Jericho Summer

Jericho Summer are, Southern Country Rock Artists formed by “Jay Zeffin” and “Vanessa Joy”…

Jericho Summer…who met at the Music Farm Studios in 1995. Vanessa had already been doing session work for several years, and she stared as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar in the UK, in addition to winning numerous singing awards and various other productions. Jay was pursuing a solo career and had worked on a self-published album in 1995 featuring Arthur Belcher who was the Saxophonist on Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street Live on the Whistle Test. Jay had a bet with his producer, that he would marry Vanessa, and he suggested meeting after recording his first album. Vanessa declined to meet with Jay; however, she could not forget the crazy guy and eventually contacted him after evading numerous telephone calls at the studio. They met at a diner in the middle of the country and after two days their fate was sealed.

Jay proposed to Vanessa eight weeks later, won the bet and they married in 1997. They travelled into Europe to live on a small yacht in the Mediterranean, where they performed in various venues, having been featured on several local radio stations. They took a break from the music industry in 2006 when their daughter was born; however, Jay continued to write and produce on a part time basis.

In 2012 Jay was working with Izzy Stradlin, original rhythm guitarist of Guns n Roses and around this time met Bass Player Marco Mendoza, from Thin Lizzy at the O2 in London. Jay found the inspiration and genre for the Jericho Summer material and with some material already produced several years ago he contacted his old producer at the Music Farm Studios where the couple had met and previously recorded.

The core musicians for the Jericho Summer album were Tom Tyson, Rodders Godders, Guy Lancaster and John Marcangelo who had already achieved recognition with their own previous works and involvements. At this time the standard of song writing for the album and production had been reviewed by legendary sound engineer Dick Plant who had also worked with Thin Lizzy, and Philip Begley who had produced albums for the Corrs from Ireland.  The feedback was fantastic and it was the first three tracks, which Jay had demoed using Pro Tolls and a single rhythm guitar, which set the standard for the album.

Country guitarist and Double Grammy winner Albert Lee, had worked with Tom Tyson and Vanessa previously. Albert agreed to play on the album, and had visited The Music Farm studios during the summer of 2015 to record various guitar parts.

It was at this time Jay spoke with Marco Mendoza from Thin Lizzy, and invited him to play on the album. Marco really liked the material and agreed to come on board. All of his bass tracks were overdubbed into the sessions using drop box via Carlos Flood from AIR Consoles in Los Angeles. The expectations and standards for the album were increasing as Jay wrote more and more original material. It was generally agreed that this would be an album with no “filler tracks”, every track had to be strong, and of hit potential.  To maintain this and add diversity, a further guitarist was necessary.

Jay had already met Richard Fortus from Gun N Roses, at the O2 in London in 2012. When Jay was at the Kiss gig in Germany, meeting up with Marco Mendoza, Jay asked Richard if he would join the album. Richard’s lead and rhythm guitar parts were recorded in Los Angeles, sent over via drop box and overdubbed into the Pro Tools sessions.

Brett Morgan appears on the album, having recorded some of the drum tracks at CTS Studios in London. of the tracks required a fiddle, so Grammy Award fiddle player Stuart Duncan recorded his parts at First Run Studios, Nashville. Guy Lancaster later joined the line up and recorded the Hammond organ parts at The Music Farm Studios. In addition to writing the lyrics and musical arrangements, Jay has also recorded a number of Rhythm guitar parts from his home studio, where all of the vocals were recorded.

Jay & Vanessa spent months making edits and achieving the final mix they desired for the album. They selected the best guitar licks from Albert Lee, Richard Fortus and Rodders Godders, to produce this Country Rock, guitar dominant musical opus the “Night Train” album. It was never a case of sitting down, writing and recording over a set period of time to make an album to a deadline. The tracks happened when the inspiration came to Jay and Vanessa, as did the musical arrangements and the production.

During the writing of the album it was important from a musical perspective to add diversity, and adopt a number of musical styles, and influences. To achieve this, the tracks were written in three different guitar tunings. All of the tracks feature two lead or rhythm guitars, and the sounds achieved are the result of combining humbucking pickups with single coil pickups. During the writing, Jay used a 2008 Les Paul Standard, a 1960 Les Paul Special with P90’s and a Fat Telecaster with a humbucker. Some of the tracks were recorded using Jay’s Mesa Boogie and Two Rock amplifiers.