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Old 09-15-2016, 06:46 PM   #38
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,596
Default Re: LIGHTFOOT-KRISTOFFERSON-HAWKINS (& Willie) record a tune!it's BOBBY MCGEE!!!

After the night ended McKenty went home to do some mixing. Everyone wanted to hear it the next day including Lightfoot who was coming there with his wife to visit Ronnie and Wanda. McKenty called his friend Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo and Karl Lawson called Travis Good of the Sadies, to be there for this memorable moment in music.

Ronnie's daughter Leah and other son Ronnie Hawkins Jr., along with co-producer Robin, and Karl Lawson, a friend to all of them, and others gathered to hear the results.

When Lightfoot heard it he loved it.

"And I knew we had to have him on it so I asked if would sing a verse and he said 'sure, I'll take a crack at it'."

"He laid down the most perfect track, it was out of this world. He sings so softly, beautifully, no one does songs with that type of phrasing and pitch. He has a unique voice.

"He was very particular and kept coaching all of us so we started calling him The Teacher. I asked Kris if he wanted to take another crack at it after hearing Gordon and he did it far better than the day before. It was like he was performing and by that time there was a small audience there. He rose to the occasion.

"I had good takes of all of them and at the end everyone there joined in to the 'la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la' part of the song. Gordon kept wanting it better so we did at least 15 takes of this."

"There were moments when I was there just doing my job and then I'd look up and realize this wasn't a regular day at the office.

"Ryan and Sam are fantastic musicians and they added more instruments. Gordon had some suggestions for when I took it home to mix it."

Before this they had dinner, swapped stories and joined in a big jam session.

"The feeling was we didn't know what we were going to do with this song."

The next day McKenty was yearning to attend a Kristofferson concert and learned he was playing in June near Chicago in Aurora, Ill. with Willie Nelson. He, wife Kelly and young son Noah decided to go on a quick vacation so he bought some tickets to the concert.

He telephoned Kris's wife Lisa on the road with her husband and told her he was coming. He wondered aloud if Willie would do a verse or two of the song and sure enough he agreed.

After the concert McKenty had Willie on the Nelson bus recording the song with Lisa filming it.

"I played him what we had recorded. It was hot and I was sweating on the bus, not just because of the heat but here I was about to record Willie Nelson. I put the microphone on the kitchen table and after Willie heard the song he started singing.

"He leaned forward, sang the whole song and the harmony. I hadn't done an equipment check. He was incredible; his phrasing is unlike any others. He's like a jazz singer really. The whole thing, including setting up and tearing down of the equipment only took about 15 minutes."

McKenty took everything back to his studio for editing and mixing.

"I was tortured for a while. I had four of these great vocalists. I had to edit them chop some of their work out and that was torture."

He sent the finished product to Lisa who had it synched with her edited video done in Nashville. They were ready to roll it out.

It wasn't just another day at the office.

"It doesn't get any better than that," says McKenty.

He points out that without the Weber Brothers and Robin Hawkins the end product would not have been as good as it is. "It was a team effort all the way."

The video has been released on iTunes. The song is being released without fanfare or media releases.

It's just a few of the boys, music legends having some fun and hoping people might take a listen to a little project out of Peterborough.

Ed Arnold is a local writer who has been writing articles about Peterborough and its people for more than 44 years.
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