anchor and bear album artwork 2

The Recording Story:

Anchor & Bear’s debut album “Ahoy!” was truly a first for the band in more ways than one. Songwriters Katy Pearson & Brian Bringelson had a batch of songs ready to record, but knew they wanted to record them in a different way. They set out to find a studio that would allow the band to record live drums, bass, & guitars in one room with the musicians looking at each other, playing off of each other. This is what led them to Kc Staples. Kc is a true music lover. He owns the very popular record store in Thousand Oaks, CA The Record Outlet. Here’s where the recording story begins:

Brian walked into the record store and struck up a conversation with Kc about The Beatles. After much talk about the benefits of the mono version of Sgt Pepper, Brian mentioned that he had been visiting various studios around town, trying to find a place for Anchor & Bear to record their album. He explained that most studios were very small and only able to record the band one instrument at a time. Kc interjected right away and suggested the band record at his 16 track analog studio at his home in Fillmore CA. Not only could the band set up and play in his spacious converted garage, they would also be recording directly to tape! It was then the band and Kc decided it would be fun to record the album completely with analog equipment and have it pressed to vinyl. And they stayed true to their word.

Kc’s studio consisted of a large garage with full sound proofing and two walls stacked with over stock vinyl from his store. A white baby grand sat against the back wall which also housed the enormous plate reverb unit used on the record. Attached to the garage was the control room with a large 16 track mixer. In addition the control room contained: tape machines, echo boxes, tape delay, guitar amps, Beatle 45’s, vintage guitars, speakers, a 35 mm projector, a couch, & boxes and boxes of tape. In other words it was heaven.

The band set up in the garage was as follows: Eric’s drum set was placed in the middle of the room with two over head mics, a mic on the snare, and a converted speaker turned into a mic on the bass drum (same thing the Beatles did on Revolver). Katy’s bass amp was set up against the right wall with one mic placed directly up against the amp. For Brian’s guitar Kc had two amps set up on either side of the room. Brian’s main guitar amp was near him, while the signal from it was passed on to another guitar amp across the room to give the rhythm track a stereo sound. This set up was how each and every track was started. Once the band had a good backing track they would then proceed with overdubs.

The album was recorded over a years time. Once mixing was completed they took the recordings over to Dave Jenkins (Dave has worked with Brian Wilson, Devo, Tori Amos) who then mastered them. Dave did use Pro-Tools to master the record, but was careful to run everything through analog gear to preserve the warmth the band so wanted to keep. In fact one of the main pieces of mastering gear Dave used was a replica of a tube amp used at Abbey Road!

With the album mastered and ready for pressing the band handed it over to a San Fransisco vinyl manufacturer Pirate Press.

Side A

1. Bicycle Races

2. Eloise

3. Art Of Getting Lonely

4. Matter Of Time

5. Perfectly Fine Afternoon

6. Smoke Signals

Side B

1. Lament

2. Maybe Mustache

3. Down & Out

4. Waiting For The Dogs To Bark

5. Brand New Shoes

6. Sailor Sailor Sailor

Produced by Kc Staples/Anchor & Bear

Mastered by Dave Jenkins

Personnel:

1. Bicycle Races – Pearson/Bringelson

Katy: vocals, ukulele, piano, guitar

Brian: guitar, piano, vocals

Eric: drums

Ed Kasper: bass

Kc: bicycle bell

2. Eloise – Bringelson

Katy: bass, guitar, clarinet, vocals

Brian: vocals, guitar, moog

Eric: drums

Kc: fish

3. Art Of Getting Lonely – Pearson/Bringelson

Katy: vocals, ukulele, guitar, clarinet

Brian: bass, guitar, piano, vocals, additional drums

Eric: drums

4. Matter Of Time – Bringelson/Pearson

Katy: bass, vocals

Brian: vocals, guitar, organ

Eric: drums

5. Perfectly Fine Afternoon – Pearson

Katy: vocals, ukulele, piano

Brian: guitar, piano, vocals

Eric: drums

Ed Kasper: bass

6. Smoke Signals – Pearson/Bringelson

Katy: vocals, bass

Brian: vocals, guitar, ukulele

1. Lament – Pearson/Bringelson

Katy: vocals, guitar

Brian: bass, guitar, vocals

Eric: drums

2. Maybe Mustache – Bringelson/Pearson

Katy: guitar, piano, ukulele, vocals

Brian: vocals, bass, guitar, organ

Eric: drums

Kc: additional guitar

3. Down & Out – Bringelson/Pearson

Katy: bass, toypiano, vocals

Brian: vocals, guitar, piano

Eric: drums

Kc: e-bow guitar

4. Waiting For The Dogs To Bark – Bringelson/Pearson

Katy: bass, guitar, vocals, foot stomps

Brian: guitar, organ, vocals, foot stomps

Eric: drums, vocals

5. Brand New Shoes – Pearson/Bringelson

Katy: vocals, ukulele, autoharp, snaps

Brian: bass, guitar, vocals, snaps

Kc: tape box drums

6. Sailor Sailor Sailor – Bringelson/Pearson

Katy: ukulele, guitar, bells, vocals

Brian: vocals, guitar, guitorgan

Eric: drums

Ed Kasper: bass

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