Session 1: And so we begin... Tara with amazingly talented producer, the one and only, Jim Wirt
Hanging out on the leather couch in the control room; no studio is complete without it - Randy Chase, Tara Hawley, and Tyler Owen
Discussion time with the producer, technicians, and musicians before the session begins.
"That's what I'm sayin'..." - Tyler Owen, Jon Richey, and Randy Chase in the control room - (These guys are a riot. Seriously...well not really seriously. We're rarely serious, except about the music, of course.)
Setting up the drum mics just right - producer Jim Wirt & Jon Richey on drums
Sound check; Jon Richey getting ready to lay down some sweet rhythms
The ever-talented, and always-smiling Alan Gleghorn on bass
Jim Wirt showing his musical enthusiasm for the camera!
Jim Wirt at the controls...
Laying down some piano tracks on a Thursday afternoon...
The new studio is still getting some finishing touches, but check out that beautiful piano!
Making sure everything is just right before the session begins - Jim Wirt and Tyler Owen
Jim Wirt getting the mic ready for Tara to sing some scratch vocals...
And Tara's scratch vocal recording begins... "This mic sounds so sweet!"
This girl is having SO much fun! "Can't believe I'm really getting to do this!!"
Through the control room window...
In the wee small hours of the morning... The studio has such great views of the city! You can see the city skyline a little bit in this picture.
Vintage Neve Console with Jim's notes about my album scattered on top... Pretty sweet.
Tyler Owen keeping the technical side of things running smoothly! Thanks, Tyler!
Tara displaying just a couple of the healthy snacks we all bring to the studio... Chips and Red Bull...
Someone must have said something funny... Probably Randy.
Wow, can you say concentration? These guys are keeping the business end running in the office/kitchen area of the studio while we get to record music tonight. Thanks guys!
View of the lake from the studio at dusk
Ricky Exton giving us some jazzy drums!
Ricky didn't really like not being able to see Alan during the session. I jokingly mentioned that he should have brought a dental mirror to see around the corner from where the drums were isolated; then one thing led to another, and Randy pulls out this mirror from somewhere and tapes it to this chair. This is how albums are born, people. Creativity doesn't stop at the music... ;)
Ahh, you can see from Alan's face that they were so much happier being able to see each other during the session! And I, of course, could see both of them! We jazz singers & musicians are so used to seeing each other while we play.
My station in the control room for the evening... I know those of you who know me well will recognize that water bottle! :o)
Talkin' to the band through the control room glass... Getting ready to sing some scratch vocals while another rhythm track is being recorded - Jim Wirt and Tara Hawley
Getting ready for a great jazz-feel session. These guys are so awesome for showing up after a long work day to play on this recording. Mickey and Alan were talking about how much they'd been looking forward to playing music at the studio all day, and Alan said, "Yeah, we had our peas for the day; this is the dessert..." Classic. - Producer Jim Wirt with Mickey Aquilino, Ricky Exton, & Alan Gleghorn
More of the same! The band and I had so much fun with this song!! So unbelievably neat to hear a band having a great time with one of my original songs - Jim Wirt and Tara Hawley
More scratch vocal singing during the night's live band takes - Jim Wirt and Tara Hawley
Some really interesting musical conversation after a great session! - Tyler Owen, Ricky Exton, Alan Gleghorn, and Mickey Aquilino
Discussing the musical history of Cleveland, past and present music venues, and players we've worked with and mutually know - Ricky Exton, Alan Gleghorn, Mickey Aquilino, and Jim Wirt
Tara and Alan Gleghorn in some kind of serious musical discussion. This is a fairly unusual moment captured on camera - the fact that they are being serious, that is...
That's a wrap for tonight! The musical talent for the evening - Ricky, Tara, Alan, and Mickey
Morning piano recording session with Matt Skitzki
Okay, so I bring a lot of bags with me... But I did bring snacks, charts, lyrics, lead sheets, my laptop, plenty of water... And, yeah, the list goes on. :)
Microphones used on the piano
Listening in on a piano take from the control room - Jim Wirt and Tara Hawley
Deciding on some artistic preferences for this piano track - Jim Wirt and Tara Hawley
Listening to another take while it's happening - Jim Wirt and Tara Hawley
A beautiful warm and sunny afternoon in Cleveland - view of Lake Erie from the studio
More great views of downtown Cleveland from the studio
Inside Crushtone studios
Through the control room door...
Vocal recording day 1!! Jim Wirt setting up in the smaller room to start recording vocals!
Tara's station for the afternoon vocal session
Vocal recording day 1 - Tara Hawley
"How's it sounding?" - Tara
"Having SO much fun!!!"
Look at that console. Nice!! And don't forget the potato chips... We should really get an endorsement deal... lol - Jim Wirt
Vocal recording day 2! - Tara Hawley
Smile for the camera, Tara!
Talking to Jim during sound check and track set-up between songs.
"La la la, testing 1, 2, 3... Yep, Jim I can hear you now..." - Tara Hawley
I brought my candles to set the musical mood - Tara
Tracking vocals - Tara Hawley
Taking a little break between afternoon and evening sessions to catch a great view from the studio of the sky over Lake Erie
View of the skyline from a different window
And on to a fun-filled Saturday evening drum session with Jon Richey!
Jim is setting up some tracks - we may as well do something while we wait... "Heart & Soul" duet anyone? - Tara Hawley and Jon Richey
Jon's really a talented piano player as well as an awesome drummer. - Tara Hawley and Jon Richey
Tara Hawley and Jon Richey
Yeah, this one speaks for itself... - Tara Hawley and Jon Richey
Jon: "Let me do my awesome self-portrait shot....Yeah that's it. Make it black and white." Well, here it is, Jon - in black and white. Not bad. - Tara Hawley and Jon Richey
Listening in on Jon Richey's drum takes - Tara Hawley, Jim Wirt, and Domenic LaMonica
Look at that intensity! We look pretty spellbound by this particular drum take! Jim even stopped eating his potato chips. ha! - Tara Hawley, Jim Wirt, and Domenic LaMonica
Sunday morning session; Yeah, Jim's keepin' it real with the Cleveland Indians mug. Go Tribe!
Ultra-talented Andrew Cushman on electric guitar
Andrew Cushman running over the chart a time or two before recording begins
At the controls with Jim... Don't worry, I didn't touch anything. ha! - Tara Hawley and Jim Wirt
Andrew Cushman makes this guitar sound pretty sweet!
More shots of serious concentration - Jim Wirt
Breakin' for a late lunch - Andrew Cushman and Tara Hawley
On the elevator; nobody ever smiles during these sessions... ;) - Jim Wirt and Andrew Cushman
Moving into the control room to record this song... I got to lay on the couch and just relax for a bit and listen. I was so tired from all the hard work this week, and it sounded SO lovely! - Tara with Jim Wirt and Andrew Cushman
More shots of Andrew Cushman recording... fun to listen to Jim and Andrew come up with some creative guitar ideas for the tracks. - Jim Wirt and Andrew Cushman
Andrew Cushman and all the gear. He makes playing these amazing guitar tracks look so easy!
Jim decided to use the smaller studio to capture Andrew Cushman's acoustic guitar sounds.
And, boy, did we capture some unbelievably great sounds!! - Jim Wirt and Andrew Cushman
Sunset view over the lake as we wrapped up a long, productive, and rewarding day at the studio
On the drive to Crushtone Studios! Another sunny day in Cleveland!
Sitting down while I can - waiting for Jim to set up the tracks - Tara Hawley
Getting ready to sing some more vocals today!! Mic adjusted, candles set up, water bottle handy... ready to go! - Tara Hawley
Gotta make yourself feel at home, right? Forgot to take off my heels before Jim adjusted the microphone... whoops - Tara
Okay, now the mic height is re-adjusted, and we're really ready to record! - Tara Hawley
Brownie break! Brought some fudgy brownies for everyone at the studio...guess I could have one...or two... - Tara
Check out that beautiful sky over Lake Erie!
Jim showing off the massive amount of crumbs he just found on the countertop from his snacking while recording my vocals... Guess I should bring bowls too... ;) - Tara with Jim Wirt
"Did I do that?" - uh, yep. I don't think it was really glued on properly...
Jim and I decided to trade places... - Jim Wirt
My turn: sitting in Jim's chair at the controls - Tara Hawley
"Look serious now." Okay. How's this? Yeah, I so have headphone hair. Lol - Tara
Jim and Tara at the end of a long and productive vocal session, including some killer harmonies on one of the tracks today!!
The first stormy and overcast recording day we've had so far in Cleveland
...Yeah, now that's more like Cleveland weather.
Doing some rough mixes for the musicians coming in today. Wow! Jim's really getting into this song just like he's at a concert! Maybe, it will be a hit! :)
Sound checking the bass! - Jim Wirt and Alan Gleghorn
Still sound checking - Alan Gleghorn
Alan aka "The Happy Bassist" as I like to call him. - Tara with Alan Gleghorn
Recording some rockin' bass parts to some nearly completed tracks. So fun to watch such talented musicians play in the studio! - Alan Gleghorn
Alan Gleghorn and Ricky Exton chatting before the late-evening part of the session begins
Ricky and Alan going over the charts carefully to make sure everything is just right to record this original jazz tune - These guys sounded fantastic!! A perfect song for a late-night recording session... So mellow, and the evening even included a little break to watch the fireworks after the Indians game.
Another morning in the studio - wait a minute, it's afternoon. "Does anybody really know what time it is?" Yeah, I do believe that's why Chicago wrote those lyrics; they must have been in the process of recording an album... - Jim Wirt
Afternoon cello session; Alan Harrell from the Cleveland Orchestra is in the house!
Sound checkin' with Jim. Do you love our makeshift music stand? Yes, it's just a chair. - Alan Harrell
And the first string recording session is off to a fantastic start. - Alan Harrell
Checking where we are in the charts with Alan from the control room - Tara Hawley
Spellbound by some beautiful cello parts - Jim Wirt and Alan Harrell
Posing for a quick picture before they're off to their evening live gigs; Alan Harrell as part of the Cleveland Orchestra and Tara as part of a jazz trio. What a busy day!
Welcome to the control room of the smaller studio...
Andrew Cushman laying down some electric guitar during our second guitar session
Yeah, the studio really needs some extra music stands...but a chair and two guitar cases works too...
Listening intently to how the track is developing. So neat to hear the songs come to life layer by layer - Tara Hawley
Waiting around between songs - Andrew Cushman
Journaling from the comfy control room couch. Nice to put my feet up for a while! - Tara Hawley
Recording acoustic guitar - producer Jim Wirt with Andrew Cushman
Sounding great, Andrew Cushman!
Andrew Cushman gives this song two thumbs up!
I asked Andrew to play a classical piece since his classical guitar had been just sitting there unused during both of our guitar sessions. He played such an intricately beautiful Spanish piece that I told him we'd have to work the classical guitar into the next album! - Tara with Andrew Cushman
That's a lot of gear to clean up...
Where should we take a group photo? 'What about this newly painted wall?' Lol - Andrew Cushman
Yeah, Gavin Cushman, musician and artist who painted the wall, likes this idea
After a great guitar session: Tara Hawley, Jim Wirt, and Andrew Cushman
Tara Hawley and producer Jim Wirt
Drumstick holders already built into the studio beams... pretty convenient.
Sunday afternoon in Cleveland: Indians' game on in the breakroom, but of course! Go Tribe!
Tracking vocals - Tara Hawley
Waiting to sing some more! - Tara Hawley
Caught me with my college mug filled with tea... Go Zips!
Jim Wirt sporting his sunglasses before a snack run
Yeah, I admit I have no idea what I'm doing on the drums... - Tara Hawley
So excited to have Josh Rzepka in the studio to put his trumpet playing skills on the album!
Sound checking - Josh Rzepka
Yep, time to smile for the camera! - Josh Rzepka
Loving the process of working with such fantastic musicians and hearing their input on my songs! - Tara with Josh Rzepka
So neat to hear trumpet parts being played on songs where I had always imagined it - Tara with Josh Rzepka
This beautiful piano draws everyone in. Josh Rzepka playing some lovely jazz tunes while we wait
Fun musical break from recording with Josh Rzepka
Josh Rzepka and Tara Hawley in the recording studio
Discussing trumpet arrangement ideas - Tara with Josh Rzepka and Jim Wirt
Jim Wirt directing Josh Rzepka from the control room
Josh Rzepka sounding great!
Check out Josh's albums - they're really fantastic!
Listening to the playback - pretty awesome! - Tara Hawley
Breathtaking sunset over Lake Erie
Karin Harrell adding some beautiful violin parts to one of the songs
Alan Harrell waiting on his turn to record
My wonderfully talented friends, Karin Harrell and Alan Harrell. So exciting to hear their playing fill out the tracks on these songs. Exceptional!
Another lovely lake view with a little white sailboat floating right in the center
The vintage elevator to the studio complete with a Beatles record... Nice!
There are literally CDs everywhere in the studio... even in the napkin basket!
You wouldn't believe how many of the musicians said they wanted to climb the vines on this wall outside of the studio! I was not one of them. ha! - Tara at Crushtone Studios, Cleveland, OH
And the mixing has begun with Jim Wirt
And more mixing... - Jim Wirt
John Richey joining us for a late-night mixing session
Really late-night, maybe actually early-morning, mixing - Could we have crammed more beverages, equipment, and random stuff on top of this thing? I think it slowly accumulated throughout the day and into the night. - Tara Hawley
My usual view during mixing, lying on the couch and listening - Tara