Sunday, March 18, 2012

You are my sunshine and other sad songs.

If I had a time machine.
You are my sunshine and other sad songs

If you have been reading my blog you will now know my great admiration for the dusty cowboy singers of the past and their melancholy lilt. Ive always noticed how often even the most upbeat cowboy songs are never far from their antithesis and  melancholy twin, sadness.

This tune - You are my sunshine, is credited to former state Louisiana governor and country singer Jimmie Davis and was recorded originally in 1939.

As a camp counselor and as a little kid in the early 70's the left over folk music cannon from the early 60's was filled with campfire songs and many of the tunes like this one could be heard at the nightly singalongs we had each night around the campfire.

Though I love the the campy harmonies of my childhood with songs like this the aspiring young poet and contrarian  in me was determined to show the songs serious side and and gladly killed its happy soul with my sword of angst.

I always thought this song was performed way to fast and was way too happy for my liking and this was my chance to make the universe right. Oh the arrogance of youth.

AKA Glen Marshall,
Suggested Listening : Free Download - YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Drop it like its hot.

Drop it like its hot.

Ive always wanted to use one of these warning labels on one of my releases, but until now, I didn't have a song that  needed one. 

This song has caused me to re-examine the opinion of myself as a free thinking sexual libertine, or maybe to be more accurate, describing myself as someone who is not too hung up on matters regarding sex.

In an age where the back pages of almost any hip weekly rag features the likes of sexual stunt writers like Dan Savage  for all the world to see and  offer explicit goods and services of every shape and kind, I have been amazed by my  own prudish squeamishness and downright aversion to publicly sharing this song with you.

I have set my facebook privacy to block my moms account and I trust you my friends, to help me through this troubling moment in the continuing saga of The lost tapes of Lonesome.

AKA Glen Marshall

Suggested Listening : Free Download - Swim Down

A prude (meaning) is a person who is described as (or would describe themselves as) being concerned with decorum or propriety, significantly in excess of normal prevailing community standards.

Personnel Notes
This music on this track was performed and arranged by Jason Frederick who I became acquainted with through  Hamilton, Canada's amazing music scene.  I produced some demo's for Jason's rock band The Walk for Universal records. Although those recordings may have gotten the band dropped from the label, I forged a great friendship with Jason and used his great talent on many recordings back in the early days of Catherine North Studio during this era.

After his group disbanded, Jason asked me to record a demo for his acceptance into the University of Southern California where he hoped to study with the legendary film composer, Elmer Bernstein.  Jason was excepted and has gone on to an illustrious career composing film television scores in dozens of major Hollywood releases.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Woman, Woman Divine.

Woman, Woman Devine

My ode to women.  

Since its valentines day I thought this would be a good choice.

Woman, Woman Divine was recorded In my original house studio on Catherine Street North with Steve Sinnicks on a 2 inch tape box with brushes. No one can "stir the soup" like Steve. Steve recalls that we didn’t have a formal session booked that day and that he and I layed the track down with a bass player after another recording session we had finished.  If anyone can remember playing the bass part let me know so can properly credit your wonderful work. I just love it.

The orignal Catherine North Recording Studio.

I do remember the track  was recorded into a single Neumann U47 "in omni" (which means the microphone pics up the sound in 360 degree pattern) with the speakers on and the slapback delay bouncing around the room. Setting up a recording like that is always fun and when it works it is magic.

AKA Glen Marshall,
Original Recording circa 1992.
Suggested Listening : Free Download - Woman, Woman Divine.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Momma dont let your babies grow up to be poets.

 Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be poets.

In the heavens, the great romantic poets and the great country and western singers definitely drink at the same bar. The thread between the romantic poets and the great country singers is a connection of the common and the ethereal. The Lyra of the country singer is the pedal steel and the natural, emotional, and personal artistic themes of the romantic poets blend with sad tales of love lost, whiskey, and absinthe.

I have always loved the poetry of Hank Williams as much as that of William Blake, Keats, and Shelly. When I wrote these songs I was hoping  to channel the romantic poets alongside my dusty nostalgia for lonesome cowboys and the spacey and ambient background music I had heard during my early days working at Grant Avenue Studio. At that time Brian Eno and Dan Lanois were inventing ambient music and the vapor wafted through the studio was like magic.

I couldn’t help being seduced by that sound and years later including it on some of my tracks as a minor player along side the more or less one mic recording technique that was remade famous by the seminal 1988 Trinity Sessions Recordings of Peter Moore and The Cowboy Junkies.

Pedal steel player extraordinaire, Kim Deschamps, who had played with the Junkies back in 88 and was now with playing with Blue Rodeo. Kim agreed to fit me in between his busy touring schedule. Though I ended up forsaking the single microphone aspect I had hoped to employ on this track, I was glad to have Kim’s haunting vibes melting the walls along with the solid drums and bass of my old band mate Bill Majoros. At that time Billy had a great buzz going with his group Flux. But that, is another story.

AKA Glen Marshall,

Suggested Listening : Free Download - Don't weep now

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Story.

The Story. 
     Self portrait circa 1987 or is that 57.

After a good 10 year run of performing and touring with my band during the last moments of the 80's something unusual happened to me. I’m not sure what caused it but I began to experience what I can only describe as a bad case of stage fright. Most performers feel “that thing” before they go on stage and for most it is the gas that fuels the performance - but for me it became unmanageable.  I left performing live and retreated to the controlled and safe world of the recording studio.  

In my studio I built a real recording palace, where musicians could be kings or queens, sometimes they were both. During the next decade I worked in my studios with some of the most talented people on the planet and learned so much about music, creativity, and myself.

In between recording sessions, after and before, I worked in earnest on my own tunes, but mostly I poured myself into the many projects that were before me.

I was one of the last producers at my studio to exclusively use the analog tape machine for my work, maybe to the point of novelty.  And though I loved that analog sound, the economics of running a recording studio dictated and the romance of those big 2 inch tape reels and my beloved MCI tape recorder had had it’s day. I finally gave in transferred most of my 2 inch analog master tapes tracks to digital and carried on.

In that shift from analog to digital somehow my own work vanished. Maybe my tracks are still there somewhere in the hundreds of reels and hard drives but I’ll be dammed if I could find them. The masters of my finished tunes had vanished, they were gone.

Thankfully I had shared the songs with friends over the the years on mixed tapes and random CD’s. By collecting and selecting the best rough mixes and early versions along with some of the final mixes I have been able to put together a snapshot of the work that I am proud of.  

I will be releasing a free download of the album one tune at a time, with a few  recollections about the recording sessions and  some of the amazing people and stories that surround them.

I’ve had many good friends and supporters gently pushing me to release these songs and I thank them for that. Mostly, I’m glad someone wants to hear them and I’m glad they are still around to be heard.

AKA Glen Marshall,
Suggested Listening : Free Download -  Creeping Spiders