On June 14, Brooklyn-based singer and songwriter Garland Jeffreys released the rock- and blues-oriented The King of In Between, his first album of entirely new work in 14 years. Jeffreys co-produced his latest project with guitarist Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm) and brought in top musicians Steve Jordan (drums), Mike Merritt (bass), Duke Levine (guitar) and Brian Mitchell (keyboards). It also includes guest artists Lou Reed, Duncan Sheik and Jeffreys’ 14-year-old daughter, Savannah. Jeffreys and company recorded basic tracks at Brooklyn Recording, while overdubs took place in One East Recording in Manhattan.
For mixing, Jeffreys turned to longtime friend and collaborator Roy Cicala, the former chief engineer of The Record Plant in Manhattan—whose credits include John Lennon, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen, among many others—whom Jeffreys has known since 1972. “This was my first album in a while, and I thought Roy would be perfect for it,” Jeffreys says. “The problem is, he was living in Brazil.”
Cicala explains his relocation: “I came [to Sao Paolo] to stay for two weeks, and it is now going on five years. During this time, I became a resident and had to do something so we started the studio. It’s a five-room facility called SA Plant. My partner here is Apollo, a remarkable arranger and keyboard programmer with whom I often collaborate. The studio is fantastic and we’re very happy, but my biggest downer is that I miss New York.
“I suggested to Garland, ‘Let’s try to mix it long distance: Send me your hard drive and let’s give it a go,’” Cicala continues; he and Jeffreys exchanged files and comments via email, and had phone conversations. “Garland’s CD was mixed on a V3 Neve and transferred to digital. I used Logic because I love the automation; Pro Tools was used first for rough mixes. Mixing from digital to old analog equipment, to tape and back to digital is a time-consuming method, but the end result is well worth the pain.”