All posts by billykaplanmusic

My Daughter is Amazing!!!

So… my daughter, Hannah, added background vocals yesterday.  Oh. My. Goodness.  While before I’d been grinning like the proverbial cat that ate the canary, now I’m smiling so much as I listen to the recording my cheeks are beginning to really hurt.

Hannah did an amazing job singing as much as eight tracks of vocals in some sections, creating a lovely choral sound.  Wow.  My kid is very, very impressive.  And even though she had a sore throat going in, she hung in there, sang passionately, and created an absolutely lovely tone.  Steve said that while usually with “kids” he just accepts what he gets, with her he could tell he could treat her like any adult singer coming into the studio… he pushed her for quality and she responded!!!

After I left, Steve added a shaker and some hand claps at the end, truly setting it off just as I dreamed and imagined.

What was it Willy Wonka warned Charlie at the end of the movie: “do you know what happened to the little boy who got everything he wanted?  He lived happily ever after.”

My Vocals


I just finished listening to the lead vocals I recorded with Steve Rachid today.  It sounds pretty good!  I hear a bunch of tiny imperfections, but I think anyone else will just hear me singing.  I am always a tough critic of myself; I know it – I’ll let it go.

Going into the session I imagined the scenes in various movies where the producer has the singer sing one line over and over and over until the singer gets it just right.

Today’s session was nothing like that.  Steve had done some mixing of all the other tracks before I got there. Then, basically, I just sang with the band three times, and minimally using the magic of
the software to edit to the best stuff, we ended up with the lovely track that is my lead vocal.  BTW: no Autotune! It’s all me!

Instrumental Tracks… check!!

I recorded the baritone ukulele tracks with Steve Rachid last night.  Done, done and done! And though I was pretty nervous going in, because I don’t feel like I’m the greatest instrumentalist in the world, Steve, as I expected, was kind, gentle, encouraging and full of excellent guidance.

My trepidation going in reminds me how important it is to just take the leap and take the risks, and trust that, even when the confidence isn’t there, if we “just show up,” then lovely things can result.

And the end result here is a ukulele track that is clean and vibrant, that breathes a rich groove into the song.  It just feels sooooo good.

So… this is the end of the story of the instrumental parts.  Next week we’re scheduled to record my vocals, and soon after we’ll record my daughter, Hannah, singing back-up vocals.

Oh… I can feel it coming together! So close!!

And now… violin and clarinet join the recording!!!

Yesterday, Alex Koffman and Don Jacobs from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band spent a couple of hours with me and Steve Rachid in the studio.  What did they do?  Nothing much… they just recorded some of the sweetest, loveliest violin and clarinet parts EVER!!!  Whatever magic I imagined they would do was so incredibly naive – they created so much more than that.  I am eternally grateful!!!

I can really hear this song coming together.  The “only” things left to record are my baritone ukulele parts, my vocals, and the vocals of my amazing daughter, Hannah!!!

Good Listening

I’ve been listening to the rough mix of the rhythm section… and I’m just SO pleased. The groove they found is so true to my hopes, dreams and “vision” for the piece. It’s easy to listen to, and just darn toe-tappingly joyful! Thanks guys!

And… I just found out next Monday we’ll record the amazing clarinet and violin players from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. Oh joy!

We Got Rhythm!!

Yup!  Today we recorded the rhythm section: drums, bass and keyboard.  What amazing musicians!!!  This process of recording is just fascinating.  While I’d thought I’d heard the music in my head, the music took turns and twists I didn’t expect – and that I DO love.  And watching the process of musical negotiation between the three of them, with me and Steve Rachid… well, just fascinating!!!

Steve will be getting me mp3s of the recording tonight… both with my uke and vocals and without, so I can hear what we’ve done and practice with the rhythm section.

Next: the amazing violin and clarinet of the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band will lay down their sweetness and joy throughout, laying this musical painting with rich, vibrant colors!!!

First Session

I went into the studio last Tuesday to start recording a song from A Shabbat Sweet.  Steve Rachid is producing the song.  Turns out he’s not only a really nice guy who is incredibly easy to work with, he’s also an Emmy Award-winning producer!  Yeah, I’ll take that combination!

We started recording recording “Shir Hashirim (The Song of  Songs).”   Just a simple recording of my voice and uke as the song structure for the rest of the musicians which will next be drums, bass and keyboard.

It was really a great start.  I am so incredibly lucky to be able to do this.