In summer 2016 Tone Tree Audio, LLC worked with a special group of individuals who not only delivered some incredible country rock performances -- they also made pancakes.
There's something special about starting a recording session with food. Not only does it help to avoid rumbling stomachs from picking up in the microphones, it creates a better bond with the musicians you work with. Throughout the process of recording, mixing and mastering six songs (and eating breakfast) with Kearney country rock group Prairie Fire, Tone Tree Audio felt close to the musicians and music being produced -- making the process smooth and fun.
After arriving at Prairie Fire's practice space in Kearney and downing a stack of flapjacks offered up by lead singer Sunny Jackson, Tone Tree Audio began tracking parts with rhythm guitarist Scott Willson. An excellent guitarist who utilized a distortion pedal for added tone on his acoustic guitar, Willson laid down the first parts for other musicians to track against.
After Willson and Jackson finished rhythm guitar parts, Mikey Becerra grooved on the bass while drummer Mike Nelson cranked out drum takes. Together they provided a rhythmic foundation for the songs. Becerra and Nelson were a solid force, who both brought unique music backgrounds to the band (Becerra explained his love of progressive rock, and Nelson shined with his experience in rock music).
Next up: lead guitarist Joe Matticks astounded with his slick electric licks and masterful solos. Matticks is a rare musician who can easily stay in the background of a song, providing tone and ambience, and then seamlessly leap into the forefront with a searing solo. His parts brought each song full circle and provided that defining country rock sound.
Last but not least, Jackson tore into her vocal parts with equal parts grace and grit, performing inspired lead vocals and incredible harmonies to Willson's vocal parts. The two recorded their voices simultaneously, which provided unique challenges for mixing the vocalists but a special connection you can only achieve with a 'live' performance.
Jackson and Willson were instrumental in the mixing process and offering suggestions and direction on the songs. Three of the tracks, including 'Everything You Could Never Be', 'Hold You Tight' and 'Get Back Up' were original songs written by Jackson, Willson and Don Quinn, a fellow songwriter from Mississippi; and the other three tracks are covers.
Check out 'Everything You Could Never Be' below, and don't forget to visit Prairie Fire's Reverbnation page to hear all the tracks and follow them on Facebook for future show announcements! Tone Tree Audio would like to thank the band for working with us, it was a blast!