Friday, July 9, 2010

TVD's The Ardent Sessions Presents: Big Smith

"Last year my band Big Smith had the amazing experience of meeting John Fry, Rachel Hurley, and the gang at Ardent Studios. We loved seeing our buddy Pete Mathews nestled in his array of monitors and consoles, learning about the amazing success of the Soulsville Charter School, and being moved and inspired by our tour of the Stax museum, as well as the work and legacy of Ardent. I've written about this once in a lifetime experience at Ardent elsewhere in more depth.

Of the old Boston Garden, it was often said that when opposing teams played there, they not only played the Boston teams; they also had to play “the ghosts” living in the rafters: the specter of past Boston teams: their legend and their victories. At Ardent, it might be said that when you play there, you not only get to play with your band, you get to play with the ghosts. The legacy of great music is everywhere apparent at Ardent, from the gold and platinum records hanging on the walls, to the album covers and photographs, to the equipment. Holy mackerel, the equipment! A 2-inch tape machine is a great, lovely beastie under any circumstance, but when it has played a role in producing legendary music…well, these things ought to be preserved as monuments—preferably working monuments on which my bandmates and I get to record.

Another thing that distinguishes Ardent from other places with ghosts is how alive the ghosts are at Ardent. At Ardent, the ghosts are alive and well, and consequently so is the spirit. The feeling of family you get at Ardent is not confined to the studio or the people who have worked there. Walking the halls and occupying the studios you get a vision, or at least I did, of the kinship of an amazing diversity of musicians in an amazing diversity of genres who care deeply about what they do, who approach their art with passion and creativity, who believe that rendering our experience faithfully through music can be a high calling, and who think one ought to do his or her part in helping others answer that calling. What you do then is give your head a good shake, and in the best tradition of Ardent technicians and staff, and the musicians who’ve moved the earth at Ardent, you set to work.

We're touring in support of our latest studio album, "Roots, Shoots, and Wings," and are writing and rehearsing songs for the next one."
—Jody Bilyeu

The Ardent Sessions Presents: Big Smith | The Vinyl District Podcast [98.2Mgs]

Enter to win Big Smith's CD "Roots, Shoots, and Wings" by simply leaving a comment, your name, and a contact email address in the comments to this post. We'll choose one winner each Friday for that week's giveaway which ALSO includes the entire Ardent Music catalog. (That's just 2 artists at this point, but hey, who's counting?)

To hear more great Ardent Sessions please visit Ardent Presents.


Knit Frenzy said...

What a great article! Lovely artwork, too!. Looking forward to hearing the new "endeavor".
Big Smith stays fresh, yet always familiar.

Knit Frenzy said...

"Knit Frenzy forgot to leave her name, Leah B. and her email contact which is
Thank you very much.