We caught up with Austin, Texas’ Ducharme- Jones Band, whom we did a story on a few months ago for Sound Profile Magazine. They have a new record out and are playing a number of gigs in Austin and the MidWest, their old stomping grounds. The husband and wife are a natural pair, on-stage and off. David is one of the nicest guys in the business, playing the roles of producer, engineer, guitarist for other bands and now, he pushes his own sound and it’s a work he can be proud of. “Strangest Things” is the title, and we chatted with him about it.
AMC – You have a new release out. What’s the skinny? Where was it recorded, who was the engineer, did the mastering ?
David- We’ve been working on writing and recording this album for about two years. We finished it in early 2016, all recorded at our home studio “The Track Shack” in Austin, and it was engineered and mixed by myself. We used Jim Wilson Mastering in the Denver area and really enjoyed working with him. He was attentive to our desires and worked until we got it right. I felt like he got the tone of the record.
AMC- How many tracks total?
David- 13 tracks.
AMC- “Strangest Things” is the cd name and title track, great tune! Who wrote it?
David- This was a total co-write. It’s funny because we finished the record before this one was written. We actually were working on some new tunes and had Ron McRae on bass and Mike Meadows on drums and percussion come cut a few tracks with us. Annie and I came up with the chorus and we loved it, but didn’t finish it for awhile because we were wrapping up the record. Then one afternoon it just came together as we sat in our living room with our guitars. So we added it last minute and named the album after it.
AMC – Explain how it was written. Did you write all the songs, did Ann write any, were they co-writes?
David- We write in many different formats. Sometimes Annie writes the lyrics and music, then we come together and make edits and work on arrangements. Sometimes I may be the main writer and she helps me hammer it out. And some are jointly written from the start. However it goes, we lean on each other for inspiration and perspective.
AMC – Any special guests on the cd?
David – On the majority of the record we had our gigging band members we perform with in Austin, including David Breaux on keyboards, David Evertson on bass, and Mark Leshner on drums, all special in their own right. Then as I mentioned we invited Ron McRae on bass, and Mike Meadows on drums for the title track. Our great friend Jim Stevens from Des Moines played drums on two tracks, another dear Austin pal Michael Kopp played on two tracks. We nailed down our son Taylor Ducharme-Jones for some percussion when he was visiting from Denton.
AMC- “Red Roses” is a cool tune. Who wrote it?
David- That’s an Annie tune! She wrote it, I helped finish up a few changes and she asked me to sing it. But it’s really autobiographical.
AMC- You two are touring bit to your old stomping grounds where you and Anne met up, fell in love, and started down this long road together. Is the band playing with you, or are you employing Iowa stalwarts to back you up, or is it just the two of you.
David- Yes, we’ll be in Des Moines in late July promoting our record. We’ve got radio and television appearances lined up, and a showcase at Lefty’s Live Music venue. We’re fortunate to have some Iowa talent joining us, including Jim Stevens on drums, Nate Runkel on bass and John Mattingly on keyboards.
AMC- I just inherited a radio station. I need great original music. What five tunes are you suggesting I play?
David- Well, if it isn’t our stuff… Annie’s going to pick something of Lucinda’s like “West Memphis” from Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone, “Runaway” by Bonnie Raitt, and Patty Griffin’s “Little God.” I’m thinking “Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo” by Johnny Winter, Oz Noy’s version of “Little Wing” and maybe “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher.
AMC – Lets go chat gear. What’s ON the new music; types of guitars, amps, strings?
David- It was real simple, I used a couple of my Fender Strats including a ’62 Custom Shop and a ’57 reissue. I also used a black gaurd Fender Tele, an Epiphone 335, a gold top Les Paul with P90’s that I used on the title track,(it was stolen shortly after) as well as a Martin Acoustic. I string the electric’s with D’ Addario 10’s and I put Cleartone 12’s on my acoustic. I kept the amps small, using Fender Blues Juniors that were slightly modified, including Celestion CS80 Black Shadow speakers.
AMC – What kind of mixing board did you use, as well as any shiny, pointy outboard gear?
David – I use Logic X to record so it’s mostly in the box. I’ve got a rack of tube outboard preamps, analog compressors, as well as analog EQ’s in conjunction with a good selection of digital plug ins. Most of the vocals were recorded with a RODE NTK tube condenser mic. We also used a couple of Blue Bluebird condenser mics, Shure KSM. The guitar amps were mic’d with either a Shure SM 57 or a Cascade Fathead ribbon mic or a combo of both. I monitor through KRK’s and a pair of Mackie HR624’s.
AMC- Any radio stations in Austin where your music fits in? Sun? KGSR? KUT?
David- Yes, we get some AirPlay on Sun Radio, as well as KLBG, an,d we just did an hour long live radio show with Rush Evans on KOOP this week for his series “The Singer and the Song.”