Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Photos from Gospel choir recording / Proud Soul Heritage Kitoto Von Hebb sessions

Basic Tracks September 6, 2013
Mixing April 29, 2014

Hear the song here:

Backing vocal recording session
Wellspring Sound in Acton  April 22, 2014
plus first 2 mixes.

Mixes 3-10 produced on April 29, 2014.


Photo by engineer Matt Hayes
From left to right:
Alan Maurice Rias (tenor),  Sayida Rivers-Farmer  (soprano), Austin Marks (bass) and Neni Chacín-Larreal (alto)


Clockwise: Alan, Austin, Joe Viglione, Matt Hayes, Neni Chacín-Larreal and Sayida (center)
Proud Soul Heritage
Written by Bobby Hebb

Recorded September 2013
Mixed April 29, 2014

Kitoto Von Hebb - Vocals
Steve Holley - Drums
Thomas Hebb - Bass

Backing chorus
Carolina Chacin / Neni Chacín-Larreal (alto)
Alan Maurice Rias (tenor)
Austin Marks (bass)
Sayida Rivers-Farmer  (soprano)
That's also Sayida's ad libs at the end

Produced by Joe Viglione
Engineered by Matt Hayes
Additional engineers: Eric Kilburn, Dave Rizzuti

Copyright (C)2014 Producer Joe Viglione, Bobby Hebb Estate
All Rights Reserved
No unauthorized duplication, please


The basic tracks were recorded with engineer David Rizzuti at Wellspring Sound in Acton, Massachusetts.  On the session were Gerry Beaudoin on guitar, Thomas Hebb on bass, David Maxwell on piano, Kitoto Von Hebb on vocals and Steve Holley on drums.

We recorded two takes of "Proud Soul Heritage" as well as a take of "Love You" (another Bobby Hebb song, never commercially released until the recording at this session) and "Got My Mojo Workin'" -  Maxwell, Holley and Thomas Hebb performing on an earlier recording I produced of Bobby Hebb and his nephew Thomas.

Peter Calo was scheduled to play guitar with Gerry Beaudoin but Jimmy "Up Up And Away" Webb needed Peter to perform on TV in New York City so Peter sent us his guitar work via Dropbox.

The first take of "Proud Soul Heritage" is lovely (this one is the second take) and stands on its own.  It is the same tempo as this but a different groove.  I love them both.   Calo, Beaudoin, Holley, Maxwell and Thomas Hebb are on Version 1.  Steve Holley also plays tambourine on it.   Version 2 features a guitarist friend of Thomas Hebb's as well as a pianist/organist friend of bassist Thomas Hebb.   I will publish their names when permission is granted.
I contacted original arranger Joe Renzetti (arranger of the original "Sunny" produced by Jerry Ross; producer of the disco "Sunny '76" on Laurie Records and the arranger of the original dance version of Proud Soul Heritage - the follow up to "Sunny disco" on Laurie Records.  I also contacted co-producer Stephen Sharmat about the original master tapes.  We thought of having Kitoto Von Hebb duet with her dad on the original, but the key is different, so I put a sample of Bobby's performance at the beginning of this, and we created our own rendition from scratch.   

I gave the four vocalists the lyrics typed out on an 8 1/2 x 11 and asked for the "ooooos" to start things off.  My initial idea was to march a choir alongside the lead vocal a la "Oh, Happy Day" but also wanted the four vocalists to be comfortable doing what they do naturally - especially since we had never worked together before.

The four voices kicked in with "force of emotion" - brought in the "ooos" and then brought their own arranging and harmonies into the mix.   The team effort brought something very extraordinary. I had asked for some ad-libbing from each and gave great latitude, but it wasn't until studio owner Eric Kilburn came in and asked for the ad-libs again that they happened.  Great teamwork.

What Neni, Sayida, Alan and Austin came up with in harmonies is magical. As a producer I had to consider whether to ask them to track more for the original idea (think again: "Oh, Happy Day") but with the tempo of the tune being slower it was best to not overwork the superb vocalists.   It's a judgment call, and as much as the temptation to "overproduce" is always present (one doesn't have to utilize everything, but to have it on tape gives additional options) the vocalists were "happening" and doing what they do best.    After a final listen we took some photos and everyone got to go home with a job well done.

Great people and a great experience on Tuesday, April 22.

Director Jay LaFond (cameraman on The Yardbirds DVD Making Tracks) videotaped the session and we might add that to the video.  Jay said at the conclusion of the session "I know I was part of something very special tonight."  Indeed! 


This new recording is pop, gospel, blues, northern soul and more.  It is a tribute to Bobby Hebb's songwriting genius and to the players and engineers a tip of the hat for a superb set of performances all the way around.   Thank you everyone for participating on this wonderful song and recording.

On September 6, 2013 we recorded the basic tracks to Proud Soul Heritage.  Five months later on February 6, 2014 Kitoto Von Hebb performed at the Apollo Theater with Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Leslie Uggams, Gary US Bonds, Lloyd Price, Bettye LaVette and many others.


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