Big Head Todd in Studio A with Chris Goldsmith, Jimmy Hoyson
We were more than elated to see producer Chris Goldsmith and engineer Jimmy Hoyson travel from California back to Ardent this month to make a new record with Big Head Todd and the Monsters. You may remember their names from their work on last year’s GRAMMY-nominated Ruthie Foster record, The Truth According to Ruthie Foster, which was also cut here at Ardent in Studio A.
But for the three days that they were here this time, what they made does not amount to what you might call the usual Big Head Todd record. What started as a concept tour – Big Head Todd and the Monsters, David “Honeyboy” Edwards, Hubert Sumlin, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm playing the music of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson – morphed into a record, and what a record it’s going to be. Add in guests Charlie Musselwhite and Ruthie herself, and you’ve got the formula for something very special for blues and rock fans around the world. Jason Gillespie was the assistant on the session.
Chris had this to say about the studio: “Jason was amazing. He is extremely capable and has a fantastic attitude. He is on our all-star team for sure. I first came to Ardent with the Ruthie Foster project because we wanted to make a record that leaned on Memphis soul and Memphis musicians and I had heard that Ardent was the best in town. Not only was that true, but Ardent is one of the best studios I’ve ever worked in… The crew, the gear, and the sound of the tracking rooms are all world class. We came back for this record because I love working at Ardent and the band wanted to be close to Robert Johnson’s stomping grounds for this record.”
Big Head Todd consists of Todd Park Mohr (guitars/vocals), Rob Squires (bass/vocals), Brian Nevin (drums/vocals) and Jeremy Lawton (keys/steel guitar/vocals).
In the picture, L to R: Lightnin’ Malcolm (guest), Rob Squires (bass), Todd Park Mohr (guitar/vocals), Jimmy Hoyson (engineer), Jason Gillespie (assistant), Ruthie Foster (guest), Chris Goldsmith (producer), Cedric Burnside (guest), Jeremy Lawton (keys/lap steel), and Brian Nevin (drums).
Below are some in studio shots taken by assistant Jason Gillespie.