View Full Version : John McGann & the "Boston Edge"

steve V. johnson
Mar-22-2005, 1:36am
I got the "Boston Edge" CD from John's website. It seems the perfect combination of folks, with Joe Derrane on button accordion and Seamus Connolly on fiddle, but the track that is a McGann mandolin solo is sublime among the sublime.

John also plays some nice mando accompaniment on a couple of other sets, tho he mostly plays (lovely!) guitar on this album.

Five stars. OK... seven stars!! <GG>

Thanks, John, Joe, Seamus, a wonderful recording!!!!


Mar-24-2005, 8:04pm
Thanks stv!

Let me tell you, there are no two better people on Earth than Joe or Seamus. The fact that they are amazing players is great too. I am very lucky to keep such good company.

steve V. johnson
Mar-25-2005, 1:26am
Hey John,

I read the recording notes, about no processing and all, and there is a lovely room sound on the CD and it's evident, besides being stated there, that there are no overdubs or punch-ins.

How were you three situated in the room, and how were you mic'ed?



Mar-25-2005, 7:38am
In a cool antebellum mansion house in rural Maryland- the front hall where you walk in from the front doors. Big ceiling, all reflective hardwood surfaces. 2 PZM mics mounted on a triangular plexiglas mount about chest high. We sat in various configurations around this thing for the "mix"- live stereo to two track, so no reverb, compression, overdubbing, etc. The room sound is the actual sound of the room (imagine! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif )

Pierre Sprey, the owner and engineer, is an audio madman, and had the PZMs powered with these 9-volt battery clusters (special carbon-comp 9v) that he would solder together at the beginning of the session...all kinds of high end audiophile mojo wires going to the tricked out 70's era 15 IPS reel to reel machine.

There is a lot of good music on that label (Mapleshade), mostly jazz but some other good stuff too- Tony Williamson has some good mando-centric releases as well.

steve V. johnson
Mar-25-2005, 11:02am
Ahhh, the PZM wedge! Wonderful! Long ago I managed a studio in San Rafael, CA, and we did R&D for Crown. They gave us a bunch of then-unknown PZMs and we built a stereo wedge on hinged plexiglas so that we could change the angle of the two plates relative to one another.

Also, Tim Britton the piper (who used to play with Chulrua) has built a bunch of wonderful mic preamps powered by arrays of 9V batteries. Those and his hand-made mics were used (in a similar technique to the one you used, sans PZMs) on the Chulrua CD "Barefoot At The Altar."

I sort of expected that you three had moved around to change the balance. Wonderful. I used to live in Bethesda, so that part of the country is known, a bit, to me also.

Well done!!! And thanks for the information on the process!

All the best,