Over the last week I’ve been tracking keyboards for the upcoming Mike Farley Band album. I was very excited to get a call from my former Skinny Moo compadre Jeff Nagel, who is coordinating most of the tracking and studio sessions, asking me to perform on the whole album. I’m honored!
As mentioned here earlier, Jeff Beam tracked his bass parts here so I had an idea of the song structures and vibes. Jeff Nagel sent me roughs of the tracks with most of his guitar parts and Mike’s final vocals. After all this time making music, I am still enthralled with the way songs take shape as you layer all the parts. All the tracks had evolved so much since the initial scratch acoustic/vocal tracks with drums.
Most of what I’ve recorded are Hammond organ parts and Rhodes-style electric piano. I did do one track with strings, which is always an adventure in arranging. I’m much better at horn arrangements, but it was a cool experience nonetheless.
I used my Nord Stage 2 for most of the tracks. I’ve actually A/B’d it against my Hammond B-2 with percussion mod, and I’m really hard-pressed to tell the difference – well except for the sound of me smacking the keys when I’m playing the B. And the Nord library has some impressive electric piano sounds.
For the string part I was using a violin sound which I modified a little bit so I could use the control pedal to change the filter frequency on the sample. That way I could swell from a string-pad-like sound to a more violin-heavy orchestral sound.
Hopefully some of the tracks will make it onto the finished album. I’m really grateful to have been included in the whole process.