What an incredible experience this was! I was slated to play “Mr. Sandman” for the Les Paul tribute album we are working on with the great Lou Pallo, who was Les’ right hand guitar man for many, many years. The greatest added bonus for me was the fact that they wanted my daughter, Lexie Roth, to sing the all-time great hit that Les had with his wife, Mary Ford, “Vaya Con Dios.” They loved Lexie’s voice, and it was perfectly suited to the song, and she was able to create beautiful three-part harmony parts for it, (also in the great Les and Mary tradition!)
The band was all ready to go when I walked in, and it was literally almost as simple as counting “1, 2, 3, 4”, and we all were off and running. The bass and drums were stellar, and Lou Pallo was such a wonderful rhythm player to join in with. It felt like one of those truly professional sessions where you know that everyone assembled was there because they are simply the best at what they do! Needless to say, Lexie was simply “over the moon” about what she was able to accomplish, and with how much they all loved her singing. It was a perfect evening for father and daughter for sure, and we will forever remember what a wonderful experience this was! It reminded me so much of the days when I first learned about doing session and being a sideman, where one gig or one session would seem like 100 gigs in terms of the intensive learning lesson it would be for me. So, I told Lexie that this was how one really learns in leaps and bounds, and how this session seemed to help her grow and develop even further as a singer. Nothing like REAL “on the job training!”
It sounded great, and I believe as another tribute to the man Les Paul, we all recorded direct to tape, with no digital tricks involved, such as auto-tuning, Pro Tools, or any of the other trappings of today’s recording techniques. It was very refreshing to record this way, and lord knows, we sure appreciated that “warm” sound of analog tape!
The project is still very much ongoing, and I look forward to more great and inspiring session with many other terrific players coming on board! Stay tuned for further developments!