Back in July of 2013, a year before Katie went to college for a music degree, we spent a couple of days sitting in front of microphones in a studio in Nashville.
My daughters and I, along with Daniel Ziegenmier and Steve Castlen, were creating what I believe could have been a surprise hit – Katie’s debut CD. But, alas, the finished product was not to be.
Below is the story, along with photos and music I just uploaded to YouTube (scroll down to listen to them).
Goat Farmer Records
Believe it or not, Katie (the recent graduate from Bryan College) was picked up by Goat Farmer Records in Nashville, TN. Yes, Goat Farmer Records. GFR was an independent label focusing on alternative bluegrass and Americana, and we were the label’s first Christian artists!
Being that GFR was not Sony, Capital, or Sparrow Records, the recording budget was limited. We were not flown to Nashville, nor did we receive big bonuses and specially prepared food during sessions. No limo picked us up at the hotel, either. But, what we did receive was a warm welcome, a laid-back atmosphere, and the opportunity to have fun.
If nothing else, this poor preacher didn’t have to fork out $10K for studio time. Can I get an amen!?
Unfortunately, the Christian message and mission of Katie’s music developed an uncomfortable vibe, and the label’s owner and chief engineer (Joel Ziegenmier) thought it best to release Katie and not pursue finishing the project or promotion.
Future attempts at recording also proved unfruitful, so Katie never got to put out the CD that we thought would be a blessing.
Everybody loves pictures, so here are a few images from our sessions.
Mr. Monkey goes everywhere.
Daniel on the cajon, Haley on the Uke, Katie on guitar, Joel setting up, and me on bass (out of view).
It’s hard to explain.
Katie likes the Neuman u87 (microphone).
Steve Castlen on drums.
Unlike many other groups, we get to play our own instruments! No hired studio musicians to replace us – no sir! But of course, that means recording music takes longer and requires a lot of work. Amazingly, one can get tired while having fun.
The Present and Future
While Katie was in college for 5 1/2 years, she wasn’t able to focus on her own music much, even though it was partly her creativity and potential that earned her a music scholarship. Even though she has written a couple of songs in the last 5 years, most of her time was spent learning music, including operas in multiple languages.
Now that Katie and Haley are moved out and on their own, and now that Katie is done with college, my hope is that she will return to writing and recording, especially since her voice has matured and her musical knowledge has been expanded.
If you like what you hear in the links I’ve included below, please contact Katie and let her know. Encourage her to rekindle the gift that God has given her.
Mirror Image (1993). That’s me, my sister (Rebecca), Jody Gould, and Steve Castlen back in the day 🙂
The Album that Wasn’t
The following “studio roughs” were recorded at the now-defunct Goat Farmer Records in Nashville, TN. Even though the audio quality was good, no post-editing was ever completed, so the critical ear will hear a few mistakes.
Also, Katie was only 17 at the time of these recordings. Her vocal and music abilities have greatly improved over the last 6 years!
Don’t you think that last song would make a great video? Even a great commercial for a cute car?
If you are a record label, Katie’s available 🙂