The fine art of singing background vocals is a rarely noted craft. Had a session last night with the legendary Tommy Lepson and Dusty Rose and it was something of a lesson in this arcane art. Listening to them find the EXACT phrasing in the lead vocal track, and then discussing whether to match it or straighten out the rhythm in order to more fully feature the lead was intensely interesting. I can sing and I have had to put down bg vox on Chaise Lounge recordings. I struggle with this. I struggle with matching pitches, phrasings and vibratos. It was nice to have some old-school guys in the studio who come by those skills via years of singing and a high degree of natural talent.
Dear Mr. Charlie Barnett,
Thank you for coming! I had a great time. I loved plying my guitar for you. I want to do what you do when I grow up. Don’t worry, I have an electric metronome. I drew a guitar for you (on original letter).
OMG they were all so perfectly wonderful. If it didn’t seem incredibly exhausting, I would want to be a fourth grade teacher. I wish I could include the picture here. You will have to use your imagination… he certainly did.
Yesterday I had a Skype session with the Clemson University orchestra, courtesy of Dr. Andrew Levin. They are playing “The Blue Chevrolet”
What totally surprising questions! One question that a cellist asked: “What are your thoughts on translating memory into music?” He was not referring to songwriting or anything with lyrical content, He was talking about the completely abstract orchestral piece that they are playing. A far more difficult question. Yes, “The Blue Chevrolet” is unabashedly autobiographical. But I have never been so confronted by the clear evidence of this process, and my nearly complete lack of understanding of how I do this. There is probably a very good doctoral thesis in just that one question. Maybe abstract painters have a better handle on this? I wish I could have come up with a slick answer to this. As it is, I will be thinking about this for the next three years. I will get back to you on this.
I wish I could be there to hear the performance. Good luck to the orchestra and thank you again to Maestro Levin for playing this.
I listened to the entire Back to Black CD yesterday. It really hit me all over again that we lost an amazing, singular voice in Amy Winehouse. But whoa! what a totally weird production on that record. And an incredibly strange mix. I realize that the in choosing to work with the Dap Kings and going for a vintage “Dusty in Memphis” sound she was making a bold retro statement. I guess what made me sad was the obvious fact that we will never get to hear her really get to the bottom of the sound she was looking for. The next CD would have been spectacular. RIP Amy.