Photos & story by Shannon Shumaker
It’s a shame that some people will never know the blood, sweat, tears and unbridled passion that go into making some of their favorite albums. At most, fans will receive, on top of the final product, a few in-studio videos of the recording process, but it does not compare to sitting alone in a dimly lit studio, watching Denver singer-songwriter Carson Allen track guitar for his first new music in two years. It’s so loud in Streetlight Audio’s basement studio that even with earplugs, you can practically feel the sound, and Allen can’t keep the smile off of his face between takes.
I’ll admit that I’m not a musician. I have no idea what all of Allen’s guitar pedals do, and I couldn’t begin to tell you anything about any of the gear in the room, but you don’t have to be musically inclined to feel the passion and love that is going into creating these songs. On Streetlight Audio’s end, owner Tyler Glasgow is practically bubbling over with excitement from the moment that we step into the studio, and even more so when they get Allen’s guitar tone just right. Unlike other studios, Streetlight Audio doesn’t charge by the hour, they charge by the song, so there is no rush to get the song completely tracked out as fast as possible. Without the time crunch, they’re able to take their time and put as much love as possible into the music, which is what it’s all about, anyway.
On Carson Allen’s end, his new music is like nothing he has ever done before. On these songs, everything you hear was played and performed by him - from his natural place on guitar and vocals, to bass and even drums, which he admits he hasn’t played in a long time. The calluses and cuts on his hands are enough to prove it, but when you hear the drum tracks, you’d never know. When it comes to tracking the guitar work, the lights in the studio dim, save for one lamp in the corner, Glasgow lights some candles and incense, and the mood is set. Overall, it feels completely natural, which only makes sense, considering Allen insists on playing the guitar part all the way through, even if he messes up once or twice, admitting that he’ll never play it perfect live, so why do so on the album? In Allen and Glasgow’s own words, there’s no bullshit when it comes to recording these songs.
There is no concrete release date set for Carson Allen’s new music yet, which only makes sense, considering how laid-back and natural the whole recording process feels. However, when he does release these songs, I urge you to close your eyes and just listen. It’s safe to say you’ll be able to hear and feel the energy and passion in these songs.
Stay connected with Carson Allen on Facebook, and keep an eye out for more news and new music!