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Building Songs

As a part of celebrating my 50th year of life, I decided to make my fourth independent CD. I considered some other options for celebrating--mostly vacation options, with destinations like Hawaii or the Caribbean (places I have never been). But it occurred to me that the most enjoyable trips I have ever taken have been trips to the recording studio.

And so, I set off on another recording adventure. I spent a day in March and another in late June meeting with my producer/engineer, the awesomely talented Dean Baskerville, working on pre-production. Out of these two days we came up with the idea of making two CDs instead of one--a Christmas CD and a worship CD--and working on them simultaneously. 

(Sidenote: For a variety of reasons, we don't anticipate either project being done this year. In other words, you won't get a new Laurie/Tammy CD for Christmas 2014 . . . unless things fall into place differently than we currently expect. You can go ahead and pray on that, if you'd like.)

Our two days of pre-production resulted in six songs that were ready for the next stage (three for each project). During the pre-production days we had recorded scratch keyboard and scratch vocals for each song. These "scratch" tracks will go away once we have recorded everything else. Their job is to create a form of the song--with the key, tempo, and melody in place, as well as length and order of the moving parts (verses, choruses, etc.), but the keyboard and vocal tracks will be replaced with better versions later on. 

So armed with our six songs and joined by my partner in crime and talented cousin, Tammy McMorrow, I returned to the studio in July to continue the process of building songs. We were joined on all four days by Jeramy Burchett. Jeramy played drums on my last two CDs, and we are so blessed to have him doing that again. However, he is also playing bass and adding his insights and talent as co-producer. Seriously, he and Dean are so smart and so creative that most of the time Tam and I just sit back and listen (and learn). We spent a full day recording drum parts (real drum parts--tracks that will stay!), another day on bass, and a final day on guitar. 

On that last day we were joined by our guitarist, Daniel Smith. Tam took the opportunity to record some snippets, and you can hear them below. The first two come from a worship song I wrote called "Sing Hosanna to the King." (Keep in mind these aren't the real vocals. I mean, it's me singing, but I'll do better when it's for real.) 

I just love watching creative people at work. I love hearing the themes that Daniel, Jeramy, and Dean bring to something I wrote--creating layers of sound and movement. 

The next three are from my arrangement of "Oh Holy Night." This is my favorite Christmas song, and it's long been my dream to record it. I love what the drums, bass, and guitar have brought to this track. (You can hear Jeramy giving Daniel some specific direction on at least one of these.)

So, this is just a taste of what we have done so far. I hope it whets your appetite for what's to come. 


  1. There are some pretty smart people working on these songs - you definitely included.


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