Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Christian
Listen to Samples
Dancing in the Street
Keith Salter | Southampton, England. | 08/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A great album by one of the music industry's most consistent performers. Singer/songwriter Melanie writes most of the material on this album but is not afraid to sing other people's songs. On this album, in particular, she features with a band and plays live to small studio-sized audiences. Altogether, a very different Melanie album that should be considered one of her funkiest!"
David Grant | Vancouver, BC Canada | 08/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe the energy Melanie put into these songs. The range of her voice from extreame highs to lows that are surprising "For a Girl". I have 24 of Menanies albums, this one is second only to Arabesque(1984?). The best way to enjoy this CD is to close your eyes, rock back your lounger and crank it up till the floor rocks. Talk about Blown Away. You know the Maxell guy, he was listining to this CD. If you want to release your endorfens to the max crank this one up, it will even drown tooth pain. This is rock that doesen't all blur together, the instruments remain crisp and identifiable. The most amasing thing to me is Melanie wrote most of her own music and lyrics. The girl is amazing, beyond belief. I was going to USF when this album was made and I think I had a chance to go to the taping but I had finals so I had to cram and mised out on a chance of a lifetime."
I Engineered Ballroom Streets :-)
Michael Laskow | Los Angeles, CA | 10/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm so glad to see that people enjoy this record as much as all of us who made it did! My name is Michael Laskow, and I engineered Ballroom Streets. It was extremely unusual in the way we recorded it. It was in fact done live in the studio with an audience of people who won a contest at a local radio station in Miami.
The band played live with the audience members sitting on the floor, often mingled in and around the band members while they played. We rarely overdubbed anything, and virtually all of Melanie's vocal's were done live (which is all but unheard of!).
I had to mix the PA system in the room for the audience, watch the levels going to the 24-track tape machine, do at least two separate mixes for the floor monitors that fed the band members their mixes. I honestly don't think anybody in any era has recorded an album in quite the same manner. Dealing with the sound bleeding from one instrument's microphone to another is something that is normally handled with iso booths, and lots of moving blankets ad gobos (sound iso panels that get rolled around a studio).
For this record, we had VERY limited gear by today's standard, and had to use a lot of physics to calculate musician, microphone, audience, PA monitors, and band monitor placement to get the best possible isolation. Just isolating Melanie's incredible voice from bleeding into her acoustic guitar mic would be more than most engineers would care to deal with.
But aside from patting myself on the back for accomplishing my favorite feat of audio engineering, in the end, making great records REALLY comes down to GREAT songs and GREAT performances. We had both in spades during the making of Ballroom Streets. We ALL knew we were making a special record at the time. We worked 18 hour days for a couple of months straight, and in the end, it was more than worth it.
I still keep a copy in my car. My youngest daughters (9 and 12) love Buckle Down so much that Melanie recorded a home studio version just for them when they ride in the car and re-titled it, Buckle Up ;-) She even included their names in the intro on their one of a kind version, done in 2006!
Yes, I still keep in touch with Melanie, her husband Peter, one of Melanie's adult daughters, and Tony Battaglia, the lead guitar player from the band.
I've worked on records with Eric Clapton, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Cheap Trick, Firefall, and many others, but no recording was as challenging and rewarding as Ballroom Streets. Melanie and the band nailed it!
Thanks Mel and Peter! Maybe it's time to get together and do another live in the studio record :-)