Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Farewell Session, an EP, Record Review

The Farewell Session, an EP, Record Review

I really enjoyed this record and love the theme.

The Farewell Session is truly sang from the heart of BlT he has the sand and grit to be a true Bakersfield underground country music legend! A great trbute to the Old Buck Owens Fat Track Studio!
The Farewell Session, an EP featuring a collection of songs written as tributes to the history of the old Buck Owens recording studios which evolved into Fat Tracks, and, eventually into Pig Studio. The solo project was the last to be completed at the very site it pays tribute to, before it closed down. Song: There's a Ghost in this Building (a song about BLT facing off with the spirit or ghost of buck Owens), The Last Man Standing (the story of BLT’s being the last solo act to ever record at the historic fat Track studios of Buck Owens),, Walls of Sound (BLT plays with the tragic end of the historic music land mark), The End of The World ( A songBLT peened about the lonely end of our local record store World Records), and Phat Chance (a play on words about Fat Track Studio, BLT watches the second hand tick away as he goes though a nail biting hold as the last solo act…will someone else slip into the studio and be the last man standing there? This song and “Last Man Standing’). The CD release show at Russo’sBook Store made the Channel 17 News last night. The EP also showcases local guitar hero and recording studio legend Reggie Sangenborfer.
"Dr. B.L.T. (Bruce L. Thiessen, Ph.D.), but you can call me Bruce or Dr. BLT. I'm a singer/songwriter who writes, records, and produces his own music in his own storytelling style, but he also brings in other artists as performers, vocalists, and co-writers who offer their own creative interpretation of his unique style. My music credentials include: recently placing a song on the top 30 at #21 at with a song that has become known as The Black Santa Song; getting national airplay; and having a cameo on an MTV-award-nominated music video by Cake for a song called Short Skirt/Long Jacket. In addition to being a singer/songwriter, I have a day job. I am a clinical/forensic psychologist, a university instructor. I was born and raised in Canada, but I am a dual citizen, a long-time resident of California, and a current resident of Bakersfield. For ten years, I've been write articles that integrate psychological principles and spiritual insights for Vocations and Prayer magazine. For nearly as long, I've been writing an advice column, writing interview/profile pieces, and doing CD reviews for the e-zine, Phantom Tollbooth: I am the "Fan in Black," who wrote and released an entire CD featuring original songs about the life and music of Johnny Cash. If you've visited Russo's at the Marketplace recently, you'll also notice that I've released several other CDs, including Confessions of a Buckaholic, a Buck Owens tribute CD featuring original songs about the life and music of Buck Owens. I listen to, write, and record modern rock, alt rock, retro rock, classic rock, country, alt country and many more styles of music. I write and record a new song almost every day. What can I say? Music rocks! PS: "I am always looking for vocalist and other musician to perform, and record my many many songs. So if you live in the Bakersfield area and would like a chance to record one of my songs please contact me" THIS IS FROM BAKOTOPIA.COM

BLT speaks about the historic session:
"The significance of The Buck Owens Studios Farewell Session, lies not in the fact that it was the last solo project to be completed at the old Buck Owens Studios (which became Fat Tracks, and then Pig Studio). Moreover, it matters not that I was the solo artist who recorded the last solo project, recorded in its entirety and engineered by Nick Forcillo on April 2, 2008.

It was initially announced that the studio would close its doors on April 1, 2008. That date was extended to April 30 to accommodate projects like the Farewell Session, and a project by Iron Outlaws that had started even earlier. By the way, L. L. Bernardes did an excellent documentary on some of the last work done at the studio. The Last Band Documentary

I don't blame him for leaving my project out. Unlike the other artists that recorded there in the studio's dying days, the management of the place afforded me the singular luxury of a "no TV cameras allowed" policy, apparently in an effort to protect my privacy, to preserve the artistic integrity of the recording, and to prevent the session from becoming a media circus. Also, I'm sure they were aware of my marked disdain for fame

The significance of The Farewell Session, if, in fact, there is significance, and what makes it stand out among other final projects to be completed there, is that the songs are about recording art, by much more influential artists than me who recorded before me, and who made history in this building, located on North Chester Avenue in Bakersfield, California. The parade is long, beginning with Buck Owens himself, who took what was the Old River Theater, and made it into his own studio, one that would serve the likes of Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Dwight Yoakam. Jim Shaw sat behind the engineers desk in those days and engineered some of the studio's great country hits, with the Buckaroos backing some of the finest tracks to be produced at the old place.

The studio evolved, and changed hands. As Fat Tracks, under the direction of Rick Davis, Jonathon Davis's dad, it took in artists like Korn, who created some of the early Korn tracks there. It eventually became Pig Studio, as Nick Forcillo took over the soundboard, adding increasingly modern software and equipment to the mix.

Nick Forcillo engineered The Farewell Session. He wasn't the easiest chap to warm up to, but he did a fine job and mixed this entire EP (with deft skill, I might add) without the 3 hours that were reserved for the recording and the mixing.

The Farewell Session EP will be officially be released on CD at a CD release party at Russo's Books at the Marketplace on Ming Avenue in Bakersfield on June 7, 2008, beginning at 7 pm. Hank Ray will back me up as a lead guitarist and will open the show with a few of his own originals as we perform songs from the EP, songs I've written and recorded in the past, and songs from the forthcoming CDs, From Buck Owens Blvd. to Merle Haggard Drive and Altar'd Hymns, both full-length CD, both scheduled for release within the next few months. "

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