RECORDING “BLUES OF DESPERATION” IS ONE OF THE
MOST EXCITING RECORDING PROJECTS
Blues Concerts star Joe came to Nashville two weeks before we started the recording and set about writing an all original album. Then we gathered the musicians in the historic RCA studio A (lovingly saved from the wrecking ball by Aubrey Preston and Sharon Corbitt-House and now called Grand Victor Sound Studios), a big old fashion room where anyone who’s anyone has recorded! Chet Atkins, Elvis Presley, John Hiatt and so many more.
I always wanted to track this record with a high energy three-piece band, so Joe would have to work a little harder, like in his early years, before keyboards and horn’s etc. filled in all the blanks. To be honest, I was trying to find a way to ruffle Joe’s feathers, so I then brought in an additional drummer, just to throw the cat and amongst the pigeons! We set up Anton Fig and Greg Morrow each behind his own drum kit facing each other, and then next to them had Michael Rhodes with his bass guitar cranked, staring across the gap at Joe with his guitars. So they were set up in an X formation, and could all see each other as they played. And boy, what a joyful noise we made!
Not that it’s all excessively heavy or hard, there are some very fragile, delicate moments on this record, where the two drummers complement each other wonderfully and add a great rhythm to the sensitivity of the songs.
After we had cut the songs, Reese Wynans added his wonderful keyboard parts, and then Mahalia Barnes and the Aussie girls did the backing vocals, and Lee Thornburg’s wonderful horn arrangements put the icing on the top. And that folks, is how we made this awesome record which you are now hopefully holding in your hands.
-Kevin Shirley, Producer