Had a great time making this record with a simple approach to the music. We would start by tracking Pete’s keeper vocal and acoustic guitar or banjo while I accompanied on a stringed thing of some kind. Then we added Liam Helmsley on drums and Jay Foote on upright for the bulk up the songs with guests Shane Endsley on trumpet and Tony Lauria on accordion sitting in on a couple.
Along the way, Pete and I would pluck, pick or plink some more guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel, piano or percussion before finishing them off with layered gang vocals shouted from across the room.
Leaned on large diaphragm condensers (Neumann UM57/TLM193 and sleeper Marshall MXLV77) and ribbons (pair of Beyer M160) to keep things kinda dark and warm. Tried for a “black and white” sound palette to convey a vintage vibe consistent with the songs, styles, and arrangements.
“House of Song” was produced and mixed at NWS and mastered by Fred Kevorkian.