After a year and a half of working in the studio and performing as a duo,
Tom LeBeau and I have completed work on my first record.
recorded in Worcester, Massachusetts
recorded in Worcester, Massachusetts
~ We’ve had a busy winter ~
Tom LeBeau and I have been hard at work creating the “Pauline” album.
We recently invited our friend Josh Allen to 5 Front Studios to track his cajon (a box-shaped percussion instrument that he built himself and proudly decorated with sweet Star Wars stickers). Josh is the percussionist for the Franklin County Sweethearts, and occasionally Tom and I will borrow him for a set of our own, so we wanted to feature him on the record. Josh is also a photographer who is based in the Pioneer Valley. He has worked with us and many other fabulous local artists since first moving here from Ohio!
While we make steady progress tracking for the album, I’ve also been experimenting with album artwork ideas. I used cutouts from my sketchbook and found pieces to create the first very basic prototype front and back cover design for the album.
These were taken on my phone at my kitchen table, just to get a feel for the basic layout:
Pauline as a waitress “serving coffee in a restaurant”
~ Based on a sketch done one morning over breakfast
at Charlie’s Diner in Spencer, Massachusetts ~
Over the summer, my dearest friend and gifted songstress Lexi Weege and I formed a trio with Tom LeBeau on guitar. We named ourselves the Franklin County Sweethearts, in honor of a place close to our heart. Beautiful Franklin County is home to the Bridge of Flowers, the Green River, and where both of us have lived at one point or another.
What was meant to be a one night engagement, just for fun, at Deja Brew in Wendell, Massachusetts became a band performing regularly around the Pioneer Valley. The group later grew to include our longtime friend Josh Allen on cajon. Borrowing classic country material from the Dave Pike band, stacks of old records, and cassette tapes from the thrift store, as well as a few originals penned by Lexi and myself, the Sweethearts are found crooning in breweries, restaurants, barrooms, taverns, nursing homes, outdoor events, and coffee shops.
Last Saturday, we performed an hour-long set at a favorite spot of ours, Luthiers Co-op:
Every other Sunday since last January I’ve been performing with the Good Ole Boys band at the South Barre Rod and Gun in Hardwick, Massachusetts. It’s a good four hours of classic country tunes by the finest group of players you could ask for. The Good Ole Boys feature Tommy on the drums and his papa Dennis on the bass, and occasionally Tommy’s brother Paul sits in on lead guitar and vocals [pictured above]. When they’re not playing country, the three LeBeau musicians perform as a classic rock trio under the name “the Big Gunz”. I’ve had the honor of doing many gigs over the summer with the Big Gunz, and look forward to many more.
Dennis’s friend Brian Solomon came to the Rod and Gun this Sunday to shoot some photographs of the musicians performing. Thank you Brian!
the Dave Pike and the Good Ole Boys country music variety show happens every other Sunday at 2626 Barre Rd Hardwick, MA from 2-6pm. There is a $5 cover to support the musicians.
Yesterday I went back to the studio in Worcester to get some more work done on the “Pauline” album. While laying down basic tracks for the next two songs on my trusty old Williams keyboard, Roberta, we took a break to record this little Johnny Cash tune. It’s one of my new favorites I’ve recently started incorporating into my live sets, this track is just one take of me n’ Roberta.
Produced by Tom LeBeau at 5 Front Studios in Worcester, MA.