Jones Nelson In the Mix in Nashville
Jones Nelson had a bit more experience than most Recording Connection students when he signed up with the program. He’s a singer, guitarist and is competent in a number of other instruments. Plus, he works in radio and had recorded in his home studio a fair bit, recording demos, etcetera. What he wanted from his apprenticeship was to be able to hone-in and focus on learning, not having to piecemeal bits of information together but to actually work with a pro, ask questions and get answers to those questions. Jones was matched up with mentor Jamie Tate, of the Rukkus Room in Nashville, Tennessee. He was pretty excited about coming in for his first lesson that coming Wednesday. Then, he got a text from Jamie, prior to his official start date. Jones recalls the message he received this way:
‘Hey, we’re actually going to be doing a tracking session this evening if you’d like to swing by.’ It was just kind of ad hoc, but I thought, ‘Well yeah.’ I went in and…they had a session band in, and the session band was going through and just recording a bunch of different artists that would come in…What was really interesting is that these guys, even if you’ve even accidentally listened to country music over the last 10 years or 15 years, you’ve likely heard some of these folks on the record. The drummer, I know his work, toured and worked with Reba McEntire for like 15 years. The guitarist that was in the recording, I think he got the Nashville Guitarist of the Year or something last year…It was that moment that I realized that I was standing amongst giants and really had, at least somewhat, stumbled into the big leagues.
Even though he’d been in and around studios since he was about 15, Jones found there were things he still had to learn. His mentor did certain things “completely differently” than what Jones was used to, including a “record it right the first time” methodology. Looking at one of Jones’s mixes, Jamie told him “‘Man, you’re zapping a lot of real frequencies here.’ He said, ‘At the end of the day, these frequencies are really supposed to be there…All those frequencies could really live together. It’s just all about blending them.'” The resulting fuller sounding mix made an impact on Jones. “When you see somebody do it just completely differently and much better than what you’re used to, it’s just like very awe-inspiring.”
Jamie also inspired Jones with his perfectionistic streak. The highly sought-after Grammy and Emmy award-winning recording engineer, mixer, and producer has a penchant for going through old projects and remixing work he’s already done, trying to outdo himself and find something else in the mix.
Jamie’s tenacious spirit has rubbed off on Jones who’s going full-force, working on his own album and teaming up with Nigel Pawson of Adelaide, Australia on the NonSkid Blondes project which is seeing plenty of interest from a number of music labels.
The solo record is due out at the end of the year. Jones says, “I’ve been recording all of the pieces myself. I’m a singer first, guitarist second, and then everything else. So I’ve been doing everything, all the instrumentation myself and the writing myself.”
Other goals include owning his own studio, so he can continue making his own music while also helping other artists “realize their own goals and ambitions.”
When asked about his experience in Recording Connection and how it has prepared him for his career the DIY artist says, “You can’t be taught the real world out of a book, you know…[Jamie’s] got a Grammy hanging on the wall…So I think more than anything, the big difference… going this route versus another, is that you’re getting a shot of real world confidence, because you know you’re quite literally just one step away from being in the mix, so to speak.”