Field Report, Live Session #113

by Shirk on May 8, 2013


As the snow began to fall on a March morning, I wondered if this session was even going to happen.  Luckily, Field Report, aware of the impending blizzard in Chicago, left Milwaukee early to beat the weather.  This would be my first session since relocating SHIRK studios to its new location.  The wiring and equipment had barely been tested and to say I was nervous would be an understatement. The band’s early arrival gave us some extra setup time and by the time I was ready to hit record, everything was sounding and behaving like I thought it should.  The guys in Field Report were  relaxed and friendly and made the setup process really easy.  Turns out, Ben Lester (pedal steel) had been in for a HearYa session with A.A. Bondy a few years back.  So it was great to have time to reconnect.

This would be our first session with “StubHub! guests” (as we call them).  A few days prior to the session, the band announced on Facebook that they’d be recording a HearYa Live Session in Chicago.  The first to respond were admitted into the session on behalf of StubHub!.  Four guests were invited but due to the heavy snowfall, three of the guests (Chicagoans mind you) had to cancel. The fourth guest however, made it just in time.  How, you ask?  Because he flew in FROM BOSTON just for this session and their show at Space in Evanston later that night.  I have no idea how his flight even landed at O’Hare – they must have closed the runways just as his flight touched down.  His cab dropped him off as we were about to start and he was smiling from ear to ear.  Kirk, I’m glad you could join us.  Kirk is a Field Report super-fan and a gentlemen and couldn’t have been more excited to witness them playing live in-studio.

The band eased into the session with a beautiful rendition of “Route 18” followed by “Circle Drive” at Kirk’s request.  After that, Field Report gave us a treat, performing an unreleased tune that they had just begun to play titled, “40/40”.  The song has a great dynamic that builds from a repetitive floor tom pattern then closes out with a ferocious jam.  The band finished the session with most of the band members huddled around one mic performing and acoustic rendition of “Taking Alcatraz”.  I think we captured a nice roomy vibe on that one, but next time I’ll remember to turn off all the buzzing/hissing guitar amps before we cut the track.

Following the session, the band and I spent the next hour or so pushing their van and trailer out of the parking spot we had them wedged into behind my studio.  Eventually we just removed the trailer and pulled it out by hand and drove the van down the wrong way of the one-way street.  Much to the chagrin of a shouting soccer mom in her SUV.  I drove home with soggy shoes, cold hands and a big smile on my face, having just completed my first session in my new studio and spending the day with a great group of musicians.  I clearly recall saying to myself, “I love my job.”

Be sure to check them out on their spring/summer tour.  They’ll be at Schubas in Chicago on May 11th.



Exclusive: Field Report – Route 18

Exclusive: Field Report – Circle Drive

Exclusive: Field Report – 40/40

Exclusive: Field Report – Taking Alcatraz

Download the Field Report Live Session as a zip file.



{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Woody May 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm

I finally found some time to ignore my family and listen to these tunes on a proper system. Allow me to say, job well done.

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