Howie Morenz is an expansive song written and performed by Jon Gonnelli. The backing track was recorded live by the band all in the room together with no edits. We ran through the song a few times as a rehearsal and then started rolling tape. It was a great experience to cut the backing track with everyone together since I’ve normally been in the mode of building recordings up track by track. I’ve tried recording all together but it’s so hard to do that most of the time the recordings suffer. Many times people get nerves from being in the studio and having the stress of knowing that 1 mistake can blow the entire take. So I find a lot of times people play it safe and then you get a take that may not have any mistakes, but lacks energy. Jon led the session and he didn’t put any pressure on people during the recording and I think that worked for the best because it was one of the few times I’ve been on a session where recording together worked well.
Herb Wiley then overdubbed his bassline in one take and it’s flawless. After the basic tracks we then spent some time building the track up with vocals, harmony vocals, extra guitars and a saxophone arrangement. Stephanie Cupo added some great sax parts and was instructed to take the track to “Istanbul” for the outro. She came up with some beautiful, flowing lines that close out the song while Jon and I duel our guitars Grateful Dead-style.