Song in a Day produces music on a deadline

Musicians usually wait for inspiration to strike before pressing a record, and the process from conception to completion can take days, weeks, even years in some cases.

Song in a Day shakes up that process.

Warren musician Jimmy Martin, host of “The JimmyFro Indie Music Show” podcast, created Song in a Day as a way to work with musicians he admires, take them out of their usual creative routine and see what they can create together under a tight deadline.

“The ideal goal is to remove or at least minimize the apprehension that often comes about when a song idea seemingly falls short of perfection and hopefully just build songs for the sake of experiencing joy,” he said.

Collaborators so far have include John Hlumyk (The Infidels, Deadbeat Poets), Fred Whitacre (Kitchen Knife Conspiracy, White Cadillac), Jon Reider (Coinmonster), Shiloh Hawkins, Delaney Tuttle (Lemonade Girl) and Mark Revis.

“Most of these sessions, which took place at MindRocket Recording Studio, were recorded and mixed by Josh Roman,” Martin said. “I usually invite musicians who I admire and want to work with, and we set a time and date and come into the studio setting empty-handed. While there’s nothing wrong with workshopping a riff or partial idea that never came about, we essentially noodle, jam and wait for something interesting to happen.”

Reider, lead singer and guitar player for Coinmonster, said he’s only written and recorded with a handful of musicians in his 30-year career and described the Song in a Day process as inspiring.

“I really had no idea of what to expect from the process,” he said. “I showed up with two ideas, just some riffs and progressions I had been noodling around with for a few days. I wasn’t sure if the idea was to show up completely empty- handed and write from the ground up or have some riffs ready to go.

“The first idea was a bit more progressive. Josh Roman and Jimmy Martin agreed that the second idea was more of a jam, so we went with it. Jimmy and I bashed out the structure and recorded the basic tracks relatively quickly.

“The song is driving and quick to the point … something I could have probably used for Coinmonster. I got to play bass on it to boot, and told Josh Roman that it was one of my favorite guitar solos that I have ever recorded,” Reider said.

Shiloh Hawkins, a Youngstown native now based in Columbus, collaborated with Martin on a song called “Winter’s Come and Gone” and said Martin brought out of her a new kind of creativity that she didn’t know she possessed.

“‘Winter’s Come and Gone’ may have developed a bit differently than other Song in a Day session creations,” Hawkins said. “I was still living in Youngstown but I was counting down the days I had left before departing for a new life in Austin, Texas. I was staying with my dad and one day while I was sitting on his couch, looking out the window at all of the snow, I started writing.

“When I met with Martin at the studio, I had a paper full of jumbled words and thoughts and he had an idea for a melody. We combined our ideas, did some rearranging, cut some things out, and began to work on vocals,” she said.

“When all was said and done, most of my lyrics were totally different but the concept remained — will I miss this life after I have left everything behind and I am living a new one? My favorite line from the song is, ‘Everything seems easier after it’s done. I wonder if I’ll miss the cold now that winter’s come and gone.'”

The songs can be heard at www.songinaday.org. Videos of the recording process have been posted to YouTube, and the songs can be purchased at bandcamp.com, with proceeds benefiting a cause important to Martin.

“If the project generates some money beyond the cost of recording and production, it ideally will be donated to a family looking to adopt,” he said. “My wife and I, after 2 1/2 years and over $20,000, adopted our daughter, Claire. Adoption is challenging but worth it and if we can help someone else adopt, that would be a good thing.”


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