****** Follow up to this – this band no longer exists!  Apparently we did have some trouble brewing 😉  Awwww band drama.  However I have a great new line up (Zac stayed!).  And these tips are still valid for the touring musician.  😉 ****************

How to get your band from Duluth to Nashville to record for two days without killing each other

I’m embellishing of course! I didn’t exactly TAKE my band against their will! I invited them to come and record four songs with me at an awesome studio in Nashville called Welcome to 1979. In 2014 I won a prize of one free day of recording from their Battle of the Bands thing and wanted to cash in on it! April seemed like a good month to go. Not as risky driving from northern Minnesota and wouldn’t we all like to get away from the mud and muck and end of winter drear?  And isn’t this a dream come true for a lot of musicians???!  Wasn’t too hard to convince them it would be fun.  🙂

I applied for a grant to the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council and was granted (YAY!) a Career Development Grant to cover another day of recording, mixing, mastering of the songs to vinyl on Welcome to 1979’s vinyl cutting lathe, pressing of a few hundred albums, gas & lodging for myself and my husband, Kyle. I wanted this to be a bit of a rocker – a follow up to Holy Bones, our “break through” from singer songwriter to rock. I pitched the project to them and it was a go! Here is how we ended up not killing each other 😉

Me + the sexy vinyl cutting lathe at Welcome to 1979 Studio

1. Drive separately

Wasn’t our intention! And not very eco friendly 🙁 BUT We discussed van rental ($600). We also almost had Heather’s (bad ass bass playa) parents driving us down in their motor home! In the end, there were some snafus with scheduling (gigs overlooked, double booked, etc) so we drove down as three couples, on our own time, as we pleased. Probably a good idea in the end???

2. Pain killers

I had a broken shoulder and our poor drummer has herniated discs in his spine! It’s a wonder we did this project to begin with! Mary Bue and the Broken Bones! Advil helped me and Scott’s perscriptions helped him tolerate! Thankfully his drum throne is the most comfortable place he can be!

I had to keep having people put my guitar on me and take it off of me because I can’t lift my arm over my head! A few times I was stuck in my recording room, whimpering “Help me!” Chris (engineer) said, “It’s like when Stevie Wonder was left onstage at the Grammys!” Kinda 🙂

With Heather (on bass) and Kyle (guitar + hubby), my helpers who lifted the guitar on and off me since I can’t lift my arm (broken shoulder – snowboarding accident!)

3. Open minds to eating habits / eating different places

I’m vegan! My band isn’t! But people came and tried some awesome veggie spots with me! The Wild Cow, Avo! We ate awesome Mexican and at a bar full of video games. One night we ordered in from different places. Can’t be too attached at the hip!

4. Earplugs

Some people party harder than others. Earplugs help when you go to bed.

5. Our own bathrooms

Three couples, three bathrooms. ‘Nuff said!

6. Hard work ethic

We rehearsed our faces off. Knocked out the bones of four songs in one day and finished them the following. Solid!

7. We like each other (before we left. And still!)

That helps! Here we are licking the  salt lick that everyone who records there licks. Gross!

Everyone who recorded there has licked this salt lick (except ZAC BENTZ who went home a day earlier to play at the UMD planetarium

8. Working with rad people who have a sense of humor

When part of the recording studio’s swag includes condoms and beer koozies, it’s been a fun time!

Ryan – sound engineer assistant who passed out the koozies and the condoms! Good times!

I’m extremely grateful for our time in Nashville and so excited for the EP! Still feels dreamy like it happened ages ago. I am so stoked that my band took the leap with me – and we still like each other! – and I can’t wait for you to hear it!  Check out and go record at Welcome to 1979!  I promise you won’t be disappointed 🙂 www.welcometo1979.com

We’ll perform all four songs + more on Tuesday, May 3rd at Grandma’s Sports Garden for  Duluth Homegrown Music Festival! www.duluthhomegrown.com

PS: Would be super grateful if you wanted to pre-order our limited edition EP!  Check it out here!