Mike Madden, John Carson, Rosa and I have been trying to learn the batch of songs I call RED BEETS & HORSERADISH. We've rehearsed in-person five times and via Zoom meetings once or twice a week. We made a commitment to each other to spend an hour a day practicing the songs on our own. I can't speak for the other guys, but I've missed a day or two but made up for it by playing twice as long on other days.

It looks like we'll be committing this stuff to tape (imaginary tape, zeroes and ones in digital reality) on March 30 and March 31. I'm still not sure how to proceed. I've been playing some of these songs acoustically for over a decade and still can't get from start to finish without flubbing and stumbling. 

Given the likelihood of our making a multitude of errors, I'm thinking we'll have to play as an ensemble while we record the drums then go back and record each instrument, one section at a time. It'll take time and cost money, but it will hopefully be worth it. Worth it or not, we're going to do it.

I've been listening to a lot of music for reference. How do we want the acoustic guitars to sound? The drums? The bass? I keep wavering. I'm leaning toward the BEGGARS BANQUET and LET IT BLEED by The Rolling Stones sounds. I read that Keith Richards maintains that JUMPIN' JACK FLASH has only acoustic guitars. I read that STREET FIGHTING MAN uses an acoustic guitar recorded with a slightly overdriven microphone on a portable cassette-recorder. Then, of course, there's that bass-heavy sound of Marc Bolan on ELECTRIC WARRIOR by T. Rex.  

When I lay down the parts I imagined for violin (if only Chuckie were alive to play the parts), I'm going to try to get the sound Mick Ralphs had on ALL THE YOUNG DUDES on the Mott the Hoople album of the same name, Mick Ronson on Ian Hunter's CENTRAL PARK WEST, and my own sound on UNDESIRABLES & ANARCHISTS. 

My landlady lives below me, and I can't even rehearse with my amp at full-volume. How am I going to be prepared for recording if I haven't tweaked my amp and guitar settings?  All the more reason to rely on the Martin D-35. 

If things go as planned, we'll be cutting WINTER'S GRACE based on the poem by Annette Dietz, RISE by Jack Erdie and augmented by lyrics from SWANAGE in the Christian Science Hymnal, and OLD HUNDREDTH aka The Doxology, with lyrics copped from various traditional hymns. 

Who knows how things will take shape? The project will be done when it is done or when I run out of money.

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