It was cold in January, as it always is in Ithaca, but Ceili was pouring a round of chai as Nora tuned up her guitar, Jerry checked the intonation on his fiddle, and I started rushing around setting up mics and running cables here and there. Everyone thus got warmed up pretty fast.
Doolin O’Dey plays traditional Gaelic music, and you’ve likely seen them somewhere around Ithaca at some point, perhaps at the Farmer’s Market. On this particular day I was here in the living room recording their new album “Out Of The Mist”.
“Audio housecalls” such as this are a unique challenge. While you’re not afforded the controlled acoustics of a traditional studio recording space, there are some interesting tradeoffs. In this case we were recording in the same small-ish living room that typically serves as the band’s rehearsal space, which made them completely at home. The resulting at-ease vibe is something that definitely comes through in the recording. Then it was just a matter of placing the musicians and their microphones in all the right places. There is also the option of selective blanket placement and creative furniture movement, but in this case we were able to get a good sound by locating a couple of sweet spots in the room.
What a fun group of folks! You can find them on Facebook, but be forewarned that they are decidedly old-school; chances are that you’ll find them through word-of-mouth, or perhaps just stumble across them at one of the plethora of events around Ithaca.
Have a listen to a couple of the tracks we recorded: