David Essig

Discography of Productions

Completed Productions awaiting release
Michael Mloszewski, Michael Mloszewski
Andy Bacon, Andy Bacon
The Disclaimers, The Disclaimers
JAKI, Red Cedar Songwriters' Collective
New Muddy Shoes, David Essig

2009 - Double Vision, David Essig and Rick Scott

2008 - Real, Jane Eamon
Water Ring, Betty Johnson
Worn Out Shoes, Hal Brolund

2007 - Days of August, Penny Sidor
Presbyterian Guitar, David Essig
Flying Accusations, Flying Accusations
Late to the Party, Tamara Little
I'm On My Way, Kelly Green
Beverly Street, The D-Rangers, Romi Mayes, David Essig

2006 - Sweet Waltz, Bitter Waltz, Teach Yourself Piano
Dancing Girls of the Cariboo, Newman/Wright Theatre Co.
Dog Songs by Elders, Craig Elder
Years in the Making, Frank Hoorn

2005 - Everything that Shined, Allison Brown
World of Possibilities, Gary Brewer
To Those Left Behind, Newman/Wright Theatre Co.
Simply Undone, Sall Gibson

2004 - A Stone in My Pocket, David Essig
Whisky Dealers and Miners Angels, Newman/Wright Theatre Co.
Suck it Up, Princess, Honeygirl

2003 - Footprints, Peter Haines
Christiana, Richard Broadbent
Caledonia, Raghu Lokanathan
Willingness, Deb Maike

2002 - Declaration Day, David Essig
Live Blues, Doug Cox and Todd Butler
Solid Ground, Frank Hoorn
Ted Turner, Ted Turner

1998 - Into the Lowering Sky, David Essig

1996 - Tremble and Weep, David Essig
Bone Bottle Brass or Steel, Doug Cox

1994 Cardinal Points, Paolo Bonfanti

1992 - State of Origin, David Essig

1990 - Drifting Dreams, Richard Knechtel
Rebel Flag, David Essig

1989 - Stepstone, Walt Michael and Company

1988 - Morning Calm, David Essig

1987 - Business as Usual, The Dixie Flyers
Indiana Road, Fred J. Eaglesmith

1986 - Who Liveth So Merry, Paddy Tutty
Two Kayagum Solos, David Essig

1985 - In the Barroom Light, Tim Harrison
Whose Muddy Shoes, David Essig
While Living in the Good Years, David Essig

1984 - The Boy That Just Went Wrong, Fred J. Eaglesmith

1982 - Doggone My Time, Cathy Fink
Keep 'Em Guessin', Rob Wallinger

1981 - Yukon Dawn, Steins and Sheerin
In the Tradition, David Essig

1980 - Now and Then, Trapezoid
Change of Face, Douglas McArthur

1979 - Fred J. Eaglesmith, Fred J. Eaglesmith
Every Dog Has Its Day, Houndog Blues Band

1978 - Blackie and the Rodeo King, Willie P. Bennett
Sequence, David Essig
Bar Room Daze, Humber River Valley Boys
Kent County Pickers, Kent County Pickers
Cathy Fink and Duck Donald, Cathy Fink and Duck Donald
Jockey to the Fair, Margaret Christl
Larger Than Life, Dennis LePage
Humber River Valley Boys, Humber River Valley Boys

1977 Light-Medium-Heavy, The Dixie Flyers
Kissing is a Crime, Cathy Fink & Duck Donald
Hobo's Taunt, Willie P. Bennett

1976 - Stewart Crossing, David Essig
Blues & Sentimental, Jackie Washington
Hustlin' and Bustlin', Original Sloth Band

1975 - Tryin' To Start Out Clean, Willie P. Bennett
High Ground, David Essig

1974 - Redbird Country, David Essig

Total Production Credits = 67
Watershed Studio = 25
*Dates are release dates


Go to David Essig's Albums

In The Studio With David Essig

Music Production

My Life Behind The Knobs

David Essig, Music ProducerI never really set out to be a record producer. When I was doing my first album at Thunder Sound in Toronto, Phil Sheridan offered to show me how the gear worked. That was 35 years ago and I've been recording and producing music for myself and other artists ever since.

When I started Woodshed Records in the mid Seventies, I produced just about all of our releases, including LP's by Willie P. Bennett, Cathy Fink and Duck Donald, the Original Sloth Band and lots of others. When I moved to Hamilton to be with Milena, I started working with the Lanois brothers, Danny and Bob, first in their mother's basement and then in their studio on Grant Avenue.

1978 was a big year in that era; I produced my instrumental LP, Sequence, and 7 albums for other artists. I had the wonderful fortune to work with Willie P. Bennett and the Lanois brothers on his classic album, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings; I believe it's still one of the finest Canadian roots albums ever.

During all those years in Ontario, I worked in lots of different studios with some great engineers and artists. When we moved to the West Coast in 1991, we started renting gear and recording in our house on Thetis Island. Finally, in 2001 we were able to purchase the gear to have a studio set up all the time in our house on Thetis. The island was quiet and tranquil and our living room had a cathedral ceiling, so we were able to get good sounds with a minimal amount of room treatment.

We began to invite other artists to come and record and thus the Watershed Studio came into being. It became a sort of "boutique" studio for some of our singer/songwriter friends who enjoyed the relaxing style of recording in our island house... lay down a few tracks... walk down to the beach... lay down some more tracks... go for a paddle in our kayaks... record another tune... no control room, per se... just everyone together in our living room, making music and recording.

David Essig at Watershed Studio on Protection Island

Now we've moved to Protection Island, near Nanaimo, BC, and Watershed continues, with artists coming and spending time here, recording and mixing their CD projects in our new island home. The Protection house also has high ceilings and a nice view of the water and we're continuing to get great sound without that off-putting "technical vibe" of a commercial recording studio.

The technical heart of the studio is a YAMAHA 16-track digital hard-drive recorder which continues to amaze us with its fine sound and ease of operation. We've complemented the recorder with the big WAVES plug-in and a bunch of great mics and preamps. For the "gold channel" (where we do most of the vocals) we've scored a BLUE Baby Bottle, an a matched pair of Rode K-2 Tube mics which have become the mascots of the studio - run those little sweethearts through our AVALON 737 preamp and everyone sounds like Emmy Lou!

In addition to my own album projects, we've also produced and recorded CDs for an amazing cornucopia of singer/songwriters including: Frank Hoorn, the late Ted Turner, Peter Haines, Richard Broadbent, Raghu Lokanathan, Deb Maike, Allison Brown, Gary Brewer, Sall Gibson, Teach Yourself Piano, and Craig Elder.

On nearly all these recordings, we've invited our dear friend and near-resident musician, Tobin Frank to join us on acoustic bass, accordion and piano. His brilliant bass playing has become a big part of the "Watershed sound", and we're always grateful for his artistry in our studio.

So the little studio that was never planned to be, continues to hum along with lots of exciting projects.

Our production style has always been to demystify the process as much as possible, to keep it simple and to concentrate on good live performances off the floor, rather than relying on technical wizardry to clean things up later. As our old friend and fellow producer Paul Mills says, "if it's not off the floor, it's not in the store; you really can't fix it in the mix."

We strive to provide our artists with a relaxed, yet focused, working environment where the music comes first... and "the knobs" are all there in the background to capture the magic of people making music together. We once asked the great Nashville producer Jim Rooney the secret of his brilliant production style. He replied, "I just try to stay out of the way."

After producing over 70 albums, that pretty well sums it up for us too... out of the way, but on the path...

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