I cold called a famous producer to mix my debut album, and it worked! (Skynyrd/Journey producer)


My friends and I started a rock band last year in Jacksonville, FL and worked up some good material. did some shows around Florida and started building a following. Went into a local studio to cut an EP and it came out sounding weak, it was pretty much a complete waste of money but a learning experience. By October of last year we had enough good original material to do a full length LP, so we made the decision to try again. Except this time, I took a different approach.

The band kicks major ass live and is very tight, so we decided to copy Kevin Elson's production technique he used with Journey on all of their most famous work. His studio work is my favorite of all time, plus he grew up in the same part of Jacksonville I did. "Live in the studio" technique as it's called. We went into an analog studio in St. Augustine and with the in-house engineer there we copied everything Kevin said he did in the 2012 book on famous producers called "Behind the Boards." Well to make a long story short, the raw recordings kicked major ass and I sought out Elson himself to see if he would mix the album for us. Everyone thought I was nuts.

Through a miracle I was able to actually get to him through an old acquaintance of his from the Aerosmith crew, and to make a long story short he actually joined our team! He convinced us to change the name of the band from what we had so we did that, and decided on the name "Fortune Child." He spent a couple of weeks in a high end studio finishing what we started and did some open heart surgery on some of the songs with Pro Tools, creating a totally badass rock album. It'll be coming out in March but we released a single last Friday that is doing pretty well for a local band.

Kevin Elson was Lynyrd Skynyrd's original sound engineer, live mixed every show they ever played, and was one of Ronnie Van Zant's best friends. He survived the plane crash and went on to major success producing Journey, Europe, and Mr. Big. He's the guy that told Ronnie Van Zant that Tom Dowd's recording of "Street Survivors" sucked, so Ronnie let Kevin and Rodney Mills re-record it at Studio One, and that's what was released. And now he's working with my band, lol. What started as a hobby last year with my friends is turning into something pretty damn cool! Our story got picked up by some local news then it got picked up by Yahoo News too. Check out the article here:


With Lynyrd Skynyrd


With Journey

With our band

He even brought it his old "Street Survivors" pal Rodney Mills to do the final mastering:


Debut single, more great stuff to come! Check it out:

Never say never when it comes to grandiose ideas! Now we're making it up as we go trying to learn how the music business actually works. Kevin has been mixing live sound for major arena tours for the last 20 years, so he is not very close to the current state of the streaming business or labels. He's having to learn all over again with us on what exactly it will take to get it widespread, but he told us our album is some of the best material he's worked on. He used to be known in the industry as a "hit caller" in the days of radio but streaming has sort of changed all of that. So we'll take the ball and run with it!


Silver Supporting Member
That’s really cool, I remember Kevin’s name from the albums I purchased in the 80’s. Nice tune too.


That's impressive, it's great to hear stories like this.
The only cold call I've made recently was for pizza.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom