You’ve gotten to this page I guess you care to hear the Terry White story. The story is here because I have released a new collection of songs under my name alone, no band this time.
Not that there wasn’t a band. There was. In fact there were two bands involved in the recording of Our Separate Ways. Maybe I should start there.
RECORDING OUR SEPARATE WAYS
The YellowHammer’s were in the midst of mixing their third album, Satellite, and things had slowed down for me musically. The other members of the band were busy on other projects and I had a few new songs I wished to record. I had been playing some solo acoustic shows recently and thought I might as well record them on my own. As I have little engineering capability I started searching for someone who could at least record the music and maybe produce an album.
I am a fan of a local band called Devil in a Woodpile. I had seen them a number of times and bought a copy of their second record, Division Street. It sounded great. I checked the credits and noticed it was produced by the Tuba player, Gary Schepers.
I live close to Fitzgerald’s nightclub in Berwyn and was familiar with Gary Schepers. He is one of the two main sound engineers. I actually remembered him from the late 1980’s when he was the bass player in a band called The Service. I was in a band, The Modern Day Saints, and we used to cross paths. I introduced myself and asked if he had any interest in recording some of my songs. He suggested we visit the studio he works out of, Strobe Recording, and listen to my demos there. We did, he signed on as producer.
We talked about how to proceed. We decided to add a drummer and record the songs with me on guitar, Gary on bass and he suggested Bob Furem on drums. He and Bob played together in the past, most notably in an outfit called The Doormats, a furiously rocking group. Bob was available and invited Gary and I to rehearse in his basement. We arranged 4 songs together over the next few weeks and decided to add a guitarist and attempt a live recording of these first four songs.
Enter Andon Davis. I saw Andon play at Fitzgerald’s one night with his group The Situation. I was blown away. After the show I asked him for guitar lessons. He lives in my neighborhood and we became friends. When considering a guitarist to join us I thought he was simply the best guitar player around. He agreed to play. We had our band. We recorded 4 songs (by the way this session took place on a Sunday in January 2005 the day after my wife, Colleen, threw one helluva surprise 45th birthday party for me and I am a little foggy on the details).
I had envisioned this project coming together in just a few months. Write, rehearse a few times, record, mix and print CDs. I had 4 more songs ready to teach the band. Then Bob Furem ran into a health situation. It happens to us old guys. He called and told me to move on as he was not sure when he could get back to music. Reluctantly I did.
I am truly one lucky guy. My partner in the YellowHammers, Rob Pierce, happens to be about as good a drummer as there is. I knew if I gave him a demo of my next four songs he could record them without practice. We have been playing together since 1989 and he is very familiar with the music I make. He had just learned his wife was pregnant with their fifth child and between his job, music pursuits and family he liked the idea of a “learn it/record it” session.
The guy that introduced me to Rob back in 1986 was Pete Cimbalo. They were mates at the time in a college band at Indiana University. Currently Pete and I play once a month together at the Horseshoe on Lincoln Avenue. I asked Pete if he would be interested in playing bass. Just as Furem and Schepers are old rhythm section partners so are Pierce and Cimbalo. Getting four songs together would be a snap.
The three of us along with Andon spent about 3 hours the night before our scheduled recording session going through the tunes. The next day they were on tape (so to speak, actually they were on a computer).
So there you have it – 2 bands, 8 songs. All I needed to do was record the last two songs. Then I ran into some health issues. It happens to us old guys. I had to take a few months off and the project stalled. Then I came around. Just as I did Gary ran into a health predicament. It happens to us old guys. The project was stalled again. Gary’s predicament was a bit more involved and we had some serious downtime.
I decided to record the last two songs on my own with just an acoustic guitar. I did so in my basement studio. Andon over dubbed some slide guitar and mandolin on one of those songs.
We now had all 10 songs recorded. Some special guests over dubbed some tracks. John Pirruccello on pedal steel, Pat Brennan on keyboards, Tom Bowling on violin and James Wagner on organ.
Then Gary recovered. Gary mixed. Andon and I listened. We all agreed and then we were done. I hope you listen and enjoy it. It was a great experience making it.