Making of the Album - Another Universe

Vickie Maris, Michael Kelsey, & Scott Greeson

Singer-songwriter and recording artist Vickie Maris takes you behind the scenes of the creation of her album, Another Universe. Her co-hosts of the show are her co-producers of the album. From the inspiration for the songs to the songwriting process to the mechanics of laying down the instrument tracks in the studio, Maris, along with Michael Kelsey and Scott Greeson tell first-hand stories about the creative process. Kelsey is one of Maris' cowriters and the recording engineer and producer of the album. Maris' other cowriter is her husband, Scott Greeson, co-producer of Another Universe. read less

On the Mountain | Synchronicities of a Connemara pony and songwriting
Jan 19 2023
On the Mountain | Synchronicities of a Connemara pony and songwriting
Show notes for the episode about the creation of the song, On the Mountain by Vickie Maris. Album: Another Universe :35 Hear a sample of the instrumental track for On the Mountain. :54 Songwriter Vickie Maris introduces the episode. Her co-hosts are: Michael Kelsey, recording engineer and producer; Scott Greeson, co-producer. 3:40 Music segue, "On the Mountain" 3:48 We're all connected to each other. Vickie talks briefly about synchronicities that happened in the writing and recording of the song. Increased awareness helped her notice these. 4:57 You can hear the studio-recorded version of On the Mountain out in Spotify. 5:05 Music video of a live performance of On the Mountain being played by Vickie Maris, Michael Kelsey, Scott Greeson, Courtney Von Drehle, Lee Anna Atwell and Greg Brassie. 5:47 Music segue to interview. 5:53 Vickie starts the conversation with co-hosts, Scott Greeson and Michael Kelsey. 6:05 Scott Greeson talks about the origin of On the Mountain and asks Vickie to tell the backstory. 6:35 On the Mountain is Vickie's second song she had written. 6:59 Scott, Vickie and Michael Kelsey talk about performing for their various senior banquets and breakfasts back in high school. 7:44 Fast forward 20 years and Vickie starts songwriting again. 8:01 Vickie sells her American-made Guild guitar when she lived in Iowa. 8:30 The backstory of On the Mountain and how it connects to Connemara ponies and a pony farm in the mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia. 13:46 Michael Kelsey talks about Vickie picking the right chords for writing On the Mountain; also his surprise that On the Mountain wasn't a part of the songwriting spurt for the album. 14:35 Michael discusses how the chords, melody and lyrics showed him what Vickie was feeling when she wrote the song. He responded with the guitar parts and other instrumental tracks. 15:25 Scott discusses one of the May rehearsals and his reveal that the song felt brand new. He mentions that this song was a precursor of things to come even though written years ago. "The soul of the songwriter that you are is reflected in that song. It's the birth of you as a songwriter." 16:11 Vickie shares about something her songs have in common. Spending time in silence each day; especially during times of stress. 17:00 Scott talks about Vickie's professional career in the corporate world and in academia. "It took the quiet time to discover who you are as a musician and a songwriter that's really reflective in this album. Then Michael helped you give birth to the songs." 17:39 Vickie reflects on an epiphany she had after a moment of silence about giving herself permission to be a musician first rather than saving music for the leftovers of her day. 18:50 Scott talks about Vickie's reflection videos that she created daily after spending 100 days of adding 30 minutes of silence to her daily routine. 19:30 You can find the playlist of reflection videos when you go to YouTube to the channel, Vickie Maris Team Development: 20:07 Vickie shares another synchronicity moment about the timing of the day Michael was working on the mix for On the Mountain, Vickie without knowing he was working on the mix, she had chosen to wear an old Connemara pony polo shirt. 21:30 Vickie's thank you to the guys for sharing in the conversation. 21:42 Vickie sets up the closing music - the practice session (recorded on a phone in the living room) of On the Mountain with Michael Kelsey, Vickie Maris, Scott Greeson and accordionist, Courtney Von Drehle. 21:56 Practice session of On the Mountain with one voice, three guitars and one accordion. Thank you for listening, and for sharing the podcast! Show co-hosts and album producers: Vickie Maris ... https://vickiemarismusic.com Scott Greeson ... https://scottgreesonmusic.com Michael Kelsey ... https://michaelkelsey.com
Easy To Love | An Enneagram 7 songwriter talks with her cowriter and coproducer
Dec 29 2022
Easy To Love | An Enneagram 7 songwriter talks with her cowriter and coproducer
Show notes for the episode about the creation of the song, Easy To Love (Love Letter From an Enneagram 7) by Vickie Maris and Michael Kelsey. Album: Another Universe :00 Sample of the upcoming content about the vocal workout of recording Easy to Love, a song on the album, Another Universe. :20 Music and introduction of episode :46 Sample of Easy To Love - live performance by band during Another Universe album release concert by Vickie Maris 1:01 More details about title of song, Easy To Love 1:38 Intro of the episode sponsor, Teach. Inspire. Connect. YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@vickiejmaris Website mentioned about the Everything DiSC or The Five Behaviors workshop with the band: https://everythingdisc.com/vickiemaris 3:03 Inspiration for the song came from a fascination with learning about personality types. Vickie is an Authorized Partner - Everything DiSC and The Five Behaviors. She talks about facilitation of team development workshops, staff retreats, and executive education sessions that incorporate the DiSC profile and other content in the Everything DiSC and/or The Five Behaviors portfolios (both are Wiley brands). 3:48 Team workshop available about team communications and team roles that incorporates the music of the band. 5:23 How to inquire about the workshop with the band: https://everythingdisc.com/vickiemaris 5:38 Welcome to listeners of the podcast! 5:51 An invitation to share out the podcast. 6:01 Description of the hashtag: #teachinspireconnect 6:35 Seque to the conversation about the song, Easy To Love. 7:01 Vickie describes her fascination with the Enneagram personality profile. She introduces her husband, Scott Greeson, co-producer and co-host of the show. 7:34 Vickie introduces Michael Kelsey, recording engineer and producer of the album, co-host of the show. He's the Enneagram expert of the group. 9:14 Description of mind mapping the ideas for the song and then, writing Easy To Love. 10:12 Scott talks about how 8 of the first 10 songs came really quickly, and then Easy To Love shows up as another song that needs to go on the album. 10:34 Michael discussed how a song can come easily when the pressure to songwrite has been removed. 11:05 Vickie share how the song was about 8 hours old when she took it to the studio to record scratch vocals. It was enough for Michael to create a demo track with his voice. Vickie practiced to the demo and was more prepared for singing the keeper vocals a couple weeks later. She and Michael were co-writers on the song. 12:09 Michael talks about how they took the starting point of the song, where they knew something was there to work with, and then switched a few things around as they were laying down the vocal track. 13:17 Vickie talks about the experience of recording the keeper vocals and at the same time, leaving open space for the guitar responses Michael was envisioning as responses to the lyrics. 13:56 Michael reflects on the value of letting the guitar do the talking for a bit. 14:44 The group talks about playing the song live at the album release concert. 14:50 Scott shares one of the lessons for songwriters about trying out several different lyrics, and how "the whimsical simplicity of the lyrics is what sealed the deal." 15:24 "You just know it when you hear it." Michael Kelsey talking about songwriting. 15:54 Sometimes people will work best under pressure.  16:18 Scott discusses the value of the songwriter having a level of trust in the producer / engineer. 17:10 Thank you to Michael Kelsey for the introduction to the Enneagram. 17:30 Ending moments of our live performance of Easy To Love. Thank you for listening, and for sharing the podcast! Show co-hosts and album producers: Vickie Maris ... https://vickiemarismusic.com Scott Greeson ... https://scottgreesonmusic.com Michael Kelsey ... https://michaelkelsey.com
We Are Enough | Recording engineer Michael Kelsey sets the groove with a beatbox click track
Dec 15 2022
We Are Enough | Recording engineer Michael Kelsey sets the groove with a beatbox click track
Show notes for the episode about the creation of the song, We Are Enough by Vickie Maris. Album: Another Universe :00 Sample of the upcoming content about the vocal workout of recording We Are Enough, a song on the album, Another Universe. :50 Music and introduction of episode 2:11 Intro of the sponsor, Etsy shop: heartsongllamas. The "We Are Enough" t-shirt and the physical copy of the cd of Another Universe are available in the shop. Use the promo code PODCAST15 for a 15% discount. 3:35 A blessing of the listener by Vickie as she says thank you for listening and she reminds you that you are enough. 4:11 Hear a snippet of We Are Enough being played during the Another Universe album release concert. 4:15 Vickie shares the story about how the song, We Are Enough, came into being. She was looking in her coffee mug as it sat in the sink, and several of the lyrics started pouring out - including a line about "mug of moring." At the same time, her husband, Scott Greeson, was purchasing a coffee mug for her as a gift. 8:55 Vickie and Michael Kelsey discuss the vocal workout in the studio for the keeper vocals. "You're trying to get the right feel...If someone is thinking about the message too much, you might forget about the natural feel. How it needs to come across. It takes someone to remind you to keep it conversational." Michael Kelsey 10:15 "Just the silence -- not hearing anything. Letting the music be in silence is as equally important as saying something." Michael Kelsey 10:39 Vickie and Michael talk about building the right groove, and the creation of beatbox click track to personalize the foundation of the song. 11:56 "Beatbox is the quickest way to get a groove!" Michael Kelsey 12:20 Vickie talks about how she paused during the recording of scratch vocals of a few of the songs to rest within the neat groove established by the beatbox click track. 12:44 Scott and Vickie talk about the message being conveyed in the lyrics of this song. "What you are in any given moment is enough." Vickie Maris 14:21 Vickie talks about the experience of working with session player, Mike Rojas, at Compass Records in Nashville, Tennessee. Mike played piano on this song. He also played piano and organ on South Bend, and organ on Is It Tomorrow. 15:21 Wrapping up the episode. Thank you for listening, and for sharing the podcast! Show co-hosts and album producers: Vickie Maris ... https://vickiemarismusic.com Scott Greeson ... https://scottgreesonmusic.com Michael Kelsey ... https://michaelkelsey.com
South Bend | Songwriters talk with producer/arranger Michael Kelsey about creating alternate versions
Nov 5 2022
South Bend | Songwriters talk with producer/arranger Michael Kelsey about creating alternate versions
Show notes for the episode about the creation of the song, South Bend by Vickie Maris and Scott Greeson. Album: Another Universe :00 Intro of the podcast episode about Track 8, South Bend, on the album, Another Universe. To see links for the album, Another Universe, in many of the streaming services, visit: https://vickiemaris.hearnow.com/another-universe :45 Back story about South Bend, starting with discussion about the version of the song that had been played by the band, Scott Greeson and Trouble With Monday. 1:20 Changing South Bend to a different key before going to the recording studio. 1:39 Encouragement by recording engineer / arranger, Michael Kelsey, to record the song in a different arrangement than how it's been played out for live audiences. 2:24 Introduction of co-hosts, Scott Greeson and Michael Kelsey, and the topic of the podcast episode 2:50 A shout-out to friend and fellow singer-songwriter, Joe Peters. 3:23 Mention of S.A.M.I. - Songwriters' Association of Mid-North Indiana, http://samisong.com 3:37 Description of 2-disc album, Collaboration.  4:12 Vocals for the songs on the Collaboration project were recorded at REC Room Recording at TAF (The Arts Federation) in Lafayette, Indiana. 4:58 Joe Peters asked Vickie Maris to sing, Nature's Acts of Wrath (Spotify link) by Joe Peters (melody) and Frederick Michaels (lyrics). Michael Kelsey played the instrument tracks. 5:35 Introduction of the new accordion, Petosa Little Pro XT. Vickie Maris played an accordion track on Nature's Acts of Wrath (Soundcloud link), recorded and mixed by Michael Kelsey. 6:25 Thank you Joe Peters and Frederick Michaels! 6:33 Thank you Michael Kelsey! 7:13 Asking the trees for input about how to sing the song, Nature's Acts of Wrath. 8:13 Thank you Scott Greeson! 8:40 Conversation about Track 8, South Bend, on the album, Another Universe. 9:35 Go Irish! Commuting to and from the University of Notre Dame for an executive education position. 10:32 Scott Greeson describes that he and Vickie were born the same hospital just a few days apart. 11:11 When you called, it was always, "a little bit south of South Bend." 12:17 Writing a song in a way that others can relate to the story even if they don't know the history behind the lyrics. 13:13 Scott taking care of Vickie's farm and livestock while she was commuting to work. 13:57 Using a smartphone as a songwriting tool. 14:50 South Bend was a part of the song group for the first recording session when Vickie thought the project was going to be an EP. 15:17 Writing other versions of South Bend during a coaching session the year before. 15:35 Interesting how songs take on a different identity. 16:09 Point of encouragement to songwriters about giving freedom to the musicians around you to interpret your music. 17:04 Michael Kelsey talks about creative value in writing a song in a different key from the original. 18:07 Trying out a new song idea in different tempos, different keys and other variations. 19:02 Scott Greeson talks about a life lesson learned during the songwriting of the song, South Bend. 21:44 Wrap-up of the conversation about South Bend, Track 8 on the album, Another Universe. Thank you for listening, and for sharing the podcast! Show co-hosts and album producers: Vickie Maris ... https://vickiemarismusic.com Scott Greeson ... https://scottgreesonmusic.com Michael Kelsey ... https://michaelkelsey.com
Stars | Guitar riff creates foundation for song; Michael Kelsey builds around it
Nov 4 2022
Stars | Guitar riff creates foundation for song; Michael Kelsey builds around it
Show notes for the episode about the creation of the song, Stars, by Vickie Maris Album: Another Universe :00 Intro of Track 9, Stars, by Vickie Maris on the album, Another Universe. To see links for the album, Another Universe, in many of the streaming services, visit: https://vickiemaris.hearnow.com/another-universe :40 A behind-the-scenes conversation about the ballad, Stars.  1:22 Scott Greeson talks about the guitar lick in this song, "a guitar lick from Heaven." 2:33 Info about the marriage of a lyrical hook and a musical hook.  3:28 Background about the song, Stars, and when it came about during a time when Vickie was taking guitar lessons with Raul. 4:23 Vickie added lyrics to the instrumental to help in remembering how to play the guitar riff. 5:09 Finding a happy place in your mind to help with staying focused while recording the scratch vocals and guitar parts if you're intimidated in the recording studio. 6:15 Michael Kelsey discusses how sometimes the best chord structures come in a song when you're "feeling your way through the dark" on the guitar.  7:08 ... waiting for the song to be "organice all the way through." 7:35 "When I'm adding the instruments, everything tells you what is next." 7:42 "Vickie, that's your psaltry, slow dance song!" - Jenny 8:00 Scott Greeson talks about how Michael has a knack for letting a song speak for itself. The production and the instruments enhance the lyrics. 9:25 Vickie modified the lyrics (after having performed the song with the other lyrics) before going into the studio to record the song. 10:14 Vickie shares about the experiences of playing "Stars" for live audiences, and needing to get the new lyrics memorized. 11:20 To songwriters, it's ok to bring a song in for recording even if you are not able to play the song all that well. You can let a session player do the playing of the instruments as long as you have an outline. 12:20 Michael Kelsey talks about the outline of a song.  Thank you for listening! Show co-hosts and album producers: Vickie Maris ... https://vickiemarismusic.com Scott Greeson ... https://scottgreesonmusic.com Michael Kelsey ... https://michaelkelsey.com
Is It Tomorrow | Writing a song while the emotion is fresh
Nov 3 2022
Is It Tomorrow | Writing a song while the emotion is fresh
Show notes for the episode about the creation of the song, Is It Tomorrow by Vickie Maris and Michael Kelsey Album: Another Universe :00 Intro of episode about Track 10, Is It Tomorrow :45 Intro of your homework assignment! 1:15 Take a listen to any of our songs in your favorite music app such as Spotify, Pandora, YouTube or other apps. After listening, take an action such as adding the song to a playlist. To see links for the album, Another Universe, in many of the streaming services, visit: https://vickiemaris.hearnow.com/another-universe 3:36 An invitation to search on the music of Scott Greeson and Michael Kelsey and listen to their songs too. 4:14 Conversation between Vickie, Scott and Michael about the inspiration for Is It Tomorrow. 4:48 Recognizing a potential song hook when it is spoken. 5:14 An honest recounting of the early morning conversation when Vickie was writing Is It Tomorrow. 6:43 Recording of the scratch vocals in the studio. 7:39 Scott mentions that he thinks the song has a sound that is similar to the artist, Shania Twain. 8:23 Vickie pushes beyond "choir girl" style to sass. 8:58 "When you're feeling a lot of emotion about something, write it down!" 9:54 Michael suggests that the song is about frustration in a playful, humorous way. "A reminder to not take things too seriously." 10:24 Scott was hearing that a Hammond B3 organ would be a great addition to the song. He contacted Matt Coles in Nashville, Tennesee who arranged to bring in session player, Mike Rojas, to Compass Records to play keyboards for Is It Tomorrow (and also South Bend and We Are Enough). 11:47 The organ and piano was recorded in the same studio in Nashville where Shania Twain and Mutt Lange had worked on Shania's breakout record. 12:23 One of the synchronicities of the recording of the album! 12:47 Scott's summary of relationships and how people have been mentioning they can relate to this song. 13:35 Check out the song, Is It Tomorrow! https://vickiemaris.hearnow.com/is-it-tomorrow 14:12 Homework reminder: share a takeaway from listening to the song or from listening to this episode of the podcast. Thank you for listening! Show co-hosts and album producers: Vickie Maris ... https://vickiemarismusic.com Scott Greeson ... https://scottgreesonmusic.com Michael Kelsey ... https://michaelkelsey.com
Miss Her | Bass guitar click track used to set groove for song
Nov 2 2022
Miss Her | Bass guitar click track used to set groove for song
Show notes for the episode about the creation of the song, Miss Her by Vickie Maris Album: Another Universe :00 Intro of the song, Miss Her, inspired by memories of Lucille Maris, 1922-2021. :40 Intro of co-hosts of the podcast, Vickie Maris, Michael Kelsey and Scott Greeson. Instruments played by Michael Kelsey on the recording of Miss Her. 1:41 Background about Track 11 on the album, Another Universe by Vickie Maris 2:44 Intro of the podcast and setup to the main part of the episode; inspiration for Miss Her and information about mechanics behind recording the song in the studio 3:51 Episode is powered by the websites of the co-hosts: Vickie Maris ... https://vickiemarismusic.com Scott Greeson ... https://scottgreesonmusic.com Michael Kelsey ... https://michaelkelsey.com 5:11 Michael Kelsey talks about the chord structure of the song and how it complimented the lyrics. "Everything sounded like a piece of nature." 5:33 Michael Kelsey talks about use of the bass for a click track for the song in the initial recording and then making the decision that the bass was all it needed for the rhythm. 7:41 Vickie mentions the coaching of her accordion coach, Courtney Von Drehle of Portland, Oregon. 8:43 Scott Greeson mentions that this song, Miss Her, could serve as the sound track for the life of Lucille Maris. "It's reflective of the imagery of what your mother was." 10:20 Vickie and Scott talk about the rain and how it ties to the lyric in the song. 11:20 A decision about whether or not to use the keeper vocal track that included Vickie's tears. 13:40 A fun story about Vickie's mom, Lucille Maris, after she was listening to the audio from a video and recognized that Michael Kelsey was filling in as lead guitarist with Scott's band for a show when they played the Depot Stage at The Taste of Tippecanoe, 2021. 16:09 Summary of the episode about Miss Her in the podcast, Making of the Album - Another Universe.