How a Crew of East End Songwriters Made Some Magic: The Story of One Guitar
Mr. Hargreaves visited the church ahead of time to decide where to place the microphones, but once the songwriters were in the church, the process went smoothly.
“There were differences in tonality with the different players,” he said. “The finger-pickers really brought that guitar alive. For the greenhorns, I was surprised how people handled amazingly well. People were on their game.”
Sunday evening, Feb. 22, at the Lantern Sound Recording Rig, the farmhouse-turned-recording studio was filled with excited songwriters who’d all come to hear the recording for the first time.
There was debate over whether to keep all the tracks and make a double album or to winnow down the selections to fit on a single CD.
Songwriters were asked to fill out a survey to rate the songs, but many of the surveys collected by the end of the night showed that people really liked all the tracks.
The producers later decided to make it a double CD.
Among the artists who contributed songs were Marty and Doug Atridge from “Who Are Those Guys,” Dan Reyburn, Mariann Megna, Robert Bruey, Gail Storm, Julia King, James O’Malley, Eddie Ayala, Leah Kay, Keith Cummings, Walter Sargent, Dean Fritscher, Bryan Gallo, Rob Europe, Chuck Finch, Valerie Levine, John Ciccariello, Steven Skolberg, Jack Licitra, Shari Yeomans, Fred Raimondo, Glen Feit Sr., Bryan Downey, Gail Storm, Greg Root, Rorie Kelly and Jon Evensen, as well as Mr. Bracken and Mr. Hargreaves.
Songwriter Bryan Gallo, who contributed a recording of his song “Karma” to the mix, said he liked how everyone’s playing style came through in the recordings.
“A lot of early recordings were in churches, becaus that was where the best sound was,” he said.
The producers were hushed as they sat for a second listen of blues fingerstylist Rob Europe’s “Pioneer,” one of the favorite tracks among attendees.
“I can’t play like that, and it’s my guitar,” said Mr. Bracken.
Chuck Finch, whose beautiful “All the Time” closed out the album, said he believed the recording needed to be a double CD.
“I would hate for money to be the thing that stops that from happening,” he said.
Mr. Bracken is expecting it to cost between $2,500 and $3,000 to master the CD and begin pressing copies.
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church is collecting donations for the project on their website here.
Donations can also be made by check to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, with the memo listing “One Guitar.” They can be sent to the church at PO Box 960 Aquebogue, NY 11931.
If the producers collect more money than needed for the CDs, they plan to forward that money on to Maureen’s Haven.
Mr. Bracken, who also runs a songwriter’s music series called The Buzz at Coffee Pot Cellars in Cutchogue, says this project is just one part of what he hopes will be an evolving original music scene on the East End.
“Custom music is part of what’s going on here,” he said. “I believe we should be playing our own music. If there are not enough songs, we should be playing each other’s songs.”
A CD release party is in the works for the for an as-yet-undisclosed release date later this spring.
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