Not every local band records with a producer, but Failing Minnesota has spent the last year and a half working with producer Kevin Gates at Reach Audio on their first full-length album. I sat down with the band to find out how working so closely with a producer has influenced them.
Vocalist and guitarist Michael Gandy remembers what it was like joining Failing Minnesota after they had already started recording.
When I listen to vocal groups with vibrant harmonies, I feel a rush of emotions from admiration to jealously. I’ve never been very good at it myself.
But Emily Higgins, Larry Lee and David Wilson are. They’ve recently come together in a new trio that bursts with three-part harmonies. The group has dubbed themselves The HigLeeWils, taking a bit of each of their last names. But how does someone learn how to sing in harmony?
For Randy Buckner, the sounds of Merle Travis’ guitar picking would fill his grandparents’ home on North Grant Avenue, where he spent the week from time to time when he was a young child. These records were a pivotal point for Buckner’s music. At 9, he picked up his first guitar. By the time he was 15, he had the opportunity to join Travis onstage.
To many people in Springfield, Molly Healey is known as a fiddle player. Over the last few years, she has developed her style into folk-inspired orchestral looping. She uses a looping pedal to overlay different instruments and rhythms, creating a sound that feels like an entire ensemble rather than just one musician.
On Studio Live, Healey demonstrated how she creates each sound – layering them one at a time, to build up an impressive wave of music. She performs without shoes, in order to work the array of pedals with her feet, much like a pipe organist would do.