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Dreamwalkers album 2.0 about to come in for a landing 

Hello to all my Dreamwalkers out there,

I usually blog every week but the week has been so hectic and filled with wonderful things and challenges that I hadn’t had a chance to write until now. As a band we are making great progress. The rehearsals are about fine tuning the presentation and our album is progressing beautifully. It’s a little frustrating that it takes so long but we are focused on getting it right.

On Thursday, Debbie Stern, Tony Sheppard, Patrick Russini and I met at Patrick’s studio to continue laying down lead guitar tracks. We worked on my song “two insomnia’s.” The song has a Latin feel and includes some pretty fabulous bass from founder, Jeff Hocker. Tony really gets this but it’s one thing to do it on a Latin song another thing to do it on my song.

We marched through this song and it kept getting better and better. Tony was figuring out all the little places to put Guitar fills and then a really spectacular solo. He really is a super guitar player in my opinion the best in the area.

Having Debbi and Patrick supplying musical ideas is always fantastic. I feel blessed to have these amazing musicians and people in my life and our album will be done soon and will have a big party when it is.

So for now we are looking for places to play and we’re working hard on finishing the album. We have a few more songs to lay down lead guitar tracks then it’s mixing and mastering and the creation will be completed, but the journey will be out there.

Peace,

Dr Dreamwalker 

Tony Sheppard is one Brilliant Guitar Player 

Hey Dreamwalkers out there,

Everyone knows I think Tony Sheppard is a wonderful guitarist. Today, he surpassed anything I ever felt or knew about him. We were recording at Patrick Russini's Alpha Ear Studio and had limited time. We wanted to complete two songs and maybe connect with a third. Tony completed absolutely stunning lead guitar tracks for three very different songs in less that three hours. He took on my Johnny Cash meets the X-Files, The Outsider, and got the right tone and feel. Then he moved on to Debbie Stern's "Good To See You Gone," and "Don't Give Me A Second Thought," one of which is dark and edgy, while the other was happy and hopeful. He nailed all three.

I was in awe. He went from one song to the next almost seamlessly, with just a short break for us to think about which guitar and what sounds would work, and he was just unstoppable. Bravo to Tony Sheppard. I think you are going to be amazed when you hear the final tracks. He did honor to our songs and made them better than they were.

Patrick did his usual, wonderful job of dialing in  the sounds and Debbie and I did encourage Tony several times regarding the emotion of the songs, but Tony did the heavy lifting today. We are more than halfway through the final section of recording and hopefully will be done within a month and can get to final mixing and mastering. 

Peace,

Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers Album 2.0: At the Mixing Board. . . Jesse Playing Out 

Hello to all Dreamwalkers. Today, Tony Sheppard was unavailable for recording, so Patrick Russini, Debbie Stern and decided to work on mixing the tracks in which recording was completed.

I must admit I love working in the studio. Even though the learning curve was very steep, I had a blast in 2019 mixing and mastering our album. Patrick gave me a consult but in this effort he is at the helm. I think I did a great job. . . for an amateur. Patrick is a pro and the sound is luxurious.

We mixed five of our original songs, Magnetic North, Something About That Boy, Everything Is Changing, Louisiana Playing On My Mind, and Suggestion By Echo. One of the great things about Patrick is his openness to ideas. I never worry about being put down for expressing an idea. I loved hearing Patrick build the track, instrument by instrument, all the while knowing what the big picture is and how the overall song should sound.

The songs we have completed have a luxurious sound, a Dreamwalkers sound emerging. Tony will be back recording next week and we may have a surprise guest.

One more thing. This cool photo of Jesse Lipman made it's way to Facebook. Jesse, who helps us out in so many ways, is a talented musician as well and plays regularly out in St. Armans Circle.

See you soon,

Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers: Myakka Moonlighters 

Hello to all my Dreamwalkers out there,

We had such fun playing out at Myakka Moonlighters on Saturday. The weather cooperated, as we went from Florida late spring very warm, to a sweet, pleasant evening, with a gentle breeze. We had a nice crowd with some friends who had journeyed from Venice and Sarasota to support the band, and a number of local people who support the idea.

There were so many highlights I don't want to miss any, but overall we were happy with our sound, performance, and the interactions with the audience. A number of people moved up in front of us and were dancing like we were in the 1960s. Debbie Stern sang like a star, and her songs never sounded better. Dave Ross sent us into outer space on Space Oddity. Daniel Polyak was energized and happy playing his drum kit and the spirit infused all our songs with extra sparkle. Tony Sheppard's tour de force was his own Road Song that led into his dazzing lead guitar on Comfortably Numb. It is always a great joy for me to play my original songs with this terrific band backing me up. I thought Diamond Filled Bouquet and Two Insomnias came out really well.

We are learning and growing with each performance. For me, a live show is worth 12 rehearsals. Here are some photos from setting up. We thank Jesse Lipman for all his wonderful help in getting everything together and assisting in every way to make the show happen.


We ended with the song our album will be titled, "Music Is The Ride," and the crowd wanted an encore, so we played Neil Young's "Harvest Moon." We were tired but really happy. 

Peace,

Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers Album 2.0: Lead Guitar Process 

Hello to all my Dreamwalkers wherever you may roam,

Tony Sheppard is holding center stage in the stretch run of our album recording project, "Music Is The Ride." Tony, Debbie Stern and I met at Patrick Russini's Alpha Ear Studio to continue recording lead tracks for the album, and what a great day it was.

Tony completed lead tracks on two of Debbie's songs, "Something 'Bout That Boy" and "Louisiana Playin' On My Mind," and my own "Magnetic North." I'd call the day Hard Fun. I salute Tony's steadfastness in hanging in there as we crafted the sound for each song. He used different guitars and different effects to get a great sound on each. While the sounds reflected the emotion of the song, it was Tony's incredible skill and heart that in the end was the thread that tied them together. 

He played several different guitars on today's journey. We have to thank Lenny Brooks for getting the Heritage H-535 ready for the session. He had to swap out and install a new bridge and it sounded like an Eric Clapton Cream era tone. Lenny also worked on the Sea Foam colored Stratocaster that gave us a sweet Nashville type sound. Bravo, Lenny.

My original song, Magnetic North gave Tony a chance to stretch out and play rock and roll and he did not disappoint. Most people have never heard his rock and roll roots, as he's played in local Latin and Ska bands, but he can rock. We pushed him to come out of his shell and bring on his inner Jimmy Page. Very cool.

Of course, Pat's dog, Biggie, is always there for emotional support. Patrick sets up such a welcoming environment, but no doubt about his commitment to excellence. The sound is luxurious and I am so thrilled we are coming close to completing the project.

Hope to see everyone Saturday, May 22, 6-9. at Myakka Moonlighters. It's a wonderful venue, out in the country where you can see the stars emerge, stretch out, bring a cooler, feel the vibe, listen and join together with the band.

Peace,

Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers Mini-Reunion: Tommy Emmanuel Concert 

Hello to all my Dreamwalkers out there,

I never miss an opportunity to see a legend. Tommy Emmanuel qualifies as a legendary guitar player. The last concert I saw before the pandemic was Tommy Emmanuel in Key West February 2020. Then everything shut down. Things are opening up a little bit now and I was thrilled to hear that Tommy will be playing at Jannus live in Saint Petersburg. I was even more thrilled to know that my brother and Cofounder of the band, Jeff Hocker, would be in town. Neither Jeff nor Lead guitar player Tony Sheppard had ever seen Tommy before and it was fun to experience them experiencing him.

Tammy Emanuel was of course spectacular. What a performer. He inspires me to do better always.

On a sad personal note. Our dear friend and friend of the band, Martin, a man of endless smiles, sweet spirit, and those fabulous hats and boots that I love, passed away the other day. I will miss him. Peace to you Martin. Once again we are given a measure of how we need to appreciate every day and fill it with love.

Peace,

Dr Dreamwalker 

Dreamwalkers Album 2.0. . . The Tony Sheppard Show--Lead Guitar 

Hello Dreamwalkers out there,

We are in the stretch run of laying down tracks. Today, Tony Sheppard began the task of turning really great tracks into something absolutely special with his lyrical, melodic, powerful lead guitar work

We arrived at Alpha Ear Studio early and were greeted by Biggie, Patrick Russini's dog, who welcomed us with his giant barks and sweet energy. Tony and Patrick set up and I went to get them some breakfast.

They were just about set up when I returned. Patrick and Tony began to dial in the sound and we settled on a Flanger and Overdrive pedal to begin. We started on "Everything Is Changing," a song so apropos for our world and our band. Tony used a Japanese Fender Stratocaster to bring fantastic color and spice to the song. We went for a late 60s sound and Tony really hit it beautifully.

We took a break and then Tony dug into Suggestion By Echo, my psychospritiual rock and roll anthem. We tried several guitars until Tony played his Gibson Howard Roberts and an Eric Claptonish lead began to emerge. He went through several passes and then took a break and nailed it. His tonal color was just gorgeous and even played some Allmanese harmony leads.

It was a great start to the final leg of our recording. Tony will work on all the songs, including his own and then it's time for Patrick to do his magic in mixing and mastering.

Peace,

Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers Album 2.0: Vocals Completed 

Hi to all my Dreamwalkers out there,

Big day for our album. I met with Debbie Stern and sound engineer/executive producer, Patrick Russini and we completed all the vocals for our upcoming Dreamwalkers album, "Music Is The Ride."

Debbie is so adept at singing harmony and doing background vocals, the effect on the songs is just remarkable. I have a sense it's rubbing off on me. I was able to jump in, hear, and sing harmonies I had never practiced. This was a new development and it's one of those experiences when you do something you never thought you could do. This is how confidence grows.

Since all lead vocals were completed, we did background vocals on Debbie's "Tricks On Me," "Good To See You Gone," and "Don't Give Me A Second Thought (Let Me Be Your First)," and my "Music Is the Ride," the title song for our album. It was "Tricks On Me" that I was tested. Patrick turned to me and said we need your voice in the middle. Dave Ross had already sang the low harmony and Debbie had the lead and high one. I don't really know what happened but I sort of knew what to sing and with a little encouragement from Debbie, sang it like I've been doing this my whole life. I turned to Debbie and said, "Hey, this is really fun." It sure was. Debbie said, "Your singing inspired me to hit the drums." For some reason that sounded really funny to me and I got a good laugh.

We reviewed the songs in Patrick's control room and they sounded great. This is without effects and with only a very preliminary mixing. Next, Tony Sheppard brings his guitar wizardry into the studio and when he is done, the album is ready for effects, mixing and mastering. Then we have a party. You will be invited.

Remember, we will be playing at Myakka Moonlighters on May 22. It's a sweet venue and we had a blast playing out there in the fall. 

Peace,

Dr Dreamwalker

 

Dreamwalkers: Eagle's Club 

Hello to all my Dreamwalkers out there,

We had a blast playing and are spending time with the videos to produce something special for all our friends and family. Some highlights were Debbie's "Something About That Boy," and "How I Love To Love you Lord." Tony's lead guitar on "Comfortably Numb" was spectacular. I sent the raw video to a friend in California who said, "gosh, your guitarist really nailed David Gilmour’s solos." Yes he did. Dave did an amazing job on "Space Oddity." Daniel was lights out on "Boys of Summer." For me, I loved playing "Music Is The Ride," and doing our medley of "Saving Grace/Stop Dragging' My Heart Around." 

It's an exciting time for us. Vocals on the album should be finished on Thursday. Then Tony Sheppard will put his guitar wizardry on the tracks. We will be playing at Myakka Moonlighters on May 22. Hope you guys will join us. We played there last year and it's a very sweet venue. I'm really looking forward to it.

Much appreciation for Jesse Lipman. I don't know how I would have survived this without your help brother. 

Peace,

Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers: Album 2.0 Vocals  

Hey Dreamwalkers out there,

Here is Tink, Patrick's cat. She fiercely upholds and protects the sanctity of Alpha Ear Studio. 

Debbie Stern and I went into Alpha Ear Studio on Thursday and had quite a fantastic session. We worked on three songs, Debbie's "How I Love To Love You Lord," and "Good To See You Gone," and my "Silence Between The Worlds." We were able to complete the lead vocals as well as doubling on all three, and finished the harmonies and background vocals on "How I Love To Love You Lord" and "Silence Between The Worlds." What a sweet and wonderful journey.

Debbie is just a genius at harmony and background vocals. Her voice is such an amazing instrument. The creativity in the moment is breathtaking. Once again, I was able to do things I didn't think I could do, which is always welcome. I had never sung Debbie's song before and I had to jump in and do background and was able to do so efficiently. I'm finding I am enjoying singing background and harmony, especially on Debbie's terrific songs.

We only have background and harmony vocals on a few more songs and we will pass the baton to Tony Sheppard for lead guitar. Then we mix and master and have an album. 

Peace, 

Tink. . . well actually Dr Dreamwalker

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