Our Creative Process

How We Create Obed River Band Music

12/16/2019

In this post, we will give you an idea of what we go through to create our new songs from lyrics to musical production and finally the recording.

It is unusual for a four-piece band to be a complete "Indie band", in other words, a group of musicians that can fulfill all the steps in the process of writing, producing the musical score, recording, mixing and then performing the songs - not to mention, marketing their music too!

Let's start with the song's lyrics.

One of the most prolific songwriters in The Obed River Band is Steve Sisco. 

Steve plays the Bass Guitar in most of the band's songs, however, he also plays Fiddle, Mandolin, acoustic guitar and as Dallas says, he would also play the drums, if I would let him!

Steve is a talented musician who plays all stringed instruments, but his bandmates will tell you that they believe his greatest attribute is his songwriting ability.

Steve has been writing the gospel, country, and folk songs for many years but since helping form The Obed River Band in the fall of 2018, he has been busy creating many new songs for this band. 

The same day the band decided on its name, The Obed River Band, he called lead singer Trent McCoy and told him that he had written a new song for the band entitled, "Obed River".

As he strummed his flat-top guitar and sang the song over the phone, Trent said he knew immediately they had their new theme song!

Sure enough, after the band got together to work out the musical composition to Steve's lyrics, they all felt good about the possibilities of putting Steve's new song on their debut album. 

Trent says when his grandkids visit him and his wife Karen, he finds it heartwarming to hear his little guys singing the words to Obed River as they run through the house playing.  

You can hear this song by visiting our music page.

Steve is a songwriter who continues to amaze his fellow bandmates and fans with great country, folk, gospel, and love songs regularly.

"I love to hear this band and love the songs they write!"

                                        -Ginger Virginia Sisco 

 

Trent and Dallas bring some pretty awesome songs to the table as well. 

Trent's brother, Pastor Mike McCoy has been writing songs for about three decades.  The band has created the music and recorded some of Mike's songs and the band's audiences and fans have accepted them with great enthusiasm.

On the band's 2nd album, plans to record some new songs by drummer Dallas McCalister and Steve's son Tyler Sisco are on the drawing board... along with some of Steve's latest creations of course.

There seems to be no end to the songs and music this band can create and produce!

 

From Lyrics to the Finished Product

Once the band members come up with new lyrics they sit down together and begin discussing where they might go with each new song they have written. 

Often, the songwriter may have an "idea" of how the music should go, so the band begins to work up the musical arrangement to the song immediately. 

Some of their songs take more time to create.

As an example, one of Steve's new songs entitled, "After The Damage is Done"  took on a real challenge for the band when he told them he had not settled on exactly how the song should go musically.

Steve says that with most songs he writes, he hears the music even before he begins creating the lyrics.  

After Dewayne and Trent began playing with some new guitar strains as Steve sang the lyrics, Dallas said he had an idea for the rhythm and the beat of the song. 

He said he thought the song needed a different beat, one that he believed could turn out to be a song nobody could sit still for.  They would have to get up and dance once they heard the unusual drum beat and bass guitar runs it would begin with.

As it turned out, the band ran with the idea and from there, Steve's new song took on a whole new life of its own.

Steve said the drum intro Dallas created reminded him of a native American dance beat.  He said he could imagine an Indian Chief and his warriors all dancing around the fire pit.

The rest of the song from that point on became easier for Dewayne (Lead Guitar) to create a musical guitar break as well as some great back-up strains for lead singer Trent McCoy to work with.

The lead guitar part fits the unusual drum beat Dallas created for the song so well, the band decided to begin playing the song until they could create a strong beginning and ending for it that worked well with the new rhythm guitar lead the guys had come up with. 

From that point on, the band would play the song over and over until they were comfortable with the timing, rhythm, and vocals.  

Once that was done, Dewayne would record the song on a small handheld recorder for the band to listen to it before playing it again, just in case, they could not recall exactly how they played the song the kast time.

After the band plays a new song several times, they may decide to change a part, a verse, etc. here and there before settling on the final results.

Dallas creates a chart for his drums of the final results to be able to play the song the same way again and again from that point on.  Each member has their way of producing notes on how they're vocal or musical part for each song is played. 

This is the process the band goes through with every new song they create before they record it.

The last 16 songs the band created was played over and over at practice sessions and live shows over the past 12 months before going back into the recording sessions.

For the 2nd album the band plans to record and release sometime this year, they have created a total of 17 new songs. 

Trent says the more we play a new song, the better we get at making it an Obed River Band song.  Once we are comfortable with it, we know its time to record it.  

 

Not All Songs Are Chosen

The final step is to record the new songs the band has created.

They may record all the songs, however, only ten of them will be chosen for each new album.  

The band decided early on that they would put ten songs on each album they produce. 

"No, we're not superstitious", says Dallas, we are just methodical. (LOL)  We just said, hey, let's stay with ten songs to an album.    

The process of recording new Obed River Band songs is also one in which this Indie band does all by themselves.  They play, rehearse and record their new music right here in Crossville, Tennessee.

 

Dewayne Wagner is not only an excellent lead guitar player and singer - but he is also an excellent sound engineer and mix artist, with his own recording equipment.

 

Steve is another excellent sound engineer with his own recording equipment, so between Dewayne and Steve, the band is all set when it comes to producing Obed River Band recordings.

When the band begins to record a new album, they stay with it, producing soundtracks almost every week until each player is satisfied with the results of the songs they plan to place on an album or as a single soundtrack.

As mentioned, the current recording sessions include up to 17 new songs written and produced by the band. 

After all the tracks have been laid down - to include each instrument and vocal part, Dewayne puts together a copy of the songs they have completed so each band member can listen and review each song(s) carefully until they are all satisfied with the recordings.

If any edits are needed or desired by a band member, they go back to work on that song and once again, this process is repeated until everyone is satisfied with the final results.

When they are pleased with the results, the final step will begin. Dewayne can now start the mixing process for the new song(s) for the album.

 

Duplication and Cover Design

The band's debut album cover was designed by drummer and marketing manager Dallas McCalister. 

Dallas has an extensive background in creative writing and marketing.  Graphic Designer Tim Webb from Cookeville, Tennessee created the band's logo with the input of the band members. 

Photos were taken by local creative still life photographer and friend of the band, Patricia McBride.  

The next album title and design will most likely be a joint effort by the band members and friends as well.  

 

A simple process to describe, however, from beginning to end it can take up to a year or more to produce a full album with ten original Obed River Band songs.

The band feels that the actual recording and duplication process will go faster each time they create a new album as they fine-tune and perfect their process.

Duplication of the CD albums is currently being done locally by Scott at Discduppers, another good friend of the band.  

Distribution of the band's music will be handled by the number one distributor on the Internet, CdBaby. Trusted by over 750,000 artists, CD Baby is the largest global digital distributor of independent music.

Many artists and bands today are turning to the Internet for marketing their music.  The Obed River Band is no exception to this recent phenomenon. 

A significant difference, however, is that this band writes, creates, produces, records, performs and markets all of its original country music.  A distributor and booking agent are an essential part of getting the band's music heard by the masses and the band thinks they now have the necessary ingredients to make this happen.  

  

The creative process for The Obed River Band takes time, but each member will tell you that even though it takes time, it's also a lot of fun!  

NOTE:  To listen to and order a single soundtrack or an entire album, please visit our music page.  To hear two minutes of our first single soundtrack to be released this year, Back Home to Me  - simply click on the start arrow on the bottom of the page.  

 

Enjoy the music!

Trent, Steve, Dewayne, and Dallas

The Obed River Band

 

 

(c) 2019 The Obed River Band. All rights reserved.

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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