Ride with Doctorstein
The tracks for my second CD "Ride With DoctorStein" were recorded from February 2006 through September 2006. Each month I would drive from Southern California to the Bay Area for a long weekend of recording in Mark Steins' studio, I'm Stein Recording Studios. Mark engineered the basic tracks and he did an excellent job. He really is great at what he does. After completing all the tracks I took it to my friend Keith Sterling of Straylight Music Studios and mixed it with Pro Tools. Thelma opens the CD. It was created from jam sessions with Matt Flynn. Matt and I have been playing music together for 20 years. Believe it or not, the name Thelma came from an old blue Chevy van I had owned. I use to say "She was big and slow but takes me all the way." Hence that was the inspiration. Song writing is not an exact science. Anyway it has a rock/blues like feel built on mine and Matts' acoustic guitars. Doug Gonzales is in the pocket with his drum performance. Pat Stangl plays a cool sounding slide guitar while a laid back harmonica by Dana Hartnett and saxophone played by Daniel Niemann round out the sound. I am told Big Ass Cadillac is one of my "signature" songs. The 59 Cadillac is the biggest of the Big Ass Cadillacs. Mark Stein opens the song with a W.C. Fields voice saying "Road Hog." Eddie G plays a solid underlying bass. I love Daniel Niemanns' saxophone parts blending with Dana Hartnetts' really excellent pedal steel guitar. I wanted the song to feel like you were having fun cruising proudly along in a smooth riding Caddy. Anna Marie (What A World It Will Be...) is about the most personal song I've ever written. I wrote it the morning after my daughter Anna was born. I use to play it for her when she was a baby. It evolved a little over the years but the essence and inspiration are as true today as the day she was born. I cherish, and hold the feeling dear to my heart. Wendy MacBain plays the piano, Pat Stangl plays an electric 12 string and Eric Rausch does a nice job on clay drums. Mark Steins' background vocal harmonies are great with contributions from Matt Flynn and Eddie G. I tell everybody that I Like The Way is a childrens' song. However most everyone I know disagrees. I guess it can have different interpretations for different people. This track is real tight and Jeff Niemann plays a mean blues guitar and solo. I can't remember the inspiration for A Girl In A White Dress. I do like the images presented in the verses and chorus. Mark Stein plays the mandolin intro and came up with and executed the background vocal ideas. I like the melodies. Jamie, Jamie, Jamie is a song I wrote that was inspired by a bikini dancer at a Hollywood bar. She was hot!! My friends and I would go there just to watch her. She wanted to become a mud wrestler because she could make more money. I think the lyrics are self evident. Mark Stein plays the dirty distorted guitar and Pat Stangl does a great job of fitting his guitar in the solo section. Wow! I recorded the Chuck Berry song Nadine because I have been singing it for many many years. I think it is one his best and think it is a honor to play, sing and record it. Once again the usual suspects perform on the track. Mark Stein and Daniel Niemann play saxophone supporting parts, while Eddie G plays bass. Guitars by Mark Stein and Pat Stangl create a full range spectrum of sound. Matt Flynn has background vocals down. I had no idea how Heaven Coming Down was going to turn out. After laying down the initial guitar tracks with Doug Gonzales drums, we layered it with Mark Stein overdubbing a keyboard string patch, then he played a mandolin. Dana Hartnett played pedal steel and Wendy MacBain played piano. Eric Rausch did the bean pod shaker. (yes a real bean pod) I think the effect of the rain and thunder contributes to the mood on this track. Sweet Talking Child closes out the CD. It is one of those songs that just happens. It came out of jam session where I blurt out some words that became a lyric that evolved into a theme/concept and then crafted to the finish. I don't know if makes any sense but I like the feel. Going into the recording session, I wanted a jazz like feel but wanted to blend some different instruments. Daniel Niemann played a stand up bass which laid the foundation. Wendy MacBain plays a jazz piano that is dead on. I love it!! Dana Hartnett is a great pedal steel player that adapted his style to fit this song. An excellent job by all. Oh by the way, I think this is one of my best vocals.