As you may or may not know, my husband, Ned Andrew, is quite the talented guy. He’s a journalist and an editor, directs leadership institutes, is a fantastic speaker and trainer, does all of our laundry and keeps us fed.
He’s also an amazingly skilled singer, songwriter and musician. One of his tunes is even part of the Smithsonian Archives. Seriously.
Once upon a time, before internet and cell phones, he came to Nashville on the advice of some music industry folks who thought he “had it” only to pack it in 5 years later to raise some kids and work a full-time “real job.”
As the story goes, he even removed the strings from his 1971 Martin D28 for about a decade. Yeah. It was bad.
Fast forward to 2011 and the 40 year anniversary of his acquiring that guitar. We headed out on a 2500 mile road trip to visit family and friends all over the eastern side of the US. Folks were delighted that he brought along his guitar — though he was still somewhat hesitant to impose his music upon them. After receiving incredibly warm welcomes and enthusiastic responses to his tunes and talent everywhere we went, I planted a bug.
“Hey, hon, it would be so wonderful if you’d get these songs down for us. I mean, we don’t have good recordings of any of them and it would be a shame to lose them all.”
Once those words came out of my mouth, the stars began to align and talented folks started appearing from everywhere to help us out.
We have a friend in LA who owns a fabulous studio who had offered to record Ned Andrew’s tunes. I was ready to book a flight. Walking Champ one morning, we talked about how ironic it would be to fly across the country to make a recording when we could probably knock on 12 doors in our neighborhood and find 6 basement studios.
That evening we went to a house concert where we met Fett. Turns out that Fett lives on our street. And, yes, he runs an amazing professional studio in his basement. Oh, and as a bonus? He specializes in capturing live guitar and vocal. Not kidding.
So, I encouraged — er, pushed, shoved, begged, and cajoled — Ned Andrew into booking some studio time. He finally did, and over the course of this past year he and Fett recorded the guitar and vocal to 25 of his original songs. They picked out 12 that work well together, recorded background vocals on 4 of those, and mixed and mastered them into an album.
While Fett was doing his production magic, we went to visit dear friends in New York where the incredibly talented Andrew Lerman captured the concert shots we used for the album’s cover.
From there, we went into the packaging design and disc replication phase of the project. We’ve learned all sorts of cool information about glass mastering and graphic design along the way thanks to the ever-helpful folks at DiscMasters.
A rather large, heavy box of perfectly mastered, printed, and shrink-wrapped CDs were delivered to our door yesterday. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime moment! It was pretty surreal to hold this album in my hands for the first time.
Now we’re on to distribution and are working with a company to get Ned Andrew’s music available through all of those online outlets in physical CD and downloadable formats.
The whole business is absolutely fascinating.
I’m pretty daggone proud of my sweet hubby for being brave enough to pick his guitar back up at all, but I’m over the moon that he’s finally recorded this album. It really did start out as a selfish desire to have copies of his songs recorded for me and the kids, but I’m willing to share them with y’all.
At some point soon the album, A Step Along the Way, will be available through outlets like Amazon and iTunes. In the meantime, you can get a really real CD directly from Ned’s website.
It’s a truly wonderful collection culminating more than four decades of writing and performing.
My next little plot is to get Ned Andrew “playing out” again.