From L to R: Vince Gill, Tony Brown, Kix Brooks, Sheryl Crow and Ronnie Dunn
Photo: Alan Mayor
Country music hit-maker and Universal South senior partner Tony Brown called up Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill to add background vocals on “Building Bridges” from the forthcoming Brooks and Dunn album, Hillbilly Deluxe, to be released on Arista Nashville/RLG.
“I was talking to Ronnie Dunn about how I always wanted to hear a three-part, kind of high lonesome harmony on the track,” says Brown. “I turned to him and said, ‘lets make this a vocal event. What about Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill?’ Dunn replied, ‘If you can get them, go for it baby!’”
Brown got ‘em, of course, and chose Crow’s Nashville-based Talentshop Recording for the session. “As a producer, sometimes the thrill of cutting records is casting musicians who have never played together, but are so great, that the result can’t be bad,” says Brown. “I have worked with Vince for years and have always admired Sheryl—I even cut one of her tunes on Wynonna’s second album. I also knew Sheryl had bought a studio in Nashville that I worked in many times over the years and I thought it would be perfect for this session.”
The studio, which is located near Nashville’s Music Row, features a small, intimate recording environment with a classic Neve 8078 console, a complete Pro Tools setup, vintage equipment from Fairchild and Studer, and a large collection of new and vintage microphones. “I was really excited about doing this session at the Talentshop and I know that Sheryl was happy we were using her place,” says Brown. “It would have been a nightmare to have done this session in one of the large studios. I wanted a creative place that was comfortable with a cool vibe. When Sheryl and Vince were in the tracking room doing their vocals, Ronnie, Kix and I were only about ten feet away on the other side of the glass. That kind of face-to-face contact between the artists and the producers made the session go so much easier. Of course Sheryl and Vince sounded great together and really added to the track.”
Crow bought the studio originally for her own use, after moving to Nashville to be closer to her sister. She renamed it Talentshop Recording a little over a year ago. “It’s a great studio and has the Neve board that I recorded all my records on with the exception of the first one,” says Crow. “I bought it about a year ago and started making my latest record there. We recorded four songs that are actually going to be on the album, which is due out in September [the single “Good is Good” hit radio last month]. “It’s a great little place.” Crow now plans to open the studio for commercial use.