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Artist - Keith G Halligan Album -'Hang On In'

Keith approached me in late March 2010 with the plan to record an album of his songs he had written over the previous couple of years. He wanted them properly recorded to enable him to release them on his own independent label. He came to my studio and sat and played the album through from start to finish with just acoustic guitar and him singing in the room with me. It was a stunning experience and I knew immediately that my primary challenge would be to capture the spine tingling essence of his performance.

We came up with a timetable to do the album and we tackled it one song at a time, so that we didn't lose focus on the songs.

Backing Track

Starting with Keith laying down a guide acoustic guitar part which he played along to a rough drum track I then added some simple bass and one or two other instruments to flesh out the arrangement to allow him to perform the lead vocals to something approaching how the finished track might sound.

Once we had the lead vocals recorded and edited I then moved to add many more tracks (electric guitar, strings) before working on the lush backing vocal arrangements that are throughout the album. The song 'Happy Medium' has more backing vocal tracks than I have ever used before with 56 tracks of harmonies at one point in the last chorus (which took a little time and quite a lot of energy!)

Finishing the songs

At this stage we were very close to a finished product, but lots of tiny details make all the difference, and drum fills, small guitar harmonies, extra percussion and keyboard pads finished the tracks off. We would then take some time to review the actual mix of the instruments and then we had a completed song.

On this tune we really pushed the boat out with me calling my wife's double bass into service. Not an instrument I play very often so I kept the part simple, but it really added the depth and character the song needed to keep it bouncing along.

All songs on this album
Written by Keith G Halligan
Produced by Andy Haldane
Acoustic Guitar by Keith G Halligan
Other instruments by Andy Haldane