2002 Dockside Studio Louisiana with Carl Carlton
2002-12 Carl Carlton, Dockside-Studios, Lousiana
Carlton Carl called to see if I would like to visit him and his gang in December recording his new album in Louisiana and document everything on video and photos. Of course I was immediately hooked, because Carl's music is one of my absolute favorites. And his band, the "Songdogs", are all top musicians: Bertram Engel on drums, Pascal Kravetz (son of the Lindenberg keyboarder Jean-Jaques) on keyboards, the ingenious black Californian Wizzard on bass, Moses Mo from "Mother's Finest" on guitar, and of course Carl himself, one of the best and most tasteful guitarists I know - and with a very special and unmistakable voice.
As support he had invited various American top musicians, such as Bobby Keys (saxophonist with the Stones and others), Levon Helm (singer and drummer of "The Band"). On top of that, the horn duo John Smith / Steve Howard (sax and trumpet), who had played the most complicated brass sections for Toto. And also various guys from the local scene like Sonny Landreth.
from left to right: Carl, Tony (Sound-Ing), Moses Mo and Bertram Engel
from left to right: Richard Comeaux (Pedal-Steel), John Smith, Wizzard, Pascal Kravetz & Vivian
The dockside kitchen with terrace
The Dockside Studio is one of the last studios with analog equipment and is located in southern Louisiana near the town of Lafayette in the swamps. Various buildings made of wood, which contain the complete studio as well as the rooms for the musicians and the private residence of the studio owners. This has a real atmosphere. Directly next to the recording room in the staircase is an aquarium, whose bubbling sounds one does not actually hear, but which are supposed to contribute decisively to the Dockside sound. (So the Italians claim that the delicate consistency of an octopus can only be achieved by adding a wine cork to the cooking water. It may or may not be ...)
Speaking of food: you let that come. Or you can drive to the next village where the natives seem to live on nothing but crayfish or oysters. And preferably in huge quantities. Neither of these is really the real thing, however, because the crayfish require a hell of a pulverization and the oysters are even worse than those in California: grown in brackish/fresh water and completely tasteless. And what else remains of Cajun cooking is acceptable. But you don't have to travel to Louisiana for the food. But for excellent sound recording in any case!
Meiomei, the two "TOTO" brass players were brilliant. Steve Howard arrived in his own small plane. I picked him up with my rental car from a tiny airport. Bobby Keys was in a bad mood because bladder cancer. Artificial urinary output and in addition a solid flu.
I was able to establish a nice contact with Levon Helm by playing him a recording of my Rollinger band of his composition "Big Roll Daddy" in the dockside kitchen. Damn, neither he nor Bobby Keys stayed among us. It was an honor to have met these two excellent musicians!
Three of our guitars were also used in an excellent way. Here on the top right a Carlton, on which I had to modify something. On the left my lovingly prepared suite in the American country house style.
It was a great week with interesting musicians and a lot of video documentation including Christmas decoration. When I arrived there, Kurt Scheidegger, who had already operated the camera in before me, gave me a hand.
Youtube links of our camera work (Kurt & me) under:
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=iDTywDcUezA >> The making of "MY OH MY"
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=2vUj3Dzhcdo >> The making of "MY OH MY 2"
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=KCm6jFPI8P8 >> The making of "KINGSTON"
featuring Bobby Keys, Steve Howard, John Smith,
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=nvBsljv8kVk >> The making of "HE GAVE THE NAMES",
featuring Levon Helm, Steve Howard, Charline
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz8tiewSbYY >> The making of "LUCKY"
featuring a Foto-Session with Levon Helm, Steve Howard, John Smith, Sonny Landreth, Bobby Keys
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=cKUjjmrVilg >> The making of "THE DOWNFALL"
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj9t6N2ba3U >> The making of "DAYS OF MAGIC"
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=iALW-H2UI-U >> The making of "QUEEN OF ATTITUDE"
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=U0bzz31pRRw >> The making of "LOVE, UNDERSTANDING & RESPECT"
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=T4jA7JY7jdQ >> The making of "SO GOOD TO BE ALIVE"
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=aYnL2CV0tdU >> weird scenes in Dockside
And here under "Gallery" the booklet of a special edition limited to 500 pieces and already sold. It's worth taking a closer look!