Musings of music producers in NYC...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Todd Alsup and Lamont Dozier !

I had a wonderful evening last night with Todd Alsup at the Kaufman Center for the 2009 Songwriters Hall of Fame Abe Olman Scholarship for Excellence in Songwriting awards ceremony.

This year's scholarship winners

This year Todd was selected as one of the showcase artists on the 2009 Songwriters Hall of Fame CD for his song "The Good Fight" and spent the evening mixing it up with current and previous recipients of the award including Wes Hutchinson and new Major Who and Threshold Music Studios friend Kirsten Thien.

Preceding the award ceremony there was a Master Class given by songwriting icon Lamont Dozier, of Holland-Dozier-Holland, the songwriting powerhouse who created the Motown Sound, writing the hits for the Supremes, the Temptations and many more. Real words of wisdom and insight from a legend!

Todd and I spent some time with Lamont, who was also celebrating his 68th birthday! A brief list of Mr. Doziers credits include: Where Did Our Love Go, Baby Love, How Sweet it is (To Be Loved by You), Stop! In The Name of Love, I can't help myself (Sugar Pie Honeybunch), Standing in the Shadows of Love, and You Can't Hurry Love.

Todd Alsup w/ Lamont Dozier

Kirsten Thien - Featuring the legendary Hubert Sumlin in the Studio!

Great session down at Threshold Studios this week. Kirsten Thein, who was recently honored with a Songwriter's Hall of Fame Abe Olman Scholarship, came down to record some basics with her band. Kirsten has a classic sound and a great, smoky voice.

Kirsten Thien

Kirsten was backed by as good a group of musicians as you're likely to find, including Steve Holley (who played drums with Wings in the 70's!), Erik Boyd on bass (and producing) Tommy Mandel on keys (check out his credits btw), and Arthur Neilson on guitar.

The biggest surprise of the day was the arrival of Hubert Sumlin, who sat in on guitar for two songs. Hubert is on Rolling Stone's Top 100 Guitarists of All Time list. He played with Howlin' Wolf in the early days and is a major influence on the British guitarists of the 60's who basically set out to copy American blues players. Jimmy Page even stole a Hubert Sumlin lick for Led Zepplin's Lemon Song. Don't be surprised if he finds himself into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...
Jeremy and Engineer Dan Myers w/ Hubert Sumlin

Alec Gross on Nefarious Bovine Radio

Alec Gross' "All The Pretty Women", recorded at Threshold Studios, featured this week on Nefarious Bovine Radio:

Eclectic Free-Form Internet Radio. Twice a month the Nefarious Bovine brings you nonsensical ramblings and an eclectic mix of music.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Listening Party!! Christina Roberts releases new track to support Malaria No More

MajorWho has just finished a track with the wonderful Christina Roberts. She works and supports for an organization called Malaria No More. They made a big splash a few months back when Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN in a race to a million twitter followers - Ashton said he would give 10,000 mosquito bed nets to the organization if he won. Well he did, and CNN donated bed nets too. Then Oprah jumped in and offered a bunch as well. We didn't know know important these bed nets were until we started to pay attention- and boy, they really do!

"A Closer Far" is Christina's way of combining two passions to raise awareness and funds to support work that she care's about. The song is inspired by her experiences of the last 3 years working with Malaria No More, an organization determined to end malaria deaths. Unbelievably, 1 million people still die from malaria each year, mostly in Africa.

When you download "A Closer Far", a portion of the proceeds will go to support the ongoing work of Malaria No More. You can stream the song from her Facebook page (bottom left column) and download it at CD Baby:

In 2008/9 MajorWho was happy to jump in and produce the track with her. Todd Alsup even lent his time to work with Christina on the arrangement. We had some great musicians play on the track including Rich Mercurio on drums, Jay Rodriguez and Chris The Berge from Groove Collective on fulani flute and percussion, and MajorWho regulars Risa Binder on backing vocals, Jim Farkas on guitars, and Hans Glawischnig on fretless bass. And as always, mixed by Steve Greenwell.

You can hear the track on Christina's Myspace. You can "attend" the listening party on Facebook!

Here is the press release for the song:

Life has been a smorgasbord adventure for Christina Roberts, and she wouldn't have it any other way. Raised in Texas and currently based in New York City, the threads of songwriting are woven throughout Christina's childhood and coming of age, the years after spent working in Washington, DC and her latest experiences in Africa. In 2006 Christina was introduced to Malaria No More, an organization determined to end malaria deaths. Unbelievably, 1 million people still die from malaria every year, mostly in Africa. Affected and inspired, Christina immediately went to work full-time for the organization.

Christina's latest studio project, "A Closer Far", is born out of her work in Africa and a new perspective. "The world is probably mostly unchanged from a few years ago, but the way I see it is different - and I suspect I'm not alone. I can no longer imagine that it is us, here, and them, there. We live in a time of incredible awareness of each other's life circumstances. Media, travel, the global economy - these things are bringing countries closer together than ever before. I don't feel guilty for being born to an easy life, but I do feel connected to those who are not. I am compelled to participate in the effort to make things better."

Delivered in Christina's distinct, smoky vocal, a "A Closer Far" is a lush trip through her experiences and realizations of the last few years. To learn more about participating in the fight against malaria, visit:

Christina Roberts

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Todd Alsup - "Your Body Is A Wonderland" John Mayer Cover

We were in the studio recording some video of Todd and he started to warm up with this beautiful little ditty- so we kept the cameras rolling:)
Hope you enjoy.

check out todd's myspace...
Help spread the word! We can't do it without YOU!