I’ve been back to recording, and recently finished a new, political song called “Drowned in a Sea of Words.” The song started out as a straight-ahead reggae tune, but there was a huge part of me that wanted to maintain my hard rock roots, so I added a distorted guitar to the last third of the song. At first, I used my Strat into my EWS Little Brute Drive, then into my trusty VHT Special 6. But after really listening to the distorted guitar the past few days, I didn’t really like the tone. So tonight I re-recorded it using the same pedal/amp setup, but switched out the guitar with my R8 Les Paul. That got me closer, but I still didn’t like the tone, which felt a little muffled. So I ran the Special 6 into a 1 X 12 with a Fane Medusa 150. That got me closer, but I still didn’t like the tone. So I switched amps altogether, and used my venerable Aracom VRX22, which is a Blues Breaker Plexi-style amp with 6V6′s instead of EL84′s.
I strummed one chord, and that was it. I knew it was magic. There is something about that vintage Marshall sound that just speaks “rock and roll” to me, so re-recorded the track with that setup. The difference was like night and day! Here’s the new recording:
If you heard the original version of the song, most of it is pretty much the same. But I did change up some of the words after I had a fellow artist critique the lyrics. But the point to all this is that the right gear certainly makes all the difference in the world, and taking the time to explore and also being willing to make changes can make or break a song. For me, this is a finished demo!