photo: Robert Vignola
Touring to support his CD Ashgrove, roots-rocker Dave Alvin blasted McNear's Mystic Theatre (Petaluma, Calif.) in late January, relying on the venue's engineer. For this show, Randy Teaford, the Mystic's chief engineer and production manager, mixed at front of house for the former Blasters guitarist. “It's a little like mixing a train wreck,” Teaford says. “You can see the train coming and you don't really want get out of its way. It's a roots-rock, tear-it-down kind of show. I had a lot of red lights on the console.” Teaford watches the peak meters on the 40-channel Crest X8HS console up in the balcony. A recently installed Apogee loudspeaker system fills the room nicely.
It's hard to believe that two nights prior to this gritty performance, Alvin cancelled a show due to laryngitis. But Alvin was in good guitar form at the Mystic, and Teaford had to keep an eye on the vocal fader. “I have to make sure Dave's vocal level matches the enthusiasm level of his guitar playing,” Teaford says. “If my mix is working, the audience likes it, the band likes it and everyone goes home happy.”