Mullen's Miracles featured in The Atlanta Journal Constitution - Read full article HERE
On the evening of Sept. 26, 2018, Kathy Mullen knew her son Eric was struggling but had no idea it would be the last time they would talk. The following afternoon, she received a phone call from some of his friends telling her they were trying to get Eric to the hospital. Despite efforts between his friends and law enforcement, it was too late.
In 2017, Gino Vannelli and I began discussing production and material for my next album. I initially approached Gino about recording and producing only my vocals for my next record of original music, which I planned to record in Atlanta and then fly out to Oregon for Gino to produce my vocals in his studio. He explained that he could do this but that it was not optimal, and he preferred to have full control over the production of all the music from start to finish. He explained further why this was necessary to get the best vocal performance possible. After analyzing our schedules and the other essential aspects of a recording project, I quickly realized that this would be a very long and expensive project. Taking this into consideration, I came up with a second option. I was eager to work with Gino on a recording project going further than what he and I had done together in the several masterclasses I had taken from him. To keep it simple, I asked if we could do a short EP or ten-song album of just vocal, guitar, piano, and percussion, and we could do everything in his studio. He thought about it for a minute, and then he made me an offer.
He told me that he had been wanting to rearrange and re-record some of his old and classic songs for a very long time but could never find the time to do it. Gino said that he would get just as much creative satisfaction if we worked on this together, and he produced me singing the lead vocal and that he would record all the music. This proposition was beyond a dream within a dream come true for me, so I immediately said yes.
In moving forward, there was financial backing to find and a host of other stars to line up for both of us to begin recording, which eventually would not occur until April of 2020. Initially, Gino had slated April and May of 2020 to record, mix and master the album. Looking back now, I do not believe that it would have been possible to get everything completed in two months. But in an odd turn of events, the cards fell in our favor.
COVID-19 was just becoming a problem at that time, so we could not be in the studio together to record. On top of that, both of our performing schedules were canceled indefinitely due to COVID 19 and social distancing. We had already slated the time to record, so we bit the bullet and drove out to Oregon, where we would stay for a little over two months recording in separate locations. Gino would record the music in his studio while I would record the vocal parts in a small home studio we had set up at Brickhaven in Korbet, Oregon. After we returned home in June, I continued to work on my demo vocal parts in my home studio and send them to Gino via e-mail for his critique. All of this time away from performing and being heavily socially distanced allowed Gino to become more elaborate and involved in the project than he initially had time for. While this made the project go past our initial deadline, it was a Godsend for us and so far has made an album more beautiful than we both initially dreamed it could be.
So it is now November 2020, and we are getting ready to head back out to Oregon to perfect upon the vocal demos I have already recorded. It has been a long year, and I feel a bit worn, as does Gino, but we will see if there is still some magic left in us. Stay tuned and wish us well.