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Posts Tagged ‘new song’

I’ve spent many years writing about Christian ideals. They’re the roots to my entire life. However, I’ve also had a strong sense of political justice and the increasing polarization of the parties and the divisive rhetoric that the politicians have been spewing has started to bother me; enough that I wanted to write a song about it.

To be clear and transparent, I’m a registered Republican – have been since I registered to vote 38 years ago – and have a conservative stance in that I believe in small government and personal freedoms. I believe that no one should get a free ride. But I’m much more centrist than many who have gone towards the far right. I believe in assisting those who are less fortunate by helping them help themselves (not to be confused with giving out handouts). I believe that in a true free market, EVERYONE should have the opportunity for financial success and not be enslaved by a select few whose greed prevents others to succeed. I believe that regulations should exist to prevent those few from abusing and gaming the system. I’m also willing to speak to the “other side” to come to a middle ground; not Boehner’s idea of a middle ground which really means that the Republicans win; but where there is discussion and agreement and a recognition that even though values differ, we’re all patriots.

You see, I love my country, and I’m sick of how both the left and right have divided our country. The hardliners on both sides speak in words that cause fear and anger. Haven’t they learned from the past? Hardline left = communism; hardline right = fascism. What’s next? Villify and imprison those that don’t agree? We’ve seen that already, and look at what it got us: Stalin, Mao,  and Hitler. We need to come together as a country – and fast!

Here’s the song:

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New Song: You Raise Me Up

Funny how you hear a riff that triggers your creativity. I was watching a video last week at church, and there was this really cool acoustic riff that was played underneath that inspired me. There was something about the chord pattern I really dug: 6-5-1 with a minor root. So I started playing around with that pattern, and came up with this song called, “You Raise Me Up.”

This is a song about being called by God, something like how God called on Daniel and Ezekiel in the old testament, and how they couldn’t believe that He’d call on them because they didn’t feel they were anything special. But because they had such a deep love and trust, they just let go.

Here it is:

I played all the instruments except for the drum loop. For the electric guitar, I used my trusty Les Paul ’58 Reissue through my Aracom VRX18 running into my Aracom PRX150-Pro attenuator. No EQ on the guitar – it was recorded raw, then I added a bit of reverb in the mix.

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No, it’s not a Beatles cover… 🙂 This is a song about getting over ourselves and listening to God’s voice and feeling His presence in our lives; putting ourselves together with His help.

I got a little inspirational kick while I was recording with my little VHT Special 6 which I used for the electric guitar parts. I had it totally cranked up, ran it through my Aracom PRX150-Pro and out to my 1 X 12 that has a Jensen Jet Falcon in it. Man! That amp sounds A LOT bigger than it’s diminutive 6 Watts. For the left channel guitar, I used my Strat in the bridge position, then used the neck position for the right channel to get a ballsier sound.

Anyway, here’s the song:

[audio https://guitargear.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/come-together.mp3]

 

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I wrote this song several years ago as a fun, foot-stompin’, rockin’ blues crowd-pleaser to close out church services, and like my previous song, The Way The Truth The Life, finally got around to recording it – actually I attempted to record it a lot over the years, but just couldn’t get a good vibe with it. Most of it had to do with how I was singing it, which was kind of straight up. But last year, I decided to have some fun with it, and do kind of an “Elvis” voice, and that’s when it changed the whole song and got me over the hump. 🙂 Here’s the song:

I just used my Fender American Deluxe Strat in this one for all guitar parts, and ran it through my Roland Cube 30 set to “Classic British Stack” so I could get that mid-rangy Marshall tone. I cheated a little with the lead and added a software overdrive plug-in to give the lead even more bite and sustain. Ahhh! The wonders of software! 🙂

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I’ve written about this with respect to gear before, but that also applies to lots of things in life. For instance, I just put the finishing touches on a new contemporary christian song demo this morning. I was thinking about adding all sorts of percussion, another guitar, perhaps some keys. But in the end, all I did was replace my original click track, and added another guitar. I just found that the simple, straight-forward sound just worked better. Here’s the finished demo:

After I finished the production, I thought to myself that this arrangement can stand on its own. Besides, it’s what I’d have available at Mass, as I’m the only keyboard player and also the lead guitarist – but I default to guitar. 🙂 In any case, we played this song at Mass yesterday, and I was very pleased to see people nodding to the song. We put it in a place in the service where singing is typically optional, though encouraged, and it was great to see people singing a song they never heard before!

But back to the original topic, to me, sometimes the most beautiful things are really simple; no frills, no bling, nothing extra.

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My older sons have gotten a lot into Reggae over the past couple of years, and it has sort of rubbed off on me. So while I was jammin’ to a song in the car a few days ago, I got an idea for a praise and worship song with a Reggae theme. Here’s the initial sketch of the song (I have to add the rest of instrumentation, but here it is with just a three-piece combo arrangement):

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Never Trade is about a working mother whose life is busy and chaotic, and she just wants to get away, but her devotion to her family overrides her sense of breaking free; thus, as I say in the song: She’ll never trade in her life…

It’s also the first song that I’ve written and recorded in a LONG, LONG time, and this time, I finally figured out how to properly master in Logic Express. Really satisfied with this recording. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t use any electric guitars in this. I wanted to kind of leave Alt-Poppish. Give it a listen let me know what you think.

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