The Latest and Greatest
It’s been a busy 2022 so far, and here are a few things keeping us rockin’ around here!
DEBUT ALBUM OUT NOW
Over the pandemic I started a new music project with my wife, cellist Mika Larson, and we recorded this 8-song album here at Hi Wheel Studios. It’s out now, streaming on major platforms and downloadable at Bandcamp.com!
I sat with Barry Funkhouser at 88.5 to talk about my music career and productions, including world premieres of Nextdoors, Title Trackers, & more. The interview segment starts at around the two-hour mark.
I produced a song on Loki’s Folly’s upcoming album Sisu, and premiered on 88.5 during the show mentioned at the left here. Mika Larson shot and produced the accompanying music video. Garage rock heaven!
Russell Mark of Hi Wheel Entertainment:
2020-’22 has been quite a ride. Here are some of the projects we helped bring to life. How can we help YOU in these challenging times?CONTACT US
We produced/co-produced, organized, and helped run tech for several virtual concerts this year, both with our own acts and for others – such as the 30th Annual Dylanfest Bob Dylan celebration. This is one of Bob’s celebrated songs I performed with my band Pillow Of Wrongness, recorded and filmed separately in 5 locations. I then mixed and edited the song – which was recorded with everything from iPad mics, to pro studios, and remote recording equipment.
Some More Virtual Events and Fundraisers
BEBER FEST BENEFIT CONCERT
We produced this multi-act festival of alumni and supporters of Beber Summer Camp, including Jeff Tweedy, Emily Bear, and 50 other amazing musicians who helped raise $50,000 towards camp’s ability to stay in business during the pandemic.
LIVE IN YOUR LIVING ZOOM
A full Zoom concert we co-produced with my band The Title Trackers, featuring live and pre-filmed musical performances, auctions, and more – a fundraiser for LA’s Midnight Mission Homeless Shelter to help raise funds for their operations, strained by COVID.
SPRINGSTEEN FROM QUARANTINE
The Title Trackers put on a multi-media concert and celebration of the legendary Bruce Springsteen, brodcast live to Facebook and replayed on YouTube in May 2020. The show features intimate performances of many of Bruce’s most beloved songs, in a unique quarantine-friendly configuration.
RISE UP FROM POVERTY
We mixed the music and edited the videos for this virtual benefit show with some of the world’s most beloved artists and songs to raise funds for the amazing work that PIA org out of Phoenix AZ does around the world. This was a private show so the video is not currently online.
Virtual Music Education and Fun
I’ve worked at summer camps as Music Director for almost 2 decades. 2020 was a disastrous year for American summer camps, most of which were not able to run. Camp Ben Frankel of Illinois decided to run a full-fledge virtual camp all summer (and winter) and I served as Music Director for this inaugural virtual fun! Here is a video where I talk about the program and show some highlights from the first few weeks of the summer, featuring videos where the vocals and music were actually recorded over the internet live.
ORIGINAL SONG ABOUT 2020 CAMP EXPERIENCE
I co-wrote the song “Tamid K’rovim” with an Israeli colleague at camp, Keren Better. She wrote the Hebrew lyrics, and I set them to music, with each of us contributing to each others’ parts. The song is about the fact that even though we are all miles or continents apart that we are all together nonetheless.
I performed in CBF’s Hannukah benefit, along with my wife Mika Larson on cello, to raise funds for the camp, a non-profit institution, also benefitting the Jewish Federation of Southern IL. This is our cover of The Beatles’ “Across the Universe” including a passage from John Williams’ Star Wars Main Theme!
Remote Collaborations and Record Producing
Musicians rely on engineers and producers to guide them through the recording process. So in the COVID age, where it’s so unclear how to go about recording your music, especially with fellow musicians that you cannot gather with, that guidance is even more important. We have been helping musicians from international superstars to local artists continue to record and collabrorate in 2020. Here is a video/recording produced by David Pack, with legends David, Michael McDonald, Alan Parsons, and Peter Noone for which I helped each artist to record themselves remotely, and/or coordinated the recording and filming – and then mixed and edited the final song. I even played sax on the song, and Mika played cello.
Some More Long-Distance Collaborations
Funk artist JC Gafford didn’t let COVID stop him from releasing a song before the US election encouraging the voting process. We arranged, produced, and recorded/mixed the song for JC, then sent the track to musicians as far as Italy to lay down drums, backing vocals, and more. JC recorded his vocal in our back yard! He also produced the video.
IF I FELL
The legendary David Pack (voice of Ambrosia) and Alan Parsons collaborated on this classic Bealtes song to raised funds for Santa Barbara’s Council of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. I coordinated the recording and filming, and edited/mixed the final music and video. Siruis XM’s Beatles channel saw the video and added the song to their regular playlist.
Of all the things in life made more difficult by the Coronavirus, the losing of a loved one may be the toughest of all, given the inability to mourn together with loved ones in this time. I filmed/recorded/edited/mixed my band playing the Counting Crows’ “Rain King” to pay tribute to a friend and fellow bandmatewho lost his mother during this time.