Thursday, 30 September 2010

The CD - a track by track commentary

Let me Love You Tonight

Written in Feb 2010. The picking bit at the beginning was the start on an acoustic but as soon as I found the chords for the verse I could hear that as a bass intro. I was pushing myself to use chords with suspense in them so a Cmaj7 to start then a Em7Sus4/B ... I think! (It is probably something else!). The lyrics were inspired by something I heard someone say in a meeting once - about when they hit their rock bottom someone said - "Let us love you tonight until you can love yourself". I nearly used that lyric as it was then realised some people could misinterpret it! So the "Until You Feel Alright" line came along and I altered some others so it can be interpreted as a love song - the listeners choice. This was one where I knew I needed to "spice it up" somewhere in and hence the move to the Bm when you're just thinking - has this song only got 3 chords?

That was recorded at Broadwood Studios in Kent after my wife bought me some studio time. The end result is what I wanted. The solo isn't bad - a couple of green ones I wish perhaps I'd nailed there and then but never mind. The solo is in E minor but the chords center on C - some mode, I never can figure them out! My electro and PRS CE 22 are the rhythm guitars, 5 String Ibanez bass of course and the solo is my Gibson Les Paul Custom. A live version is on Reverbnation to compare if you like with the studio performance.

Running in the Shadows.

A good old protest song! Well we have a Tory PM, cuts coming, strikes on the way, a left wing Labour leader... sound familiar? I wrote this as a solo acoustic piece but again in my head could hear it in a band setting. Having learnt from the studio experience I'm pleased with this one. My electro is the acoustic rhythm, my Gordon Smith Graduate 60 I think from my H&K amp gives the other rhythm track. Usual bass. And then the Gordon Smith bridge pickup coil tapped to sound a bit Telecaster is the solo.

Gypsy

Written ages ago. Originally in standard tuning then the Drop D idea came to me allowing it to be all over the 6 strings at the start of the pattern. Then I played it to Gordon Giltrap at a workshop some years back - he suggested the moving octaves with the drone on both D strings... took sometime to work it out though and get it nearly right most of the time :-) Named by someone I met in rehab who called it the Gypsy one... I pray he is safe and well whenever I play it.

I Used To Know Her

Written in 2003 when I was in a band called Tripwire - a covers rock band that failed without playing a gig sadly. I never used it in the band as I didn't think it fitted at all. Dug it out - still have the original scribbled lyrics etc. from when I wrote it - as I needed material to play at the Lib in Nov 2009. It is always dedicated to my wife - it is my love for her exposed to the world. Written with a deliberate David Gray style in mind, he might not think that mind... or you come to that!

Everyday

Another love song... I don't write many :-) Came from noodling on the 12 string, I wanted another 12 string number. A bit like Pink Floyd to my ears but whatever... some of the lyrics came quickly others took ages and it was changing right up until I recorded it - esp the bridge bit which I knew the song needed but couldn't get any lyrics for then the Never... etc. idea hit me.

Golden Moment

A bit John Martyn maybe - that was who I was sort of thinking of anyway. I wanted a finger picked quieter number not a thrash the hell out of it type one! Originally was to be something called Lasagne Lady which was an inspiration from regular commenter Liz but never came together. I put those lyrics to the side and some days later the Golden Moment idea came to me. An inspiration from my AA sponsor. Just my LL11 recorded via a Shure mic - I like the sound I got on that.

Friends Welcome

An old thing I had lying around for ages - Yamaha LL11 with some effects applied.

Waterfall

Written a couple of years back. I had the intro for ages then started to play the same chords in the first position with heavy use of G in the chords wherever I could as that harks to the intro opening string drone... the chorus then fell from that. I always thought the intro/outro sounded like a Waterfall and that lead to the lyrics. Autobiographical obviously this is all about my alcoholism and recovery. At the time written I thought the whole thing was like swimming up a waterfall - which I heard once used to describing trying to get out of a black hole!

Strength of their Hearts

Inspired by people you see with some disability or illness who just get on with life and cope with it. True heroes. Very simple chord pattern etc. The solo was played on my Squier JV 62 strat using a patch on the Boss in stereo - like the sound of that one.

Rise Up

An old 12 string noodle that was the intro of something for ages. So once I had a second gig at RYTD set up I knew I had to turn it into a song. I can't remember what came first the words of the chord pattern for the verse. However there's a musical joke in it actually... Rise Up... the chord pattern is Em, G, Am, C, D (sus2)... rise up... yes it is simply a run up the Em pentatonic scale... ROFL!!! Well it amused me! I doubled with a 6 string - sometimes I like that other times I listen and think I shouldn't have bothered.

I have the 12 string detuned half a tone - the bass line is played on the 5 string Ibanez which is in concert tuning - so the E♭ is on the bottom B string.

Solo Sunday

A real old one - actually a mismatch of two songs of mine from years gone by. The start was a deliberate attempt to write something Steve Howe like and the second bit was a song I wrote in a band when I was 16 so that is 30 something years old now! I keep wondering what the lyrics were then and whether I should drag them out.

Within

Another one that came from a noodle about - I like a pattern of chords where for a lot of it I had the same two notes on the top two strings like a drone - the D Sus4 just sort of draws your attention to it/away from it. The chorus is my great sing-a-long anthem... just need the Wembley booking now :-)

A feel good lyric about how now in recovery the best thing really over all else is that I'm actually getting happy about being me. I'm not at odds with the universe and don't believe it is out to get me. After some thought it was obvious this has to be the title track of the CD - that is a statement about how I feel today.

You Make Me More

I wanted something where I held long notes singing. I thought I was too quick in delivery of lines. It came through a noodle and is with a capo on the acoustic and the electric is the same chords in different voicings on the Strat. Acoustic is the LL11 and the bass the ever present Ibanez five string.

Inspired by something a friend once said to me "Just knowing you has made me a better person". Something I was shocked by as I didn't feel I deserved that accolade. He sadly passed away in a car crash some time later. It is dedicated to him and many others who have made me a better person just because I've known them, whether they know it or not.

My Baby

A jazzy lick I had around for ages, reminding me of My Baby Just Cares For Me by Nina Simone - which was why My Baby was in my head when the lyrics came. A tongue in cheek view of how I think some people treat love with great fickleness... :-)

Guitar is my Gibson Les Paul through a patch on the Br600 - with reflection too distorted possibly. My first success with drum patches on the br600 :-)

Summertime

A Gordon Giltrap inspired piece - just came through a few noodles that I captured and built on. Written in early summer in the UK... hence that why it is such a short piece :-)

5 comments:

  1. I got my cd already, love it! I was playing it and my son wanted to know if it were Michael Stipe. It was the 1st song and you do sound kind of like him.
    proud to be 1st in the USA!!!
    kathy

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  2. Punxxi - thanks so much. You're son is not the first to say Michael Stipe - which is funny as whilst I like REM I wouldn't say a big influence but I do see it with my vocal "style"... "style" who am I kidding!

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  3. I've never tinkered around with a 5 string bass. Is it worth it ?

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  4. well I kinda thought Warren Zevon on a song or two :o)

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  5. @heff - probably not. To be frank I bought it as my son was learning bass when he was about 16 - he was "in a band". There was one track they wanted to do demanded a 5 string so my old Peter Cook wasn't good enough. Someone at work had this black Ibanez going second hand really cheap so I bought it. But I rarely use it for it's capabilities. It is useful when I use drop D or the 12 string in Eflat as I don't have to faff with retuning but frankly is it worth it... probably not.

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