Wednesday, December 17, 2014
14. In the Mud
I was so enchanted with recording Ballard on Greater Seattle that I wanted to do a music hall-esque shouter on every album. That tune was, for lack of a better word, magical. We only needed two takes to get it raggedly perfect and I couldn't believe how good it sounded. I had that same intent for this tune. In many ways, it's on the same level as Ballard. This time, however, it's on a real piano; Ballard was on a pianner, or whatever the hell people call piano-y keyboards. And also this time, Ty the pianist kept messing up, so we had to start over. When both parts are live, that's what you have to do. I'm pretty sure it took 15 takes to get it right. And each time I had to hit it as hard as I could. You should have heard me on the first five takes! Thanks to all the flubs, I'm more snarly than shouty, but I'm still happy with the results. Despite all that yelling, I was able to come back the next day and sing So Gangsta, The Bucking Fus, Simple Past and several other tunes with no difficulty. But it's not all me on this track. I was helped out by some additional shouters, among them, my mom, my aunt, my friend Jim and the string quartet who played on So Gangsta. Much fun was had by all.
As for a music hall track on every album, that practice kind of fell by the wayside. The last three albums don't have anything like that. But I'm happy to say that there will be at least two tracks like that on the first of next year's two albums. One may actually verge on being a show tune and the other is closer to a national anthem, but the tradition will be reborn. And I'm sure that it will fall by the wayside again.
Posted by Igor Keller