Preview full songs and clips from the Seasons CD and Book.
THE MAKING OF THE MUSIC
By Peter Elman
The songs for Seasons were recorded at my Home Plate Studio in Oakland in 2011 and 2012. The first batch of tunes tracked include four that appear in the book: Warm Summer Night, Rainin’, Pickin’ Berries and Changes. Five other songs that will appear on future books were recorded then as well. The second batch included the songs Green to Gold, I Love Fall, Lady Winter, Somewhere It’s Snowing and Spring Song.
The songs were originally recorded by myself on two analog ADAT recorders, and then transferred over to Pro Tools to be mixed.
We first laid down Michael’s guitar, my bass, a scratch vocal, and then brought in legendary percussionist John Santos, who is currently serving as the artistic director of SF Jazz Center. John had played on some of my albums, and it was a joy to work with him again on this project. His array of percussion skills always adds the right touch to the songs, whether it’s gentle and swaying, or swinging and funky. For the second round of recording we brought in conga player and percussionist Kelly Ralston, whose contributions equally enhance the pieces.
Well-known Oakland woodwind master Pete Cornell, a regular member of two Bay area stalwart Latin ensembles, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra and Mazacote, contributed significantly to the songs. His flute on Lady Winter and Warm Summer Night offer the listener a nice counterpart to Michael’s sweet lead vocal, while his lazy, jazzy tenor sax provides the perfect touch to Rainin’. And that’s Adam Kaye on the harmonica on I Love Fall.
My wife Lisa Goulder, a noted singer and songwriter in her own right, sang harmony on several songs and also played the lovely piano part on Rainin’. My daughter, Katie, then 12, sang on Pickin’ Berries along with Ella Rafael. I played the bass, the piano parts, some guitar, and sang some harmonies. When all the tracks were done, I brought in my son Willy to mix it, and –voila! This was truly a family affair.
Michael DeWall—lead vocals, background vocals, nylon-string guitar, barnyard noises
Peter Elman—background vocals, bass guitar, piano, electric piano, organ, synthesizer, steel-string guitar, electric guitar, percussion, drum programming, kazoo
Lisa Goulder—background vocals, piano on “Rainin’”
Kelly Ralston—congas, percussion
John Santos—congas, percussion
Pete Cornell—flute, tenor saxophone
Adam Kaye—harmonica on “I Love Fall”
Katie Elman—background vocals on “Pickin’ Berries”
Ella Rafael–background vocals on “Pickin’ Berries”
Recorded at Home Plate Studio, Oakland, California
Engineered by Pete Elman
Mixed by Willy Elman
Digital editing by MJ Fisher
Mastered by John Greenham at Infrasonic Mastering, Hollywood, California