All good recordings start with good ideas
Like all musicians of my vintage, I was lucky to work from an early age with producers and engineers who grafted their way up from making the tea while watching and learning in big studios. An era when musicians had to get it right second time, engineers had to get it right first time and producers had clear ideas before the tape rolled. I, in turn, learned from them.
Less is often more
Growing up with songwriters as parents plus the limitations of a four-track cassette ‘studio’ taught me economy of material. Throwing more shit at the wall will give something the semblance of ‘good’, but it’ll still smell funny. Despite the modern age of limitless everything, nothing has changed. Recording still holds to the age-old formula of ‘shit in = shit out’. Every word and every note have to earn their keep. I’m likely to make your songs shorter.
There’s always more to learn
I’ve made records in all sorts of styles for hugely diverse artists, from pure folk to pure pop with everything in between. I’ve just done my first audiobook too and managed not to strangle the reader.
Awards don’t matter – unless you win one. Whoever the artist is, the results have to speak for themselves
I’ve produced and/or mixed many studio projects, including many internationally successful albums such as Malian artist Rokia Traore’s French Grammy winning album ‘Tchamantche’.
My brother Neill MacColl and I produced the highly acclaimed double album, Joy of Living: A Tribute to Ewan MacColl (Cooking Vinyl Records). It comprised cover versions of Ewan’s best loved songs by well-known artists from the world of folk, pop and rock, including Jarvis Cocker, Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Paul Brady, Paul Buchanan, Seth Lakeman and The Unthanks.
‘Best Albums of the Year’ – Sunday Times
‘Remarkable, star-packed tribute’ ***** The Guardian
‘A Magnificent tribute’ ***** Songlines
I also produce many up-and-coming artists including some for my own UK-based label, Red Grape Music.
Selected credits include – Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger/Boo Hewerdine/Rokia Traore/Ronan Keating/Broadcaster/Jake Morley/Liz Lawrence/Brian Kennedy/Tom Chaplin/Lamb Henry/Hafdis Huld/Black/Sarah Jane Morris/Liberty Horses/Eliza Wren Payne etc etc