Fiddle Guitar Vocal duo the Summer Januaries– Sean Michael Robinson and Rachel Erin Robinson

Bring the Music In: Days 1-3 of Recording for the Summer Januaries 1st Full Length Original Album

After a year of travelling all over the world, writing songs, and playing music, we are so happy to be recording our first full length original album! We feel very fortunate to be joined by some of our favorite Seattle musicians and to have the help and support of friends and family in so many different ways.

We’ve launched a Kickstarter to help support the project.

We spent the first three days recording basic tracks with Dave Bush (drums) and Ben Fox (bass).  I’ve gotten to know Dave as we’ve played together in Golden Tree Story for the past couple of years.  The three of us started playing together when Sean and I returned to Seattle this spring,  and have enjoyed playing a  few gigs as a trio this summer.  We met Ben a few weeks ago at a show we played at Conor Byrne with the Resonant Rogues.  We were both blown away by his playing, and agreed to ask him to be a part of the project as well.

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 Making notes during rehearsal for recording “Stephanie’s Daughter”

Tim Franklin, who is producing/engineering these sessions, flew in last week from Pennsylvania to work with us in rehearsal and do pre-production for the recording.  This week he has been doing everything from setting up mics, to trouble-shooting sounds, to suggesting lyrical changes.  He also brought and is sharing his new AeroPress coffee maker, which makes amazingly strong and delicious coffee. We couldn’t imagine embarking on this recording project without him.

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Sean and Tim discussing a take

Our good friend Tegan’s father Cebe is away on a hiking trip this week, and has ever so generously let us convert his beautiful Bainbridge Island home into a recording studio, in exchange for the care and feeding of his sweet cat, Tucker.  We knew this would be a good space, it’s main virtues including hard wood floors, high ceilings, and a beautiful and serene setting, away from all of the sounds of the city, but we had no idea how well we would be able to tailor the space to fit our needs.

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Sean in his back porch “isolation booth.” He was surrounded by a beautiful forest as we recorded.

We knew that we’d have Dave set up his drums in the living room, and we were pretty sure that we would put Ben in the adjoining kitchen with his bass, baffled off from the main room.  After exploring a bit and experimenting with sounds in different parts of the house we discovered that Sean’s acoustic guitar sounded amazing on the glass enclosed porch just off of the living room, creating an isolation booth for the guitar with a direct line of sight between guitar, drums, and bass.

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We also realized that we could put me in the office above the living room, running cables to my mics and headphones through a grate in the floor, and were delighted to realize that we would be able to record drums, bass, guitar, and violin altogether, live.

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We came out of the first three days of recording feeling just the right kind of tired, and incredibly grateful to everyone who joined us on the island for the first part of our project.  We’ll be joined by a few more musicians soon, and will be spending the next few day adding vocals, banjo, cello, and wurlitzer.  More info, photos, and video from the sessions coming soon!

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