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One Ton of Ducks
One Ton of Ducks: Thomas Kemper, Mark Dodge, Roger Ludwick, Wende Hilyard, Patrick Donicht One Ton of Ducks: Floaters CD Cover One Ton of Ducks logo
OTOD Photo Album Listen to Floaters
This is tight, crafty, heartfelt, original rock, tinged with jazz, a bit of alt-country, and sweet harmony. Tunes about life, love, loss, war, peace, and hope. Grok some original rock. Camano Animal Shelter Benefit The Floaters track "Here By My Side" is included on Forever Home, a CD featuring ten original songs donated by Camano Island musicians to benefit the Camano Island Animal Shelter Association (CASA) Floaters Songlist 1. Had To Say I Love You - (Ludwick) Roger wrote this one for his mom, who got to hear it for the first time in July 2008 at a live show. It was a very cool thing - tears and stuff. We should all be so lucky to be able to do something like this for our loved ones. (Roger - lead vocal, guitar; Mark - slide guitar, vocal; Wende - vocal, percussion; Patrick - bass, percussion; Thomas - drums, percussion) 2. Where Are You - (V. Dodge, M. Dodge) My wife Vicki and I wrote the basic ideas on a napkin back in the 80s. It's about dreams and aspirations, finding your place in the universe, and making contact. Vicki has been my inspiration and my motivation in life and in art, and is the biggest single reason that I'm still doing this music thing. (Mark - lead vocal, piano; Wende - vocal, percussion; Roger - guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 3. Here By My Side - (Harris, Dodge) This is a song that has evolved over three years or so, and it now sounds very different from the original recording on Steve Harris' Northwestern Sky, partly because it's been flipped to a female perspective. Wende does a great job. (Wende - lead vocal; Mark - lead guitar, vocal; Roger - guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 4. Another Night - (Ludwick, Dodge) Way back before Roger and I (Mark) recorded the GIZA CD, the band was tracking one night and Roger played what I thought were some improvised instrumental changes, which we then recorded. The next day, I excitedly added lyrics to the instrumental, and viola ... the song Strive was born. Turns out, Roger wasn't improvising - it was actually a song he had written (but didn't mention it). Strive made it onto the Giza CD, but we finally recorded the song Roger had written in the first place. The chords may be the same, but that's where the resemblance ends. (Roger - lead vocal, guitar; Mark - whammy wah guitar, vocal; Wende - percussion, vocal, Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 5. Might As Well Anyway - (Dodge) All in. Go for broke. Shoot the moon. Take a chance. This is one of those rare songs that started in my head as a melody in early 2008. The lyrics came next, and quickly. The song zipped by other songs that have been waiting to be finished for decades ... (Mark - lead vocal, guitar; Wende - vocal, percussion; Roger - guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 6. Darkness Falling - (Harris, Palmby) Steve started writing this one right after the invasion of Iraq. I fear that the "darkness" may have become a permanent American condition. My boy Max spent 27 months of his young life in Iraq with the Army. His wife, Jess, celebrated three of their four wedding anniversaries with Vicki and I while Max was in-country. The unheralded ravages of war ... (Wende - lead vocal; Mark - piano, vocal; Roger - guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 7. How Do You Feel - (Harris, Dodge, Kemper, Donicht) Steve wrote this one about that delicate time in a relationship when you're not sure about anything. The band kicked it around for a few months with lackluster results until Patrick and Thomas started playing parts of the song in 7/8 time, which really made it come alive and got it on this record. (Wende - lead vocal; Mark - piano, vocal; Roger - guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 8. 59 Hill (Floaters) - (Hilyard, Harris, Dodge) Wende wrote this anti-development rant in response to an actual local development. The subsequent events described in the song, however, are pure fantasy. Regardless of your viewpoint, nobody wants to see the forest next door turn into ticky-tacky. (Mark - lead vocal, piano; Wende - vocal, percussion; Roger - guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 9. Sing Out - (Ludwick) A song about singing protest songs. At some point, you just have to say ... enough. "The only thing necessary for evil to thrive is for good men of conscience to do nothing." - Edmund Burke. (Roger - lead vocal, piano; Wende - vocal; Mark - lead guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 10. Here On Island Time - (Harris, Vensas, Dodge) After a hard day of SInging Out, sometimes you need to just relax. This is a largely live-in-the-studio version of a song we've been playing for years, and now sounds nothing like the previously-recorded version. (Wende - lead vocal; Mark - lead guitar, vocal; Roger - guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 11. Another Man - (Christensen, Dodge) Bob Christensen and I performed this song way back in the 70s when we were playing out 6 nights a week. Since it's an original song, we had to slip it in between other songs that people recognized while they were still on the dance floor (our job in those days, was basically to keep 'em on the floor). It's a great song, and is also on Bob's Rear View CD. (Mark - lead vocal, piano; Wende - percussion, vocal, Roger - guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) 12. Keeping Me Awake - (Harris, Dodge) This track has an awesome groove, captured live in the studio. Another song from last year's Island Time CD, but you'd hardly recognize it. It showcases the mad skills of Thomas, our hyperactive drummer, and some risky keyboard work. (Mark - lead vocal, piano; Wende - lead vocal, percussion; Roger - guitar, vocal; Patrick - bass; Thomas - drums) One Ton of Ducks Is Thomas Kemper drums, percussion, adventure Mark Dodge vocals, lead guitar, keys, risk Roger Ludwick vocals, guitar, keys, emo Wende Hilyard vocals, percussion, tiny keys, color Patrick Donicht 5-string bass, percussion, balance Recording Notes Captured in weekly sessions from May through September 2008 at Quacky Studios, Camano Island, WA. Songs were mostly tracked live in the studio, or with instruments only (no vocals) to eliminate microphone bleed. The bass/drums/keys/guitar/percussion tracks were almost entirely performed live. Most vocal tracks and some lead guitar were overdubbed. Recording was done on a Quad-core PC-based DAW with RMC interfaces, running Samplitude Professional. Five microphones were used to capture drums, everything else was direct-injected (except, obviously, vocals - the tracheal interface is on order). There was no usage of MIDI, sequencing, or quantizing. All the grooves are live. After recording and mixing was complete, Patrick took my imperfect, overworked final mix and managed to do a great job mastering it. I have to admit that I am likely to allow a certain amount of "wabi-sabi." I never iron out all the imperfections. In fact, I sometimes like them and often exaggerate them. For example, the song Might As Well Anyway was recorded live in the studio, vocals and all. New vocal tracks were overdubbed, but the old vocals are still there in the background; a ghostly sound bleeding through drum mics, and is quite noticeable at times. But I liked it, so it stayed. Recording perfectionists (like Patrick and Thomas) must be horrified. -Mark Recorded and Mixed by Mark Dodge Final Mastering by Patrick Donicht Drum mic setup by Thomas Kemper Studio acoustics by Casa Verde Studio Graphic design by Mark Dodge B&W Photography by Nelson Haukap Color Photography by Mark Dodge "One Ton of Ducks is a wonderful band that performed for us at our event last November. Highly recommended." ~ CJ Thomas, Camano Chamber of Commerce "We sure will have you back! We enjoyed it even more than last time, and we had several customers comment the same. We all like it a little more 'rocky!' Us baby boomers will never get old!" ~ Annie Austin, Espresso Americano, Everett Band History The name "One Ton of Ducks" actually began as a toll-free number for Big Quack (as soon as I realized that 1-866 spells 1 Ton), then became a "greatest hits" CD with selections from 4 Big Quack recordings (now out of print), and then it became a flesh-and blood band. In keeping with the spirit of a toll-free number, we often played for dirt cheap. Roger and Mark started performing and recording together in 1999, and released the critically-acclaimed CD Time Heals in 2002. Mark began performing and recording with Steve Harris in 2004. Meanwhile, after Wende came to the studio with the South End String Band, she was quickly recruited for the first Steve Harris CD, Northwestern Sky, which was released in 2005. Wende, Mark and Steve began playing regular monthly shows as Steve Harris & Friends (SH&F) while the Northwestern Sky sessions were still ongoing. Thomas Kemper joined the fun with SH&F in 2006, playing congas and percussion (he now sports a full kit). SH&F released the Here on Island Time CD in early 2007, which was expertly mixed by Patrick Donicht, Thomas' longtime pal, musical collaborator, and rhythm section partner. Patrick began performing with the band in March of 2007. Steve Harris had to leave the band just a few months after the release of Here on Island Time, so Roger, whose path had diverged for a while, began performing and recording with the band in the summer of 2007, which later became One Ton of Ducks (OTOD). OTOD released their CD, Floaters, in late 2008 Band Member Bios Roger Ludwick Roger has been working the Northwestern Washington rock & roll band scene for over 40 years (he started young). A veteran of numerous pro and semi-pro bands, including the inimitable Say Ahh band, and the legendary Trash Train, Roger has had his ore smelted in the crucible of rock. He has an excellent ear for lyric and writes great songs, as evidenced by the Big Quack recording, Time Heals. Roger and Mark were 2/3 of the band Giza, who recorded the Time Heals CD in 2002, Here';s what Bellinghams' What's Up magazine had to say about it (and Roger's vocals, in particular): "Time Heals is a mellow, great-sounding CD, full of jangling guitars, snaky leads, and well-considered percussive effects. The level of musicianship is top-notch, and the singing is heartfelt." Roger sings and plays guitar and the occasional keyboard. Mark Dodge Long ago, Mark spent the better part of a decade as a full-time professional musician, on the road with several country, top-40, and rock bands, playing bars, lounges, and taverns 5-6 nights a week (and driving on the off days). It was actually a lot of hard work for something that sounds like so much fun, but it was punctuated with little milestones like opening the show for Mel t-t-Tillis (famous stutter-er), a week or so after Mount Saint Helens blew up. Mark was also working as a graphic designer at the time and created a bumper sticker that said "Ashington, the Evergray State" (another million dollar idea). Mel put one on his bus, which was dirty with volcanic ash after driving up I-5 for the show. Patrick Donicht Besides playing bass and keyboards in One Ton of Ducks, Patrick is a multifaceted audio professional, working as a producer, arranger, composer, engineer, mixer, acoustical consultant, and drummer. Patrick has his own pro production facility, The Audio Vortex, located on Camano Island. Patrick is a native of Washington state and has been involved with music his entire life. A veteran of several area bands and numerous studio sessions, Patrick is a founding member of the progressive jazz-rock band Pocket Monkey, with long time ally Thomas Kemper. For the past 20 years he has been working on projects ranging from musical theatre/dance productions, commercial spots, Foley sound, movies, pop, rock, jazz, R&B, and classical music. In his spare time he likes to ride his mountain bike, travel, or drive his car as fast as possible at Pacific Raceway. Thomas Kemper Thomas was a veteran session drummer and orchestral performer during the early '70's, and then went a few rounds on the road playing funk and disco. Over the years he managed to assimilate a wide variety of musical experiences to become the precision rock jazz funk machine he is today. Equally at home on a motorcycle, he was among the Top 5 in his class nationally for many years in observed motorcycle trials. He also spent years in the broadcast industry as a videographer, field recordist, and motorcycle stunt performer. (Think: crashing through plate glass windows on fire.) NOTE: Previous (and simultaneous) to their tenure in both Steve Harris & Friends and One Ton of Ducks, Thomas Kemper and Patrick Donicht have worked together on a multitude of recording projects as musicians, and as recordists. Their progressive jazz-rock band, Pocket Monkey, has existed in various forms for over 20 years. Wende Hilyard Wende is one of the original members of the locally-legendary South End String Band, whose wit, front porch wisdom, and fiddle tunes are heralded far and wide throughout the land. Wende came into Mark's studio with the South Enders to record their first CD, and when it came time to record Steve Harris' first CD, Northwestern Sky, Mark asked Wende to add her crystal clear voice to the recording. She began performing with Steve Harris & Friends, which later molted and became One Ton of Ducks. Wende's beautiful voice and tasteful percussion skills are in evidence on six Big Quack recordings (and counting): all three South End String Band CDs, both Steve Harris CDs, and One Ton of Ducks' Floaters.
Roger Allen Ludwick - 9/9/1952 - 12/1/2012 Roger Allen Ludwick 9/9/1952 - 12/1/2012 Click to purchase from CASA
Image of Wende Hilyard
One Ton of Ducks: Patrick Donicht, Thomas Kemper, Roger Ludwick, Wende Hilyard, Mark Dodge
One Ton of Ducks: Mark Dodge, Roger Ludwick, Wende Hilyard, Thomas Kemper, Patrick Donicht
Image of Thomas Kemper
Image of Mark Dodge
Image of Patrick Donicht


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