Carl Roehmann releases ‘Songs from the Roamin’ Z’
Carl Roehmann has been playing his guitar for Park City audiences for 28 years.
His past bands include Badinerie, Joint Venture, Within, The Creaky Beaver Band, Longshot, Lip Service and Velocity Son.
Since 2001, Roehmann, the production coordinator of Roamin’ Z Productions, has been the lead guitarist for Jeffrey Howrey’s band Dr. Bob.
With all that experience backing him up, Roehmann felt it was time to do a solo project.
So, he recorded a collection of works that have been released on CD as "Songs from the Roamin’ Z Ranch," under the moniker Carl the Rocker.
"Over the years, I’ve played in a lot of bands and I’m usually working with the person who has the vision for the band or the songs," Roehmann said. "So, I decided it was finally time to make a musical statement of my own on my own.
"I had been planning this for 20 years," he said. "Some of the songs date back to a few bands before Dr. Bob, and since 2013 is the Year of the Dragon, which is my Asian birth sign, I decided not to delay any longer."
To do this, the guitarist recruited drummer Tracy Nielsen, whom he worked with in previous bands.
"Every instrument on the CD is performed by me, except the drums," Roehmann said. "Tracy is a real pro. He came on board, and he snapped it right up.
"For me the drums are the backbone of a rock album, because without them, the music really doesn’t do anything," Roehmann said "So to have such a kick-butt drummer on this project was huge for me."
Roehmann and Nielsen didn’t rehearse together before the recording sessions, which took place at the Roamin’ Z Ranch — also known as Roehmann’s home — on an 128-track, digital-recording system.
"I had 11 tracks that required drums and one that was just an acoustic guitar," Roehmann "So I emailed Tracy a real rough demo with a track sheet that had notes on each song. After listening to the disc for a couple of weeks, he came up last November and we recorded the basic tracks for the album in one day."
Most of the tracks were done in two or three takes and there were a couple that needed only one take.
"What we wanted to do was use one take to get the feel of the song and then we’d go for it," Roehmann said. "We wanted to have that raw, off-the-cuff feel to the songs, because rock ‘n’ roll should be a little rough and not too polished."
The other reason for the quick turnaround was to keep the songs fresh.
"We didn’t want to keep recording new takes that would continue to polish the songs," Roehmann said. "We had to lay the rules down and say that we were done with a song. Otherwise it would have driven us crazy to get every note and every beat perfect."
After the basic tracks were done, Roehmann started his overdubs the night after Thanksgiving and wrapped everything by mid December.
"Since I was able to record in my home, I wasn’t a slave to the studio clock," Roehmann said. "So, if I had an idea for some guitar tracks at 3 a.m., I could go down and go to it."
The guitarist sent the recordings over to his friend Tony Korologos to mix the CD.
Korologos, who owns Fast Forward Studios in Sandy, mixed and mastered the CD in less than five days.
"This was the fourth project I’ve done with Tony, so I was confident working with him," Roehmann said. "Also, it helped that the recording system at my ranch is based on his own system in his own place."
"Chicago" Mike Beck, who runs the Access Film Music Concert Series during the Sundance Film Festival, designed the CD artwork.
"Mike also helped me with the CD replication," Roehmann said. "He told me that a solo album is like a ‘campfire for other musicians to gather around.’ So since I was tired of gathering around other people’s campfires, I figured it was time for me to start my own campfire."
Roehmann’s musical influences include Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and the whole "New Wave of British heavy Metal" (NWOBHM) movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"I was 12 when I picked up my first guitar," Roehmann said. "It was an Yamaha acoustic guitar with a neck that was too fat for my hands at the time."
So, he decided to play electric guitar, because the neck was slimmer.
"I still have my old acoustic and my hands fit a lot better," Roehmann said with a laugh.
A Park Record intern spent three weeks in New York City thanks to a Columbia University program.
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