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Dreamwalkers: The Value of a Brilliant Sound Engineer, Patrick Russini 

Hello to all my Dreamwalkers out there,

Last year, while doing my best to produce our Dreamwalkers album, I received a consult from Patrick Russini that expanded my knowledge and qualitatively improved the sound of the project. The fact that Patrick was available this year, during a pandemic, to produce and engineer our album has been an amazing blessing of this time. 

Tonight we had planned on working on two songs, Debbie Stern's "Good To See You, Gone," a song which tells a story of divorce, and how people really feel, and Tony Sheppard's "Road Song," a wonderfully original instrumental piece bringing elements of surf, jazz, and country rock in an effervescent blend. We tried very hard with Debbie's song, too hard in fact, and we had to kick back and let The Heartbeat, drummer Daniel Polyak, reach deep into his heart and come up with something beyond what any of us could have imagined. Bravo, Daniel.

The Road Song was a much trickier process. To be honest, the scratch track was not very good and we did not catch it at the time. I can't speak for anyone else, but my guitar was not in time, and the speed of the entire track was so variable as to be unfixable, despite Patrick's valiant efforts to do so. In fact, the best (and bravest) thing Patrick did was to call it bad, and suggest we re-record another scratch track, as it's a wonderful song. Sometimes, you just have to speak the truth. I was prepared to make the call, but Pat's ear and expertise are beyond mine, so I was glad to hear he agreed with my assessment. 

The really cool part is everyone agreed. They all heard it too. It's nice to know as a group, we are committed to excellence. Everyone is putting in time and no one quit his or her day job. Why else do this? The drum tracks will be done soon, and things will pick up speed. I'm so glad brilliant sound engineer Pat Russini is with us. 


Dr Dreamwalker

After I took this photo, I realized John Lennon and Paul McCartney were supervising our recording session.

Dreamwalker Drums: Daniel (The Heartbeat) Polyak 

Good evening Dreamwalkers Family and Friends,

We are moving through the drum tracks for the album. Every time I hear Daniel drum, I am more entranced and impressed. Tonight was no exception. We worked on Debbie Stern's song "I Think I Think Too Much," a jazzy groove. Then we worked on Magnetic North, a song I wrote when I found out the real magnetic north had shifted and Tampa Airport had to recalibrate their runways. I wrote it as a metaphor for how we have lost our way spiritually in our society, in other words, how we have lost our spiritual compass. The odd thing is I wrote it about ten years ago. So go figure. 

Daniel gets the feel of the song. The scratch track had no blood, no passion running through it. By the end of the evening, there was plenty of blood in the song, it bled passion. The difference between that rock and roll blitzkrieg and the jazzy groove of Debbie's song was startling, but Daniel handled it like changing gears on a Porsche.

All of our recordings are passing through the sensitive and lyrical ears of Patrick Russini. Pat, as a drummer himself, has a special connection with Daniel, and I don't get in the way of that. Great songs, great drumming, great recording. So far, excellent.


Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers: Back in the Studio. . . Daniel Polyak and Spiritual Drumming 

Tuesday evening, Dreamwalkers Band was back in Nice Pear Studio working on drum tracks for our album. The session was absolutely wonderful. The interaction between drummer Daniel Polyak and sound engineer Patrick Russini was filled with sparks of inspiration. As they are both drummers, they communicate both intuitively and directly. Daniel's drumming is so emotionally powerful and because I can just focus on him, I can feel it more. I used to think Daniel was an emotional drummer, using feelings to guide him. Experiencing him in the studio opened my eyes that his drumming is more of a spiritual event. It is as if he is guided from another world and knows how to channel that energy. He is certainly the right drummer for me.

We worked on Debbie Stern's song "Don't Give Me A Second Thought (Let Me Be Your First). This song has a Beatlish quality to it, and I felt like Daniel was giving it the Ringo Starr treatment. Some people downgrade Ringo as a drummer, not me. I think Ringo was a genius and Daniel was definitely up to the task. With each pass of the song, we could feel him gaining momentum. 

My song, "The Outsider" is one of my personal favorites, and when Daniel asked me what I wanted, I didn't have a clue. The song is sort of Johnny Cash meets the X-Files. Debbie could hear an American Indian rhythm to the drums and Daniel got better and better with each pass. The fifth time he played beyond my wildest imagination as to how good this song could sound. He GOT it! I was incredibly happy and inspired. 

It's slow going through the drum tracks because none of us have quit our day jobs. Still, the performance and sound are stellar and I know we are going to be proud of this album.


Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers: Ready To Play Out. . . The Brilliance of Tony Sheppard 

Hello to all my Dreamwalkers out there,

Dreamwalkers Band worked on some new originals and covers on Monday evening rehearsal. We don't want to lose momentum although we are a bit frustrated at music venues waiting for the all clear to open so we can play out. So we brought in songs we thought might be fun, and tonight, Tony Sheppard stole the evening with his absolutely stellar guitar playing.

We worked on my new song, "Man With the Guru Gaze," a song inspired by a story from the life of Edgar Cayce, about a psychospiritual rescue from our current darkness. The band picked it up quickly and made it into an anthem. I loved what they did with it and Man With the Guru Gaze will be in our setlist. Dave Ross presented his original song "Book of Daniel" inspired by our drummer, Daniel Polyak. 

The band tried out some new cover songs. Debbie Stern knocked the roof off the building with her incredible singing on the Rolling Stones, "Wild Horses." We did Neil Young's "After The Gold Rush," and the Box Tops, "The Letter." Great songs from another time. 

Dreamwalkers worked on a powerful arrangement to Tom Petty's "Saving Grace," a song I personally love and I'm so happy to have a chance to sing it. We had fun with the Traveling Wilbury's "End of the Line," but the night belonged to Tony Sheppard. We spontaneously started "Comfortably Numb," and while Dave Ross had the scream down, Tony Sheppard was positively channeling David Gilmour. He was so good, we were looking at each other in amazement. When you hear him play, you will be knocked out. Wow.

If anyone knows a place ready for us to play, please contact me. We are ready.

Dr Dreamwalker

Songs: Man With The Guru Gaze, Wild Horses, After The Gold Rush, The Letter, Book of Daniel, Going' Down the Road Feeling Bad, End of The Line, Saving Grace, Comfortably Numb.

Dreamwalkers: Vocal Realities, Creative Expression 

Good morning Dreamwalkers of all ages,

Our recording process hit a speed bump as people's day jobs and responsibilities encroached upon our sessions. We will get back to it later in the week. So instead, Debbie Stern, Dave Ross and I worked on vocals. The vocal reality is such that singing well requires a balance of mind, body, and heart. Knowing how and when to breathe, where to put the air, having the thoughts prepared, and then putting emotion into the singing happens basically in an instant, so practice, experience, concentration, and emotion all must be balanced.

As with most things, singing at a high level is something special, like hitting major league pitching, not so easy to accomplish. Now add together the idea that three people must merge to create a vocal "chord" and you have some idea of the difficulty. However, when it works, the feeling is sublime, and it is without a doubt worth the effort.

So the three of us worked on vocals last night, and it was hard fun. Debbie is a pro. She has been teaching singing for a long time, and studied with masters of the art. Dave and I are working hard to catch up. We are fortunate to have her guidance in our effort to make the sound better. We worked on several of our original songs and covers that pull for three part harmony, not every song needs it.

We then worked on Dave's original song, "The Book of Daniel." This song was inspired by a story of love by our drummer, The Heartbeat, Daniel Polyak. The song is fun and engaging. We will be adding it to our setlist. I'm very happy Dave is writing songs. Both Debbie and I presented new songs we are working on. When bandmates are writing original material it brings an energetic ownership to the group process that is beautiful as it unfolds.Debbie is an amazing songwriter and her jazzy/country songs about love bring a balance to my rock sensibilities and apocalyptic anthems.

We are at a point as a band where we are ready to play out and are looking for venues. We are not a typical bar band, but in the end that will work to our advantage. I believe our original material is strong enough to create a powerful experience for anyone who listens.


Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers Patrick Russini: Studio Brilliance 

Hello to all my Dreamwalkers,

Tonight we were back in the studio, and received a lesson as to how important the sound engineer is in a recording. Patrick took a scratch track and transformed a questionable track to one that will be unquestionably terrific. I've done some sound engineering, but I am in awe of what Patrick can accomplish. 

The energy in the studio was intense. Pat's level of concentration, and his sensitive ear together are just inspiring. Patrick and drummer Daniel Polyak are a great team and it was clear to me they left it all "on the field. We were all exhausted at the end of the session.

We finished drums on Debbie Stern's "Call Me Love," and my "Everything Is Changing." So we have six songs ready to go forward. Bass guitar player, Dave Ross will begin to put bass tracks down on these songs next week.


Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers: Rock and Roll 

Hello Dreamwalkers Family and Friends,

Tonight's rehearsal was punctuated by two original rock and roll songs, Debbie Stern's "Don't Talk Behind My Back," and my own "Music Is The Ride." We don't advertise as a rock and roll band, but as it turns out we can kick out the jams, and rock the building. Debbie's song did not start out as a rock and roll song, but it was angry enough, and the band suggested rock, so she went with us, and had great results. "Music Is The Ride," has been my baby for many years. I'm so thrilled the band has not only embraced the song, but has improved it. The song is now both edgier and more emotional, still telling the story of my son's first concert and my viewing it through his eyes. 

Daniel Polyak is a terrific rock and roll drummer, Dave Ross is steady on the bass, and Tony Shepard is just an amazing rock and roll machine. I am blessed to be with these great players and friends. Debbie Stern, by the way made some wonderful suggestions to "Music Is The Ride." I am grateful to her and the other band members for their steadfast support, and tremendous talent they bring to the project.

Recording studio tomorrow.


Dr Dreamwalker

Songs: Cut My Hair, Call Me Love (Debbie), Don't Talk Behind My Back (Debbie), Music Is The Ride (Rich), Walkin' Down The Road (Rich), Harvest Moon, 

Dreamwalkers Drummer Daniel Polyak and His Drum Kits 

Hanging out with Dremwalkers Drummer Daniel Polyak is great fun. He is a master drummer, experienced in many types of music and having played in many different bands. Daniel is spiritual, thoughtful, and very funny. He is very proud of his craft, and his drum kits. Here are a few.


Dr Dreamwalker

Dreamwalkers Album 2.0: Back In The Studio 

Tonight, we worked on two of Debbie Stern's wonderful compositions, "Louisiana Playin' On My Mind," and "Tricks On Me." Led by the steady hand (and ear) of sound magician Patrick Russini, the inspiring drums of Daniel Polyak (The Heartbeat) were given wings. Ii was amazed at the power of Pat and Debbie's ears to pick up nuances and craft the drums to frame the song, and Daniel's heartfelt playing (after all he is the Heartbeat) was a joy to hear.  

Patrick has put a ton of work into mixing the scratch track which makes things a lot easier for the rest of us. Drums take a bit longer, as there are 14 microphones to synchronize, but we are beginning to make progress. It was an intense evening, but we got the drums for two songs complete and I am thrilled with the direction the album is taking. I thank Pat, Daniel, Debbie, Tony and Dave for their ongoing support of this project. 


Dr Dreamwalker

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