Billy Smiley

Local band to release album August 10

August 9, 2012 // 0 Comments

The past 12 months has been an exciting year for one local band. Vertical Bridge is set to release their debut album “Never Too Late” August 10. The 11-song album features nine originals and two covers including “Shine” by Collective Soul and “She Talks to Angels” by The Black Crowes. Brad Thomas of Rockford is the band’s guitarist. Jamie Sorsen of Greenville plays drums, and Jim Douglas, also of Greenville, is the lead singer. The three members have been playing together for over 12 years. The recording process started a year ago in June, when the band made a trip to Nashville for an indie music conference. They went with a demo CD in hand—not knowing what to expect. While at the conference, they met producer Billy Smiley, founding member of the Christian rock band Whiteheart. He was speaking at the conference. The band talked with him and gave him a copy of their demo CD. A couple days later, Smiley phoned them and said he liked what he heard and wanted to meet again with them and discuss making an album. A month later, Smiley flew to Rockford from Nashville and met with the band. They quickly hit it off and scheduled another visit from Smiley to work on pre-production of five songs. Smiley came back to Michigan in September to complete pre-production and the band was in Nashville in October, recording five songs. The guys in the band didn’t realize what they were in for. In Nashville, they were introduced and worked with some of the music industry’s great pros, including mix engineer Billy Whittington, who has worked with Carmen, Michael W. Smith, Vanessa Williams and many other artists. Also mixing part of the album was mix engineer Richie Biggs, who has worked with many artists and bands including Switchfoot, Newsboys, Michael W. Smith and most recently won two Grammy awards for his work on the Civil Wars Album Barton Hollow. The band was between bass players during recording. Smiley, who lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., but works in Nashville, is friends and neighbors with Megadeth bass player David Ellefson. Smiley sent the material to Ellefson to see if he was interested in providing the bass tracks for the band. Ellefson liked the music and […]