Americana artist Brooks Daugherty isn’t striving to be a mainstream country act, but he has found the perfect creative community in his adoptive home of Nashville. However, some of his collaborators migrated to Music City just like the Centerville High School graduate.
His new EP, “The Dakota Hill,” gets its official release at Hannah’s in Dayton on Friday, March 9. The material was recorded with a rhythm section of fellow southern transplants, Kieran Conley (bass) and Jonn Bostwick (drums).
“My goal was not to create the best thing we could,” Daugherty said recently. “I don’t even know if that’s attainable but I wanted to create this document. We did this project with literally no budget, but I’ve got so many talented friends and everybody was willing to help out.
“I actually had guys from Dayton play on the recordings,” he continued. “The live tracking was with Kieran and Jonn, two guys from my high school. It feels great to have my buddies on board with it. And it really is a Dayton project. I’m not even releasing it in Nashville until two weeks after the Dayton release. That’s where my family and friends are, that’s where my heart is.”
Daugherty recorded the tracks with Nashville-based producer Don Bates.
“I started recording the EP in September so we didn’t spend a long time working on it,” Daugherty said. “I didn’t want to go in and do a big production. I wanted to keep most of it live to keep that raw feel — so we went in and tracked the three-piece live. We did a scratch vocal and we ended up keeping some of those takes.
“We liked them because they captured that raw vibe,” he said. “We were in the studio four or five days for the whole thing and most of the recording was done in the first two days. The other days were for overdubs and vocals.”
Daugherty credits Bates with capturing the gritty, roots-rock sound he wanted.
“Don is getting tons of work,” Daugherty said. “He’s getting some of the best sounds in Nashville. He’s got a great console and tons of great gear. The studio is beautiful. It’s been a refuge where we can come in, hang out and record. Don is a really close friend of ours, and we’ve wanted to work together for years and we finally got that opportunity.
“I’m so happy I got so many of my friends together to record my songs,” Daugherty added. “It’s been a community effort, which I really love.”