Back In The Fold was an enlightening experience for me for a few reasons. It was recorded at the time when bandwidth on the Internet started to grow and passing around large files through cyberspace was still not fun but getting better. Up to that point it would take forever to share files so most files would need burned to a CD and shipped out. It opened up a world of opportunities for the solo musician.
One of the most difficult parts of writing and recording an album is getting good sounding drums. Late one night I did a search for session drummers. I found this site that offered drums tracks for $49. What did I have to lose? They wanted a stereo track. Your song on the left and the click on the left. So I recorded a rough take of me singing and playing my acoustic for one of my songs. I mixed it out like they wanted it and sent it to them. It was around 11pm. I went to bed.
The next day I woke up and in my email inbox I had copy of my song with drums included. The quality and tastefulness of the drums was fantastic and it blew me away. I didn’t even have to purchase the drums prior to hearing them. They didn’t require payment until you liked what they played. I liked it a lot so I paid them and they sent me 7 separate tracks of the drums (kick, snare, overheads, etc) and a stereo mixed copy. I imported that into my DAW and started laying down the real parts. That’s how it worked.
Finding my Internet drummer allowed me to keep my studio small (just for vocals and guitars) and be as creative as I wanted without having to worry about designing my own drum tracks in some programming tool. I was writing and recording and sending scratch tracks almost everyday.
It turned out that they had a full-blown studio with several studio musicians. Since the price was so reasonable I was able to use them for bass, keys, piano and even some acoustic guitar.
At first I thought that these guys only worked at night. I would send my track late (EST) and I would wake up to their tracks. I finally asked them how they did it. No sleep? Nightowls? I was shocked to learn that the studio I was using was in Israel. It was my first real-life lesson that music is truly a universal language.
I ended up using 2 different drummers (Jim McCarty, Elad Fish), 2 bass players (Guy Bar-Tor, Mark Matthews), 1 key/piano (Oren Sela) and another guitarist (Asaf Rode). With never leaving my home studio BITF had 7 different musicians, an outside mixing engineer (Mitch Malloy) and 2 mastering pros (Doug Diamond, Mitch Malloy).
The artwork and CD duplication was through Disc Makers.
Christian Music Artist Offers Proof; Music May Be Universal Language
Carlisle, PA — Before you hop on a plane or begin digging for your fortune, you better power up your computer. While countless millions have “googled” their way around the Internet in search of success and fame, Craig Kelley uncovered something more inspiring that he had been searching for almost his entire life; members for his rock band.
Many have said that music is “the universal language” but not until experienced firsthand do you become a believer. Kelley, a native of Carlisle, Pennsylvania who lives within 4 hours of New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington, DC, traveled halfway around the world through cyber space to live it. Tel Aviv, Israel to be exact. “I found Elad [Fish] (drums) and was instantly amazed with his playing. I thought he was from California because of his telephone number. I was floored when he said he was in Israel. It was at that exact moment that I knew music could cross the limited boundaries of spoken language,” Kelley recalls.
Craig Kelley’s latest release, “All I Need”, was almost completely recorded in Tel Aviv. Guy Tabor (bass guitar), Oren Telen (keys), and Elad Fish (drums) stacked the lineup. After Kelley penned each song, a scratch track was sent to Elad via the Internet. The song would then be tracked in the Israel and then sent back to the USA for Kelley’s approval and finishing touches.
According to Kelley, “Elad and crew have brought so much quality, creativity and excitement into the picture. These guys have picked up the English language quickly. With words aside, the music is undeniably universal. We communicate on a much more spiritual level that words would have a way of ruining.”
Going international has taken Kelley’s songs to another level and saved thousands of dollars in studio costs as well. Kelley states, “I could have used some studio musicians in my backyard but one song would have cost me more than this whole album. This is my best sounding album to date.”
While Elad refers to himself as, “..[Craig Kelley’s] drummer”, Kelley knows that the distance between may be a factor in touring. “We’re going to try and get together for a tour or two of the states but in the meantime I’ll be promoting the new CD, with or without a band,” Kelley says.
In addition to the studio musicians he found in Israel, Kelley also used 2 other professional drummers on the project. Ron Wikso(Cher, Foreigner, David Lee Roth, Richie Sambora, …), who lives in Texas and Jim McCarty(Phil Keaggy, Dwight Yoakam, Buck Owens, Ringo Starr…) from California. Also, Mark Matthews(Jani Lane, Alan White, Kevin Shirley, Kevin DuBrow, …) contributed on bass as well.
When the recordings were finished Mitch Malloy and Doug Diamond, both of Nashville, TN, completed the CD by mastering the project.