The Making of the Jungle Gym Jam album “Lollipop Motel”
It was a very good night in the studio for the Jungle Gym Jam as we completed the last of the basic tracks (bass and drums) for our upcoming album “Lollipop Motel.” Our three newest songs have gone over great with kids and families at our live shows: “Jersey Dinosaurs,” “Restless Heart” and the title track, “Lollipop Motel.”
We recorded in Caldwell at Homefront Studios with owner/sound engineer Matt Ryan, leader of a killer New Jersey band called The Defending Champions. Producer Marc “Baze” Bazerman did a great job eliciting pleasing sounds out o Matt’s engineering skills and equipment and coaxing energetic performances out of drummer Ross Kantor, bassist Sean Wolfle and me.
Of course my singing and guitar playing recorded in the studio that night will be replaced by parts I will later record in my home, one layer at a time. Our priority in the studio was to make sure that all the parts were well separated and could be controlled individually when we mix them all together in the end. So, since several microphones were being used to capture the drum sounds, there could be no other microphones in the room for other things like vocals or a live guitar amplifier.
When Marc passes the bass and drum parts back to me I’ll get crankin’ on those guitar parts and vocals using my laptop. I’ll also add some keyboard layers with the sounds of pianos, organs and other interesting textures. we’re also considering adding a saxophone solo to the song “Lollipop Motel.” Of course, “Restless Heart” needs more cowbell!
Our plan is to release this summer/beach themed album in the middle of May 2016 as the summer season starts ramping up. The first single from the album was released last Fall and was well received – our version of “Free to Be…You and Me” featuring Suzi Shelton and marking my recording debut on saxophone. Our new single “Summertime Santa” from the upcoming album is poised to make a big splash on children’s radio as we ready it for release on November 2.
On Sunday, October 25 we will participate in a special memorial concert for Mr. Lou DeMartino at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Lou was our bass player starting this past spring until his shocking, untimely death in July. We will perform “My Superpower” from the new album – a song that happens to describe the type of kindness that Lou wielded like a superhero’s power. Lou’s bass playing is on this track, along with 3 other tracks. “My Superpower” will be the next single released after “Summertime Santa;” the heroic power-pop anthem is slated for a January debut and is enhanced with the wonderful synth parts contributed by Liz “The Singing Lizard” DeRoche.
Next month I should be able to tell you about more special guests appearing on the album and update you on the progress of making the record.