Acoustic Sounds

Vanessa Fernandez

Remember Me



Label: Groove Note

Produced By: Ying Tan and Michael C. Ross

Engineered By: Michael C. Ross

Mixed By: Michael C. Ross

Mastered By: Bernie Grundman

Lacquers Cut By: Bernie Grundman

By: Michael Fremer

March 25th, 2024





Dance On the Ceiling With Vanessa Fernandez!

don't let the forlorn cover shot fool you!

 Not since Veronica Swift's This Bitter Earth (Mack Avenue MAC1177LP) has a record cover been so at odds with what's in the grooves as this filled with funky covers Groove Note title from Vanessa Fernandez.

Think of it this way: there are eleven tunes here from Childish Gambino, Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Barry White, Maurice White and a few others and the mostly celebratory funk is in the air (with a mellow stop over in Bill Withers territory), produced by a hot band with arrangements by guitarist Tim Pierce (Joe Cocker, Crowded House, Goo Goo Dolls, Michael Jackson, Beth Hart, Roger Waters, Alice Cooper, Johnny Hallyday, Phil Collins, etc.).

Now look at the cover and the album title. Before writing this I contacted Groove Note's Ying Tan to ask if Vanessa was alright because between the photo and the album title I was afraid this was a farewell party before she headed for the big exit.

He assured me she's fine and that's not at all what this is about. So let's party on! Fernandez is backed by the aforementioned Pierce, along with Grammy Award winning guitarist Felipe Melanio, bassist Alex Al (Michael Jackson's bassist for a decade), keyboardist Jeff Babko (most visibly known as keyboardist/arranger/composer for Jimmy Kimmel Live but check out that link), drummer Victor Indrizzo (Queens of the Stoneage, Beck, Macy Gray, Willie Nelson, Redd Kross etc.) and Latino percussionist Luis Conte

Of course the arrangement and playing are super hot and Fernandez, who some of you know from her album of Led Zeppelin covers, is well up to the task and sounds nothing like she looks on the cover! She is nimble, soulful and has a falsetto to die for. Oops. She has a sends shivers falsetto.

Add a tracked to 2 inch 30 IPS tape on a Studer 24 track production in Sunset Sound Studio 2 (engineered by co-producer Michael C. Ross), recording mixed down to 1/4" 30 IPS stereo on an ATR 102 in Sunset Sound Studio 1, with 45rpm lacquers cut by Bernie Grundman and pressed on 180g vinyl at RTI and without hearing a measure of music you should have no doubt about the 11 for sound rating.

Fernandez does a wonderful cover of Portishead's "Roads" (from the band's debut album Dummy)—she's got the emotional fortitude and expressiveness to do it justice—and the cover of Michael Kiwanuka's "Love And hate" with powerful and sympathetic electric guitar accompaniment by Pierce is an album standout.

A '70s era feeling Fernandez original, "Breathe Easy" ends the album on a mellow note. I hear Bonnie Raitt covering it. There's nothing more difficult in the studio than recording vocals 100% unadorned with reverb, processing or other cover-ups. Fernandez is directly on-mic and she fully fills the space between the speakers strong-voiced and passionate. Her phrasing is remarkable and always in service of the song.

As great as all of that is, one of the most impressive aspects of this project is the A&R work, the eclectic and varied song choices, both classic and up to date. Mercury Prize winner Kiwanuka, TED fellow lyeoka Ivie, and the others add fresh excitement to this outstanding production.

If I didn't think Fernandez's covers were anything but worthy of standing on their own, which they are, I wouldn't embed these originals but why not? Hearing them should entice you to check out Fernandez's covers.

Here's an "audiophile" release that delivers well beyond the usual audiophile "sounds great but the music is meh" standard. Check it out!

But first: Here's a hi-res transfer I made of Fernandez's cover of EW&F's "That's The Way of the World" courtesy, Groove Note Records

Music Specifications

Catalog No: GRV 1400-1

Pressing Plant: RTI


Speed/RPM: 45

Weight: 180 grams

Size: 12"

Channels: Stereo

Presentation: Multi LP


  • 2024-03-26 09:35:46 AM

    Christopher wrote:

    Great to hear that Groove Note continues with these great productions. Let us all praise men like Michael C.Ross !

  • 2024-03-26 06:40:57 PM

    tim davis wrote:

    Too cool! I have "Use Me" & missed out on The Zep covers project until it was OOP & wayyyy out of my budget. I'm gonna grab this one while the gettings good.

  • 2024-03-26 09:27:48 PM

    Robin Wyatt wrote:

    Ying Tan always makes amazing recordings he has a magic touch.

  • 2024-04-05 02:47:50 PM

    bwb wrote:

    I just secured copies of this and her other 3 albums, all sealed. I paid $100 for the Led Zep covers from Elusive Disc which I thought was reasonable. As of today they still have some in stock. Most double 45s these days are $60 so a triple for $100 is in line with that.

    I agree the sound quality on this and the Led Zep is indeed reference level. This is one of the few I would have gone 11 on. Haven't listened to the other 2 yet.