“When Is a Song More Than a Song?” ~ Part II


MusicShed.AirliftProductions.L-R_MichealZiants.HeathAllen.BenLorio.RichLenz.JerryChristopher.MikeDorsey_4-4-14

~ “Be At Ease” Music Shed, New Orleans, April 4th 2014 ~
(L-R) Micheal Ziants, Heath Allen, Ben Lorio, Rich Lenz, Jerry Christopher, Mike Dorsey

When the Children’s Hospital of New Orleans Children’s Miracle Network Telethon airs on WDSU-TV next month, pay special attention to the theme song, “Be At Ease”.

I have recorded many music projects over the years at Airlift Productions, but never ever, ‘not no, but uh-uh’ –  one quite like this!

Rich Lenz bounced the original idea off the team in the summer of 2013, but I doubt any of us at the time realized exactly how daunting and ambitious it would all turn out to be.


On April 4th, Rich, Heath Allen, Jerry Christopher, Justin Davi and I all joined ace, crack (this guy is so good!) engineer Mike Dorsey down at New Orleans’ Music Shed on Euterpe to record all the basic guitar, bass, drums & piano tracks.

We then brought the wave files back to Airlift Productions and went to work.

April 5th was a busy day in the Airlift ‘hood – we recorded vocals with Rich & Heath first, then Norman Robinson & Brian Landry joined us to lay-down trumpet & euphonium tracks.  The mix was starting to get deep.  But we weren’t done.

April 7th, Bo “Boots” Walker visited Airlift to add percussive grooves.  Yes, something as simple as a tambourine & egg shaker sure adds sizzle & pop.

In the subsequent two weeks, from two different recording setups in Tulsa, two additional tracks were sent via the internet to the Airlift Studios.

Oklahoma’s Musical Ambassador & violin virtuoso Kyle Dillingham sent-in his violin addition, while Rich’s daughter Claire Lenz recorded her vocal tracks at the recording facilities of Oral Roberts University – and then sent them to Airlift & me.

And now – the real work began!  Can you imagine taking all these different sources from all these different studios and all these varied talents – and crafting a finished, harmonious, and balanced mix?

Well, the proof of the pudding, they say, is in the tasting. Listen or Download right here
                                “Be At Ease” 2014 CMN Telethon Theme

                      (and No egos were harmed in the making of this recording)
              

AirliftProductions.NewOrleans.L-R_RichLenz.MichealZiants.HeathAllen.Summer2013

~ the Three Amigos, brotherhood in the ‘hood  at the Airlift Studios, Summer 2013
(L-R) Rich Lenz, Micheal Ziants, Heath Allen ~

Airlift Productions, a Catalyst for Positive Change … since 1984

Airlift Productions asks “When is a Song More Than a Song?”

Airlift Studios_L-R_Micheal Ziants.Heath Allen.Rich Lenz.Brian Landry.ChildrensHospital Theme Song 2014

                 ~ the Airlift Productions-Children’s Hospital Healing House Krewe
                      (L-R) Micheal Ziants, Heath Allen, Rich Lenz, Brian Landry
                                at the Airlift Productions Studios, Summer 2013 ~

How is it possible to capture months of work & dedication that encompass four different recording studios, two different states, and the talents of many widely divergent individuals into a single blog?


Well, it’s not!  But I’m about to give it a shot.

Airlift Productions & I got involved with singer-songwriter (and now the amiable & dependable KOTV-Tulsa AM Anchor) Rich Lenz years ago, and began producing the Children’s Miracle Network Theme Songs with him in 2004.

This year’s recording “Be At Ease” is quite remarkable for a number of different reasons. Not only is it epic in nature and opus-like in scope, but it captures the raw emotion that stares the parents of the kids held in the care of our Children’s Hospital squarely in the face.

Accidents, by their very nature, happen when one least expects it and almost always at inopportune times. The ‘Be At Ease’ narrative begins with ‘Tomboy Pete’ falling out of a tree … while the father is working at the rig offshore. Drama ensues.

And the musical contributions are most amazing: Heath Allen steps to the forefront this year with his heartfelt lead vocals, Rich Lenz, in addition to composing & writing the song, adds sparkling guitar tracks & a passionate chorus, Claire Lenz’s vocals married to Kyle Dillingham’s violin make for hauntingly sublime refrains, and Norman Robinson & Brian Landry punch it up with solid, insistent horn work.  Add to that the steady drumming & piano tracks of the Music Shed’s Mike Dorsey & Justin Davi, together with Jerry Christopher’s throbbing bass & Bo Walker’s tambourine – and you’ve got quite a remarkable effort!

And yours truly?  Well, I was honored and thrilled to slide the faders and punch the buttons.

Be among the first to bear witness to the 2014 Children’s Hospital of New Orleans Miracle Network Theme – “Be At Ease” ! Listen or Download here –

“Be At Ease” 2014 CMN Telethon Theme

Then, make sure to catch the telethon on WDSU-TV next month, and
pledge early and often in support of the many talented & dedicated
doctors down at Children’s. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do.


Airlift Studios_L-R_Norman Robinson.Brian Landry.CMN Telethon Theme Songs,Airlift Productions New Orleans

      ~ the Healing House ‘Soul Men’, laying-down horn tracks at the Airlift Studios
                         Norman Robinson & Brian Landry, April 2014 at Airlift ~

VoiceOver Recording & Production … with a New Orleans twist