Tuesday, October 7, 2014

“When Did You Record That Song?”

“When Did You Record That Song?”
We’ve recorded live shows AND done multi-track….

The question keeps coming up: when and where did you record that song? Well! I don’t really have time to give a totally complete answer for everything we have. BUT I can give you some good and interesting information. For one thing, we are STILL recording as of this past summer. It’s the most professional sounding stuff we’ve ever done, and with brand new songwriting from Mike and me.  Go, sample “Do….” & “Alive Again”. This is the era of Josh Loell coming into his own as a producer. So put the date of 2010’s on those two, “Save Me From Myself”, “Booze Blues Cruise”, “Take Me” and “Good Samaritan” for one thing. We also did newer versions of “Let Me In” and “Jesus” in this time.  I produced a lot other tunes on GarageBand myself, including re-makes of “Forever”, “Streetwalker”, “Tell the Whole World”, “Song of Love”, a Reprise of “City of Joy” and “Time to Grow”. I also recorded some non-band tunes like “Stand of Courage”, “We All Did It”, a “Credo” and “Ring the Judas Bell”.

Our official scrapbook has well over a hundred songs. For many of the early ones, we simply have no recorded versions of them at all. Some notable examples from the earliest days: “The Introduction Song” written by four of us, my “Do You Have a Song in Your Heart”, Danny’s “The Lord Will Come”, my very early meditative songs like “This is My Body” or “The Redeemer”. We did record some of those earliest shows, but who knows where they are now? Jim Babish did have some of the early live stuff – a lot of those are on our ‘Living Waters Classic Tracks’ site, but the quality isn’t always the best.

Our first real attempt at multi-track recording was our Christmas cassette in 1984, down in the cellar of the 505 Pleasant across from the Marists. (Sadly, we learned that house was torn down recently.L) This included the title track by Mike “Love’s Beginning”, “Glory”, “God is With Us” and “The Joy”. We recently put out a Christmas album including those with some later live tracks.
After Mike left in 1984 or so, I remember we had a rough transition at first; it just wasn’t the same. But we soon hit our stride as a guitar band in our own right. Circa 1985 or so, we were at the height of our powers, I think, when we did our second major multi-track session in that same cellar. We produced three wonderful tunes: “Nobody Else”, “It’s Not the Same” and “There’s a Woman”. Our constant live shows had honed us to a fine edge and these recordings, in turn, informed our live presentation. I included these three on our digital release, “Refresh”. The feeling of making those songs was incredible – we knew it was special.

Another major source of what we have on line now was another multi-track session in the early 90’s in the hall at Sons of Mary, Framingham. Probably the best track we did there was “Love’s in a Name” – now THAT was special. Also, there was “Let’s Stay”, “We’re Gonna Stay”, “Fight For Me” and a live take of “I Will Go”. The multi-track version of “City of Joy” that we did pales in comparison to the later live version. "Peter the Rock" was done shortly after this at Jim's house with me, Greg and Denise. That was sent to John Paul II and blessed by him in 1994.

Other songs you hear on our main site were taken from later live shows, notably several Sheepgate Coffehouse shows in Marlborough. We have Joe Prunera to thank for salvaging some of those. Notable sources were shows in 1987, 1995 & 2004. Some gems captured there were “Carry On”, “You Were There”, “Step Down”, “Don’t Run Away” & “Home is Where the Heart Is”.
Another very notable live source was a Christmas show at the Sons of Mary in the early 90’s. I believe Jim recorded straight off the system that time. We’ve done scores of Christmas shows, but that one stands out as being amazingly special. I remember how it felt like a one in a million night – it was one of the best concerts we ever did in many ways. From that show we got that stellar live version of “City of Joy” you hear on our site, plus “Greatest Story”, “O Little Town…” and “O Holy Night”.

In recent years I salvaged the cassette tapes from all these sessions, and put them on digital as you hear them now, alongside all the newer stuff we are making now. I think it’s fair to say, we have, and do, have something special, known as “Living Waters”….

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE!