Do we make our own luck? How I’ve gotten to make a living out of my imagination is still part mystery, part fact. Today I am an Audio Engineer and Producer but I got here through a series of events.
These are just a few
My band, The Spades, toured Canada for 10 years. Gord Sinclair of The Tragically Hip produced our albums But the road is a long haul and I wanted to see if I could take what I had learned and bring it back to the engineer/producer’s seat. It wasn’t long after taking a “break” from touring that I got a call from Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo “yes, James, It’s Greg Keelor I have 4 albums to make in the next while, can you help me with those?”.
My fascination with recording music began the instant I started playing music. The shed behind my childhood home became “the jam space” for my first garage band. I got a 4 track recorder and a couple microphones and immediately started moving the mics around the room. “What does it sound like if I hang them from the rafters?”.
To keep me from being a hopeless and wandering musician my parents enrolled me in The Recording Arts Program of Canada and I graduated with a degree in Audio Engineering.
For the next 7 years I recorded radio commercials, bands, spoken word, just about anything I could to cut my teeth on.
If you told the 16-year-old me that I’d get to have some hang time and record some of my peers: Blue Rodeo, Ronnie Hawkins, Gordon Lightfoot, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson, I’m not sure I would have believed it.
From the studios to Greg’s farmhouse, halls, churches, anywhere I’ve recorded, I have to say it’s been unique every time.