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  • Writer's pictureChristy Merry

Doree & the Dishes EP Thank Yous!



As with my first EP, there are so many people who went into making this happen, most of them behind the scenes, so let me just attempt to cover most of them!


MUSIC


Starting in summer of 2021, my husband Tommy Rehbein and our good friend Alex Lowery began assisting me in prepping demos for this project. That meant I went into the studio this time with a more fully fleshed out direction for the EP’s aesthetic than I did with my first EP, which helped get things moving more quickly and efficiently.


As with the prior project, I went to our friend Matt Patrick at the Library Studio (friend of both Tommy’s & mine from our youths, far before we had met each other) to produce it, knowing that even though this project was a completely different genre than the first EP (here for you), he is a magnificent chameleon who, once he gathers what direction you are trying to go, can absolutely get you there, with pleasant extra surprises along the way! Once he and I had put together the pre-production, he went out and found me a stellar team of musicians who could bring the vision to life: Noah Levy on drums, Aaron Fabbrini on stand-up bass, Eric Songer on trombone and trumpet, and Kyle Tennis (Riverside Swing Band) on guitar. Before I showed up and met them for the first time in person, I’d even had a dream that the guitar would be absolutely amazing, and I was not disappointed in this regard at all. Everyone did such a great job and was such a consummate professional that the whole experience was seamless.


Rebekah Hyer, a friend from college and a trip to Montreal back then where we hung out with street kids (one of my favorite trips ever) and volunteered with the Le Roc Center for Street Youth, was kind enough to coach me on the wording & pronunciation of the final chorus for The Great Juggler, and was exceedingly patient with my struggles with it! I do not speak French and had forgotten all of the two 6 week French classes I’d taken in my 30s.


Amy Roberts, my favorite vocal coach(/cheerleader/counselor/friend), who I used to work with when I lived in Hollywood and was in the band Old Souls, let me hire her again for a virtual California to Minnesota class (just like with the prior album), to help shape up the songs before I went in to do final vocals. I wouldn’t want to finalize a project without her input, and I hope I never have to!


VIDEOS


Shane Nelson (omni-fusion.com), another old friend of ours, kindly volunteered to share his not inconsiderable talents to edit the It’s Like Rock video as ‘a Christmas gift’ to the Merry Rehbein family and I can’t begin to say how thankful I am that he volunteered to do this. Sitting with him and getting my first experience in observing this process, too, was an excellent education, and gave me great respect for all the work that goes into this.


Adia Morris, a friend who is an accomplished actress and who has become a more frequent confidante in this past 6 months or so, was kind enough to lend me a tripod + ring light combo which I was able to use for shooting the footage for the 2nd & 3rd videos – this was a great improvement from the ‘balance iPhone on a deck of cards on a music stand’ approach I used for the first one.


Andrew Crandall, a friend of mine since 2002 who was one of the Minnesotans also out in Hollywood in the years I was there, who has since returned (and who also helped with video editing for ‘Peter’s Lullaby’ on the here for you EP) again volunteered to assist with my video editing this time. He helped with coming up with the public domain circus footage (and a bit of his own) for ‘The Great Juggler’ and helped with editing that video and also ‘What I Was Taught’ and ‘Crazy’ – made some great calls on which bits of the stock footage we should use for Crazy (chose a bunch of different things than what I had thought would work, and his choices were much better than mine). He also lent us an amazing camera and ordered us a tripod to use when shooting with it, just incredibly generous with his time and his resources for the success of this project.



PROMO


Melissa Kraemer, who I consider a person with an excellent eye for fashion, especially of the retro variety, helped me source the dress I used on the album cover. She generously lent me several dresses from her own curated closet for my consideration and let me keep them on loan for half of forever.


Kellie Schneider has been a wonderful friend for many many years now, and my artistic partner in a few different projects. In this project, I feel like, as the graphic designer, she gave just the right feel to the CD cover & imprint design and banners, etc. I don’t know what I would do without her.


Ali Jafaar, our friend (and as of this past year, my coworker as a calculations consultant at Newport Group/Ascensus), agreed to again help sculpt the bio for the project and did such an amazing job yet again. I know it was a more challenging project to work on than last time, as it was a little out of his usual genre-wheelhouse, but he really invested the time to be able to describe what we did well, and I am so thankful for that!


OTHER


Marcy Andersen has been constant in her support for me and gave me a gift early on in this process that is a touchpoint that I look back to and am heartened by every time I think about it, a bracelet that somehow in a weird psychic way had the words engraved on it to part of the chorus of the 3rd song. She couldn’t have known, had never heard it.

As always, I thank my church Mercy Vineyard, for the many from my community who again have prayed me through all the challenges and encouraged me and believed in me.


Outside of the pictured folks above, I know so many others of you have reached out and sent kind words, prayers, ‘good vibes’, financially supported by buying my work, listened to my unending quandaries about ‘the next thing’ that I didn’t know how to do, and patiently waded with me through the unknowns, believing I’d make it through to the other side. Thanks to Paul Huesman & Phillip Otterness & Erin Marsh especially for listening, and encouragement, and inspiring me by pursuing your own dreams with all the bumps and starts that always has. Erin spent hours with me, patient with my language questions as I finalized the EP bio, and giving feedback on video details when I needed a little outside perspective. Forever friends!


And a special additional thanks to my love, Tommy, for driving me to/from most of my studio sessions before/after his workday (we just have the one car), sourcing a green screen and then a tripod + ring light for me after we’d returned Adia’s, working on & playing some live music with me, helping me puzzle out video issues, being a sounding board on promotion strategy and how streaming works, and just generally being a Great Human Being and constant source of encouragement and inspiration.


Oh, and thanks again to Jacqui Heie for the ride to my first in person music interview in 25 years when the snow was crazy high and keeping us from getting out of our driveway. And to Renee Horsman for an impromptu photo shoot! And to Mostly MN music, Aldora Britain Records, Minnesota Homebrew, Mpls.St Paul Magazine, Centerstage Minnesota and so many others who day after day do the amazing work of spreading the word about artists’ work so that we can better do what we do and focus on making the music.

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