Sunday, October 23, 2022

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

"Crystal Ball" Now On Streaming Services

A lot of people to thank! Credits below.



Written by Joe Delia & Mick Hargreaves
(Slymoon Publishing BMI / Crazy World Ain't It Music BMI)
Words & Music © 2011 All Rights Reserved

Music Video Directed by Mick Hargreaves
Camera & Editing: Jody Gambino for JTiL Productions
SPECIAL GUEST: Joe Delia - Organ

Mick Hargreaves - Vocals, acoustic guitar, 6 & 12 string electric guitars, 6 string bass, harmonicas.
Jennifer Hargreaves-Pawliczak - Vocals
Michael Bifulco - Tremolo Telecaster Guitar (L)
Gary Dawson - Gibson Electric Guitar (R)
Don Mangels - Electric Bass
Chris Mehos - Drums

Produced by Mick Hargreaves @ the Lantern Sound Recording Rig.
Recorded at The Groove Shack & "The Farm". Additional Engineering: Sophia Aley, Austin Ferreira, Richard Anthony Nardo
Mastering: Gene Paul at G&J Audio
Sound Recording © 2017 All rights reserved.

Thanks to: Joe Delia, Buddy Woodward, Kel Microphones, Bryan Gallo, Matty Liot, Chris Mehos, Joel Kerr & Gene Paul at G&J Audio, everyone at WPPB, WEHM, WUSB, WHPB, LI Pulse, the Hargreaves & Schmitz families, all at NYRMA, Stephen Talkhouse, The Hangdogs, Greenlawn Moose Lodge, Rodeo Bar, Ken Guistino/Montauk Sun, Courtney Williams, George Howard, Jody Gambino, Crossroads Music, The Grey Horse Tavern, Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks, The Beat Farmers.

http://www.mickhargreaves.com
http://www.joedelia-thieves.com/
https://www.facebook.com/jody.gambino

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Photo of The Day: MH on bass w/ Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks

Playing bass w/ Gene Casey & The Lone Sharks recently, at Greenport Harbor Brewery. (Photo: Bill Callas)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Old Song Gets New Music Video: "Real Fine Beauty"



Official Music Video for "Real Fine Beauty" (M. Hargreaves) from the "Best" CD. 
Directed and edited by Skip English.
All Instruments: Mick Hargreaves, with Matty Liot (lead guitar).
Recorded with the Lantern Sound Recording Rig, produced by Mick Hargreaves.
Music, Film © 2013, 2017 - All rights reserved, Crazy World Ain't It Music (BMI)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pre-flighting an artist's mixes before they go out the door to mastering.


Burning a CD for review, direct from the final WAV 24bit/48kHz mixes.

At the Lantern Sound Recording Rig, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes nuts-and-bolts thoroughness the artist rarely sees. It's boring, tedious stuff, but totally critical to the overall health and sound of the creation. Take the pre-mastering phase of the process, for instance.

Before finished mixes get sent off to mastering, we run them through the pseudo-mastering "Waveburner" software, pictured here. This is a final check-phase where we examine levels, file integrity, sequence, gaps, and peaks to ensure we're giving the mastering house the best possible files we can. We also burn a CD from Waveburner and generate a list of files indicating bit and sample rates, formats, filenames and desired gaps. This is made into a PDF and sent with the files.

We deliver finished mix files, generally, in the original recording spec: 24-bit / 48 kHz WAV format. (CD spec is 16-bit / 44.1 kHz, and the mastering house is the best place to to that down-sampling gear-grinding).

We don't master stuff. We're not a mastering house, we can't generate DDP files. Besides, you REALLY want an unbiased, fresh set of ears with decades of mastering experience caring for your creation.

If you are mixing your creation on headphones, and then "mastering" things yourself, we may need to have an intervention; We have mastering houses we work with regularly.

Here's an interview with mastering icon Bob Ludwig:
http://tapeop.com/interviews/105/bob-ludwig/

Monday, September 23, 2013

CD Review by Doc Blues

 

"Best" Mick Hargreaves (2013)
 
Long Islander Mick Hargreaves is a musical experience. A songwriter of taste who can smith words and a bandleader known far and wide from his East end roost, Mick pours out originality and style with a familiar 60's rock viewpoint and a bit of a country lilt.

As you listen, you’ll hear Nick Lowe Brit-pop new wave and its predecessors like Herman’s Hermits and Loving Spoonful, Beatles and even Simon & Garfunkel influencing, flowing and drving through 17 cuts of fine tune.

Hargreaves’ work focuses on the songs with catchy lyrics, catchy riffs and danceable groove so he is accessible on a variety of levels. Mick also has a strong sense of place. Long Island flows through his veins both as a place, an idea and from a music influence or origination viewpoint. Hargreaves does LI proud and follows in the footsteps of such artists as Barnaby Bye, Ellie Greenwich, William Joel, et al.

Great tunes are great tunes especially when they are joined by fine musicianship and an excellent disk.

"Doc Blues"  (Mark Gresser)


Monday, April 9, 2012

Lantern Sound Adds Ampex 601 Mic Pre's

Hi everyone... Skip English, very constantly opinionated user of recording gear here.

Mick Hargreaves' Lantern Sound Recording Rig has officially added two late 1950's Ampex 601 tube microphone preamps to its arsenal.

These have already been modded for "modern recording", meaning they now sport a) input transformers so they work with modern low impedance microphones, and b) balanced input/output connections and added unbalanced DI jacks. You can see the added DI jacks in the photo, between the mic / line level knobs.

Not only is the 601 the preamp used by T-Bone Burnett (as part of the complete Ampex 601 mono tape recorder rig) to record John Mellencamp's recent one-microphone outing "No Better Than This"... but these two are also the exact preamps used to record the vocal, acoustic and bass guitars for Mick's "Can't Keep Track of You Blues" (paired with an RCA Velocity Junior Ribbon Mic at Buddy Woodward's Spatula Ranch), AND they'll be all over Mick's upcoming "Redemption Center II" release, currently in the mixing phase.


So far, I love these things for mic'd bass cabinets, DI bass, kick and snare, and any and all guitar amp cabinets. There's definitely a built-in compression characteristic - I've noticed that with level properly set, a mic'd guitar amp will make the needle rise slightly into the red, and there it will pretty much STAY. I rarely turn these up past 2-3 for dynamic mics, 4-5 for ribbons. And as Karen Carpenter used to sing... we've only just begun.

The super-cool website "Fix That Mix" has this to say about the 601:

"The Ampex 601 takes some of the best features from other Ampexes: the microphone input transformer from the 351, the EF86* based mic input section similar to the MX-35 (followed by a 12AY7 and a 12AU7 cathode follower - some of the most favored circuits among tube heads,) and the classic Ampex build quality. With... modifications, they are quiet, gorgeous sounding, versatile, mic/line/instrument preamps that look almost as good as they sound."

Others use phrases such as "slow rise time", "clean and airy", "great presence", and "real nice open tone" to describe the 601's. All I know is these things sound friggin' GREAT.

Find out for yourself: Contact Mick using the usual channels; or, if you know what's good for you, you'll consider seeing Mick & The King Guys when they have their NYC debut at the Rodeo Bar on Saturday April 14th 2012.

Skip English - Contributor

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Major Glitches, Everywhere...

The original cover art for Chris Butler's "The Devil Glitch"
Full details at http://www.majorglitch.net

Being alive to finish things feels good, especially in light of the life-sized Major Glitch that my summer/fall of 2011 wound up being. But that was then. Fast forwarding to NOW, two musical "Major Glitches" (plus an accompanying film) are done and being mastered, and will soon see the light of day at majorglitch.net.

Begun in 2008, Chris Butler's web-based, crowd-sourced "Major Glitch" expands on his original 69-minute "Devil Glitch", which was released in 1996 then certified "World's Longest Recorded Pop Song" by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1997.

The two new segments were recorded with the Lantern Sound Recording Rig (LSRR), one featuring Jim Turner in a stompin' wood-cabin send-up (complete with Harp-Tar and Electronic Tennis Racquet instruments), while the segment from yours truly will be a rock-pop freak-out with an accompanying film. We're confident that these additions will push the total "Glitch Length" to over three hours. No release dates have been pegged yet. The moment it's known, we'll send up a flare. Soon.

Listen to any/all the existing segments, and get info on how to add your piece at majorglitch.net. There's also a 2008 interview with Chris about The Major Glitch at NJ dot com.

We now return you to our previously scheduled program, titled "Mick Gets Back to Finishing His Next Solo Record".

And, darn it, I just Lost The Game. Sorry.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Major Glitch" Segment, Film Completed

Still image from the promo film. Camera: Hayley Gordon
My contribution-segment to Chris Butler's "Major Glitch" is finished and mastered, and there's also a "promo film" completed to go along with the music. Addition/release dates for both will most likely be announced with very little advance notice - it'll just happen... Wait for it. My over-arching goal: Get others to contribute segments, too, and push the lyrical mantra of "Sometimes you can fix something by.... " further into the collective Lexicon ("Collexicon"?).

Chris (The Waitresses, Tin Huey, Legendary Wild Ensemble, Purple Knif) first released the "Devil's Glitch" in 1996, a nearly 70-minute song that was subsequently certified "Longest Recorded Pop Song" by the Guinness Book Of World Records. Since then, the larger "Major Glitch" has grown to nearly three hours in length, and has received many segment contributions from the likes of Freedy Johnson, Kramer, The Cucumbers, Ralph Carney, Gary Pig Gold and "Manny Moore". 

Performing with Chris over the years has been a joy, he's given me a valuable songwriting tip here and there, and even he schlepped out to eastern LI to perform at a benefit for me on 9/16/11, so it's only right for me to give back, via "The Glitch". I'm gently beating the bushes in my small corner of the world to continue doing so. Backwoods planetary bluesman Jim Turner has just recorded a segment using the Lantern Sound Mobile Rig, while the Butchers Blind guys have indicated a desire to do a segment in early 2012. We're just trying to fix something... by making it longer. You can help make the "Major Glitch" even longer by contributing your segment. Get info at: http://www.majorglitch.net

MANY THANKS to D C Deforest, Lisa Renaud, Carrie Ann Silvi, Chris Mehos, Tom Ryan, Sally Stryker, Scott Anthony, Hayley Gordon, and of course Chris Butler, for helping make the recording and film happen. Y'all are awesome!

The Guinness Book of World Records "Longest Recorded Pop Song"

Friday, July 8, 2011

SAT 7/30/11 Hargreaves, McLary & Friends in Midsummer Night's HOOT, Grey Horse Tavern


The New York Roots Music Association (NYRMA) presents a night of down-home, rabble-rousing acoustic and electric music in a MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S HOOT, July 30th 2011, 9:30pm, at the Grey Horse Tavern in Bayport NY, featuring MICK HARGREAVES (Los Blaggards, Caroline Doctorow, Hangdogs), and JEFF McLARY (LI Hornets) with their backing bands. Expect some NYRMA friends to join in the performance. Admission is 5 bucks, leaving more cake to spend on the GHT's great beer & wine selection, and if you like, menu choices culled from local and organic food sources. Relax by the tracks, baby.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

PHOTO: Electric Bass Guitar Arsenal


Back in October 210, I obsessed in a blog entry about getting the right strings for each of my basses. This post updates that one slightly, detailing modifications to two of these four "weapons":

Basses L to R: Jazz, Jaguar, "Duck" Dunn, Precision
Fender 2006 MIM Jazz Bass - This "Midnight Wine" bass now has round-wound strings, Dean Markley Blue Steel .45-.105 medium light gauge. If I'm going to have only one bass with roundwounds, it should be the J-Bass, to take advantage of all the tonal variety it offers. Used extensively on stage with Los Blaggards, is basically a recording bass now.

Fender 2006 MIJ Jaguar Bass - Really loving this bass, now that it's had the  whimpy white pickguard replaced with a black one. With Matty Liot & The Big Up, this bass had the "Joe Lauro setup": E and A flatwound, D and G Roundwound; now it has the set of GHS Flatwounds (.45-.105) pirated from the Jazz Bass. This is now the secondary, B-number-2 stage bass.

Lakland 2007 Donald "Duck" Dunn Bass - Strings haven't changed, but this whimpy white pickguard is the next one to go. Thinking about something in a lighter-colored tortoise-shell. This is the primo, A-number-1 stage bass (also pictured at the top of this blog).

Fender 1961 Precision Bass - Nothing's changed with this bass. Same log, same James Jamerson Strings, same incredible sound, same rule: NO GIGS - it's the A-number-1 recording studio bass. The sound of this thing plugged into the '64 Ampeg B-15N, then recorded with a mic on one channel, and DI'd on the other... is "money in the bank" as they say. Wait, one thing has changed on this bass; I recently added the "Ashtray" bridge cover, which can be seen lower right in the photo.

Previous Blog: Basses and Their Strings


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bass-Playing Döpplegangers: 10 Questions for Judd Fuller and Mick Hargreaves

Judd Fuller (Nashville, TN) and Mick Hargreaves (NY, NY) are bass playing brothers-in-arms who've never met in person. Through the modern day miracle of "social networking" they becamoe aware that they both favor four-string basses with flatwound strings, like the same types of music, enjoy a nice tasting ale, they both shave every bit of hair off their heads, and doggone-it, they actually look similar.

It is only fitting that we put ourselves head-to-head (pardon that particular pun), posing "Ten Questions for The Bassist":

Judd w/ Thunderbird Bass
1) What song or artist whomped you so hard over the head that you foolishly decided to pursue music for a living?

JUDD FULLER (left): Sometime in '76, I first heard "Tumbling Dice" by the Stones....I had always loved music and particularly The Beatles, but hearing the Stones on my friend's car stereo made me have a fit and re-think my life decisions. I promptly quit the wrestling team ( I was a sophomore, and probably on my way to a decent high school career ), and devoted even MORE time to smoking pot and playing in garage bands. Damn you, Keith Richards!

Mick w/ Lakland Duck Dunn Bass
MICK HARGREAVES (left): Surprisingly, not the Beatles. It was NRBQ. I heard their "At Yankee Stadium" LP, then saw them live a few times and I was hooked. I particularly dug the sounds Joey Spampinato got from his basses, which were mostly Danelectro's and Jerry Joneses. Flatwound strings, pick, thumb, and finger technique. Their fans comprise one of the coolest musical "cults" around.

2) Who would you cast to play you in the movie of your life story?

JF: I'm gonna say Russell Crowe. He's kind of stocky, but not weight-lifter stocky, I think he likes beer, but is possibly willing to work out hard enough to burn off the previous night's 12 pack, plus he plays music. I just feel this one. Though at this point he would have to shave his head. I think he'd be OK with it.

MH: Why, Judd Fuller of course. He's got the looks, the ability, the sense of humor, the total lack of hair on his head... He'd be a natural!

3) How did you gravitate toward the bass?

MH: Fifth grade, and they paraded our classmate, Rheinhart Yu (half German, half Chinese) in front of the class to demonstrate the cello, and he smoked it. I mean, he was way beyond what you'd think a fifth grader would be capable of. Afterwards, they asked the class if anyone was "interested" in cello. Sure, I thought, I was "interested" in that, I'd like to find out more about the instrument. I didn't know I was signing up to learn how to play the damn thing! I wound up having an awesome teacher, Mr. Johnson, who sadly later died fishing when his boat swamped off Montauk and he got sucked down to the briny deep in his waders. I also remember somehow agreeing to go for lessons in the middle of the summer when everyone was out having fun. I had this super-hot chick teacher (I was in fifth grade, remember, so that didn't mean a thing), who I walked out on because she made me wait too long one day. That was my first musical rebellious moment, I suppose. Soon, other things (high school being what it is) distracted me away from music, but when I got back to the music, the electric bass was a natural point of return, and I never looked back.

JF: When we were in ninth grade, my friend Tommy Greenwald was playing with some guys who needed a bass player. He played keyboards, we had an afro-sporting white kid named Brian Howard who played a mean Hendrix-style strat, and Eric Michaels who was a good drummer....plus his parents let us rehearse in his basement. I had played a bit of guitar at that point. I tried out by playing bass lines on a borrowed electric guitar. I guess I got the gig. I rode the train in from CT. and bought, with cash pinned to my sock, a Fender MusicMan bass from Manny's, as a birthday gift from my mom. We played dances, battle of the bands, etc., mainly Kiss and Sabbath covers. Brian once threatened to bring in a live chicken and kill it onstage 'cuz we were playing at a rival junior high school's dance and he wanted to piss them off. He didn't. He settled on busting up a lousy acoustic guitar bought for that purpose. Did he? I don't know, you'd have to ask those guys.

4) When did you start becoming follically challenged?

JF: Around age 26. I fought it for a while, and then just arrived at the acceptance stage a lot smoother than I thought. Tried Minoxidil around age 28, but it didn't take. Though to this day, I still have dreams wherein I look in the mirror, have a full, luxurious head of hair, and think, "wow, this is awesome"! And then I wake up. Damn. Plus when I go swimming, I still come out from diving in and shake my head to get the hair out of my eyes....

MH: June 19th 1995. It was a cloudy day as I recall. Actually, I just shaved it all off before work one day and never looked back. The only thing I've ever put on my noggin' is moisturizer. Judd, just think of all the money we save by not having to go to the barber, and not having to buy shampoo or conditioner... and all the time saved by not having to dry the head of hair after showering or swimming/surfing!

5) When loosening cavities is important, what's your bass rig of choice? (Please include amplifier, instrument, effects/processing, and playing style details.)

JF: What's weird is that these days, I don't play an amp on stage. It's all DI. I'm at the mercy of the Front-Of-House engineer. It's a strange Nashville phenomenon. A sterile stage so the singer can hear himself better. I'm not fond of it. BUT: When I did use a rig in Nashville, it was a Genz-Benz 1200 head, Genz-Benz 4 X 10 with deep portals. No effects other than slight compression and EQ. Most important were the thump of the strings....either flatwounds or LaBella tape wounds. And the style of play. My fave influential players: Rick Danko, Paul McCartney, Joey Spampinato from NRBQ.

MH: Ampeg SVT-II rack mount head, plugged into a 4x10 cabinet loaded with Eminence Legend BP102 10-inch drivers (the same drivers currently used in Ampeg's 8x10 refrigerators) and a single 15" cabinet (not certain about the driver, I'd have to open it up - which is on the "to do" list). I'd use my Lakland Donald "Duck" Dunn P-Bass, because it's louder than my 1966 Fender Precision. I normally don't have it in the signal chain, but if I want to ensure the very back molars are loosened, I'd throw in the ol' trusty Boss compressor pedal, with the Monte Alums mods. I'd use a pick for extra attack characteristics. I will say, Judd, our fave bassists are almost identical, and I too drank the flatwound Kool-Aid long ago. We need to get a beer, son.
Mick w/ '66 P-Bass
6) Favorite Bass Player Joke?

MICK HARGREAVES: The kid returns from his first bass lesson and triumphantly announces to his dad  that he learned all the notes on the E string. The next week, he learns all the notes on the A string. The third week, he doesn't come back on time. His dad is beside himself with worry and anxiety. Finally, the kid walks in the door at 1AM and says, "Be cool, daddy-o... I had a gig!"



Judd w/ The right kind of 6-string...
JUDD FULLER:

Q: What is the range of a good 5-string bass?
A: About 10 yards, if you have a good arm.

7) What US state, in your opinion, has the most annoying assortment of roadside billboards?

JF: Tennessee, no doubt. A lot of religious blather on billboards, telling me that "HELL IS REAL", and "JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD", and asking, "Where will YOU spend ETERNITY?" Hey, brah, believe what you want to believe, but keep it private....I'm spiritual, I believe in a power greater than ourselves, no doubt....but I would prefer your beliefs stay out of my life!

MH: I always got the impression that Missouri was the Bible-billboard-belt...

8) What's your number one pet peeve, pertaining to bass, bassists, bass playing?

JF: Dudes that strap their bass up to nipple and / or chin height. Keep it low, with 'tude. It's more important to look cool than to be comfortable. Looking cool is all we got....

MH: I call that the "Herman's Hermit's" height adjustment.  For me... hmmmm... it would be easy to say the fifth and/or sixth strings (I'm a devout four-stringer), but we've all heard that one before, and as soon as I say that, I'll probably wind up on a recording session that calls for a five-string part. So, scratch that. I'd say just a general trend towards overplaying and an inattention to "economy of notes". Guitar players who play bass are often guilty of this.

9) If you were re-born as a bass, what would you be?

JF: One that sounds like a perfect amalgam of all the bassists that influenced my playing. But looks used.

MH: I'd be reborn as the 1961 Fender P-Bass that was stolen from me right out the back door of a club in Hoboken, NJ back in 1991. I was an idiot for bringing that thing out to shows.

10) What's the favorite venue you've ever performed in?

MH: I tend to hang onto the weird ones. So, it's a toss up between Leipzig, Germany and Death Valley, California.

Leipzig is in old East Germany near the Polish border. The Grip Weeds were on tour, and the club was in this giant old subterranean, labyrinthian jail. One can only imagine what went on down there down through the ages. We played what must have been a huge mess hall, with a vaulted ceiling. The kids spoke almost no English aside from "Cigarette" and "American". The show was nuts.

Death Valley... played there twice with Matthew Grimm & The Red Smear in a "town" on the edge of the valley. The town is basically a campsite, gas station and motel that share a water source. "If the water ever dries up, we're finished." Comedian Doug Stanhope and his entourage of beautiful nutcases buy the place out for three or four days once a year and it's completely off the hook. The porch of one of the motel buildings is used as a stage, and at night it's a combination of bands and comedy. There's a ghost town nearby. It's so hot (duh) that people have inflatable kiddie pools in the motel rooms.

JF: I've performed in arenas, stadiums, theatres, huge clubs, churches, and absolute shit-hole bars. But my absolute fave venue I've played in is a little family-owned bar in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, MA., called The Ritz Cafe. For a couple of years I would play every Monday night there with three bad-ass Boston-area players: John Caban (guitar), Brian Alex (guitar), and Tom Major(drums) . We would play funk covers (The Meters, Kool And The Gang, etc., or just funk versions of other people's songs, depending on what mood we were in....never a rehearsal!) and the vibe was just amazing. On Monday nites, the line would be around the corner, Just a bunch of hot, sweaty people dancing, right in your face, and we would improvise, lay-out, hammer it home, do whatever...I've never felt musical energy that thick with either the players, or the people watching and dancing. I miss it!


Judd Fuller playing the Danelectro Longhorn bass with Rodney Atkins
Mick Hargreaves backstage at the Stephen Talkhouse with Junior Brown

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