My "60 hours in Scotlandville, before returning
|Their Songs would be played in Scotlandville, one day...|
to New Orleans," has been semi-productive.''
I realized how tired I was Tuesday evening, when I needed to catch up on some sleep. I had been up until at least 2 a.m., each of the three nights in New Orleans, and had been distracted by Sue's presence the first night, and then woken up by her the third morning, pretty early "Aren't you going to get up early and do some things? Come on, rise and shine!"
Wednesday (yesterday) was to be "studio" day, when I was determined to record all day, which I did; forgetting to eat, actually (having to build a fire first is a deterrent)
My first project was a failure. I thought that I had the right drumbeat, but, as I started to do the song, the beat just wasn't right. I tried to modify my rhythm to fit the drums, but that made it a song that I never intended to write; or to scrap, which I eventually did. Lesson learned at a cost of only about 5 hours on Wednesday afternoon.
Then, in the evening, I decided that I wanted to make a sidebar on this blog of my "20 best busking songs" and try to represent them there.
So, I did one of them in the evening; woke up in the morning and scrapped the vocals and most of the "wah-wah" effected guitar -as that isn't representative of how I sound sitting on Bourbon Street- and redid the vocals after dropping the song one whole step in pitch.Ocinero Gets Its Debut
I added the ocinera, an instrument that Alex in California sent me a long time ago, now, as a survival tool.
If my guitar was ever stolen, I could (yes, actually) go out on Bourbon Street and play my guts out on the ocinera and, I wouldn't starve... Some people might think that my music is "case in point" that you can do just about anything and make money on that fabled street.But, here is my song, The Ballad of Richard Corey, which was a Simon and Garfunkel song originally, but I first heard it played by a local guy in Fitchburg, Massachusetts when I was an impressionable teenager, and I do the song more like that guy, whose name is Eric (and I can't spell his last name) than I do Simon and Garfunkel.
When I eventually heard the S. and G. version, I had to smile at how much Eric had made it his own.
Well, now it's both of ours, as I give you:The Ballad Of Richard Corey (click here)
- Acoustic rhythm guitar (the part I would play on the street)
- Second acoustic guitar, "doubling" the first (as this is a luxury of a muti-tracking studio
- Ocinero (I don't play "my guts out" on it, because I have lost some of my confidence, lately)
As close as I could get to what I probably sounded like, playing that same song for the guy who asked me if I knew any Simon and Garfunkel -just as well that he wasn't familiar with the song, as it is more Eric, the guy from Massachusetts* than any Simon or any Garfunkel...
I eschewed the bass guitar part (played on the acoustic and then dropped an octave, using the "pitch change" function on Audacity) because this song would require a really tasty bass part, like on a Steely Dan recording, that would take me another week to compose.
I also skipped the 5-gallon-bucket-hit-with-a-stick, though, just barely.
It was sounding really good; the bucket; but recording it was a problem...the level meters don't respnd fast enough to tell you that your bucket is too loud and is clipping the input. By the time the meter is ready to give you a bunch of red warning lights, the bucket hit has passed, and the meter has missed it.
Maybe it's a blessing (for listeners) in disguise that I wasn't able to capture the bucket at 3 in the morning by the boarded up building; but I was gettin' on it!
The Guy Who Blew Off John Lennon
*Eric Ellijoquist (sp?) is someone who was a local singer/songwriting "great" in Fitchburg, Mass. when I was just taking up the guitar as a teenager.
His voice is a cross between Van Morrison and Paul McCartney.
He was in New York in the mid 70's and John Lennon walked into the club where he was playing.
After listening a while, John invited Eric to his studio, where he was recording "Rock And Roll Music" (or a similar title).
Eric decided NOT to go to the studio....becoming "the guy who blew off John Lennon."
Eric was paranoid and thought (and probably still thinks that) the C.I.A killed Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and...lo and behold, about 6 years later...John Lennon, because of the "messages" in their music.
He didn't want to become involved with John because he had an intuition that the guy was going to be assassinated because of his politics.That's the guy whose version of The Ballad of Richard Corey I am doing above. It's a song that won't draw any heat from the feds, I'm assuming, since it is Eric-approved.