jacob detering is making records

Icon... The endless quest to make a record that I enjoy listening to ...

'it's your life' - a new release by r. scott bryan.

If your memory servers you well, you might recall a blog I wrote several months ago about a record I was working on for singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist R. Scott Bryan. For those of you that don't know about R. Scott Bryan - you should. Over the last decade or so, Scott has shared both stage and studio with a very, very impressive list of 'A-listers' such as Petery Mayer, Mac McManally, Russ Kunkell, Levon Helm not to mention a long stent as utility player Sheryl Crow.

After a year plus in the works, Scott and I have put the finishing touches on his second full length release entitled 'It's Your Life'. The record features brilliant songwriting as well as Scott's ability to play a wide range of instruments namely percussion and Hammond B3 Organ. 'It's Your Life' also offers stellar supporting performances by Drummers Joe Meyer, Dennis Stringfield, Grover Stewart, Pianist David Aholt and saxophonist Jim Stevens. I produced, played, engineered and mixed the record which was mastered by my dear friend and mentor M. Brad Sarno at Blue Jade Audio Mastering.

Given Scott's history and pedigree in this business, working on this record was a real honor and priviledge. 'It's Your Life' will be released by Lauren Markow and me on the Red Pill label and will be available for purchase the first week of December via iTunes with hard copies available at Nimbit and CDBaby. Grab your copies and spread the word - thanks for supporting independent music.


real life with ring, cicada.

One more thing.

As the story goes, sometime back someone passed me a record of local prog-rock band called Ring, Cicada. The record entitled 'Good Morning, Mr. Good' was engineered and mixed by legendary audio guru Steve Albini at Electrical Studios in Chicago. Seriously folks, when I heard this record - correction - when I heard this band, I just absolutely had to make a record with them. Ring, Cicada is one of the coolest primarily instrumental bands around - lots of odd meter stuff, meter changes, great melodies and all around great playing.

The record was cut live at my place and is a real gem. Anyhow, I've just heard a few songs fresh out of mastering and am really tickled with the results. Please take a listen and watch for the release of this record. As far as I know the record will be called 'History's End' - look for it online or at your local record shop soon.



sunmotel - powerful, power-pop.

Over the last few years I've had the pleasure of logging quite a few hours of studio time with artist Javier Mendoza. After engineering and mixing his first self-titled release, Javier brought me in to work on his first Christmas record entitled 'Feliz Navidad'.

For quite some time now, Javier has been working on a side project with my brother and fantastic bass player Logan Detering and long time friend and session drummer Dennis Stringfield entitled 'Sunmotel'. New to the band is guitar player John Frischer. Early this fall Sunmotel contacted me about completing their first record to compliment a handful of other tracks completed by my suite-mate and ultra-awesome engineer Jason McEntire.

Anyhow, the tracks were cut entirely live with exception to the vocal tracks - one of the cuts I did is posted on my myspace page - or you can visit Sunmotel, here. Happy Turkey (or tofurkey if that's your thing!).



fruits of labor | brian owens - ‘cole’s song’

I don’t want to go too in depth on this one - as I have been posting quite a few blogs lately - but I did want to take a second and introduce you all to songwriter/vocalist Brian Owens. Several months ago I did a chunk of session work with Brian and his band working on what would grow into and EP format release entitled

"The Cole Sessions". At the time of tracking - Brian’s wife was in the last stages of pregnancy with their first born son, Cole. I’ll tell you - the two best things about the "The Cole Sessions’ were listening to Brian sing -- and likewise witnessing Brian’s excitement about the pregnancy, fatherhood and getting to finally meet Cole.

Of all the tunes we worked on, I was most touched by the track entitled ‘Cole’s Song". A sort of Lanois-ish tune, ‘Cole Song’ is more or less, and open letter from Brian to his unborn son, Cole. The song is beautifully touching and features Brian on vocals, Eric Warren on stand-up bass, Mark Colenberg and me on guitars. I've added 'Cole's Song' to my player -- please give a listen and let me know what you think. Brian is a truly gifted writer and vocalist - please visit his page for information on point of sale. Thanks for reading, all. Have a good weekend.



brothers lazaroff

Monday morning.

Over the weekend I assembled masters and completed file back-ups for a great band - Brothers Lazaroff.  Although I don't yet know the title of the record, I expect the tracks to hit mastering and replication shortly.  The recordings feature fantastic collaborative songwriting by brothers Jeff Lazaroff (St. Louis, MO) and David Lazaroff (Austin, TX) as well as outstanding supporting roles from Austin based bassist Lindsey Greene and Austin's own pedal steel guru Gary Newcomb.

This record was a real treat to work mainly because it is so divergent from my usual recording experience.  The recordings were completed (for the most part) during two, two day sessions and were cut for the most part, live.  For those of you know most of my work as being calculated and clean - this record is definitely more 'in the moment' and in a totally different direction.  The mixing of the record took similar shape, really keeping things minimal and true to the tracking ... no editing - no BS.  

Anyhow, I'll keep you all posted as to the release date - for now, check out the folks referenced in this blog.  Thanks, all. 



R. Scott Bryan. Man. Myth. Legend.

R. Scott Bryan. Man. Myth. Legend.

I mentioned several months ago that I've been working on a new recording for singer/songwriter and all around 'I can play anything-er' R. Scott Bryan. Fact, I think I remember even telling you that the 'R' in his name stands for Roy. I did tell you that didn't I?

I wanted to give you all an update on the recording as we actually have audio for your review posted and available for you listening pleasure. At this point in time, the record is about 76.4% done with five tunes tracked, mixed and released in a promotional EP format. We have several other tunes heavily under construction - which should be all wrapped up shortly.

A few days ago - Scott calls me bustling with excitement about a new tune fresh off the press. The tune is entitled 'It's Your Life'. A song about taking life as it comes - accepting all things; Life's blessings and hardships. It's an interesting tune in that the arrangement and recording of the song thus far has been very stark and simple - very dark in moments with subtle lift in others.

I digress.

I'd love for you to take the time to listen to some of the new record. Tho I have a few tunes on my myspace and facebook pages, you'd be better served by visiting Scott here.


amy petty 'mystery keeps you' now available!

For those of you that know me, you've heard me talk about and might have even heard snipets or rough mixes of my work with artist
Amy Petty.  For those of you that don't know me and are snooping around my page reading my blogs, you should know artist Amy Petty.  Really, you should.  Amy's songwriting and voice are truly stunning and a 'must listen' in my book.

I worked on 'Mystery Keeps You'  for about 5 or 6 weeks in total. However given that Amy hails from the east coast, our work together tho concentrated, spanned the course a year.  Final mixes were completed early summer 2008, mastered by mastering engineer M. Brad Sarno and released on the east coast mid-July.  Release dates for the mid-west are slated for early fall.

Beyond featuring brilliant songwriting and stunning vocal performance(s), 'Mystery Keeps You' offers outstanding supporting contributions from singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist R. Scott Bryan, drummers Joe Meyer and Dennis Stringfield and J. Christopher Hughes, bassists Eric Grossman, Logan Detering and of course my long time friend and brilliant pianist David Aholt.  Being a part of making this record, with these people was a truly amazing experience for which I am so grateful.

And get this - not only is this record special because it was made with so many special people (except Joe Meyer, he's a totally different kind of special) 'Mystery Keeps You' is ultra special in that it represents the second release for Red Pill Entertainment - an indie label focused creating ethically driven, creative partnerships with musicians.

The record will be available for download very, very soon on CD baby, iTunes and all the other usual download places.  Here's the catch, tho - in order to keep making great records, we have to sell lots of them.  If you are interested in grabbing a copy or two, or three - send me an email.  If you're good I could even get your copy autographed.  Thanks for reading - and thanks in advance for supporting independent music.



Session Updates: Kevin Bilchik | Auset

Last weekend I spent a few days with singer / songwriter Kevin Bilchik.  The idea of the sessions was to focus a bit on some new, forthcoming material - and to create a new ' live release ' for Kevin to pitch to festivals, venues and such.  In addition to recording live audio, we also set up a few lights and a dv camera with the idea of using the audio and video in tandem as a booking tool.  At Kevin's side was multi-instrumentalist / songwriter R. Scott Bryan playing his world-beat kit.

It's been such a long time since I've worked with Kevin in the studio environment.  So much time has passed since his first release 'Paper Money' - so much effort extended in booking gigs and performing live all aimed at supporting the record.  Tho I know I am echoing my last blog, here - I just want to say that it really is as simple as putting a microphone in front of someone that does what they do, well.  In that the recording was designed to be a 'live capture' we had to deal with phase issues of having lots of microphones up in one room - but beyond that, placing nearly ANY mic in front of Kevin's voice yielded stunning results.  No cutting and pasting - no tweaking ... just a really great, honest delivery of great material.

Of all the material, my favorite tune of the new bunch has to be 'Nickajack'.  A tune about a guy (Johnny Cash?) that climbs into a cave to die - and is saved by luck - or faith - something.  It's such a well written song - the kind that makes your mind swirl with imagery - and likewise sends you on metaphoric journey.  I cannot wait to work on a full length release with these new tunes -- I am just so, so excited.

Artist Kevin Bilchik in the studio - for more photos check my
myspace page.

Coming directly out of my sessions with Kevin and R. Scott, I went to work on a new record with singer/songwriter Auset. Tho the primary idea was to capture solid drum tracks and assemble the bulk of the record later, we set the whole band up live, tracking 18 inputs at once. Beyond great material, this session marked my first time working with mastering engineer and long-time friend M. Brad Sarno and drummer extraordinaire Andy Marks. I have no idea about timelines for this record - but can tell you that reflects a great new batch of material authored by Auset - and a new 'band' approach and feel. Check Auset's page for updates.

Drummer Andy Marks in the studio - for more photos check my
myspace page.


Goldtooth | Rock Revival

About a month ago I received a phone call from session drummer Joe Meyer inquiring about my interest/availability to begin working a new record for his hard rock band Goldtooth.  After setting up, getting sounds and beginning to track - I realized once again how easy making a good record can be - given great players and good songs.  The band literally tracked in total - 4 songs from start to finish in about six hours.

I am holed-up in the studio today mixing the tunes and am tickled at how great the work sounds, really.  I think back to days, hours and minutes suffering from such myopia about where to place which instrument in the room, what microphones to use, compressors, pre's, etc.  I remember a numerous occasions reading vague and cryptic interviews with my favorite engineer/producers in which they make recording some of my favorite records sound as if it's all a breeze.  A walk in the park.  I remember thinking 'what a load of shit' ... I remember just absolutely KNOWING that more than setting a microphone in front of a drum, amp or singer had to have been done.

The truth is that the ONLY piece of gear that an engineer cannot function without is a truly great performance.  Nothing impacts sound more than the part, playing and intention ... Tho that seems like a very simple notion - it amazes me how inclined players are to move a microphone or change preamps before that change amps, guitars or parts.