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Vacancy

 

Release Date: 2015

Vacancy is the first album that was completely recorded in the band rehearsal room of my house. Initially we intended to record with our long-time engineer buddy, Jeff Ling at the Recording Workshop, but as time grew closer to the date we decided to bite the bullet and purchase some recording gear to do it ourselves.

A lot had to do with how advanced and more inexpensive the recording gear has become, but knowledge and experience also played a part. Having the luxury of recording whenever you want (in your underwear at 3 a.m. – yes, I have done it!), and as many takes as it takes to get it right without a costly studio clock ticking is liberating.

We spent quite a bit of time positioning the Audix and Shure mics on the drum kit, until we really liked the sound. That was the foundation of our recordings, and then the rest of the instruments were tracked. Since we don’t have a separate sound booth – the Apple Macbook Pro computer loaded with Logic X is in the same room as the drums and amps – we kept recording and listening back until we landed on the best tone for every instrument.

After countless mixes, tweaking every part until it all jived, we ended up happy with the production. The last step of the process was mastering. That is not something we can do on our own so we opted to hire to a seasoned pro.

While in California prior to the recording process, I was turned onto Chris Unck, who used to be in Butch Walker’s Black Widows – a personal favorite of mine. Chris is a talented musician – slide, guitar, drums, voice, etc. His Country Roads & Love album is one of the best sounding albums I’ve ever heard. We sent him a tune to see what he could do with it. We were blown away with the results and delivered the remaining tracks for him to master.

We’re in the recording phase of a follow up album to Vacancy.

Steve Carter plays Sonor drums and Sabian cymbals
Don Argento plays a Fender guitar through a VOX amp
Dan Nicol plays a Yamaha bass through an Ampeg amp

  Don Argento Weclome To Your Life
 
  1. Let It Rain
  2. Dirty Rotten
  3. Burn
  4. Vacancy
  5. Love Someone
  6. Stop
  7. So Sexy
  8. Animal
  9. Down
  10. No More Drinks

Fifth of a Friend

 

Release Date: 2012

The writing for my latest album, "Fifth of a Friend," started in 2010. I accumulated songs along the way, tossing several "maybes" out. The first song for the album was "Cry Baby Cry," which I wrote on piano. I'm not a trained piano player, but certain instruments just inspire a song. I will work tirelessly on a part to get it close enough for another professional to make it their own…and better. The album features several musicians including; Deane Arnold (bass, guitars, backing vocals, Steve Carter (drums and percussion), Pete Tender (piano and organ), Alie Joyner (fiddle), Cate Arnold (vocals on Scotch & Soda). My good friend, Jeff Ling recorded most of the tracks at The Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio. The rest were recorded at my home studio or Deane's. The digital age is pretty damn cool! We were able to work out parts, send ideas, scrap them, start over…all without leaving the comfort of our own studios. We worked feverishly for about a month. Once we decided we were done, we both felt a big letdown that it was over - we wanted to do more, but we did everything we could think of without over cooking the tunes. Jeff Ling mixed the songs at his home studio as I sat looking over his shoulder asking a million questions and absorbing as much experience as I could. The grasshopper tried to learn from the master, but I'm afraid I still leave marks on the rice paper.

  Don Argento Weclome To Your Life
 
  1. She Gets It
  2. Fifth of a Friend
  3. Hear Those Guitars Play
  4. Fever
  5. Scotch & Soda
  6. Rain or Shine
  7. Cry Baby Cry
  8. Howl at the Moon
  9. My Ohio (Featured on TheBuckeyeBattleCry.com)
  10. Fifth of a Friend Reprise
  11. Livin' the Dream
 


Welcome To Your Life

  Release Date: 2008

"Welcome To Your Life" was recorded at Wolfe Studios in Columbus. Owner, engineer, and legendary slide guitar player Skeeter Wolfe did a great job capturing the songs. Sammy Hööff played drums, a bit of guitar, all the bass, and some outstanding backing vocals. When a drummer plays bass you know you'll have a locked in rhythm section. Sam is one of the most talented people I've come across. Every time we've recorded he's always nailed the drums on the first take. He's a songwrite too, so he understands the structure of the song and where to lay out. Great instincts and talent. Truly a pro and a great guy too.
  Don Argento Weclome To Your Life
 
  1. 6 Foot 3
  2. MacDac City
  3. Junkie
  4. When You Go
  5. Miss Oliver's Suite
  6. I Am Free
  7. Welcome To Your Life
  8. Friends of Polyester
  9. I Love Y.O.U. & B.E.E.R.
  10. To Where We Are
  11. T.I. Pirate
 


You Got Me

  Release Date: 2003

My second album, "You Got Me", was recorded at my home studio except for the drum tracks, which were tracked at The Recording Workshop by Sammy Hööff. A friend and awesome musician, Mike Allen, played most of the lead guitar and bass, and backing vocals. A friend, Pete Way of the world-famous rock band UFO, played bass and sang backup on the title track. It was great fun and an inspirational lesson for me as well. Pete currently resides in England, still recording and touring with UFO, and his new band, Strangers In The Night. Check him out if you get a chance, he's the real deal. I enjoyed the freedom of being able to experiment without the pressure of a clock in the studio, but my skills as a recording engineer did not match my musical abilities. There are some good songs on that album that I would like to re-record, but there are too many new songs that I still need to get to.
  Don Argento You Got Me
 
  1. You Got Me (Featuring Pete Way)
  2. Shake
  3. What She Meant
  4. Sweet Valentine
  5. Long Ride
  6. Comet
  7. Fool
  8. I Ain't From There
  9. California
  10. Not The One You See
  11. Smile
  12. I'm No Hero
 


Jigsaw

 

Release Date: 1997

All the songs on my first album, Jigsaw, were recorded at The Recording Workshop by Jeff Ling, master engineer. We would typically record two songs each session; from 4 p.m. until midnight. Then Jeff would mix the songs. By 2 am we'd have our final mix-down. Our ability to get two songs recorded and mixed in about 10 hours was primarily due to the tightness of our band and the effort we put into preparing for the sessions...and Jeff's magical hands and ears. We thrived under the pressure of the studio environment. Knowing that you had to finish that night pushed everyone to perform at their best. We captured some great performances and had a lot of good times during those sessions.

 

Don Argento Jigsaw

 
  1. Every Day
  2. I'll Be There In The Night
  3. Too Slow
  4. Back In My Arms Again
  5. It's Around
  6. Goin' Nowhere
  7. 1-2-3-4
  8. Melanie
  9. A Deeper Shade Of Blue
  10. Straight Back To You
  11. Before The Night
  12. Say Goodbye
  13. This Way
  14. Bad Feeling
  15. Can't Let Go
  16. You, You, You
  17. Daisies & Roses
  18. Never Again
  19. Pins & Needles
  20. Another Mark

 

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