Saturday, July 17, 2010

In The Homestretch Of GRAMMY Camp® By Jenay Ross

The 2010 GRAMMY Camp® Showcase is quickly approaching, but the Campers are not buckling under pressure. They are quite calm actually. Exhausted, but calm. In PIC, where the practice rooms are located, musicians and Singer/Songwriters can be seen laying on the floor catching up on sleep. Their sleepiness isn’t keeping them from perfecting their songs though. People are ecstatic and ready to get up on stage.

At the beginning of the week, the instrumentalists divided into five combos and started work right away. Travis Werling, a bassist, loves his combo. “I couldn’t have asked for a better combo,” he said. During his combo’s writing process, they had a lot of creative differences, but it was overall a “good collaborative effort,” said Werling.

Gunner Rolf plays guitar and has been having a blast with his combo and Jason Goldman, their instructor. “Everything he [Goldman] says is so right. He may come off as insulting, but if you think about it, he’s right. I love working with Jason,” explained Rolf. He said the only challenge his combo faced was working on transitions and “little nuisances in the song.” They had a of couple times where they had a lot of tension between everyone, but there were also great times of relaxing and jamming together.

Most of the musicians have agreed that they love being in their combos. “Oh man, I love it. Everybody’s vibe is right. We all click,” said bass trombonist, Johnny Huggins. He shared a story with me about a time when they had some trouble deciding on what to write, so they got a football, played catch outside, went back inside, and wrote their song in 30 minutes. “I think our final product, like speaks for us. It has the personality of the band,” he said with a big smile. He feels like the hardest thing about Camp has been working with seven different Singer/Songwriters on seven different songs, at the same time. He said it’s like he’s expected to be in two places at one time, but he’s coping with it.

Last year, Singer/Songwriter Ellie Perleberg was in the Music Journalism track, but this year decided to switch. “It’s completely different,” she said. She has enjoyed having more interaction with the rest of the campers and her chance to collaborate with them. “I got like five of the girls to do like an acappella bridge. It was really cool, because I walked into the room with the band and I said ‘So I want this to sound like a classic country song. Five minutes, they had it nailed down,” she said excitedly.

The combos recently began recording in the on-campus studio. Recording in the studio has gone really well , besides the heat. These past couple of days in LA has been really hot, making rooms like the studio and the dorms a little uncomfortable. People are more focused on performing at The El Rey though. “I’m really excited, because it’s a really really famous stage and a lot of my heroes have played on that same stage, so it’s an honor,” said Werling.

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