The Fedoras (2003-2008)
My son Tim and his best friend Ben started playing music together in 2003. It was in our basement with Ben's bass, a "drum kit" made from steel pipes, and some original songs with great lyrics and really bad music. I took an 8-week class in guitar at work (great benefit!), learned some basic chords, and started playing along. That they included me was one of the luckiest moments in my life. Tim got a real drum kit to replace the pipe. People kept dropping in to jam, and the sound was getting better, but we were still looking for something else. We found Jacob and his blazing mandolin skills, and it was exactly what we needed. Pirate Punk was born! A couple band name and band member changes later, The Fedoras were a tight group who had a vision, a sound both hard to describe and impossible to ignore, and a bunch of original, high-energy songs we loved to play. At least that's what it said on our MySpace page!
We developed our own multitrack recording style using the limits of what we had available - no money, and my 2005 laptop with Garageband, one microphone, and one input jack. We would record all the instruments individually using a click track, and then record the drums last. This kept everything in perfect time so that editing was possible. This also allowed Tim to play his drums by feel, and not have to obsess over metronome-perfect timing. Through a lot of experimentation, we ended up recording the drums on the dock behind Jacob's house. It eliminated the "small room sound" and the need to soundproof the basement wall to minimize echoes. The dock also resonated with the bass drum, giving a much fuller sound than expected with a single mic. Add in some special EQ work, and the drums actually sounded pretty good. The whole album took over a year to record, but it was free!
Trouble on the High Seas
This is our first album, and it's all the songs we used to play at shows. I personally like the Buckaroos mix. It's just our best songs (at least my favorites), and is only 29 minutes long.
Click below to get the CD insert.