My First Studio Experience

It’s been a long journey to get this far, but sometimes lots of the steps blur and I forget sequences and how things came about. I guess that’s one of the gifts of aging. I’m really glad to be doing 

these blogs because it gives me a chance to reflect on the things I’ve done and places I’ve been. Big and small, they all are pieces of the puzzle of my life that has brought me here to Torchlight Studio and the great folks at ARC. 

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I have a brother. My brother Ron is my parents first born and my only sibling. Growing up, he was a hero to me because he was already an accomplished musician by the time I could even walk. I didn’t start as early playing as he did because he was intimidating to me. I think some of it was intentional. Big brothers do that, you know? But eventually, I started playing too and have been singing since I could talk. Mom thought I’d never hush, and I haven’t yet. 

My brother was pursuing his own musical dreams and had recorded several times. He was always chasing the brass ring and had an iron will about him. I think that came from our dad. My brother was paying attention to me when I didn’t think he remembered I was even alive. He has always been a keen observer of talent. He looks for it in unlikely places. He is entrepreneurial and tends to see diamonds in the rough. When I see a pile of cow manure, my brother bags it up and sells it as organic fertilizer. Get the picture? I was definitely a diamond in

the rough. Raw and undeveloped, that was me. But Ron saw something there. I just liked to sing. 

He was leading a regionally successful country band. They played every honky tonk, county fair, school auditorium and anything in between in the tri-state area. I later joined the band too, but that was later. He was recording a single for radio and promotional purposes. His band was good and he’d hired some additional folks to supplement the recording session. We call them ringers. At any rate, he called mom and dad’s house one day and asked to speak to me. That was not unusual. We frequently talked and this was nothing new. Sometimes we’d talk about music, but not always. Just brother stuff. But this time, he asked me if I’d sing harmony on his new single! I was thrilled and of course I said I would love to. But after I had a while to think about it, I got nervous! What if I was terrible? What if I got lost driving up there? I was just 18 and green as grass. I hadn’t been anywhere. But I bit the bullet and planned to go there and “Help” my brother. 

The session was taking place at the Recording Workshop in Massieville, OH. The gentleman running the place was named Jim DeMain. I had never driven that far before and there were no cell phones. Dad gave me a AAA Atlas and instructions and off I went! The session was an evening affair, as all of those involved worked day jobs, which is frequently the case for musicians.I remember just feeling a little out of place, but I knew a couple of the musicians who were there and they settled my nerves a bit. I sat in the control room and watched and listened in fascination of the entire process. I never realized that records were put together

from pieces! As the evening wore on, I began to understand the process better. I was far from being an expert, but I was now exposed to the process and I was hooked! When my time came to sing, and I had to do so with headphones on and that was a huge change from just singing. I will never forget it. 

We here at Torchlight Studio plan to offer gratifying experiences and a lifetime memory that will be recalled fondly in days to come, just like the one that I had as a young eighteen year old guy, years ago.

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