Mavis Staples’ ‘One True Vine’

Jul 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz


Education Guide

Mix is gearing up to present its longstanding annual Audio Education Guide in its November 2014 issue. Want to have your school listed in the directory, or do you need to update your current directory listing? Add an image, program description, or a logo to your listing! Get your school in the Mix Education Guide 2014.

Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples

Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples

It’s been three years since Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy first produced Mavis Staples (You Are Not Alone, Anti), and the artists have forged a close friendship that yields another masterpiece this month: the understated gospel One True Vine. Again tracked at Wilco’s studio, The Loft, by engineer Tom Schick, Staples’ voice stars, of course, in Tweedy’s rich guitar and rhythm-based arrangements.

“This record was originally supposed to be just Jeff and Mavis—something simple and stripped down,” Schick explains. “But Jeff’s son Spencer happened to be around when we started doing demos, and Jeff would say, ‘Want to try a percussion idea? Or a drum idea?’ It just blossomed. When Mavis heard the chemistry between father and son, she said, ‘That’s what I want.’”

With few exceptions, the Tweedys played all of the instruments on Vine. “They might track guitar and drums live, right next to each other, or in the control room area with Spencer on drums and Jeff on the couch, three feet away, no headphones. They’d build on those tracks, and then Mavis would put down her vocals. It built very organically,” Schick says.

One True Vine album cover

Schick recorded to Pro Tools and says he set up several “floater” mics that he could use to capture the Tweedys wherever they landed: “I’d take a Royer from overhead if something needed a ribbon. I was using a 441 on snare, and I would move that mic around or take the 67 we were using as a room mic,” he says.

Staples’ vocal mic remained the same SM7 that Schick used in 2010. “We had such a good experience last time, and she was happy with the sound of her voice in her headphones. I wanted to keep that the same for her,” Schick says. “Most of her vocals were just one take. Every time she sings, it’s a keeper.”

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

Mix Books

Modern Recording and Mixing

This 2-DVD set will show you how the best in the music industry set up a studio to make world-class records. Regardless of what gear you are using, the information you'll find here will allow you to take advantage of decades of expert knowledge. Order now $39.95

Mastering Cubase 4

Electronic Musician magazine and Thomson Course Technology PTR have joined forces again to create the second volume in their Personal Studio Series, Mastering Steinberg's Cubase(tm). Edited and produced by the staff of Electronic Musician, this special issue is not only a must-read for users of Cubase(tm) software, but it also delivers essential information for anyone recording/producing music in a personal-studio. Order now $12.95



Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine takes you straight into the studio, with new product announcements, industry news, upcoming events, recent recording/post projects and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

MixLine Live

Delivered straight to your inbox every other week, MixLine Live takes you on the road with today's hottest tours, new sound reinforcement professional products, recent installs, industry news and much more. Click here to read the latest edition; sign up here.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The Wire, a virtual press conference offering postings of the latest gear and music news, direct from the source. Visit the The Wire for the latest press postings.