The Making of Marigolds

In 2001, Carol started thinking seriously about another recording project. Knowing that it would be no small feat, she set out to find a co-producer to help see the project through. The goal was to find someone with ample experience in and knowledge of the music business and its many facets. Qualifications for the job were met superbly in fellow musician, producer, and friend, Craig Erickson. Together they embarked on their musical journey, went to Oz and back, and returned with a lovely, large, “bouquet of Marigolds”, the CD, (not to mention a stronger friendship and a very small, informal book exchange club.)

CRAIG ERICKSON has been compared to Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, SRV, Eric Johnson, Jeff Beck, Santana, Tommy Bolin… yet he has a unique phrasing, vibrato, and soulful feel that puts him above the sea of imitators so common today. He has recorded numerous internationally released CDs, successfully toured the U.S. and Europe, and made numerous guest appearances on other artist’s recordings such as Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple fame. Visit Craig’s website at

In the process of making a CD there are many decisions to be made. The first step to tackle is song selection. Having gone through the process many times before, Craig asked Carol to submit five songs at a time on cassette tape for him to review. After listening, they met and discussed the strengths and weakness of each song and whether or not it fit this particular project. Thirteen songs made the final cut.

After discussing possible arrangements for the songs, Carol sat down with a small keyboard and began writing out parts for oboes, flutes, cellos and any other instrument as needed. While all the musicians were quite talented and accomplished, some had sufficient studio experience and the ability to improvise their parts without the help of lead sheets while others required something more concrete.

In the meantime, arrangements of a different sort were being make with the folks at Catamount Recording Studios. Tom Tatman, owner of Catamount with his wife, Kitty, was to serve as engineer for the recording and mixing, with periodic assistance from John Chamberlain. John also mastered the recording. July 19th marked the first day of recording and the project was off. The decision was made to lay down scratch guitar and vocal tracks that the other musicians used as a reference to record their parts. Once the other musicians had completed their recordings, Carol recorded her part along with their accompaniment. August marked the beginning of the mixing process. After the final mixes were finished and the sequencing of songs complete, the recording was mastered and went on to the final stage of manufacturing.

Amid the recording, mixing and mastering there were the graphics to be done. This was placed in the very capable hands of graphic designers Jim Young, a former co-worker of Carol’s and Matt Montag, her son. Carol submitted lyrics and photographs and exchanged ideas about the design, then, Jim set about implementing the design ideas. This is where the plot thickens a bit. Originally, the CD was titled Figure Eight, the song title of the CDs first cut. The final decision had been made, but there was a feeling of uncertainty about the choice and whether it captured to essence of the music. That night on Late Night with David Letterman, Elliot Smith was plugging his new CD titled (you guessed it) Figure Eight. Shortly after that Matt came up with a cover design that immediately put to rest any uncertainty. Using a photograph of Carol with her guitar and a handful of marigolds, Matt set her in a grassy field with a single tree. Long-time friend, Steve Herrnstadt, a photographer and professor at Iowa State University, supplied the photograph. David Van Allen and Steve Gassman provided additional photographs for the liner notes and lyric sheet.

Marigolds CD Credits

Tom Barry Oboe
Joanne Chadima Flute
Steve Charlson Bass
George Curtis Bodhran
Jim Dreier Drums and percussion
Craig Erickson Acoustic guitar, angel hair guitar, percussion, keyboard
Carlis Faurot Violin
Mike Maas Mandolin
Al Naylor Flugel horn
Tracy Price Vocal
Nina Swanson Accordion
Steve Herrnstadt CD front cover photo
David Van Allen CD insert photos
Steve Gassman CD label photo
Graphic Designers
Matt Montag CD cover, promotionals, website
Jim Young CD insert layout