Some really great people made this album. I appreciate them asking me to master it. It was a pleasure.

Raw, live magic from Tonya. Enjoy!

Ashlyn Thatcher’s “Cocinera”

Another long overdue post, I know, but enough about me. Ashlyn Thatcher’s songwriting prowess is impressive. The way she plays the piano and sings is moving. There’s clearly a lot of vibe going on, and when you consider she turned twenty years of age shortly after recording her debut album Cocinera here at Vegetative State, I think you’ll be sufficiently amazed. This album is a journey through her life as a young cook, and quite a musical journey it is!

Latest Review:


Available at your favorite online music retailer

Tonya’s Full length album is filled with the sounds of ghosts of all kinds. Tonya’s voice is haunting as are her lyrics, and hopefully you’ll agree that the music sets the stage perfectly for her stories.  Much of what I said about the joys of working on her EP Something To Run From could be re-iterated with respect to Phantoms.

Noah Hall was instrumental to the production of this album. His suggestions and feedback were invaluable. The piano and guitar work of Nathan Anderson was magnificent all around, but my favorite moment of recording with Nathan was when he ripped through several stunning dirty wurly solos for “Pitchfork and a Torch”, all of which were amazing, but we picked probably the quirkiest of them for the album, which was Tonya’s favorite. I think you should listen to it and tell someone what you think.


Photo by Sandi Lovegrove

Mark Powers on drums is a very good thing to have. He played on most of the album tracks. His drumming was fundamental to “Ink”, one of the tracks I am most proud of. Mark’s insane drum part combined with swell of Joe Harchanko’s cellos, the moog fading in and out against Tonya’s haunting piano, accomplished exactly the feeling I hoped to for the song. Rob Harris added the perfect drum parts to “Pitchfork”, “Brittle Bones”, and “Werewolf”. Working with Rob is always a pleasure and he worked hard to give me exactly what I wanted. The big stomping angry sound of “pitchfork” was my favorite moment working with Rob on this album. Noah Hall played Glockenspiel on “Excorcise”, and Michael Manning added some otherworldly textures with musical saw which you can hear on tracks like “Prism” and on “Exorcise and Plenty of Sleep” where we used his percussive scraping and rattling of chains and child’s leg brace. You will also hear the softer, sweeter side of his saw on “Brittle Bones”.

I think this album represents my best work so far as an engineer and a producer, so obviously I am proud of it and would love if you would give it a listen before the rest of the world gets to it first and ruins it. Listen to it and buy on Tonya’s website:


EP artwork by the Daniel Moreira Project

Thanks to Raven’s Flight Records, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with Tonya Gilmore and Noah Hall to produce 20  of  Tonya’s songs, the first 6 of which have taken shape in the form of an EP, titled “something to run from” and soon will be released into the world. Much to the world’s delight, I suspect.

Tonya Gilmore

Tonya Gilmore

For the better part of the first half of this year I have had the pleasure of working on so many really great songs written by a wonderful songwriter who also just happens to be a very talented singer with a  unique voice.  Oh, she’s also highly intelligent, clever, strikingly beautiful, and has quite impeccable timing and performance skills. What could be better than that? Well,  it does get better. Co-producing the songs with Noah Hall, the musical yin to my yang is always a pleasure and a rewarding experience. I wouldn’t be doing any of this if it weren’t for him. I got to meet and work with a small group of enormously gifted musicians, including Nathan J. Anderson, who I had  watched and admired for years as he played any instrument needed with some of my favorite bands, Mark Powers, whose percussion talents and general awesomeness I am continually in awe of, and Dr. Joeseph Harchanko, who contributed some amazing cello arrangements and performances to the project.  Of course, it is always great to work with long time friends such as Rich Swanger, who lent his beautifully textured voice to Coat Cold, and more recent friends like Rob Harris, who gave us just what we were looking for when and where we needed it.  All of these fine folks were absolutely instrumental (pun intended) in the recording of the songs.

So now, dear reader,  comes the really good part, you’ve waded through my gushing and made it to the exclusive preview stream of the first three tracks from Tonya Gilmore’s upcoming EP, Something to Run From:

Update: Visit Tonya’s website to stream the whole EP and find links to purchase:


Artwork by Kyle Hoover

Class Picture Project is a new music project from singer/songwriter Noah Hall (Easterly, Whiskey Priest) and I. It was recorded, arranged and mixed by me, right here at VegetativeState in Salem, Oregon. I believe this is Noah and my best work together so far, and we hope to do more of these in the future, keeping the format fluid and experimental. The album was recorded and mixed in 6 weeks with 32 wonderful local musicians. With few exceptions, the musicians had never heard the songs they performed on before arriving to perform. In some cases the performers improvised their own parts, others were directed by Stan or Noah. Many songs morphed drastically in the studio, most surprisingly turning many songs into duets. The result is a musical work full of energy, emotion, and many fortunate moments of creatively inspired collaboration.

Fans of Whiskey Priest and Easterly will be familiar with the strong melodies and emotive lyrical content. However, Class Picture marks the first time Noah has shared lead vocal duties. Selina Robertson and Cris Martinez are the highlights of the album. They sing in captivating conversation with Noah.

I love this album. I loved making this album. I loved  meeting and working with so many new musicians, and in such a short time-frame.  I love the spontaneity it captures, the joy of musical collaboration, and the lessons learned along the way. I think it sounds true to Noah’s demos in the most important ways and simultaneously completely different with each song getting a unique arrangement, instrumentation, and contributors. I hope that everyone will give it a listen through or two, preferably on headphones, because this is an album with range. It has a fragile, beautiful voice at times, and is soaking in musical energy at others. It is my sincerest hope for the listener to experience the dynamic, evolving story of love found and lost, death and spiritual rebirth. It represents the journey of the heartbroken, but hopeful, and poignantly leaves us with the epitome of that raw, pleading sentiment in Don’t Let Me Down.

For more information, including a list of all the musicians that contributed, please see:

Free sampler of the last 4 songs on the album:

Noisetrade Sampler (free sampler of 4 songs)

To Listen and/or Buy:

Brette and Blake’s “HI-FIVE”


HI-FIVE Presale Page

I recently had the chance to work with Brette and Blake to produce their first studio project.  Brette and Blake write really catchy, fun songs that are easy to love and listen to on repeat. Their sound has a lot of depth, ranging from lo-fi synth & guitar pop duo, to the haunting and beautiful instrumental piano and cello piece, “Swim”.

Brette Irish sings, plays keyboards and piano, and co-writes the songs with Blake. She has a beautiful, sweet voice and a lovely sense of melody. She also rocks the keys and piano, artfully blending the playful and serious into performances that are fun to listen to.


Blake Ferrin sings, plays guitar, co-writes the songs, and is essentially the band’s producer, in my opinion. Blake is a great songwriter, a solid guitarist,  and knew exactly what he wanted their songs to sound like. It was really fun to work with a young talented musician like him that has such clear ideas and comes prepared to work efficiently in the studio.


Most of the songs for the project were tracked piece by piece, with each part closely matching Blake’s vision, and a great vision it is. The only exception being “Swim” which was tracked live in the same room shortly after Jennifer Jordan first heard the song.  I love the way it captures the immediacy of playing a beautiful melody together for the first time. You are just hearing two people playing together in the room, captured by two microphones. It’s a little noisy and imperfect, but in the best way, I think. If you listen closely, you can hear the label guy, Carson Hughes, walking around and making noise in the studio during this track.


Several talented local musicians lent their time to help put the album together, including Sam Estes and Casey O’Brien on drums, Jennifer Jordan on cello, Tom Ferrin on trumpet, Noah Sachs and Trask Shulte on bass, and Andrew Tenant on lead guitar. My daughter and I even got to pitch in on group vocals.


Stream of the first three tracks:

Tracking “Anchor” with Seahorse

Class Picture project nearly complete!

The last official night of tracking for the Class Picture project is finished and I am so pleased with the results! Wonderful vocals with Cris MartínezSelina Robertson and Areana Cirina. Great guitar and Bass with Ben Thede and a small, but perfect flute part with Selina. Oh, and I guess I did some guitar and vocals, too. I’d like to think a good time was had by all and that listeners will be pleasantly surprised when they hear what we’ve been doing.

Class Picture Update

 Tracked some amazing drum work with Rob Harris yesterday for the Class Picture project, and added some wonderful layers of texture with Jennifer Jordan on Cello.

Mixing this morning is an absolute pleasure.