Saturday we were part of group of eleven singers invited to track backing vocals for an upcoming Jeff McLeod Christmas CD. Jeff started work on this months ago and says he’ll make it just in time for the Christmas shopping season. We’ll be sure to fill you in on where you can pick up a copy of these great new songs. If you’re on my Christmas list you can probably stop trying to guess what you’re getting from me…
What struck me was how Jeff came about inviting the particular individuals to this particular tracking session.
Rather than calling up his usual suspects or asking his home church worship team to sing, he had seen each of our faces standing in the tracking room whenever he thought of the task. Then being faithful, invited those faces to the session. It could not have gone any better. Five songs tracked in four hours. Four part harmony was rehearsed, tracked, and double stacked with eleven people who had never sung together before. Granted that with Jeff running the studio and Greg Rice directing us through his own great vocal arrangements we already had an advantage, but there was more to the sound than great recording and direction. It was obvious during playback. This is going to be a great CD.
Although I’m not the greatest at sight singing, I was just so glad to be reading music again. With the projects I’ve been involved with the last few years it’s been quite a while since someone put notes on a page in front of me. It was a great comfort to find out that it’s just like riding a bike – it all came back. Very little trouble with pitch and no troubles with rhythm. Dodged that bullet!
As it turned out, most of the singers were members of the local chapter of the American Christian Songwriter’s Association and most had at least met each other. I’ve made more great connections within this organization that any other music group I’ve been in. In fact their annual conference held in Arlington, Texas is coming up August 24-25 with great speakers, a songwriting contest, open mic’s, and my favorite: the best networking opportunity of the year. I understand that as of today there are only 8 seats left available. Check the site for more information.
UPDATE: While Jeff’s site is still getting an overhaul I was able to get some more background information on him. If you have true pro audio needs he’s where I’d start.
“McLeod Audio Services- Flower Mound, TX specializes in recording and producing Christian Songwriters and Worship Leaders. Jeff McLeod is a veteran songwriter with hundreds of songs under his belt and studio owner with over 30 years of experience. His passion is to stir up the flames of worship by raising up and training other worship leaders and by helping them get their songs recorded to impact the most people for God’s glory. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.”