Sunday, August 3, 2014

Shawn James chose me to record and polish his second full-length album. We got to take our time in the comfort of my living room to really lay down our collective vision for this record. I am incredibly proud of the product, and will forever brag about my brief contribution to this awesome milestone in this artist's career. Check him out at his various links:
Videos at

Album Artwork and Photography by Anna Hutchison:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The 'Boyz with their depressing take on Dolly's "Jolene" from right inside our living room.

We released a record!

Dumptruck Boyz, comprised of members of Thunderlizards and Cletus Got Shot, started out as a silly outlet for the boys to get out their bluegrass wiggles. From their spot-on covers to their scarily hilarious originals, their live shows were an instant hit among the Fayetteville crowd. After countless requests by fans for the 'Boyz to record their timeless hits, I finally caught them all in the same building and stuck some wires in them.

Chooch Nortron warming up for tracking.
Tracked all at once in a live setting, the product is prettier than we could have possibly conceived.
Click this link to their bandcamp to jam the record in its entirety!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

     Read: Brilliant Solo Photographer Becomes Power-Duo

     When we're not on the road with Shawn James & The Shapeshifters or in Texas visiting my family, we try to fill our schedules with Anna's photography work. While she is primarily a portrait photographer, she's been shooting weddings since she was 18. Since we've been together, she's been showing me the ropes of my camera (her old camera, the Canon 5D Mark II), and allowing me to second-shoot weddings and events. In between capturing stills, I've begun recording video clips to compile later into a highlight reel. I've never had any formal training in video editing, so I've been learning from Google and trial-and-error as I go. For practice, I threw together some clips that Anna got by herself before I was shooting with her. She had the honor of shooting Cory Putman of Norma Jean's wedding in Fort Smith, and she let me take the wheel with editing. Shawn James contributed a sweet song of his to the video:

Then my first time shooting all the video was the wedding of Anna's good friend Livvy. This one taught me a lot about the importance of steady shots (embarrassed face) and the limitations of stabilization software in post:

This was our first out-of-state client as a wedding photography duo. Although the Mark II has a little more trouble in low light than its full-frame big brother, we were able to pull off this indoor reception with a little gamma correction. This was a real, Texas-style hootenanny of a party. 

With a few practice runs in between, and the addition of a monopod, this wedding in the woods video came out much more smoothly relative to its predecessors. This is how Anna and I spent 4/20 (and Easter) this year, and I loved it to death. There's something special about low-key ceremonies and elopements, and it was awesome to be a part of this tight-knit group for a whole day. (Excuse the same music, but sometimes things just work twice.)

I plan to practice, practice, practice; and as our gear and our repertoire increase in quality, we'll begin to offer video-inclusive wedding packages for those who want a magical mini-movie of their special day.

If you or someone you know have any inquiries regarding weddings, email and visit

Monday, March 17, 2014

Edit: The guys put together a highlight video from our week together!

Record Setter was my very first out-of-state band. Anna and I had talked about opening our home for longer projects as soon as we had the space and the time. Once we moved out to Tontitown and got a month off from tour with Shawn James, there was a perfect opportunity to really sit down and focus on recording a full-length album. Before now, most bands I've recorded were restricted by their schedules to fitting seven or eight songs into a weekend, or even less. When you're feeling rushed, there's a lot more stress in recording, and things come out a lot sloppier. It was truly relieving to be able to step outside and stretch (and shoot bows and arrows at hay bales and pumpkins) for extended periods of time between tracking. And at the end of the day,  we could proclaim, "We're done for the night. Let's watch some muhfu*kin Netflix." This was honestly a new feeling to me, because I've tracked heavy metal guitar riffs and screaming vocals well into the wee hours of the morning. I feel truly blessed that at the current juncture, we have the space and the time to host and create at our own pace.

Over the six days, Anna and I really got to know these dudes (enough to build a fairly extensive list of beaten-to-death inside jokes). I also learned of new subreddits and movies new to me, like The Conspiracy, which I recommend everyone watch. Sharing the recording experience with a band for this amount of time is truly a unique bonding experience. As the medium through which a band immortalizes their art (er ya know, a dude with a PC and some microphones), I am privy to an incredibly intimate side of the process. It's like speed-dating, except even faster and less desperate. So I feel like I really spent forever with these guys, and in just 6 days we formed a bond that assures me that if I'm ever stranded in North Texas, that I have at least three dudes to impose upon to come pick my ass up.

The boys and me in the driveway as they prepare to depart, apples in hand.

Meiko made for good recording company. She was duly compensated.

Kyle ended taking this picture of our cat Ally that he then posted on reddit, which got over 220,000 views. Needless to say, Anna enjoyed the company of three fellow photogs.
If you like the sample, go follow Record Setter and await the release of the full length record!

All photos (excluding the cat) by Anna Hutchison.
The cat is by Kyle Pennington.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Long-time friends of mine and Arkansas' best-known powerviolence band, Jungle Juice, came up to
Fayetteville to begin recording their new full length album. Since they're all spread out and can only write in weekend-spurts, we're breaking up the recording of the full length into multiple weekend installations throughout the spring and summer. Anna Hutchison was sweet enough to capture some video, so I made a quick mix for everyone to see what we've been up to.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I started playing drums for Shawn in September of 2013 in preparation for the fall tour that would follow. It took about 8 shows for me to REALLY get the hang of the set and find my place in the band, but after that, we took off on the road for a month straight from the end of September to the same of October. The guys had previously toured in an old Winnebago, but when it wasn't ready a week before we left, Shawn invested in a converted 8 passenger van with a twin bed and an AC unit, and a trailer. That tiny compartment became our home (Anna came along, too) for 30 days. Though living in closed quarters made us all a little insane, the ends justified the means: we got to see places like Manhattan and Chicago from a broke band's perspective.

Fast forward, past Christmas and New Years' (which were great by the way), and here we are, going on tour again! We hopped into a brand-new-to-us RV, provided by our good friend Adam, who expects nothing in return but the experience of seeing in the country. This time, with the passing of the new laws of the new year, we were headed westward to Colorado. Each and every person we encountered on the way was incredible in their own way. We even met a Napoleon Dynamyte-lookalike Juggalo. It was awesome to be a part of history by contributing to Colorado's legal cannabis trade. The next tour we're gearing up for is in April, and we're going really west. I've never even been to California, and this year I'll be making two different trips, including Anna's birthday in LA!
I'm incredibly honored that this opportunity came knocking and I'm grateful to Shawn and the band for welcoming Anna and myself on tour for the foreseeable future.

Performing The Hawk live for the very first time in Fayetteville.

Camping in a National Park in Pennsylvania, October 2013

Nie Nie and me hiking in Salida, Colorado. January 2014

Last Night Fayetteville, New Year's Eve 2013

Killing time while our brakes are fixed outside of Knoxville, Tennessee.  September 2013

Our first New York show. Manhattan, October 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Who doesn't love Nick Shoulders? His résumé extends from being the artist behind local beer labelsclothing companies, and band merch, to fronting post-hardcore surf-rock band, Thunderlizards and playing banjo and harmonica in Shawn James and the Shapeshifters. He's had a few projects on the side (see: Dumptruck Boys in my recordings), but Ghost Hollers is his first legitimate solo project. The recording is just Shoulders on kick drum, hi hat, vocals, and electric guitar. He's accompanied live on dual-wired bass and guitar by Chooch Nortron, his partner-in-crime and fellow Thunderlizard. After you've copped the EP, check out this live performance captured by my beautiful Anna Hutchison:

Photo by Anna Hutchison

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