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Wartime Favorites

"I was ready to throw the hard drive in the trash"

My trio had opened for Heart in October 2007

and a few weeks later, we landed an opening spot with Tim Reynolds at Southport Hall. Suki, Mike, and I had been playing together for about two years when I decided to take my music in a different direction. I was still somewhat in the the standard instrumentation mindset (guitar, guitar, bass, drums) when I made this album, but I became so attached to Suki’s cello parts from the trio that I wanted to make room for him on most of these tracks.


I was stuck mid-way in the writing of Superman when Suki came along and pushed the wheel out of the mud showing his abilities as a co-writer. His brilliant contribution on that track as co-writer and cellist was just the beginning of what would be a long and satisfying musical kinship.


New Orleans was still picking up the pieces. The recording engineers I knew and trusted were still gone - I had to begin the search again. I found Jack Miele, who was co-owner of a studio in the Marigny, where we tracked drums with Chad Gilmore. Then we moved the session to his house in Metairie and worked a little more on the production.


It was at this point that time constraints had me on the search for another studio and engineer. I found Tet Kondo at Festival Studios where we finished out the tracking with the control room set up in a FEMA trailer. Both Jack and Tet contributed some exceptional guitar parts. Tet did the slide guitar solo on “Nothing” and Jack’s ideas are sprinkled throughout the album.


Again, similar to the issue on the previous album, Interrupted, the mix just wasn’t coming together. I was at a loss and called on Mike Mayeux in Nashville for advice. He recommended Ben Mumphrey at Studio in the Country. I booked a nearby B&B in Bogalusa, Louisiana to focus on getting the mix done. Ben quickly became my favorite engineer. Being at the helm of producing an album was completely new to me and I’d run into some issues as a woman throughout my recording experiences. There was not an inkling of that working with Ben. His support was invaluable. For two weeks, he kept the project on a schedule: work, work, lunch, work, work, dinner, work, and it would start all over again the next day. He knew just when I was starting to get burned out and would feed me inspiring music in our car rides to lunch or dinner. It was the best studio experience I’d ever had.

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Photo cr. Joel Foose

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