Wildwood Park – A Beauty in Her Day

Wildwood Park CD Release Concert!

Wildwood Park's CD "A Beauty in Her Day" will be released in concert on October 30 at the GESA Power House Theatre.  Produced by Bruce Kaphan, the album features great performances by this band featuring Anna Burgess (violin, voice), Jesse Burgess (guitars, piano) and Aaron Burgess (guitars).  It was recorded in part by Michael Simon and Coffee Ring Studios.

The concert will feature performances of all the songs from the album with guest appearances by Bruce KaphanDoug Scarborough, and Michael Simon.

Tickets to the concert are available here.  You can purchase the album here.

Read the full press release here: 

The indie folk-rock band, Wildwood Park, will release its debut CD, “A Beauty in Her Day” at a special event at Walla Walla’s Gesa Powerhouse Theatre on October 30th at 7:30. The show will feature San Francisco producer and virtuoso pedal steel guitarist Bruce Kaphan, as well as other special musical guests.

Hailing from Walla Walla, Washington, Wildwood Park showcases the song-craft of brothers and veteran songwriters Aaron and Jesse Burgess and features the vocals and violin of Anna Okada Burgess, Jesse's 19-year-old daughter. Anna, a classically-trained violinist, singer, and Celtic fiddler, released a solo CD (“Spring in Brassica”) at age 14, and at 15 she performed in the exclusive National High School Honors Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York. Drummer Dov Friedman completes the quartet. 

 Wildwood Park's sound is autumnal and rich. The songs are sad and hopeful, emotionally mature, featuring delicate melodies reminiscent of John Lennon's lyrical songs. Wildwood Park is clearly influenced by folk rock music from the late 60s and early 70s: from Nick Drake to the Beatles, and Neil Young to Bob Marley. Yet the band’s music is fresh and new. 

The songs' subject matter ranges from spiritual epiphany, to love lost, to a story of a homeless man's last hours on the cold streets of a sleeping city. Most songs on “A Beauty in Her Day" feature Anna's exquisite and passionate violin work. Her singing is finely textured, intimate, and free of the affectations so often found in singers in the contemporary indie folk-rock scene. 

Wildwood Park began working with engineer, producer, and pedal steel guitar virtuoso Bruce Kaphan in 2014. A remarkable multi-instrumentalist, film composer, and seasoned engineer and producer, Mr. Kaphan has greatly contributed to Wildwood Park's CD.

Finally, a delightful and welcome addition to the Wildwood Park’s roster of musicians is the appearance of internationally-acclaimed ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro, who plays stunningly on “Petals Floating”, a song about the drowning of a dear friend in the 2011 Japan Tsunami.

Tickets are $20 and available online at www.phtww.com and at the Powerhouse Theatre on 6th and Rose, Walla Walla, Washington, on Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 to 5:00.

Giving the Finger - Audiobook Now Available

The Audible audiobook Giving the Finger: Risking it All to Fish the World's Deadliest Sea by Scott Campbell, Jr was released in June.  The audiobook was narrated by the author's father, Scott Campbell, Sr., and was recorded right here at Coffee Ring Studios.  I had a great time working with Scott during the narration, and I hope you'll check out this fascinating personal story of commercial fishing in Alaska.  

You can pick up a copy of Giving the Finger here.

Live Shows: Recording and Collaboration

Originally posted July 23, 2013

This week I've been mixing a project for my friend and fellow musician Kate Morrison.  We played a few shows last month that were really special occasions: jazz nights featuring a great band of Kate (vocals),Gary Hemenway (piano), Daniel Cox (drums), myself(bass), and Pink Martini's Gavin Bondy (trumpet).  The shows came together in a beautiful way, and the band chemistry was remarkable, particularly since we had never played as a group before the day of the first show.  

Coffee Ring Studios was tasked with recording the two shows, one at the Gesa Powerhouse Theatre in Walla Walla, Washington and a second at the Vert Auditorium in Pendleton, Oregon.  Tasked with manning the live front of house sound as well as monitoring the recording was Brian Griffith (a fantastic drummer himself), who did a wonderful work with a complex and challenging job.  Together we had devised a plan to deploy a fully-redundant recording system for the one-take-only live shows, as well as creating a PA system that would give this great group of musicians their best representation for the audiences.  We're a unique recording studio in that we have the ability to be fully mobile, allowing for recordings of many events in virtually any space, capturing the best of a one-time event.  I find these on-location recording projects to be among my favorite – the challenge of setting up in unusual circumstances, the "get it right the first time" pressure of the live show, and the creative work of capturing the ambiance and feel of live shows all combine to make for a very rewarding piece of work.  

These shows were a real testament to collaboration in music.  None of what we did on these shows, from playing to recording, could be done without our partners in crime, and I think the shows came out great (take a listen here and let me know what you think).  I hope you'll consider collaborating together here at the studio.

--Michael