MPI – Music Producers Institute – Launches Session Video Channel "MPI Live" September 27th, 2011

The Del McCoury Band to be Featured in MPI Live’s Premiere Video

On September 27, 2011 Music Producers Institute (MPI), an experiential learning company founded in 2008 that helps aspiring record producers learn a rarely-taught craft, launched MPI Live, an online music video site that offers exclusive streaming HD videos of master recording sessions, with audio fed directly from the studio console.

A 65-minute film showcasing recent sessions by renowned GRAMMY-winners The Del McCoury Band will be the service’s inaugural presentation, available exclusively at MPI’s website: www.musicpi.com. The beloved Del McCoury, who was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame during the International Bluegrass Music Awards on September 29th in Nashville, TN, gave access to six HD cameras while cutting tracks at Nashville’s Sound Emporium’s Studio “A” in May for a new album entitled “Old Memories: The Songs of Bill Monroe” (street date 9/27/11). All sixteen tracks for the album, recorded as a tribute to legendary bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe, were recorded with MPI students in attendance.

The session video, entitled “Del McCoury Band: The Bill Monroe Sessions,” showcases the band as they record two tracks on the new album, “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome” and “Train 45 (Heading South).” Online customers will see two unique views of the film, which includes rehearsals, multiple tracking takes, outtakes, overdubs and funny flubs in full stereo audio from the console, just as it sounded in the studio that day. Engineer-producer David Ferguson (Johnny Cash, U2, Ryan Bingham, Jacob Dylan) gives a personal tour of the studio and shares insights, tips and advice.

For $4.99, customers will be given the option to “gift” the second viewing to a friend with a unique passcode. The second viewer then must provide an email address and the unique passcode to access the movie. Click here to view.

The brainchild of GRAMMY-winning producer and MPI founder Steve Fishell, MPI Live is the first company to offer – through on demand video streaming – an easy and affordable way for record production and audio engineering students, along with music fans around the world, to view first hand how master recordings are made. “If you are at all interested in the what goes on in the recording studio, MPI Live is an inexpensive way to learn more about the process of making records. With MPI Live’s multiple cameras and the direct console mix, it’s like being right there in the studio. I wish I’d something like this years ago when I got started.”

Customers access the on-demand session videos through Brightcove’s flexible delivery system, which automatically selects the highest-quality video stream for the device it detects, be it a PC, laptop, smartphone or notepad, securely delivering the highest-quality video experience possible worldwide.

A second session video featuring country-rock pioneers POCO is in post production and more sessions are being planned for the future.

For more information contact Steve Fishell at 615-400-5324 or at stevefishell@musicpi.com.

About MPI:

Founded in 2008 by GRAMMY-winning producer, former record label executive and veteran musician Steve Fishell, Music Producers Institute (MPI) teaches record producing by hosting live, student-attended master recording sessions with well-known artists. Believing that record production, a rarely-taught craft, is best learned by experientially observing the “real deal,” Fishell and MPI have hosted master recording sessions with Kris Kristofferson, The Del McCoury Band, Delbert McClinton, POCO, Radney Foster, Raul Malo, Robert Earl Keen, Todd Snider, Sam Bush, Jason & the Scorchers, Jace Everett, Jerry Douglas, Rodney Crowell, Asleep at the Wheel and Foster & Lloyd.

MPI is a crash-course in record producing; it’s like gaining five years of producing experience in three days, observing your favorite artists in a class limited to only ten students.

In 2009 MPI partnered with the Recording Academy Nashville Chapter to present a GRAMMY U/ MPI Workshop at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville. A packed house of attendees heard record production lectures from producer Steve Fishell and singer-songwriter Radney Foster, then the GRAMMY U class toured the famed studio’s “A” room, site of two recent GRAMMY “Album of the Year” projects, the Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand.

Music Producers Institute is an opportunity for students to experience a “real world” recording session in a world-class studio–from pre-production all the way through to mastering. MPI focuses on the creative side of producing records, as opposed to the engineering or technical side and they do it with well-known indie-world artists in the studio.

MPI sessions concentrate on the producer’s role in the studio and the many artistic decisions that must be made throughout the process including song selection and arranging; band pre-pro rehearsals and preparation before entering the studio; recognizing stellar studio performances while tracking, singing and doing overdubs; demonstrating a vocal mic shootout; and singing and comping a complete lead vocal along with a background vocal session.

“The producer is to music what the director is to film,” Fishell explains. “Just as the movie director supervises and coordinates the efforts of a team of actors, cinematographers, set designers, sound track composers, and other professionals, the music producer oversees the team of featured artists, musicians, songwriters, arrangers and engineers who contribute to the recording of commercial songs and albums. Whether working for a major label or acting independently, the producer is in large measure responsible for the project’s artistic and financial success.”

MPI also hosts seperate mixing and mastering days with world-class engineers at the board who answer all questions about their techniques. Daily guest lecturers drop by the studio for an hour to talk about their experiences in the studio. Past lecturers have included Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel), Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift, Sara Evans), Jeff Hanna of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and engineer-producer David Leonard (Prince, John Mellencamp, Indigo Girls).

About The Del McCoury Band:

In the department of chill-bump raising, screaming high tenor bluegrass singers, there’s no one dearer to the hearts of bluegrass fans than Del McCoury. With more than 50 years of performing under his belt, nine IBMA Entertainer of the Year awards, a Grammy in 2006 and the prestigious National Heritage Award in 2010, McCoury and his band are universally regarded among the greatest ambassadors for the genre.

One of the most awarded band’s in bluegrass music history, the Del McCoury Band is also a family affair. Del’s sons Ronnie McCoury (on mandolin and vocals) and Rob McCoury (on banjo) have toured with their father since the 1980’s and are regarded as masters of their respective instruments. Renowned fiddler Jason Carter was inspired at age 16 to learn the fiddle after hearing Del McCoury sing; he had the chance to audition for his hero in 1992 and has been with Del ever since. Upright bassist Alan Bartram anchors the band with his soulful note choices technique and formidable technique.

McCoury first came to national attention as the lead singer and driving rhythm guitarist with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys during 1963 and 1964, after playing banjo in regional bands in the Baltimore/Washington area for several years. Forming Del McCoury & The Dixie Pals band around 1967, he played the festival circuit, largely in the Northeast. He moved from Pennsylvania to Nashville in 1992, changing the name of his group to The Del McCoury Band, which included sons Ronnie on mandolin and Rob on banjo. McCoury gained national recognition for his hard-edged, high energy style of bluegrass, winning numerous honors. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2003.

Del’s infectious smile and easy-going but always professional manner are as genuine as his musical integrity, which has built bridges for bluegrass to other styles of music and musicians. His willingness to record songs not normally associated with traditional bluegrass music, his collaborations on recordings with artists like Steve Earle and Dierks Bentley, and his diverse tour schedule that encompasses everything from traditional bluegrass settings to the jam band scene at festivals like Bonnaroo, are all important catalysts for bringing bluegrass to new audiences.

About Steve Fishell:

MPI founder Steve Fishell emerged in the early ’90s as a producer for cutting-edge, hip country artists. Fishell produced No. 1 hits for Radney Foster, Pam Tillis, Charlie Major, and Jann Browne, as well as albums and tracks for The Mavericks, Dixie Chicks, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Emmylou Harris. He has helmed the producer’s chair for artists as disparate as Little Richard, Gretchen Wilson and guitar legend Albert Lee.

Recently Fishell produced tracks for rock-country stylist Uncle Kracker, plus added his pedal steel stylings to Eric Church’s latest effort “Chief,” which debuted at Number One on Billboard’s Hot 200 chart.

Fishell spent four years at progressive-acoustic indie giant Sugar Hill Records and it’s veteran sister label Vanguard Records. At Sugar Hill and Vanguard, Fishell managed A&R responsibilities on projects with Sam Bush, Kinky Friedman, Kim Richey, Billy Joe Shaver, The Duhks, Willie Nelson and Carbon Leaf.

While at Sugar Hill, Fishell signed The Infamous Stringdusters, who swept the 2007 IBMA awards with wins for Emerging Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year.

During his tenure at Sugar Hill/Vanguard, Fishell worked on select outside projects. In 2005, Fishell won a GRAMMY for co-producing Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster, an independent CD released by the non-profit American Roots Publishing where Fishell was a board member.

Prior to his stint at Sugar Hill/Vanguard, Fishell was part of the A&R department for Ken Levitan’s start-up Rising Tide Records. At Rising Tide, Fishell contributed to the GRAMMY winning soundtrack album for the 1998 Robert Duvall film “The Apostle.” Fishell also signed Rebecca Lynn Howard to the label and produced her album along with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

As a pedal steel guitarist, Fishell toured toured for ten years as a member of Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band between 1980-89. He played on seven albums for Harris and contributed to several of her top ten singles, including “Born To Run,” “I’m Movin’ On” and “Last Date,” which went to number one. In 1986 Fishell was a part of the ace backing band for Trio, a GRAMMY-winning collaboration between Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt. As a session steel guitarist, Fishell has recorded with artists as varied as Eric Church, Uncle Cracker, Steve Goodman, Radney Foster, John Prine, Carlene Carter, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Marshall Crenshaw, Rosie Flores, Jann Browne, The Mavericks, Flaco Jimenez, The Dixie Chicks and The Chieftains.

For more information contact Steve Fishell at 615-400-5324 or at stevefishell@musicpi.com.

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