News From The Woods - June, 1991


By Bob Ketchum

Originally Published June, 1991

"Session Notes"

Ahhh Summer! Lush, green vegetation (full of ticks and chiggers), soft gentle breezes running over a cool, refreshing lake (which I don't get to enjoy 'cause I'm inside the studio), time for a relaxing vacation (who are we kidding here?); I think you get the picture.

June and July are especially lousy for Susan and me. We do a lot more video because everything looks green and alive. Naturally then, we're right out in the middle of the summer heat. We also keep busy with recording sessions and even manage to get in a day or two playing with Whiplash Gumbo, as we did July 17 at George's in Fayetteville. And speaking of Gumbo, Randy Keck came back in to Cedar Crest and cut nine more tracks (presumably for album #3). Randy laid down basic piano tracks and a reference vocal first, then just last week Porky Hill recorded all the drum tracks to a "click." The next step will be John Davies' bass parts, then we'll move on to various overdubs.

The Arkansas River Blues Festival was a blast again this year. It's been a long time since I've seen John Mayall. I was in a band called Goldrush in the mid-'70's. We opened for John at Old Lady at Brady's Theater in OKC and again at Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa. John's guitarist in Little Rock was Coco Montoya, who is rumored to be starting up a band of his own with Fayetteville musicians. I guess Mayall ought to be used to that by now, since he introduced pickers Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton to the world. I had never seen Buddy Guy or Robben Ford, but their sets were outstanding. Also noteworthy was the Kinsey Report and Otis Rush. We had a great time there on the river. I even managed to spot the ever-reclusive Peter Read with camera and cigarettes in hand. We also had a great time at the crew party held at Juanita's. Susan sat in for a couple of tunes with the Blues Patrol. Next time I'm bringing my axe with me!

I did miss out on the White Album Project in Fayetteville. Duty called in the form of Jess McEntire. We recorded three more great country tunes on Jess, with Gary Smith and myself co-producing the session. Rain Equine returned to record two new tracks for Dime-A-Dozen Productions; Great Southern Railroad spent several days in the studio rehearsing for some upcoming showcase dates; and Joe Hamilton of Hamilton/Lambert entered a cut from Letters From the Earth in a national contest sponsored by Hastings. The cut was selected as a winner and got them invited to play at the Western Merchandisers National Sales Convention in Amarillo, Texas. Country star Garth Brooks and Pirates of the Mississippi also performed there. The crowd included reps from every major record label.

On August 10 and 11 I was contracted to videotape the American Power Boat Association's national races. The APBA Nationals were held here on Lake Norfork. Several classes of hydroplanes were entered from all over the country. That was fun, but pretty hot. At least now my tan looks better. We also got to assist Kent Jones in pulling off the annual Independence Eve celebration at Lake Norfork. It took a crew of five about seven hours to set up the fireworks and what a show! I was allowed to videotape the display from a short distance away and got some truly magnificent footage. The finale was spectacular and featured a 180-shot barrage.

I'll be spending the next three weeks doing video jobs for Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Hospice of the Ozarks, Gilbert Realty, and the Woodsman Guide Service, along with several depositions for attorneys. Other recent video projects have been done for the Mountain Home High School Senior Class, Earth Day festivities in Eureka Springs, Good Samaritan Nursing Home, Nelson-Wilkes Elementary School, Baxter General Hospital, Cosmic Productions, Kustom Kemps of America, and several television commercials. We completed 85 video projects in 1990.

Coming up in September will be the release of G. T. Hood's album on Hype, Look Ma! No Plans. We'll be videotaping "Thunder on Pigeon Creek" drag boat races and on the 19th Susan and I will travel once again to Fayetteville to sit with Whiplash Gumbo at George's Majestic Lounge. Maybe we'll see you there!!

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