It has been a busy spring and summer for Tone Tree Audio, so much so that this long-neglected post is finally happening toward the tail end of summer 2017! Words can't describe the excitement and energy displayed by the artists who recorded with Tone Tree as of late -- these projects will be incredible to behold! The following projects were all recorded at A NOTE-Worthy Studio in downtown Kearney, Nebraska in spring and summer of 2017.
Bluestem Psalter & Emily Dunbar's solo album
The Dunbar sisters, Hope and Emily, are long-time Tone Tree Audio artists. In prior years Tone Tree assisted in recording Hope Dunbar's first two albums, as well as a separate project Star Belle, which included Emily, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Hope and Emily's new effort, Bluestem Psalter, is a gorgeously-minimal project featuring folk, bluegrass and indie elements. Over 20 song parts were recorded between 2016 - 2017, and the final instruments were recorded in spring 2017 to finish up tracking. The project is now in the final mixing stages with Tone Tree. Accordions, glockenspiel, guitars, ukulele and soaring vocals pulse through the tracks, and this project is bound to move people to tears of joy.
Emily is also recording her solo album with Tone Tree Audio, and a large majority of the tracking was finalized in an incredible two-day marathon session at A NOTE-Worthy Studio in early August 2017. The songwriting is superb, and the album is filled with witty, emotional lyrics and genres ranging from folk to country to straight-up indie-rock. Watch for Emily in the near future with her tentatively titled 'Hello, Better' album, it will be great...grand (to echo some of her lyrics)!
In May 2017 Nicole Hoffmeister contacted Tone Tree Audio to help produce two classical pieces, to display her exceptional vocal range and opera style of delivery. Hoffmeister used these recordings for YouTube videos and promotional use. She and pianist Todd Thalken of Kearney performed the two pieces together at A NOTE-Worthy Studio and were recorded live, with some minimal mixing and mastering to preserve the classical approach.
Karen Ussery, a long-time Kearney musician who plays in numerous groups in the area, has been working on numerous songs with Tone Tree Audio since spring 2017, and wow, these will be incredible. Ussery is an experienced artist who holds nothing back; she is determined to tell her stories, no matter how challenging the subject matter is to sing. Her lyrics are filled with happiness, mystery, sadness and best of all, life.
Ussery tracked her vocals and guitars in spring 2017, and has begun assembling her backing band to fill out the remaining instruments for the songs. Joel Fought, a Kearney-area bass player who also performs in numerous groups with Ussery, laid down groove after delicious groove for her songs with ease. Fought's mastery of his instrument is incredible, and will lend both a tight rhythm and additional melodic element to the music, a rare treat from the bass instrument usually subjected to 'filling in the low end.'
Most recently, Ussery brought in world-class violin player Cristina Seaborn of Minnesota to record violin on some of her tracks. Seaborn stunned all at the session with her virtuosity and creativity, recording first some simple takes and pads; then more creative, intricate takes; and last, dizzying takes of complexity and experimentation. Needless to say, these sections of Ussery's songs will be magical.
Thank you, as always, to Susan and Chan Lynch who operate A NOTE-Worthy Studio for live music and recording applications. Don't forget to follow their Facebook page for upcoming shows and events, it's a unique and unforgettable experience each Thursday week!