A Conversation with Erika Luckett (continued)
PM: On the new record, is the opening track or the title track going to be the single to radio?
EL: Well, I've had varying feedback from the very few who have heard it so far. You're one of the very first people to hear the record, it's completely new, just happened. It seems to me that in the Spanish market, it should be "Si Volvera." In the French market, it should be the French version of "Deepest Deep." What do you think?
PM: Well, I agree with those two songs to those markets, of course. In the AAA American market, I think it's the title song, I think it's got the right sound. But we'll have to see what people assemble around the record, and the emerging consensus about such things.
Let's talk about a few of the players on the record. I was very impressed with the drumming of Dawn Richardson from 4 Non Blondes. She was a real badass on this record.
EL: She was a badass. [laughs] I'd never played with her before, but Jeffrey said that I ought to check her out, he really wanted to work with her. I had heard her play live. So he pulled her in, and also the bassist Paul Olguin. But I had total confidence in Jeffrey. And they were both terrific in the studio, top shelf.
PM: No mere rocker, Dawn played excellently through a number of world grooves, I thought. When she hit that double time feel in the first caminando section of "Siete Rios," that was very cool. What was it like for her to work on the record? Did she have a fun time?
EL: Well, you know what? I think she's very, very proud of the record, too. She went down to the NAMM Show in Anaheim, and she asked for a bunch of promos to pass out. I think the rhythm section sound that they got on the album was also gratifying.
PM: It sounds fantastic.
EL: It is a really big sound. And the mastering, it was really cool for me to be around the process. The whole journey, from a song idea to a mastered disc, it's pretty amazing. Brian Gardner from Bernie Grundman Mastering in L.A. worked on the record, and I was extremely pleased with what he did. I know you know from personal experience that one tries to pick the very best people you can find to get the result you hear in your head, or better.
PM: You seem to have pulled out all the stops on this project. Did that make it way more expensive than your previous efforts, or did you call in some markers and pull in a few favors to still keep it relatively cheap?
EL: Called in every marker and asked every favor I could, and it really wasn't much more than my other group records. The New Orleans Sessions, of course, was a simple live record that was cut very affordably. But I'd never paid for a live string section and arranger before, for instance, some of the costs were new. But for an independent artist, I think we made a big budget sounding record.
PM: Will you keep it an independent release, or will you shop it to labels?
EL: Well, I think I would like to shop it. Again, it comes down to what's the best way to get to a more global audience? There's only so much I can do as Birdfish Records.
PM: ATO Records should hear this, Six Degrees should hear it, a number of people come to mind. Now, before I forget, let's say something about the fine bassist on Unexpected.
EL: Yes. Paul Olguin is his name. He's a Bay Area guy who's played with everyone from Mary Wells to Mazzy Star. He went on the road with a Latin American ensemble, Savinha. They were a couple of Latin American women singing in the Nueva Cancion style. He's a brilliant American, a big guy with a very deadpan humor, one liners that take a minute to ripple through a room, and everybody laughs later. continue
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