Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Making Of...

Well the making of our new Record "Things I Dream About" has been quite a ride. We started the process 2 years ago with a fund-raiser to get things started. I think it just wasn't the right time and the right folks that we were wanting to work with, because the fund-raiser was kinda lack luster and didn't get us close to making our objective.

We were, however, able to start demoing some of the songs in preparation for the final recordings and actually had a pretty good idea what our next CD would look like in terms of what songs would be on it.

Well, that January, we hit the road on a winter tour and had a GREAT time. We toured the western states including TX, NM, AZ, CA, OR, UT, CO, WY. It was a really fun tour and we made lots of new friends.

In April, we had a major setback when I (Ren) had a heart attack. You never know how things like this will effect you, but it had a very damaging effect on, not only myself, but the trio as well. We had to stop playing out, and were not booking ahead due to not knowing the long-term effects.

Well, in around October, we connected with David Clemmer on Facebook who told us about a new label, Howlin' Dog Records, that he and Don Richmond, and Jana Pochop were putting together. We started a dialogue about 2-Bit Palomino being on their label, and by early November, we had reached agreements and were planning the new CD again!

Don Richmond
Our 2-Bit Producer
We were really excited to work with them, and Don Richmond especially as our Producer. Don's a really talented guy and we had met him previously at The Big Barn Dance in Taos, NM. So, we all decided on December 5th as the start date to record our new CD at the Howlin' Dog Studio in Alamosa, CO.

That's John Michelle in the Middle
We got there on the 4th, and got settled in. That evening we began getting things set up and ready to record. Drums, Bass, and each of the trio's stations including instruments and vocals. We were really blessed to have John Michel and Michael Jude (the drummer and bassist for The John Oates Band and Brothers Keeper featuring John Popper of Blues Traveler) as our Rhythm Section for this record. They are such intuitive players and instantly got our vibe. Within 2 days we had the drums and bass done for all of the tracks on the CD. It was one of the most amazing experiences working with these guys... total pro's.
Michael Jude 

Then it was our turn. We overdubbed all of our instruments, lead and harmony vocals through the rest of that week. We were all really excited and surprised that we were able to get ALL of our tracks finished before heading home that Sunday.

Then it was time for Don to put his magic on the CD. As a multi-instrumentalist, Don filled in the wholes and added some beautiful work to make this CD even better than we had imagined. Playing dobro, pedal steele, weisenborn slide, banjo, fiddle, accordion, penny whistle, harmonica, double bass, electric guitar, and much more... he sinched up the record nice and tight!

Then, it was up to the mastering and finalization process. We went to the esteemed Jerry Tubb of Terra Nova Mastering in Austin, TX. Jerry has magical ears, and knew exactly what to do to put the "shine" on the project.

Then it was off to Disc Makers for manufacturing (btw, Andi Renfree did a spectacular job on the CD Artwork!!!!). Everything went very smoothly. And now... we have CD's in hand and are prepared for the official release date of May 19th!

So some things have come to mind. No matter what you want to have happen, what is supposed to happen WILL happen. We ended up recording the CD of our lives! We connected with the right people at the right time and everything was so wonderful along the path to this record. We've made some amazing connections and new "old friends" in the process.  Life is good, music is vital!

Thank you to all of you who have supported us through this process... gotten behind us... and made us want to make such a beautiful CD. Y'all know who you are.

We hope to see you out on the road. Check our website for tour dates and locations at

Love and Peace,
Andi, Bill and Ren

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