Little Silver (Erika Simonian, Steve Curtis) recently released a covers EP featuring songs by Chris Whitley, The Cure and Hem among others. This EP was produced, tracked and mixed by Saltlands chief engineer, Gary Maurer.  Studio time was split between Saltlands Studio and Fluxivity, with additional engineering by Julia Caruso and Nathaniel Priest.  Check out this cool animated video for “Stolen Souvenir” directed by by Peter Hamlin and Nina Frenkel.

Gary Maurer’s been a busy guy.  Chris Erikson just released his full-length “Lost Track of the Time”. Gary produced, tracked and mixed this at Saltlands.

Here’s some of what Chris and Gary had to say about the process..

…When Chris played a few [songs] for his friend Gary Maurer – a producer and studio engineer best known as a member of Hem and producer of the band’s records – his response was immediate: We should make a record, he told Erikson.

“When I heard his songs I was totally blown away,” says Maurer, who heard shades of  “the stuff I grew up listening to – Creedence, the Band, the Rolling Stones.” Having worked with Erikson on a pair of Matt Keating records, Maurer already rated him as one of his favorite guitarists, but he hadn’t realized how good a vocalist he was. “He’s an unbelievable singer,” he says. “A total natural.”

Buoyed by Maurer’s interest (“I knew how good he was at making records, so I didn’t take it lightly,” he says), Erikson kept at it, finishing 20 songs in a five-month stretch.  And six months later he and Maurer convened in the studio with a crack band including bassist Jason Mercer (Ron Sexsmith), drummer Will Rigby (dB’s, Steve Earle) and guitarist Jay Sherman-Godfrey (Laura Cantrell).  

They cut basic tracks for the record in two days, and while the rest of the recording stretched out over the following months – done in sporadic sessions worked in around Erikson’s day job, as a writer and editor at the venerable tabloid the New York Post – that same unfussy approach prevailed.

“I don’t think there are that many bands who make records like this any more,” says Maurer of the live-in-the-studio approach. “There are even live vocal takes on there.”  The result is a warm, witty, soulful disc that sounds classic and fresh at the same time, drawing on country, rockabilly, folk, swampy blues and guitar-driven rock. “Roots-rock with melody,” Erikson calls it.

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