The story dates back to the mid 90s. I was attending the School of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University, but mostly playing as much guitar as possible. I started playing guitar in a band called West Of Rome with a friend from the RTA program John Callaghan. We were given the opportunity to open for The Ian Moore Band at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto. I was a big fan of Ian and his band, spinning the band's self titled debut and Modernday Folklore CDs on constant repeat. I had the opportunity to quickly meet Ian that night, not only was he an incredible guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, but he was (and still is) a gentleman. I've always been a fan of the Austin, Tx blues sound. Ian borrowed from the Texas blues and added so much more, his music hit me hard.
Fast forward to March of 2013. I had lunch with Ian in Austin during SXSW and plans were put in place to have Ian and his bassist Matt come up to my Rattlebox Studios in Toronto to record six new songs. During a very cold and snowy seven days back in January 2014, Ian Moore, Matt Harris and I locked ourselves in the studio for an incredible seven days of recording. I brought in my good friend and fiercely talented drummer Sekou Lumumba (Serena Ryder, Thornley) on drums and we tracked the beds live off the floor. My usual drum session team of James Forsyth (drum tech) and Mike Monson (assistant engineer) were on hand and together we tracked some incredible sounds. Growing up a fan of Ian's, it was a treat to have him in my studio. His playing and singing were as strong as ever and we were able to capture some amazing performances.
One of these songs, Saturday Night, is featured on Ian's new soul album Strange Days, released last week. Saturday Night has a distinctive Motown vibe, 70s era Temptations and Isley Brothers, complete with phased out guitar leads, hand claps and harmony tracks recorded live around one microphone. Ian delivered an inspired vocal performance in just a couple of takes, full of emotion and soul. I brought in my old friend Robbie Grunwald to play Wurlitzer on the track. During mixing, I strived for an old school feel but with some modern sonics thrown in. I mixed the drums mostly in mono and then panned the backing vocals and hand claps off to the sides, I utilized a left, centre, right approach, where I panned tracks to the left, centre or right with not much in between. I'm very proud of the way this track turned out. I think we did a great job capturing the energy of the song and I'm extremely excited that it has finally come out on Ian's new Strange Days album. Ian has assured me that the rest of the material that we recorded during that snowy/cold week back in January 2014 will soon see the light of day as well. Check out www.ianmoore.com for more details and if you happen to be at SXSW go see Ian live!