Friday morning we met Kenny for breakfast in a Panera Bread, that was also across the street from our hotel. Having only Skyped and spoken on the phone, this was the first time we were actually meeting face to face. Mom and I were standing in line and I heard this guy come in, who was talking on the phone. I turned around recognizing the voice, it was Kenny, funny how you can recognize somebody by their voice. We had a great breakfast and talked about how the day would go. I was so excited to get into the studio! Following breakfast, Mom and I headed back to the hotel, I warmed up and then we were off to the studio. We were recording at Love Shack Studio’s, which is in the heart of Music Row. Btw-Music Row is the most amazing little area. Basically it looks like a neighborhood made up of a bunch of small, little colorful houses. But each “house” could be a publisher or managing company, a studio, a label, a salon. It’s like one big music neighborhood. There are also a handful of office buildings further down on Music Row, but the majority of it is made of up little colorful houses—I thought this was pretty neat.
Once we arrived at the studio, Kenny introduced me to our studio players as well as Chris, our engineer. All of these guys are amazingly talented and have played for many notable acts such as Dave Matthew’s and Sugarland. I’m so honored to have them play on my songs. Our first order of business was our tracking session. During the tracking session the musicians lay down the instrumental tracks for each song. I also sing a guideline vocal during this time. It is later on, during our main vocal session, that I go in and record my voice over the instrumental tracks. Before getting started, we all gathered around in the studio, listened to the work tape and went over the music charts for our first song, Home. Then we headed in to record. The guys were set up in the main studio area and I was in a small recording booth to the left of the main area. I remember going in, putting my lyric sheets down, getting settled in and then Chris came over to show me how to work the sound box, how to adjust the volume, bass etc. Then someone came over and marked my two glass doors with masking tape so no one would walk into them accidentally. After that I was in the booth by myself for a few minutes while the band made a few last minute adjustments. I literally closed my eyes and said a prayer and was like, “Please Lord, let this go well, let me sound good, please.” I was so nervous and really wanted everything to go well. Having never been in a studio before, let alone record my own songs, I remember looking out at Brian, our percussionist, when we first started and he was like, “1, 2, 3,” and then we started. In my mind I was like “Ok, this is it, here we go!” It was fine and everything worked out.
After we finished Home we moved on to Simpler Times. The process on this one was pretty much the same, except on this song we had an electric guitar solo and also decided to add a little mandolin, which helps to create a brighter sound. At one point Mike, our electric guitar player was in the studio recording a handful of different guitar solo options and I remember sitting on the couch behind the sound board area and Kenny came over and we were talking and I just looked at him and was like, “This is so insane. I’m in Nashville, recording my songs, working with you…this is crazy.” He just gave me this huge smile and cracked up-it was great. After we finished tracking for Simpler Times, we moved on to Take Me. This song has been really special since the beginning. Sharing it with the guys and hearing it come to life was beautiful. When we got in the studio and recorded this, even just during the tracking, everything jelled so well. It’s hard to describe. It just felt so right. I remember warning the guys before we listened to the work tape, that this song was different from the other two. They kind of nodded their heads in agreement and then once we began to play the song, they knew what I was talking about. It was a really special moment. After we finished tracking, I thanked the guys, we said our goodbyes and then Kenny, Mom and I headed off to go grab dinner. Kenny took us to this amazing café, right near Vanderbilt, called Fido’s. This place has officially become one of my favorite spots in Nashville. It is SO good, not to mention they serve breakfast 24/7, it’s organic and they have these killer lattes = the best!