Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons — Little Bird

Cory Chisel & The Wandering Sons’ “Little Bird” marked the first full-length release that we worked on for he and FUSE Recordings after the release of the “Darken Your Door” EP. Having handled all of Cory’s branding and design since 2004 in an effort to grow his career outside of the midwest, this release (2006) was important for one main reason: A collective goal to land a distribution/label deal. Our efforts paved the way towards an end result that millions of kids never get— Cory got his break with the release of “Little Bird” as it received the attention of RCA Records. They signed him to a young artist development deal on their imprint label, Black Seal.

The art direction and production for Little Bird went through many phases and ideas—drawings, paintings, etc.—before we ended up on Brad Knapp’s color photo of Cory singing. I wasn’t a big fan of the original photo from a direction perspective. It was digital, colorful, and lacked the soul/grit found in Cory’s songs. (I had spent months producing dozens of illustrations at Cory’s requests which I ended up archiving after his new management team sandbagged Cory and myself with demands to focus solely on Cory’s physical presence for branding. It made sense.)

Once Brad’s photo was decided as being the cover, it needed tons of manipulation. In an effort to waste little time after months of design ideas that Cory and I collaborated on, I took the most logical route to mimic an old record. Stripping the photo down to black and white with rough noise filters was enhanced by an uncoated paper print process. Additional photography was provided by the band, myself, and others who were hanging around the recording sessions and live gigs which were used for the inside spread.

Little Bird was/has never been re-distributed due to rights disagreements between Cory’s camp at RCA/Black Seal, his management, and Fuse Recordings, Rockford, IL. Cory would go on to release a few solo releases with a member of the original Wandering Sons band, Adriel Harris, sans The Wandering Sons.

ClientCory Chisel and The Wandering Sons, FUSE RecordingsServicesDirection, Branding, Identity, Design,

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