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I know my doggie when I hear him bark. I can tell my rider if I feel her in the dark - Charley Patton, Banty Rooster Blues

Author Topic: Looking for a word to use in a lyric  (Read 4289 times)

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Duke

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Re: Looking for a word to use in a lyric
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2005, 02:10:36 AM »
Paul, I appreciate your comments.? I'm trying to tell this story purely with images rather than a literal narrative.? My goal is something like a lot of Neil Young's good acoustic songs - vague images that somehow tie together and eat at you, even if you're not sure why.? The switching back and forth from past to present tense was intentional on my part.? I just see this as a story that weaves various threads from this guy's life, the thoughts that might race through your mind when you suddenly found yourself poisoned, knowing your going to die - where your past, present, and future are suddenly all brought together.? And I think a lot of the phrases are coming from my Mom, who grew up in the coal-mining region of East Virginia (about 20 miles from Ralph Stanley).? It does "read" on the wordy side, but there is a cadence that I hear and every word has a place (at least I hope).? And I respectfully disagree about a moaning cat.? I grew up with a female Siamese cat and I heard some of the most frightening, otherworldly sounds come out of that cat when she was in heat - moaning was an apt description, believe me!?

About the time I started this, John posted that topic on the home page about pre-blues - and I guess maybe that is what this song is, more than a traditional blues.

So tonight I tried to get something down on audio, and it dawned on me how far I've got to go before I'll ever be able to play and sing this at the same time, all the way through.? But I recorded the first couple of verses and the basic guitar figure I want to use.? The verses are slower than I want, the tempo is probably more like the little guitar thing at the end.? Hopefully the basic idea of the song comes through.  I think it ultimately would need some nice slide Duolian added in here and there.  First things first, though.  Gotta actually get a complete version recorded...  I'll check back in at Christmas and give you a progress report!

PS Thanks for the kind words, Slim.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2005, 02:33:22 AM by Duke »

Offline a2tom

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  • stickman's got 'em
Re: Looking for a word to use in a lyric
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2005, 05:21:04 AM »
heh, now that's what I'm talking about - the song means something to me now!  Sounds great.  You sing it more ballad like here, to be sure.  I can't hear it going TOO much faster (4 minutes... maybe, drum solo or not  ;)).  At least if it did, it would take a very different feel and sung style, more like an up tempo John Henry feel or something - oh I see that's what you said!  I'll be interested in hearing it again as you smooth out and tempo up the guitar.

I'd be interested to know, if technically, music theory wise, this would qualify as a "pre-blues".  While I understood John M's post logically on that, I must say I haven't wrapped my brain around it aurally yet.

BTW, I'm totally with you on the trying to create "imagery" - that's what good song lyrics do (and why I think they need to be sung to have their real force).  I'm always looking for words and phrases that are, for lack of a better word, "evocative", of more than just their literal linear meaning.

tom

lebordo

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Re: Looking for a word to use in a lyric
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2005, 10:36:27 AM »
Hi, Duke.

Sounds much more harmonious when sung.  The two verses you sang have no hint of the wordiness I found in the words alone.

As to whether it is pre-blues or not, it's not what I think of as pre-blues.  But I'm no expert on pre-blues -- only what the term evokes in my thoughts.  From my musical experience, I'd classify it as a classic Appalachian style ballad -- much in the style of "Long Black Veil" -- a very moving song, and one of my personal favorites.  A song that could be sung in many different styles, from pure bluegrass to hillbilly to old English to folk to bluesy.  Or even Bob Dylanish -- in the style of The Ballad Of Hollis Brown, though certainly with a different cadence.

Anyway, I'm glad you posted the .mp3 -- it makes it much easier for me to see what you are trying to accomplish.

Duke

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Re: Looking for a word to use in a lyric
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2005, 12:20:06 AM »
Well, I spent a lot of time thinking about the Appalachian ballad thing, and I think it works very well with the lyrics.  But I really wanted to try to put it into a blues context musically.  So I let the recorder run and noodled around on a traditional uptempo blues thing in E, sort of mumbling the lyrics just trying to hear something I could use.  There's enough to hear the basic outline of a song.  It is quite different from the mountainey version, but I think it might work just as well.  The comments have been very helpful, thanks everyone
Dan

the guitar used is a 1934 Gibson L-00, with bronze phosphor strings.

Offline a2tom

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Re: Looking for a word to use in a lyric
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2005, 05:53:37 AM »
sort of mumbling the lyrics just trying to hear something I could use

Dan - I must admit that you are mumbling enough (I totally get why) that I am having a hard time hearing how your words complete out the song.  I get the first line or two of a verse, but then I can't actually tell what you're doing next - repeating phrases?  The guitar is a real steady vamping along in E, which you are obviously quite comfortable with (have you played rhythm guitar in band or something ever? - just curious since you "have it").    At the same time, the guitar so far is basically generic - a few twiddles on the treble heading back to the E and as you get playing along, but I can't tell yet how they define the tune.  So all said and done I get more "identity" from the ballady version at this point.  That's not to say not to keep working on the bluesified thing.  I really appreciate hearing posts along the learning and creating process - someday maybe I'll get the guts to do that.

the guitar used is a 1934 Gibson L-00, with bronze phosphor strings.

cool - I may have to have you up to A2 for a mini Weenie camp...if you bring the Gibson...  I'll send you an email at some point coming up.  (no, not just beccause you have L-00  :P)

tom

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