Collaboration with John Jennings

Questions for Ellis.

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KarenZ
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Collaboration with John Jennings

Postby KarenZ » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:56 am

Ellis,

I am enjoying John Jennings' touch on the re-recordings. What was the experience like working with him?

KarenZ
"Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world's greatest soprano. Not everyone can be the artist. There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see." -- Ann Patchett in Bel Canto.

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EllisPaul
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Postby EllisPaul » Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:01 pm

Karen--
we worked at John's studio here in Charlottesville, and flew in Don Conoscenti, Dave Mattacks for the session. John engineered then over dubbed the piano parts. He is a very gifted musician, and has studied guitar and piano for quite a while. He is still mtouring with Mar Chapin carpenter and producing stuff constantly.

We were laying down "Home" and I was playing piano and on it, and he gently persuaded me move over and to give him a shot at it. What you are hearing is his second pass on the song, played completely from memory without me teaching him a note. He just sat and played it, and his passing chords and little touches add a great deal of musicality to the song. i think this is one of the best things I have ever done.

i am hoping to record my next project here in town with him, though the songs haven't been written yet. I'm thinking it will be a very sparse project, piano guitar bass, cello and Antje hopefully singing in the background. Hopefully they will come out as sweet as the production on Home. It won't be a pop rock thing like the last cd was, though there may be more of that at some point,as well. I just need to keep experimenting and finding new approaches. i don't want to put out the same album twice, and I would say that by switching producers and styles, I learn more about the art of songwriting as i go.

John's a bit of a genius really, in a different way than the other producers I've had who are equally as gifted. I think he gets the meaning of "unadorned" production. And he holds his ground with it. Home convinced me I could do an album like that as long as I really sing the hell out of the song and my voice provides the drama that is missing from lack of the other instruments, and all the missing bells and whistles.

thanks for asking about him, he also is a great songwriter... click here!
http://www.johnjennings.com

Ellis

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Postby PotatoPicker » Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:12 pm

Sounds like it was an interestng experiment in "letting go"...... I am anxiously awaiting the CD (which I hear is on my doorstep even now) to hear how this version sounds.
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Postby Patti » Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:12 pm

Hey Ellis at about the time you were posting this answer I was in my car and caught the end of Martyr's Lounge on WERS. Since it wasn't the coffee house show I was pleasantly surprised :) BUT it also seemed to be yet a different version than any I have heard before. Since I have all your CD's I know there are a few different live and studio versions but this didn't even sound like any of them. Is the another version that is perhaps a bit "funkier, or modern" sounding? If so, that's a good thing since it is being played outside the regular folk rotation.


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