BY KARYN MUELLER FOR THE LOWDOWN.
Imagine being greeted at the door of Maplewood Studio outside Pittsburgh by a true Pittsburgh legend--David Granati! Inside, the aroma of genuine homemade Italian pasta sauce (at 9:00 in the morning no less) contributes to the comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. The studio is on the smaller side but that only adds to the intimate ambience. Inside are renowned Pittsburgh musicians George Perilli, George Elliott, Willie Ross, Kenny Blake, Stevee Wellons, Fred Delu and Rodger Humphries, along with Cleveland guitar legend, Willie Ross.
Meeting these accomplished musicians is, in itself, an amazing experience. To enjoy the privilege of witnessing their talent at work for the new SKR album, Signs & Wonders, is thrilling. Watching David work the board is something I can’t even describe – the technology and ease with which he navigated it blew my mind. I am amazed by the entire process. This band that John Blangero and Ace Acker have put together for this song, “Buried in the Blues Again,” will soon be heard by all. They complete their final take. I am speechless.
One of my favorite spectacles of the session is David Granati himself, at times slouching in his chair playing air drums, other times on his feet jumping up and down. Sun King Rising (John Blangero) himself sings with and directs the band from within the studio. Sheer excitement at what we are hearing!
Two evenings later, Stephanie--along with Joy Brown and Bernice Wilkerson--are laying down background vocals for three of the new songs. These ladies are dazzling, perfecting their vocals for THREE hours. I would have been exhausted! I am so excited about this new album! The songs are mesmerizing. To witness the process and to meet the musicians makes it all the more personal to me.
The album is nearing completion now and I look forward to bringing you more news along the way of this journey. Stay tuned to “The Lowdown” for news about the band’s performance last week for the upcoming “Free Will in China Blue” music video.
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