Behind the Scenes: Billy Dawson and Cenk Erdogan Recording Live-to-Mic Video (Acoustic Guitar + ToneWoodAmp) at Billy's Home Studio in Nashville, TN

The Summer NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) trade show and convention in Nashville is so quintessentially American that it’s easy to forget how much of the rest of the world is actually there at the Music City Center. But I’m regularly reminded that ToneWoodAmp’s family is a world family.

ToneWoodAmp wants to give you something that is more than just another effect device. And if that means housing for an entire week an elite “unit” of world’s-best guitar players in a rented villa (jokingly called “The House of Terror,”) equipped with a use-to-your-heart-content audio gear and an in house master videographer, you can imagine what type of stuff may come out of this predictably-unpredictable environment (coming soon).

But this Billy Dawson video is a different story.

It all started a couple of days before Summer NAMM when everybody got the bright idea to use Billy Dawson’s home studio to make a professional quality live video of Billy using the ToneWoodAmp to record his hit song “When She Cries.” The mission: to make Billy shine with just an acoustic guitar and a ToneWoodAmp, to record everything direct-to-mic, and add nothing else. A live-to-mic music video.

“Here’s what we have now, make it work”- Jake Burgess

In a home studio there is not much room for lighting gear, and this situation sent video wizard Jake Burgess on a mad scavenger hunt to turn Billy’s home recording studio into a professional video production location.

A-la-Macgyver, Jake quickly made a makeshift video lightning using two old household lamps, some clothespins, a towel and some (unused) toilet paper.

“Normally, I work on projects with light kits and lots of fun toys; 2ks, giant silks, the whole 9 yards. But in a project and space like this (where we’re constantly on the move and doing up to five shoots a day), all my equipment has to be able to fit into a backpack. Honestly, this type of shoot is where I have the most fun- shoots where I walk on set with very little tools or resources. It’s like “here’s what you have, now make it work.” -Jake Burgess (videographer)

Other ToneWoodAmp artists, staying together at the “House of Terror,”, showed up to witness Billy and Jake in action, one thing led to another, and Cenk Erdogan, a one-of-a-kind Turkish fretless guitar player (stay tuned for that), playing live to video himself with just his guitar and the ToneWoodAmp, jumped in to add his part to Billy’s original recording.

“The original objective of this video was to show of Billy’s beautiful voice, performance and writing skills using Billy and a guitar with a ToneWoodAmp only, and nothing more, direct to mic. When Cenk (pronounced “Jenk”) arrived, Billy was already done with his part, and Cenk quickly put headphones on his head and we got his part down live-to-mic and camera with just his guitar and the ToneWoodAmp” – Ofer Webman (ToneWoodAmp)

“We brought country music and the country of Turkey together and it rocked!"- Billy Dawson

You can see and hear the results here. You’ll like what you see when the world came together for “When She Cries.” And you’ll like what’s coming this year as we bring more special videos from “the house of terror” and other Summer NAMM 2018 events, with ToneWoodAmp artists from all around the world, Mike Dawes, Cenk Erdogan, Jake Allen, Larry Mitchell, Keaton Simons, Karla Davis, Kent Blazy, Steve Mandile and more.

“The bond and friendships amongst the TWA artists is just beautiful to witness. The celebration of such true friendships continued until the last night in Nashville with everyone ending at Keaton Simon’s friends cabin out in the woods.”- Helene Webman (ToneWoodAmp)

I’ll let Billy have the last word.

“I’m blessed to be a part of the TWA Family and honored to have worked with Cenk Erdogan. Cenk is one of the most innovative guitar players I have ever seen or worked with! His solo makes me smile and makes me want to go back in my studio and practice some more. We brought country music and the country of Turkey together and it rocked!”- Billy Dawson




Find more about Billy Dawson here:
Find more about Cenk Erdogan here:
Find more about Cardboard Robot Videography here:

(“When She Cries” was co-written with Rivers Rutherford)