John Carew: Boston’s Celtic Folk troubador

John is one of the first musicians I met when I started exploring the idea of moving back to New England from Nashville.  I think it was in 2005, just after spending a wonderful week in upstate NY accompanying world-renowned fiddler Craig Duncan, a long-time colleague who was being inducted into the Northeast Fiddler’s Hall of Fame.  I stepped into a Portsmouth Irish Pub, Quigley’s (Tony Giblin was the proprietor) and landed in my very first Irish music session.  John was gracious and welcoming and it’s been a delight to work with him on this collection of well chosen, delicately and movingly performed songs. Boston’s pre-eminent Irish fiddler Laurel Martin, multi-instrumentalist Mark Roberts, Chris ‘Junior’ Stevens are among the fine players gracing the project.

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Mt. Philo: Young Folk-Rockers from Middlebury VT

Mt Philo CDIt started with an urgent call from mandolinist/dobroist Eli Orland- his band Mt Philo’s fall break recording session at a studio in CT had fallen through at the last minute, and might I be able to accommodate them in a couple of days for a long-anticipated weekend of recording.  Eli had found me through a Nashville connection we share, and thanks to the flexibility of some valued clients who were willing to re-schedule, we spent three music-packed days producing an exuberant and highly creative 5-song EP capturing their up-to-the-minute take on the far from outmoded Folk-Rock genre.Eli Live RoomMatt behind console12065561_1677132252498697_689519412962336602_n

New Mic!!

I try not to get too excited about new equipment.  While the search for the utmost transparency between the heart of the music maker and the heart of the listener is a constant here at MPM Studio, the focus is always on the music.  But this new mic!!

6P9A8470The Neumann U 47 is the holy grail of microphones-every instrument and voice on every Beatles recording was captured with one, Frank Sinatra never worked without his.  But the good ones are all 50+ years old, often worn-out, unreliable and hard to find.  Nashville’s legendary mic guru and long-time restorer of old Neumanns Bill Bradley has lovingly recreated this beautiful tool using ‘new old stock’ parts and tubes, and sparing no effort or expense.  This is a singer’s dream mic, although it excels also on solo acoustic guitar, mandolin and fiddle. I had stunning results the other day with the hard-to-capture concertina.  Come try out the Mic Shop MS 47!

Fodhla- Fine Irish music trio

UnknownI’ve known Nicole Rabata for 5 years and had many a lovely Irish tune session in her company.  She’s a fine flute payer and true pro, and Ifodhla‘m very grateful that she chose to bring in her companions in this lovely 6-tune project, Ellery Klein on fiddle and Bethany Waickman on DADGAD guitar to record here at MPM Studio.  Here’s a little taste-everything I love about Irish music: