Tag Archives: Right Lane Bandits

Bandits, Robin Hood & Kismet In Old New Orleans

Airlift Mike & The Shadow at Airlift Productions, where Every day is ‘Take your Doggie to Work’ Day

I first met Jake Landry, innocently enough, while walking my faithful four-footed friend The Shadow through the Old Bonnabel subdivision here just outside NOLA.

After our brief introduction, he told me he played guitar, sang and wrote music, while I told him that I owned and operated a recording studio.


A fave boyhood hero and model of mine was Robin Hood, who heroically stood up for the oppressed, rescued damsels in distress, and went about righting wrongs.

Jake Landry Records at Airlift Productions NOLA

Jake told me his band was called The Right Lane Bandits and he wanted to make his mark, steal a few hearts, and change the world with his music.


For the record, ‘kismet’ is an old Arabic word that’s often used to describe something significant that was meant to be, that happens seemingly by chance, but is steered by fate or destiny. (Dude, that’s deep.)

For the record, yes, Jake and his band of Merry Men will together with yours truly, Airlift Mike (Robin Hood), make many!

Records, that is.

Harp-man Paul Piazza mystifies and amazes with his masterful microphone maneuvers at Airlift Productions

Our first project together was a jingle for the Frere Jean Cajun Seasonings folks, but that session merely served as my introduction to Jake’s rather formidable talents and passion.

As producer & recording engineer, my suggestion to Jake was pretty simple: Original tunes are one thing, but we need to give Linda & Larry Listener, Karl & Karla K-Mart, Arnold & Alice Average (who’ve never heard your work before) a yardstick by which to measure your talents – a totally excellent cover song.

So, this past week, that’s exactly what we did at Airlift Productions… record the ultimate, classic cover song.

Written by musical Christian mystic troubadour Van Morrison and with lyrics like “We were born before the wind, Also younger than the sun” …. rockin’ your gypsy soul, Linda & Larry Listener,  here come the Right Lane Bandits —

** “Into the Mystic” ~ Right Lane Bandits at Airlift Productions **

(L-R) Paul Piazza, Jake Landry, Zach Fellman, Brandon Bates entertaining the house at the House of Blues in NOLA’s French Quarter


Catch-up with The Right Lane Bandits when you can, around the House of Blues here in NOLA, or at a night club or wedding reception near you.

While you still can.


***Jake and his posse in Greenwich, CT this past month, entertaining the troops via You Tube ***

The ‘kismet’ moral to the whole story here?

Keep your faith in your boyhood heroes.

And walk your dog more often.

ports Director & Anchor … and current King of Daytime Television, ********************************************************************

Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from NOLA since 1984NewOrleansskylineg studios share something in common with great concert venues.  They both have a… what is it?  An aura, a vibe, a karma, an


Original WDSU-Airlift Productions-Children’s Hospital ‘Healing House’ krewe ~ (L-R) Heath Allen, Brian Landry, Rich Lenz, Micheal Ziants

“Great recording studios share something in common with great concert venues. They both have a…what is it? An aura, a vibe, a karma, an ambiance? Whatever you call it, it’s as real as any speaker on the wall or slider on a console. You can’t see it, but, you can absolutely FEEL it. 

Airlift Productions has IT- thanks to the man behind the board ( and in your ear). Michael Ziants has a knack for gently pulling your best work out of you- and then improving upon it in the final mix. The finished product always leaves you thrilled, satisfied and amazed that you really had it in you! The best part- he gives you all the credit and you only realize later what great hands your material was in. 

Do yourself a favor- give Airlift a try. You’ll love the results and every moment you spent producing them.” 

— RICH LENZ, former WDSU-TV Sports Director and currently KING of Daytime Television at KOTV-Tulsa


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It’s A Wonderful Life ~ At Airlift Productions NOLA

Its-A-Wonderful-LifeAs I pause to reflect on this Christmas Eve 2015, I am ever so thankful to have been blessed to live this most authentic life in this most authentic city… in the most interesting of times.

While way too many today commute to jobs they really don’t like, working at hours and tasks they really don’t care for, I’ve been fortunate to spend every single day of my life through the past thirty years living between the arts and the sciences. In New Orleans, Louisiana! 

Music, Theater, Radio, Television and high-end, state-of-the-art technology all collide at hyper speed in the land of my dreams at Airlift Productions in NOLA.

Airlift Productions, New Orleans

It’s where the warmth of analogue lives … and the lightning speed of digital delivers. Anywhere in the world!

And I get to create digital magic and give clarion focus to dreams and visions with the most fantastic collection of gifted people anywhere on earth.

Just a few cases in point from just the past month here at the Airlift studios

Jake Landry of Right Lane Bandits Records At Airlift Productions NOLA, December 2015
Jake Landry of Right Lane Bandits Records At Airlift Productions NOLA, December 2015

Let’s start with music. Jake Landry, front man for the Right Lane Bandits, is one gifted spirit, I’ll tell you. He’s a cross between Jason Mraz and John Mayer, with some crooner Michael Buble’ thrown into the mix.  

Together with his running partner Paul Piazza on backup vocals and harp/harmonica, Jake paid a visit to Airlift Productions just this past Saturday to lay-down tracks for one of his originals – “Playing You”.

Oh, these women.

*** Jake Landry & Paul Piazza “PLAYING YOU” December 2015 ***

They want to come back with the rest of the boys to beef it up a bit with bass, drums and keyboards, but even at this level, the musicianship, style, and talent are just off the hook, dontchathink?

Meanwhile, Christmastime trolls the internet.

Betsy, Taylor & Tyler cozy-up to the Airlift Studio mics for a Holiday Classic

Tasked by a Chicago-based advertising agency to coordinate sessions and record the audio for a web-based “politically correct Holiday greeting card”, I went to work.

Playing-off the original “Deck the Halls” tune, and inserting a few terrifically fun and funny interruptions accented by sleigh bells, I recorded this new holiday classic with a trio of very talented professors from our Loyola University here in New Orleans. Now playing at an internet near you.

** A “Politically Correct” Deck the Halls from Airlift NOLA **

And as if music weren’t enough, I get to warm-up the mics for myself as well. Gee, you can take the guy out of the radio… but you can’t take the radio out of the guy!

Mike Church putting in another day at the office on the VERITAS Network .... with some help from Airlift Mike
Mike Church putting in another day at the office on the VERITAS Network …. with some help from Airlift Mike

My relationship with the famous (or infamous, depending on how you choose to view him) Mike Church continues. Mike, of course, is known around the planet for having had the longest-running show in the history of Sirius/XM satellite radio, and has just recently launched his own network and channel.

Yours truly has been tagged to set the pace for the Crusade!

As Imaging Voice & Producer for Mike’s VERITAS Network and the Crusade Channel, I get to throw pop culture (?), movies, television and news makers into the audio Cuisinart – and hit the blend button!

** The King Dude’s ‘Blazing Saddles’ homage re-joiner **

Or imagine, if you can, mixing former Ambassador John Bolton with Homer Simpson — and adding Gregorian chants?

** Mike Church Imaging for the Crusade On Veritas **

My, my, my… this “Wonderful Life” of mine is certainly never boring.

And always a challenge.  But forever a gift!

Airlift Mike working the Children’s Hospital Telethon in NOLA on WDSU-TV

To have found this most unique way to take all the skills and talents that I was born with – and then blend them into my own business and have it all play out from this most fascinating city is, to my way of seeing it, the most authentic way to live a life. 

And it is my fervent Christmas & New Year’s  wish and prayer for the reader of these words that, if you haven’t yet, you somehow find yours!

Merry Christmas! And here’s to Living YOUR Dream in 2016.


LizzRantze“My experience with Airlift Productions was top notch from the start. My company is based in Los Angeles and I had a client that needed to do a last minute VO session in New Orleans. Micheal was incredibly knowledgeable and accommodating, not to mention a blast to work with! Our session turned out beautifully.”  ~ LIZZ RANTZE, Executive Producer, Rantze + Raves Productions, Los Angeles, CA 


 To Communicate is the Beginning of Understanding.

                              Airlift Productions Communicates

Airlift Productions Spices-Up N’awlins Airwaves

Just like a good gumbo, a memorable radio jingle has to have the just-right ingredients to make it POP! Talented musicians + a catchy tune + the magic of a kids’ chorus = a Jingle that tingles!  (too much?)

Frere Jean Salt-Free Cajun Seasonings, available all throughout southeast Louisiana, and on line, visited Airlift Productions NOLA to make their products "Sing"!
Frere Jean Salt-Free Cajun Seasonings, available all throughout southeast Louisiana, and on line, visited Airlift Productions NOLA to make their products “Sing”!

Well, Frere Jean’s got it Goin’ On!

One week ago today the Airlift Productions Studios were hummin’ and buzzin’ as, together, we cooked-up one serious gumbo.

Jake Landry & Paul Piazza – of Right Lane Bandits – Record Jingles At Airlift Productions NOLA, Sept. 2015

Jake Landry & Paul Piazza, front men for the notorious (and wickedly talented) Right Lane Bandits showed-up to lay-down guitars, tambourines. harmonica, and vocals as Ingredient #1.


*** First things first ~ Landry guitars + Piazza’s Harp – Wow! ***

Frere Jean's Kids' Chorus ~ Madisyn, Dayton & Daylan Having a Ball at Airlift Productions NOLA
Frere Jean’s Kids’ Chorus ~ Madisyn, Dayton & Daylan Having a Ball at Airlift Productions NOLA

Enter Madisyn, Dayton & Daylan –

Brother John Rodrigue Laying-down “Yep! ‘Dat’s ‘da One!”

Frere Jean’s owners’ grandchildren  – to punch-up the message with exuberant shouts & fun giggles – Ingredient #2.

Last, but certainly not least, add the voice of co-owner and namesake front-man for the organization – Brother John Rodrigue – tagging the whole effort with his “Yep! ‘Dat’s ‘da One!” at the tail – Ingredient #3.

*** Frere Jean Full Sing :15 Jingle recorded @ Airlift Productions ***

Mix well, add Cajun seasoning to taste… and you’ve got one fun, catchy, memorable jingle! Think “the Von Trapp Family meets Rockin Dopsie”.

Broadcast Veteran – and Actor – Micheal Ziants, plying his trade at the Airlift Studios

Oh, OK, I guess I left out one ingredient. And that would be some nondescript announcer dude doing all the stuff that would be impossible to do in a jingle – descriptive info and a definitive call to action … Airlift Mike closes the sale.

** Airlift’s Micheal Ziants delivers the Jingle ‘donut’ pitch **

A good jingle has to capture the essence of a company, what they’re really all about. And with a product name like “Frere Jean”, we had to emphasize Cajun-French heritage along with the qualities of Family & Brotherhood!

How’d we do?


(L-R) NBC’s “The Voice” Finalist Terry McDermott, Greg DiLeo, Micheal Ziants at Airlift Productions NOLA

“I have been recording at Airlift Productions since 2010, and I completed my album in 2012.  Micheal Ziants was a pleasure to work with, and he took my creative process and turned it into something I am proud to have on iTunes for sale.  Mike was like a second musical force in the room, moving the process along until we had a finished product I was happy with and proud to play. And he always brought  the most beautiful sounds out of my instruments.  I have a home studio with ProTools and all the bells and whistles added on, but I can’t get the warmth and presence that he pulls out of my recordings.  Kudos to Airlift.”

~ GREG DILEO, New Orleans’ “Legal-Minute” Attorney by day, Big Easy Troubadour & Recording Artist by night  


To Communicate is the Beginning of Understanding.

                                     Airlift Productions Communicates