“I got fired twice, from the same record” – F. Reid Shippen | #HorrorStories

Today the five-time Grammy Award-winning mixer, engineer, and producer F. Reid Shippen (Kenny Chesney, Ingrid Michaelson, Gloria Gaynor) opens up about the turbulent nature of the music industry, and how in the space of twenty-four hours he went from being fired twice to landing the dream job of working with country music megastar Kenny Chesney.

#HorrorStories is a series where the world’s biggest producers, songwriters, and engineers unveil the most outlandish blunders of their careers — providing a much-needed reminder that even the greats make mistakes.

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I got fired twice from the same record, which has to be some sort of record.

I did this record with Jay Joyce on a band called Little Big Town. They had a really big hit on that record called Pontoon and it blew up and all of a sudden Little Big Town was back on the map and we were all riding high and it was like crazy. And it’s like, cool, well now it’s time to do the next record.

So I was supposed to track it but they had been in with Jay doing pre production at his studio and by the time I got there, They were already into the recording process. It’s like, it’s already working, people are comfortable, the music’s flowing, we don’t need you for tracking, we’ll just come back on the mix.

I screwed up the mix by, I was in the middle of like, moving my studio around and rejiggering it, and I just didn’t do it right. I wasn’t paying enough attention, I don’t know, I f’d it up, mea culpa, right? And they were just like, this isn’t working for us, this isn’t the direction we want to go. And so I was like, you know, what can you do?

The day after that happened, I got a call. It was like, hey man, this is Kenny Chesney. Eric Church gave me your number, I’m wondering if you’d be interested in mixing my new record. That’s turned into a collaboration with Kenny that we’re on like record five or six right now. So, 24 hours of hyperventilation, actually that time worked out.