And… We’re Back

While life continues to throw hurdles and potholes in my path, it is becoming clearer and clearer that playing music is what will keep me moving forward (and breathing). Knocking the dust off and beginning again (wherever I am) is becoming a re-occurring but necessary practice. So, here’s what’s next:

  • Promotional appearances and performances for the Arty LaVigne Band’s new disc The Getaway [local TV and radio] – details soon!
  • Continuing work on recording with Dennis Tirch on next post-Stone Document release
  • A solo appearance or two
  • Hitting local venues with The Rough Suspects!

ALB @ HUC, 06-20-23

Sometimes things go as planned and expected. Sometimes you are surprised. Every once and while you get all of the above.

The Arty LaVigne Band knocked off the dust and hit the stage for the first time this year, at Halvorson’s Upstreet Cafe, as part of their Courtyard Music Series. Coming back after a gigging hiatus is always an interesting transition. The performance was not without it’s flaws but the audience response to the forthcoming album’s material and the band’s sound in general was a pleasant and encouraging surprise. The audience support (both visual and verbal) was greatly appreciated. We also helped raise funds for the Vermont Language Justice Project, so all in all, a good night. Plus, I now know I can change guitars mid-song, while singing and not mess up the lyrics.

photo: Tim Lewis

Band buddy Tim’s impressions of the gig (and more photos) can be seen here.

Tank, Day 4

Final planned tracking day (5/28).

Today’s tools:
Silvertone lap steel [C6 tuning]
TC Electronics EQ/Sustain
Boss Volume Pedal

Akai Headrush delay
Walrus Audio Slo reverb
Victoria Amplifier Reverberato
Into both a 1964 Fender Princeton Reverb amp and a 1954 Fender Deluxe amp

——————————-

One of my favorite aspects of working in the studio is you can play and layer multiple instruments on a given song. So I have already managed to get multiple layers of guitars of varying degrees of weirdness (6 and 12 string electric guitars plus Nashville and regular tuned acoustics). So today is the day for the lap steel. I love this instrument. It was a gift from my college professor and dear friend Bill Morse and I think of him (and his impact on my musical life) every time I play it.

It went down like this: Ben and I established a pattern:
• Do a couple passes of a song (the second take is always better but there might be a flash or two from the first take we could steal)
• While Ben sets up next song, I tweak my effects for it. I was all over the place sound-wise; bridging the gap between music and sound effects some times, other parts trying to sound more “traditional”.
• repeat

Two spontaneous events were the highlight for me:

  1. When tweaking my effects in preparation for the next song, I pushed one preset to a sort of extreme and a mental lightbulb flashed! “This sound won’t work for the song I’m doing next, but it conjures something up for The Getaway.” We track the next song and then I ask him to cue up The Getaway, I had an idea I wanted to try. Thus, a 2 pass attempt at a lap-steel/e-bow/volume-swell/delay+reverb outfreakage. For me, it paints the twilight sky over the titular getaway (YMMV).
  2. After the experience of the above, I felt like I had exhausted my lap-steel palette. Then Arty asked about Take Me In Your Arms needing something. I told him everything that was coming to mind for a lap-steel part is reminiscent of something I just did so…. “Um, is that Strat still here? Yeah? Okay, let me see how it sounds through the lap rig.” [listen to the forthcoming album to find out!]

Tank, Day 3

4/23

Today was mostly dedicated to tracking lead vocals and miscellaneous auxiliary and/or foundational guitars (electric 12-string, Nashville acoustic, etc.).

A particularly enjoyable day.

Engineer/co-producer Ben tracks a singing Arty.
Engineer/co-producer Ben tracks a singing Arty.

ALB in the Tank

Stone Document, me ‘n’ Wilder, Ghost Ghost all resuming some degree of activity leads to the next installment: The Arty LaVigne Band enters the studio. We spent a day in the studio starting on rhythm tracks for the debut ALB release (as yet untitled) with Ben Collette at Tank Studios manning the faders and Rose Durfee assisting. There were a few hurdles getting here (including broken ankles and scheduling snafus – all our own fault, BTW) but it feels really good to be on our way!

We also had a visit from long time friend Rob O’Dea (who worked on the second John Tower Group and the LaVigne/Christensen albums we did at Joe Egan’s place (Feels like a million years ago). A pleasant surprise that helped set the mood.

  • all photos by Andrew Bedard except where noted

The Day On You

Ten years to the day since the release of our last single (Hey Princess), Ghost Ghost is proud to share with you our tribute to the late Tom Verlaine. Our version of his song The Day On You shines a light on the influence he had on us and how we use guitars. Hope you like it.