'I Love Tom T. Hall's Songs of Fox Hollow'

Aug 1, 2011 9:00 AM, 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.

From left: Tom T. Hall, Jim Lauderdale, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper

From left: Tom T. Hall, Jim Lauderdale, Eric Brace and Peter Cooper

Country Music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall was pleasantly surprised when singer and songwriter (and former Mix Nashville editor) Peter Cooper said that he and Eric Brace wanted to produce a remake of Hall’s 1974 album, Songs of Fox Hollow. It had been unlikely enough when Hall wrote and recorded a hit children’s album at the height of his career success, “And I’d never even heard of someone redoing a whole album,” Hall says. “But of course, I said, ‘Yes.’”

The original album had been inspired by Hall’s interaction with two young nephews who spent a summer on his farm, Fox Hollow. Hall wrote about what he saw through the eyes of those boys, and the album—with charming and poignant songs like “I Love” and “I Care”—became a hit with “children of all ages.” Thirty-seven years later, Cooper—who says Hall is part of his “Mount Rushmore of songwriter influences”—was about to become a dad when he hit on the idea of visiting Fox Hollow (where Hall and his wife, Dixie, also operate a studio) and re-recording this music for the next generation.

Jim Lauderdale

Jim Lauderdale

“When I found out I was going to have a kid, I started thinking about what would be the first song I wanted to play for him,” Cooper says. “Other people think about painting the nursery or installing a car seat; I was thinking that I wanted ‘I Love’ by Tom T. Hall to be the first song he ever heard.”

Cooper and Brace asked some musical friends to perform the songs. “It’s one thing to ask Buddy Miller if he wants to be part of a tribute album, but it’s a much easier sell to say, ‘Hey, do you want to hang out with Tom T. at his house and sing his songs to him?’ No one said no.”

The producers’ picks included Patty Griffin, who sings “I Love”; Miller and guitar legend Duane Eddy doing “Sneaky Snake”; Jim Lauderdale on “I Like to Feel Pretty Inside”; and more. Singers took turns fronting a stellar band: pedal steel player Lloyd Green, keyboardist Jen Gunderman, stand-up bass player Mike Bub and drummer Mark Horn. Cooper says that the arrangements remained largely true to the originals, but what would have been string-section parts in ’74 are realized with Green’s pedal steel.

The Halls’ studio is in a converted dog kennel; several years ago, Dixie Hall gave up breeding basset hounds and the space was turned into a control room and series of booths, which they now use to record numerous bluegrass artists. Their house engineer is strings session player Troy Engle, who helped tracking engineer Richard McLaurin set up for the sessions.

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.