Thursday, August 04, 2005

Who's at Fault?

Set the wayback machine for the winter of 2000. Dateline - Charleston, SC. Shannon Jones, my bandmate in the late lamented (by at least 3 band members) gLaZe asked if I would be interested in producing and engineering some demo sessions for a country songwriter friend of his named Rip Lorrick, who was dropping into town for a week before he moved to Austin, TX (to join the outlaw country movement, I would surmise). Never being one to turn down the opportunity to camp out in the studio I immediately said "bring 'em on."
Rip and Shannon are guitar players, and gLaZe lead guitarist Mike Poirier was also on hand, so we needed to assemble a rhythm section. I immediately thought of a slew of fine bass players, but ended up playing bass myself.
For drums I had but one player in mind; someone whose playing I had been familiar with for nearly 15 years, and who had just experienced the breakup of his long-running and successful alt-country/no-depression combo
The V-Roys - Gentleman Jeff Bills.

To my surprise he quickly agreed to drive to Charleston for a whirlwind weekend of recording.

Something in the results of that session must have impressed or at least not disappointed Jeff, because he called me sometime in the next few months and asked if I would be interested in coming to Knoxville to engineer the recording sessions for the band that was currently being referred to as the 3-Roys or the X-Roys, but which would eventually come to be known as The Faults. After giving the matter grave consideration (for all of about two seconds) I signed on the dotted line.

The following June I boarded a plane out of Charleston with about 200lbs of audio equipment in both carry-on and checked baggage - I think I may have included a change of clothes next to the compressors. A few of the items in carry-on lead to a few tense moments when trying to get to the gate, as large diaphragm condenser mics seem to show up on x-ray machines as bomb-like. Those were easy to explain when demonstrated, but the PZMs almost kept me off the plane (and I wasn't going anywhere without those - they are a secret weapon in drum sounds). I finally got to Knoxville after stops in Wilmington, Charlotte and Atlanta, (thanks for the stunning routing, Expedia dot com) where Jeff picked me up at my parent's house and drove me to the undisclosed location/bunker in which the band was ensconced. It turned out that the secret hideaway was the rehearsal space cum studio of Knox rockers Superdrag, whose own Don Coffey, John Davis, and Sam Powers hung around for the majority of the sessions and contributed to the track under discussion today.

My (fading) memory tells me that this was recorded late in the two-week period.
The basic track (one take only) included Mic Harrison (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Jeff Bills (drums), Robbie Trosper (acoustic guitar) and Paxton Sellers (bass). Overdubs included John Davis (backing vocals, Rhodes, electric guitar) and a cast of dozens (hand claps and general tomfoolery).

I ran off rough mixes on the last Sunday of the two weeks just before catching my flight home.

I've always been a fan of recordings that include a lot of studio ephemeralia - chatter, false starts, etc., so I was disappointed when the Nashville-professionally-mixed album came out and Poisonland was considerably shortened from the (what I'll admit is excessive) longer version that was recorded.

So, to rectify that error, I present to you the original rough mix/extended dance remix 12" version of The Faults - Poisonland.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey man,

I'm a big Faults fan and former Knoxvillian. I actually booked The Faults' 2nd gig before they even had a name for themselves (billed as The Mic Harrison Band that night). I'd love to DL this track, but the link seems to be broken. Any chance of it getting fixed?

Thanks a lot and a heads up for you: check out The Faults' page on Lynn Point's website for another outtake that didn't make the final cut, a great tune called "Lillie Brown".


3:01 PM  
Blogger spinetingler said...

The link has been repaired.
Sorry 'bout that.

7:42 PM  
Blogger kevinwarner8757 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous biznsgirl said...

I was wondering if you had heard of a band called Dylan Fence. They played college venues during the late 80's/early 90's. If you do remember them, what happened to them?

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dylan Fence was from Wilmington, NC and they got a brief mention on the Hootie & the Blowfish song "I only wanna be with you" I used to check them out at a place called the Mad Monk other local favorites in 93-94 to play the monk were a couple of then small bands Hootie & the Blowfish, Dave Matthews Band, Johnny Quest, Candy Pig what great time it must of been like living in Athens in the early 80's

7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think dillon fence was from high point not wilmington, although they used to play at the monk alot, i can remember drinking cold beer upstairs at the monk looking down on the sweaty pogo pit rocking out to dillon fence

wow the mad monk, there are some memories...

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lest we forget, raised by cows

2:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those were the days for sure sweating it out to Candy Pig and Johnny Quest. Great great memories:)

6:55 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You totally captured the Mad Monk. Great memories

1:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You totally captured the Mad Monk. Great memories

1:18 AM  

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