Musical producer

Litchfield’s Tracy Walton embraces producer role for fellow musicians

LITCHFIELD – Tucked away in a quiet corner on Campville Road in the Northfield section of town is On Deck Sound Studio, Tracy walton creative space, where voices and instruments come together and make amazing music.

Walton, a singer and musician who has recorded solo and in collaboration with hundreds of performers, has found his latest niche in the production world, helping new artists and longtime professionals record new albums and often a accompanying video. Singer-songwriter Kristy Flagg has just completed an album, and singer Riley Cotton is also recording an album with Walton’s band.

In 2020 and 2021, Walton’s concert schedule was cut short by the pandemic. He had planned a concert at the Warner Theater in 2021, but it still has not been rescheduled. During this time, he is very busy with a variety of artists, all of whom want to share their music with the world.

“I was planning on (touring) 20 or 30 states after releasing my last album in 2019, and that never happened,” he said. “But I was already in this mode of production, and it’s my job now … I’m set up here to do this.”

On Deck is a sound studio complete with space for drums, guitar, and other stringed instruments – many of which hang on the wall in the same room – as well as keyboards and a piano. Outside the studio is the control room where he records the music and works with the artists.

For Flagg’s album, Walton plays guitar and vocals; he is joined by drummer Steve Peck, guitarist Jeff Howard and pianist Glenn Nelson. Taking the singer’s voice and adding those components is the process of creating songs for the album, he said.

“I’m doing whatever it takes to make this record,” he said. “Who inspires them? And who is the best musician to play that person’s music? It’s my job.

“When a person comes to me as a singer-songwriter, they have their song; it’s the only way they’ve ever heard it, ”he said. “I have to find out who are the best musicians to play this music and put them together with the singer. That’s my philosophy: to find the team that can make great records and count on them to come and create a community on the bridge.

Walton also works with the group “Growing Giants” which he says “is becoming a group”. The hard rock sound of the band is a combination of the vocals of vocalist Rob Zawista, drummer Matt Starr, who performs for Kiss’ Ace Frehly, and other longtime musicians.

“I’ve known Rob since middle school and we’ve played at clubs in the area together. We once said, ‘Let’s do something’ and this is what it looks like, ‘Walton said. “There’s an amazing group of guys doing this. “

Walton is from Torrington and a graduate of the Hartford Conservatory. He previously taught at the National Guitar Workshop and wrote three books on bass for Alfred Publishing. He also released three solo albums. In the mid-2000s, he and singer Julia Autumn-Ford formed the duo, Belle of the Fall, which performed locally and on tour. Autumn-Ford recently joined On Deck as an assistant engineer and videographer.

On his website for On Deck, Walton speaks to readers of his studio, “The studio is located in the woods of northwestern CT, so if you’re looking for a bustling city for your record, this isn’t it. However, if you want to get away from it all to relax and make a good record this would be the place for you … Every day you will find Glen Nelson here following an organ part, Julia Autumn Ford posing backing vocals killer, Steve Peck crushing a drum track, Ben Dean, Pete Adams, Jeff Chen, etc. I am fortunate to have extremely talented friends.

These friends are able to play a variety of genres, from folk and Americana to jazz, rock, reggae and funk.

“I’m also working on a gospel album right now,” he said. “Anything with live instruments, I can do. “

Joanne Cash, sister of Johnny Cash, sings on a number of songs on this particular album.

“I think she’s 80 years old now,” he said. “She looks pretty amazing. The idea of ​​any recording is to find the center of a circle of musicians and add those pieces to the sound. People come up with a song and we have to turn it into a (performance) with a band. “

On Deck can also do album art, photography, CD setups, and video.

“We’re all-inclusive from start to finish,” Walton said.

His next step as a producer is to take a specific group of artists and do a project together, “to do something brilliant,” he said.

“Twenty years ago I was writing books and teaching, and I loved it; but I was looking for something else, ”he said.

Learn more about On Deck Sound Studio at ondecksound.com, and about Tracy Walton at tracywalton.com.