As you probably noticed an uncharacteristically lack of activity on the 2020 “Performance Schedule” page of my website, the recent Covid-19 pandemic has seriously impacted (clamped!) my LIVE music gigs (as it has too for EVERY other musician). Fortunately though, throughout this whole ‘shelter in place’ time-period, I have been able to stay musically busy in other ways—with several recording session projects, which has sparked me to remain musically active, interested, & motivated…
Frank Enea is a very talented music producer, as well as a singer / songwriter & guitarist in his own right. He is a member of at least 2 current working bands: “Frank Enea & the Crooked Hearts” as well as “B.E.R.”, which is more of a ‘made-for-TV’ band—most notably for his hit song “The Night Begins to Shine” which has been featured repeatedly on the Cartoon Network show, “Teen Titan’s Go!” I was first introduced to Frank, indirectly through session work that I was doing forDave Casale–who is one of Frank’s own studio-clients. I added horns onto 3 of Dave’s songs, which were featured on “Burning the Masterpiece”—the 2nd album of Dave Casale that Frank has produced—and which was released in late Spring 2020.
Then about 2 months ago, Frank approached me directly about possibly having me record horns onto one of his own songs as well, that he was getting set to release. It was called “Falling Free”, and when he first pitched it to me, he was kinda looking for a Beatles “Penny Lane”—maybe even a Rolling Stones—60’s retro-‘English Invasion’ sound vibe. But as I started doing my prep work for it, I quickly started hearing something maybe even a bit ‘bigger’ on it—like an older James Bond soundtrack kind of theme—it was TOTALLY screamin’ for me to go ‘vertical’ on it…so that’s what I did. Thankfully, he dug it too!
I REALLY like this song. It’s not necessarily complicated musically, but is still complex enough in many other ways…and I sooo LOVE quality-crafted music! Thankfully it also had plenty of SPACE—something I vitally need in order to be able to work effectively in; sooo much of today’s music lacks this. The lyrics are also quite interesting and very profound. “Tattoo’d girl in the Voodoo Lounge…”, what a great f#%in’ line!! Frank also has a very unique voice—sometimes it maybe reminds me of the guy from the band ‘Green Day’ (Billie Joe Armstrong?), and yet there is still also a very appropriate smoky British vibe to it too (maybe it’s partially the song too?).
Anyway, Frank liked what I added onto it, so he threw me another song of his—entitled “High Tide”. To me it had a very ‘David Bowie’ kinda vibe. He was only looking for a very small 1-line part over the 8 bar instrumental sections in it, but said that he had already tried a guitar solo and even some electric piano–and that so far nothing had seemed to work. So he was thinking to try a trumpet solo—in a more Jazz style of sound, and maybe with a mute.
While I was playing around with it, I came to the agreement that the ‘harmon mute’ sound (which is a very ‘Miles Davis’ signature kind of sound) really fit well with what Frank’s guitar line was already doing in there—floats right over it without ever impeding it! I also found that a brief statement—maybe similar to Gershwin’s tune “Summertime” also served nicely as my opening phrase–and that it might even be slightly appropriate, given the ‘oceanic’ or ‘beach’ (ya know, things associated with Summertime?) reference in his song title!
On July 11th 2020, Frank released both of these songs on a 6 song EP called ‘Melting Pop’—with his band ‘the Crooked Hearts’ . ‘High Tide’ is the first single being released, and ‘Melting Pop’ is available everywhere (Amazon, i-Tunes, Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, etc).
For samples of what I did on these 2 songs for Frank, please see the “Music”–>”Sound Clips” header of my website.
Congrats to Frank Enea (& The Crooked Hearts) on yet another fine album release to his credit!