Pictured at Ardent Studios in Memphis are (l-r) producer/engineer Jeff Powell, Holly Cole, drummer Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, Swag), Krista Wroten, Jana Misener and assistant Lucas Peterson.
Memphis, TN (April 29, 2014)—Tennessee favorites The Memphis Dawls have completed tracking their new album with producer Jeff Powell at Ardent Studios in Memphis, following the success of a 7-inch vinyl single produced at the facility.
"We're finding that if a band can record, mix and master two songs in a day, they definitely have their act together," commented Powell, who last year produced, recorded and mastered the band’s single "Starting Gate, " with "Where'd You Go My Love" as the B-side. "It's a good way to check out Ardent and get a taste of what an album project can be."
The core group is made up of three veteran musicians who have played with several successful local bands. Brought together by their similar tastes in melody and style, Holly Cole (guitars, vocals) Jana Misener (cello, vocals) and Krista Wroten (viola, mandolin, accordion, vocals) deliver romantic and lyrical folk music with a modern flare.
"We recorded those first two songs on analog," recalled Cole. "After we discovered that power, we decided to come back to Ardent for a full-length LP. Jeff works very organically and much of the album was tracked live. For the vocals, he has some great techniques, like traditional tape slap-back, which goes back to the old school Stax Records days in Memphis. Jeff gets a warm sound that you just can't really capture digitally."
"I always use Ardent's two-track MCI tape machine for slap-back," explains Powell. "Song to song, I usually set it for what I think suits the song, 16th notes or 8th notes, or the first note of what would be a triplet. I don't like the exactness of digital delays. I like the tape slap to be a little off, usually back just a hair. I also use the slap for pre-delay to the plates or chambers. Ardent has two beautiful sounding reverb chambers, one with a long delay and another with medium."