Back in high school, the band teacher told a story about a woman singing so beautifully that a microphone caught on fire. “Her singing was that good!!!”, he exclaimed. Well, I always assumed that was a metaphor. It had to be, right? Microphones don’t just catch on fire for good singing.
At least, that’s what I thought up until two weeks ago. Miriam Chicurel-Bayard (of Mary Johnson Rockers and the Spark) came over to record a vocal track for my new song and, from the moment I pressed record, I thought my microphone was going to catch on fire. Her singing was that good!!! The harmonies and contrasting rhythms she had come up with were blowing my mind. The entire part mesmerized me. When it was over, I tried to play it cool. “That sounded nice…”, I said, immediately qualifying myself for the annual “understatement of the year” award.
A few days later I was at Warrior Sound recording Robert Cantrell’s drum parts. Like Miriam, Robert had clearly done his homework. He knew exactly what to play and the drums fit the song like a glove. As always, Al, the chief engineer at Warrior, had dialed in the perfect sound, putting just the right microphones in front of each piece of Robert’s drum kit. The kick drum was pumping and the cymbals were creating a glorious wash. Then, just when I didn’t think it could get any better, Robert played a drum roll on the snare that, for the second time in a week, made me think one of Al’s priceless microphones had surely caught on fire. It sounded that good!!! (you can spot this drum roll at the end of the last chorus).
Folks! I hope you enjoyed my first song for 2016. As you might have guessed, I wrote it on a night when I couldn’t sleep; I have voice memos recorded at 4am to prove it. Writing a song in the middle of the night can have a strong impact on how it sounds in the end. Even though I had the door closed, I didn’t want to wake anyone else up, so I sang as low and softly as I could. This vocal style, “low and soft”, was then carried all the way through to the final version. This song also features a tenor guitar that I received as a gift last month. Tenor guitars are tuned like cellos, making them the perfect “guitar” like instrument for me to play. They are a little smaller than normal guitars, and a little bigger than ukuleles, but they can make huge sounds, as you hear in this song.
I hope everyone has a great February! If you’d like to sing or play along with this song, here’s the song sheet.
Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for Saturday, March 5th! The Starmakers will play an album release show at Mystery Brewing in Hillsborough starting at 8pm. Come on out to help celebrate!