The Wicked Awesome Acoustic Holiday starts with DeAngelis’ mellowish-jazzy version “Jingle Bells” followed by Caron’s guitar and sitar instrumental version of “Little Drummer Boy.” Caron also provides uniquely arranged and played instrumentals of “What Child Is This?,” “Last Christmas” and “Il est né, le divin Enfant (He is Born, the Divine Child)” to the disc. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “Santa Baby” feature additional vocals by 16-year-old, Bangor, Maine, singer Catherine Howe. She sings with a combination of innocence and sultry tone that makes her performance stand out on both cuts. “Mele Kalikimaka” is a fun Hawaiian Christmas song complete with a modulation and kazoo solo. The recording also includes: “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and “Silver Bells.” I think the best track of the CD is the DeAngelis/Howe duet of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

This is truly a wonderful holiday CD with some fine singing, harmonies, and virtuosic playing. I guess you could call it wicked awesome — it is Rhode Island after all — but this disc is far beyond just a local recording; it is light years better than the versions of these tunes that the radio and store PAs will assault you with from now until December 25. If you need a soundtrack for your holiday, here it is. The CD is available from CD Baby, iTunes, and Amazon. For more, jingle over to

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading!

Motif Magazine

Roots Report: An Annual Rant by John Fuzek



As I write, I am actually listening to a new holiday CD. I know that it goes against everything that I just wrote. Believe it or not, I actually produced an alternative holiday compilation CD about 20 years ago and even had a  (cynical) song on it. Well, the CD I am listening to now is strictly missionary. It is a collection of seasonal standards by local musicians Fred DeAngelis and Joe Caron titled The Wicked Awesome Acoustic Holiday. While the CD’s title is a bit odd, they do provide some nice arrangements and interpretations of 12 classic holiday compositions. DeAngelis and Caron handle the vocals and array of instruments including guitar, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, sitar and kazoo. Caron has been playing guitar professionally for over 40 years and performed with rock bands such as Touch and Run21. DeAngelis is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music educator and producer with more than 30 years of experience and has even performed for a US President.

Contact Information

phone: 401-965-6202          email:

LA: Wow, doing my research on Deep Meadow Farm Audio Recording & Mastering, I researched your background as well and I could do a whole interview on just you. You're a producer, mixer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and music educator with over 35 years of experience. Your credentials are amazing. You have a bachelor's degree in Music Production from Berklee College of Music and a bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Rhode Island College. Tell me about your journey from how you got involved in choosing this career to owning your own recording studio.

FD: I didn't choose this career. The career chose me. When I was a kid I would watch Ed Sullivan at my grandparents. That’s where I saw and heard The Beatles. Their music set me on this path. I got my first guitar at eight, started lessons at 12, and playing in bands at 13. I wrote my first song when I was 10 and I’ve been writing ever since. I couldn’t afford studio time as a kid, and I wanted the ability to stretch out artistically and experiment, so I purchased a 4-track tape machine and taught myself how to use it. From there it was a natural progression to where I am today.

I attended Berklee majoring in Audio Recording (which is now called Music Production and Engineering). After my fourth semester I tried to get an internship back home but the people I encountered were, let’s say, a bit unpleasant. Being young and naive, I believed the negative things they told me about the industry and so I dropped out, a dumb move I always regretted.

I transferred to Rhode Island College, got my degree in Computer Science, and started my career in high tech. However, I never stopped thinking about making music and dreaming that one day I’d return to Berklee. In 2017 I started working for them in a tech position. One of the job’s perks was free classes. I took 26 and two years ago, 40 years after I started there, I earned my degree. I opened Deep Meadow Farm officially in 2021.

LA: You're the founder of Homegrown Music Seminars group education program. Tell me about this …you teach students at all levels?

FD:  To me music is a gift that I feel very fortunate to have and I enjoy sharing it. It gives me great satisfaction and keeps me balanced. It’s my form of therapy. If I can help somebody else find that enjoyment, that peace, I’m happy to do it. I primarily give seminars on anything from harmony, improvisation, songwriting, etc. I also try to organize an annual open mic with the proceeds going to a charity or a cultural service. At the last event I think we had 20 artists perform and we raised more than $1,500 for the East Providence Arts Council.

LA: I heard you played for U.S. President. How and when did this happen?

FD:  It happened by chance at The Rod and Gun Club in Warren. My band played at a clambake. Jimmy Carter was coming through as part of a rally and the Secret Service asked us if the president could say a few words. They wanted us to play an opening song for him and asked if we knew any Allman Brothers songs. We didn’t so we gave them our setlist. They picked “American Band” by Grand Funk Railroad and had us change the chorus lyrics from “We’re and American Band” to “He’s our American man”. Pretty funny.

LA: Deep Meadow Farm provides music production services including recording, mixing, mastering, audio repair, restoration and audio post-production. Tell me when you started and how it started.

FD: My interest in doing this initially was to be able to record my own music. That branched out to wanting to record stuff by my friends. Then I thought well, I have all this gear and what I’m producing sounds pretty good, so .… It was a logical progression. Over the course of this journey I’ve built four recording studios, the first one in my parents’ basement.

LA: There are a lot of recording studios in Rhode Island. What makes Deep Meadow Farm stand out from the rest?

FD: You would want to come to me for my taste. As a producer I try to take your song and elevate it to its highest emotional potential. For example, local artist Mark Cutler allowed me to produce a song for him called “Suffering”. He’s brilliant and it is a beautiful and powerful song. Together we reviewed three candidate songs he had and picked this one. Then we reviewed his lyrics, the chord progression, the arrangement, and the instrumentation. As a producer you do whatever the artist needs you to do. You can offer a lot of stuff but the artist makes the final decisions. Mark, with all his accomplishments and talent, graciously entertained my suggestions and even accepted a few of them. So why would someone come to me? You would come to me because you like the work I’ve done, because I can guide you through the production process, because I can take on the parts of this work that would distract you and take your energy away from your performance, and hopefully because I’m easy to work with. Also, you don't have to hire me as a producer. You could just come in to record, or you could hire me to mix the tracks I record or tracks you’ve recorded somewhere else, maybe in your home studio.

LA: You've worked with some big names in the industry including multiple Grammy Winner Prince Charles Alexander who worked with Sting and Usher. Matthew Ellard who worked with Queen, Paul McCartney and Ozzy Osbourne. Former AES president nominee Jonathan Wyner who worked with Bowie, Springsteen and Aerosmith and Mark Wessel who worked with Sony, CBS  and Paramount Pictures. When did you work with them and can you tell me the most important thing you learned from them?

FD: They were all my professors at Berklee and I stay in touch with many of them. They shared lots of tips and tricks, and ways to be more efficient through the process. But the most important lessons were about the soft skills. Recording can be a nerve-racking process. Knowing how to make the artist comfortable so they can give their best performance is an invaluable skill. Before my clients step into the studio I have the entire session prepared for them including any creature comforts they may have requested (within reason). I do everything I can to make the artist feel at ease, and make every dollar they spend as cost effective as possible, and earn their trust

LA: That's an amazing list of technology and gear you use at your studio. Tell me about which ones you like to use and what some of them do.

FD: Pro Tools and Logic Pro are my Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) of choice. That’s where I spend most of my time once the artist leaves. In my opinion Pro Tools is better for tracking, editing and mixing. Logic is superior for anything MIDI (Music Instrument Digital Interface). Of course I’ve got favorite microphones, outboard gear, and software but the DAW is at the heart of it all.

LA: How has technology advanced since you started?

FD: It is a different animal altogether. When I started we were recording to tape and you had to get the “take” just right. You could manipulate it but it wasn’t easy. Now it's an entirely different ballgame. The tools allow us to do things today we couldn’t even imagine back then. However, the artistic part, the human part, remains the same: delivering a quality performance, knowing how to capture that performance, inspiring the artists, managing the budget and timeline, selecting instrumentation, the arrangements, writing quality lyrics, etc. It's the way that it's captured and the way it can be manipulated that has changed, and some of this stuff is pretty complex with a significant learning curve.

LA: What was your favorite recording that you recorded at the studio?

FD: That would be the song I wrote for my wife. I wrote three. The first two, after they were finished, I realized didn’t capture the person she is and the way I feel about her, so I threw them out. With the third one I got it right. It’s called “A Real Woman”. Here’s the YouTube link to it.

LA: Who is your dream artist that you would love to record at your studio?

FD: Jeff Beck

LA: Lastly, besides owning your own recording studio, making videos and music, what else do you do for fun? What is your favorite Rhode Island restaurant ?

FD: Spending time with family and friends and my dogs. Me and my wife like to hike and do things that make us laugh. My favorite restaurants would have to be Hemenway’s and Pan e Vino.

Coming May 1, the release of his new song, ‘Top of the World’, addresses wealth inequality in the United States. The music video illustrates the stark contrast between the absurd, some might say obscene, excesses of the top one percent and the rest of us. It was written and performed by Frederick and the brilliantly talented Mark Rodrigues, Ronnie Fellela, and Gregory Scott Arruda.

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By L.A. Reilly