Take a chance

Joe Gorfinkle running down a tune at Take A Chance sessionThere is something special about the feel you get playing in realtime with other musicians. There is also a sound that you get recording on tape that the best digital recordings have yet to capture. The music Joe writes and plays is organic and on Take A Chance, he really wanted to make a recording which reflected that. Joe talked with his close friend Chuck Kavooras, owner/Chief Engineer at SlideAway Music Studio, and they came up with a plan to do just that. Go for the feel, and keep it loose. They recorded Take A Chance at Slideaway Music Studio. SlideAway is equipped with a Studer A827 24 track recorder and a Trident TSM console, a host of analog mic preamps and signal processing and a very comfortable environment. To get the warm sound they were looking for, AEA R84 Large Ribbon Mics,designed by Joe's friend Was Dooley were used for acoustic/Hawaiian guitars, keyboards, sax and vocals. Compression was only applied when needed to preserve dynamics and keep a 'Live" feel. Musically, the record is pretty diverse. Some Blues, some Memphis style Soul, a little Tex-Mex, Country, Rock and Roll and even a nod to Prewar jazz. Joe's songs tell stories and the various musical styles provide backdrops for them to unfold. The focus is on ensemble playing There are several tasty solos, but Take A Chance is really about the songs.

Joe was joined by some of the best musicians in LA and the world: Lynn Coulter (Mason South), Arnold McCuller (Lyle Lovett, James Taylor, Phil Collins), Phil Parlapiano (John Prine, Rod Stewart, Lowen & Navarro, Mason South), Joe Romersa (John Prine, Soy Cowboy), Leland Sklar (Phil Collins, James Taylor, Vince Gill and…), Mark Tabbert (Gruppo Subconscious), Hank Van Sickle(John Mayall, Don & Dewey), Dusty Watson (Agent Orange, Dick Dale, Slacktone) and Allan Walker(4 Tops, SugaRay Rayford). While there was some input from Joe and Chuck, the players came up with their own parts. As one of the musicians said,"If you get the best cats who really know how to play, you should let them. That's what you hired them for." Everybody on Take A Chance came to play, brought the their best and made it happen. Chuck Kavooras is a great engineer and guitar player with a lot of experience in the studio and really helped keep the flow going. Chuck encouraged Joe to do all of the guitar (including PedalSteel Guitar, Hawaiian Wessienborn style, and bottleneck) parts while he chose to focus on the engineering. Kavooras is really the "invisible band member" on the tracks.

The players recorded rhythm tracks in three days. There were three days of overdubs and two nights of old-school mixing with Chuck at the console and Joe assisting (no automation,digital edits or pitch corruption). The idea was to capture as much performance as possible and to avoid needless overdubs and "production". Several tracks are the basic tracks with just a vocal overdub. Everything was cut on tape, then mixed and sent to Boris Menart who did the CD mastering.

Rarely can you do something good and have fun at the same time. The Project and Take A Chance accomplished BOTH. Parkinson’s Disease is a killer that affects 1 in 100 Americans over 60.

The Project's motto was Do Good, Have Fun and having friends and fans involved was an important part of making this a win-win proposition for everyone.

The Musicians

Bass: Leland Sklar(1-4), Mark Tabbert(5-8), Hank Van Sickle(9-12)
Drums: Lynn Coulter(1-4, 9-12), Joe Romersa(7 & 8), Dusty Watson(5 & 6)
Guitars: Joe Gorfinkle
Harmonica: Joe Gorfinkle
Keyboards: Phil Parlapiano(1,2,4,10,11,12)
Saxophone: Allan Walker
Vocals: Joe Gorfinkle, Arnold McCuller(4)
Recorded by: Chuck Kavooras at Slideaway Studios
Produced by: Chuck Kavooras & Joe Gorfinkle
all songs ⓒ2010-2012 Joe Gorfinkle/JGSDelta Music