|3 May: At home this morning, soft Georgia rain outside my office window. Dave Hewitt recorded bass tracks for the 2nd King Jesus Bluesbreakers album, with Spencer Cooper observing & playing Hammond organ licks here & there. It was great being able to introduce my favorite organist to my favorite bassist. This new album has the potential to be even greater than the 1st one, less filler more meat.
Jeanne is recovering from her fall from the stage while dancing last week. Every one of us has a "fell from the stage" story in our lives as performers.
I am loving the Les Paul & pushing the envelope on slide. My psychedelic Strat is on "back-up" now.
25 May: Last night Jeanne & I watched Ab & Les perform with the X Miss Americas @ Hemingways in Marietta. We sat with a few of our Traveler friends & admired the skills of the band.
I discovered Ronnie Woods' website, and Jo Woods' website as well...www.ronniewood.com...great sites by two of my favorite entertainers.
I reconnected with an old friend, Barney @ Comitis in Colorado.
Yesterday we hung out with Dave Hewitt for a little while. Dave & I were getting haircuts at the same time at a place called Elanis. Jeanne helped the stylist figure out what to do with my hair.
Spencer & James Cooper added a few more tracks to the King Jesus Bluesbreakers album in progress. Another band "Good Sam" are working on their album in my studio, with me engineering.
Preston Samford & I go flying over north Georgia this week.
I acquired a new electric resonator & a new microphone this week--both lovely pieces of gear. And I wrote a new song about my daughter and an imaginary lemonade stand.
9 July: Jeanne & I dropped the recent past line-up of the Frank French Band. I've done a few gigs with various versions of the X Miss Americas, including the electric version with the fantastic rhythm section "1/4 Ton of Fun" (John McKnight on drums & Jon Schwenke on bass). Last night I played slide guitar with the best singer in Atlanta (my friend Andrew Black), again with the 1/4 Ton of Fun rhythm section, this time at Londzell's Blues & Jazz Cafe. What a cool place!
I begin rehearsals with my new line-up, the Frank French Orchestra, or the New World Orchestra (however you look at it). This ensemble is focusing on my own neo-classical material (my favorite of all that I have written in my lifetime). Spencer Kirkpatrick & I finally get to do something secular together. This is a multi-media ensemble, and because of the scope of the project, we are conducting the 1st rehearsals at the Church, until we settle on the personnel of the group, then we will move to one of the studios--mine or Preston's. That way we can rehearse & record at the same time.
Still working on the next King Jesus Bluesbreakers album in the studio, as well as Tommy Wails' current project. Dana Collier has been invited to sing, and she has a project we are helping with too. The Howard Finster project continues.
24 July: Rehearsals with the new Band continue, and they do sound great! Meanwhile, we will be installing a new recording desk in my office at Messiah. My office will serve as the mix/edit room, linked to the 32 track in the control room above the sanctuary, and linked to the 32 track on the stage in the sanctuary. The sanctuary will be the ultimate live room. All of this will be compatible with my own studios, which are industry standard.
The band line-up is (at this moment) Preston Samford on Hammond & Juno keyboards, Daniel Harrison on violin, Spencer Kirkpatrick on guitars, Tim Gant on drums, Matt Evan Johnson or Dave Hewitt taking turns on bass, Wade Marshall on harmonica & vocals, Jeanne French on percussion & vocals, and me (Frank French) on guitar & vocals. Daniel claims that we are louder than thunder.
15 August: The hottest part of the summer has passed. The roses are thriving, plenty of figs picked off the tree everyday. Most of my attention is on Music @ Messiah, the King Jesus Bluesbreakers, and the Frank French Orchestra (what are we going to call this entity?)
5 September: We are calling it "ZoHachi"--calm & thunder, eye of the hurricane, all in one warm experience.
20 September: Mellow autumn morning here in north Georgia. The fig trees have their last figs on them, which probably won't ripen before the trees go dormant for the winter. The roses are blooming & usually keep blooming until December. The camellias & the rose of sharon have all gotten taller this year.
ZoHachi sounds great, I am happy. Frank Mills has become the bassist & I love his vibe. Matt & Dave were unavailable too often. Everyone has gotten more aggressive in their playing & I like that. I am mostly playing the Gretsch in drop D tuning, and the Les Paul or the Resonator in G tuning. I've put away the Strat, since I am not using any regular tunings on any of the songs. The master volumes on the HiWatt & the Marshall have been kicked up to 10 o'clock (zero is at 7 o'clock--no numbers on these British amps).
23 November: Our time at Church of the Messiah is over, and Jeanne & I are now back home in the Assemblies of God, Roswell Assembly. I've devoted the time that had previously been "church work" time to my recording studios full time, instead of dividing my time between the church & the studio. I have a few live gigs coming up, but I am still primarily a studio guy.
11 January 2009: Studio life has been very busy, working on the next Bluesbreakers CD, and Matt Evan Johnson's new project. I am publishing Matt's songs now. Had a couple of the guys from "Miles from Pangea" in to cut tracks--excellent! I'm playing piano & Hammond w/Richard Bicknell at a gig coming up. And Spencer Kirkpatrick & I played the Duane Allman memorial. Michael Allman (Gregg's son) sang some with us.