the Soul Shop is an all-analog recording studio in Medford, Mass.
the devastating new album from guitarist Will Graefe
Will Graefe has been in the Shop before: tearing the roof off (live to 2-track!) with his power trio Dikembe's Mutombo, as well as ornamenting the gorgeous songwriting of Wilder Maker with his stunning lead playing. Now we're very proud to announce his forthcoming solo guitar record, Alos.
Recorded in March live to multitrack, the instrumental album (nearly entirely acoustic, with one electric number) showcases Will's songwriting as much as his staggering chops. Sometimes all you need to do is put the right guy in front of the right microphones, chiefly among which were two AKG classics: the C-451E (veteran of a thousand acoustic guitar records) and the D-19 (a dynamic mic on acoustic guitar lends weight and "wood" to the sound, especially with some gentle limiting from our 1176). The rest of our guitar & room micing will have to remain a mystery…
Performed on an inexpensive, borrowed flattop guitar, the palpable focus and tenacity of these performances echo the circumstances of their composition, as most were written on the road. As Graefe says: "On tours, I found myself playing constantly, and usually alone; in sound-checks, in the van, in hotel bathrooms, in parks. I would find almost mantra-like melodies or sets of chords and play them over and over again until they developed naturally."
Eschewing overdubs, and mixed with minimal processing by Graefe and Dan Arnes in Brooklyn, the album ranges from the reverent, simple beauty of Graefe's reading of "Solitude" by Duke Ellington, to the raucous, joyful melodic Americana of "Special," linked here for your listening pleasure:
Only the most technically proficient musicians realize the power of melody, and the awesome responsibility it takes to harness your prowess to great songwriting. With this recording, Graefe proves himself a master of all sides of his craft, and opens the door to an incredibly promising future. Here's hoping he keeps coming back to the Shop to put those ideas to tape.
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