats"
Fall 2021 session of recording school with Ralston Bowles
Colonel with Ed Dupas - This Old Heart sessions
Sean Miller preproduction Sept. 2021
Getting crafty with Edison Kitt for "Been A Long Time"
Phil Biggs, Colonel & Mike Sobolewski working on tunes
Craig Griffith cutting some harp tracks
while Miss Paris listens in
Josh Rose, Miss Paris Smith & Kyle Rasche talking Lowell Arts
Brenden Stark w Cooper pup
Leigh Kakaty - Pop Evil
Tara Cleveland cutting bvox
John Gist working on Bethany Rae's record
Tracking bass with the master, John Connors, for Brenden Monroe's debut demos
Tracking percussion overdubs with Fitz Green
Paris Smith left us on July 3, 2021 - She was 19. Very much missing her around the studio.