News

Studio Progress Update: so far, so good :)

Hey!

Hope you all have been doing great! I wanted to touch base to update you on the progress we are making in the studio. As promised we got to work immediately after the project was fully funded. The first session at Hideaway Cafe & Recording Studio in St. Petersburg was on January 9th and we have met to record every Monday since. The goal is to have it finished by the end of February, but I will keep you posted. In case you are interested and don't know what goes into recording an album in a studio, I will give a brief overview of how we are tackling it.

Session #1 & #2: Tempo, Acoustic Guitar, Scratch Vocals

The first thing that happens is the artist (me) and the producer/engineer (John Kelly) determine the appropriate tempo and feel for the songs being recorded. Once we establish a song is, for example, 102 bpm (beats per minute), then a click track is generated (exactly what it sounds like...bap, click, click, click, bap, click..etc). Every instrument played has to be on beat with that click track for the overall song to sound cohesive. So after we determine the bpm I go go into the recording booth and play basic acoustic guitar for each song to the tempo we established while staring at the painfully intimidating red recording light. It is not as easy as it sounds!

 You don't have to start with the acoustic guitar, but we did in the case of this album. Next I go back in the recording booth and record scratch vocals for all of the songs. A scratch vocal is just a test run that is good enough to build the song around and inspire the other musicians playing, but likely not the final album version. Once the other instruments are recorded you can usually put more energy into the vocal because the rest of the song sounds so good :). In the case of this album this process took 2 sessions to complete.

SESSION #3: Drums, Drums, DRUMS!

Once we had the framework of the songs recorded to the click tracks it was time for drums. This session was on January 23rd. Jesse Rojas who plays nearly every live show with me was willing to play drums on this album, which is VERY exciting. After we completed the basic tracks, I sent them to Jesse to review and prepare. He met me at the recording studio last night with the essential pieces of his drum kit. In this case John Kelly had a great basic setup he used including kick, snare, and toms. Jesse brought some amazing sounding cymbals and high hats to round out the kit. Once everything was set up Jesse and John did about an hour of soundcheck. As there are separate microphones on each piece of equipment and a couple overhead to capture the entire room, it can take a long time. I can tell you though that it is more than worth the wait. Once everything was set up Jesse was a MACHINE. He tracked amazing drums to the entire album in 3 hours. Just FYI...that is REALLY fast. I can't wait for you to hear it. 

SESSION #4 and beyond: 

Starting next Monday the work of fleshing out the songs begins. The plan is to tackle a song or so a week, but that could change depending on the complexity of each track. I want to keep it all pretty simple, but you never know. I will keep you posted as we go. If the basic tracks are any indication (and they always are), then I am going to be very proud to share this album with you. 

Stay tuned!!!

-mjw

"The Journey" TV Pilot Project

"The Journey" is excited to announce that Michael J Weiss is joining us on our Journey. Singer, songwriter, and a crowd favorite in the Sarasota/Bradenton/St.Pete area, he will be an AWESOME addition to an already amazing list of artists.

Michael will be on the Motorworks Brewery beer garden stage in Bradenton, FL on April 20th from 7:00-9:00 pm with a very special guest Jesse Rojas on percussion!!!!

"The Journey" is a pilot TV series featuring independent singer/songwriters produced by RCG Media Group. Help to support this project and make it come to fruition by backing us on Kickstarter at:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/77117983/the-journey-an-independent-musicians-reality-tv-sh

 

Pandora!

It's official...  Grounded is on Pandora!

Michael J Weiss Station on Pandora

 You can create a full station based on the songs from Grounded by clicking the link above or searching for "Michael J Weiss" directly through Pandora. I'm also told that it helps me in the long run if you leave positive comments about my music and the station. You can do this through the mobile app and on the computer...it just takes a bit of poking around. So go forth and make a station!! If you're not familiar with Pandora, it is an internet radio concept designed to introduce you to artists. This means that when you create Michael J Weiss Station on Pandora, you will hear some songs off Grounded along with lots of new artists and songs chosen by Pandora. Enjoy the new music and thanks for the support!

How Cool is This?!

A friend of mine and great local musician, Zach Caruso, posted a cover on his youtube channel of "Moving Targets!" Please note that I only allow bearded people to cover my songs. So cool to hear another take on something I wrote. Check him out at www.zachcaruso.com or email him directly at zach@zachcaruso.com. I have it on good authority that if you email him and mention me or Moving Targets he'll send you a download of his newest album, which is getting national attention and some pretty great reviews.

Watch Zach Caruso's version of "Moving Targets." 

Reviews of "Grounded" are here!

After a few months in the world, reviews of Grounded are finding their way around. I'm proud to say they have ALL been positive! The most amazing thing I've noted is that every reviewer chooses a different song as the most notable, memorable or favorite. It is very rewarding to know that every piece on the album hit home with someone. No filler!! Don't just take my word for it though...

"Each piece on Grounded is essential, spare and consistently accessible. Each is joyfully wrought, brought to bear with quiet intensity and emotional honesty. There is a certain Paul Simon sensibility present, albeit with a much more joyful and upbeat presence."
- Bay Buzz Album Review

"Grounded shuffles from breezy track to breezy track , with a floaty, happy-go-lucky vibe (see Living My Life and Looking for My Groove) that will please fans of Jason Mraz and Train."
- Tampa Bay Times Ultimate Local Music Guide 2013

"I listened to Grounded with the goal of finally picking out my favorite song, but still could not do it. Every song is my favorite until the next one starts." 
- iTunes Reviewer

Do you have your copy of Grounded yet? If not, get it today!

 

Cover of "Dusty Shoes" by Paul Cataldo of NBY

Paul Cataldo, a good friend, great musician and front-man for the folk-rock band Not Broken Yet, recently did a very cool version of my song "Dusty Shoes." In my opinion, this is what a cover is all about! It is a perfect representation of his style as a guitar player and vocalist and I am flattered to have a cover like this out there. Take some time to check out the song...and then give Paul and Not Broken Yet a listen. 

Listen to Paul's Cover of "Dusty Shoes"