I was lucky enough to win the chance to record with a six piece band at the fabulous Beaird Music Group in Nashville. At the very least this should be a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, I just can't decide which song to record.
I made a playlist of songs that I think might be good candidates for the Nashville treatment. If you feel like helping me out, take a listen at the link below. You don’t have to listen to all (or any) of them all the way through.
Let me know your selection in the comments at the website or here.
I may or may not be an enigma
I will end up making the final choice, Tony. I enlisted the help of my local NSAI chapter and they have been remarkably consistent in narrowing it down to these three.
All I Want For Christmas (Is Your Fat Ass To Be Gone)
I Never Took Your Number Off My Phone
Happy Ending Blues
Other picks have included "I Don't Drive No Pick-Up" "Northern Summer," "Diamonds and Dragons" and "Wild and Windy Shore," but they are some way behind those three.
I may or may not be an enigma
Hey Gavin, congtatulations on working with Larry. His group is a first class operation. Here are a few things to think about in your deicsion making:
#1. What is the purpose for these songs?
If it is for your personal gratification, legacy writing, showing family and friends, etc. that is absolutely fine.
If you are trying to do something with the thought of pitching or even attracting possible co-writers, connections, publishers, etc. you might have to look deeper. You also have to think of the possible applications you might have overall.
This might be your only chance to get some quality recordings, and you don't want to waste it. What I mean by that is professional recordings are pretty pricey, especially with the Beard group. Those guys usually get between $800- $1500 a song. So you should think about where you might apply them.
#2. TARGET AUDIENCE.
Where would these songs be placed in a genre or playlist?
Country, blues, rock, pop, americana? If you are going to do something, particularly with the desire to get it OFF YOUR COMPUTER OR OUT OF YOUR LIVING ROOM, think in terms of what audience you would be going for.
My Suggestion would be:
1 Humerous or out of left field song. This is more of an eye catcher and something to open people's eyes to what you do. The Christmas song might fit into this category and since Christmas comes around every year, maybe not a bad idea to have one.
3 More "Commercial" song. These are songs that fit a certain format. To find out what is going on in those formats, you might spend a little time listening to some radio in different genres or googleing the current playlists or you tube certain artists, to see what is going on these days. But don't get TOO CLOSE, because whatever you might be hearing now was written some time ago and the trends may change before yours could even get considered. You are doing it to get a feel for subject matter, singers voices, styles, personalities.
One of these or your other song, might be for a female. There are as many female artists out there as male artists as Taylor Swift has done more for every young girl wanting to get into this than anyone. Of course, like most artists, they rarely listen to anyone they don't have to, but it never hurts to have something that is radio ready that someone could plug themselves into. ALWAYS ASK FOR A TRACK (NO VOCALS) mix. Never know when yo might get an opportunity for someone to put their own vocals on a song, or get a possible film and television pitch. Those are mostly music only.
One LEGACY song. What is your most important song? The one you would like to leave behind for people to know who you were?
Do you have a "theme song" that sums you up? A "message or issue song" that you might want to leave the world. If this was it for your recording career, what do you want to have for people that will always say "I see what he was doing."
That is the way I would look at it. Never waste and opportunity and try to think a little out side the box of your comfort zone. Look at your music in as many ways as possible.
All good advice, MAB, and along the lines that I was thinking. "All I Want For Christmas..." might not be my favorite song musically, but it maybe ticks more of the boxes than any of the others.
1. Very distinctive. There's nothing else like it, I don't think.
2. The band included in the package is drums, bass, piano, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and slide guitar. To make use of the slide guitar, it kind of has to be country.
3. I can sing it. The chances are that I'll end up singing it myself. That points me in the direction of a story/humor song, where the character of the voice matters more than technical singing ability (of which I have next to none).
4. The Christmas thing. It gives people a reason to listen to it once a year, put it on Christmas playlists, etc.
What you say about legacy songs is important too, but the songs I consider to be my best and that mean the most to me require sparser instrumentation, really just a piano and guitar. The rest of the band would be wasted. These could be recorded less expensively if I ever decided to.
I was slightly surprised that nobody either here or elsewhere mentioned the other song that I thought might be a candidate, "Hello, Old Friend," with the exception of Jenny, who picked it in a comment at my website. Of course, she also picked "All I Want For Christmas..." 🙂
Thanks for your advice. I intend to be there for the session, whenever it is scheduled. Maybe meet for a beer?
I may or may not be an enigma
Hey Gavin, I'd love to get together with you. If you are working with Larry, you will probably be finished pretty quickly. The first shock to most people doing sessions here are how fast and accurate the players and studios are. They just listen to a little of your song and then kick it off and they NAIL IT! I wish everyone could experience that.
I am usually performing around town so make sure you contact me either email or private text, I'll send you my info. Be glad to meet you face to face and if you want to get anything else accomplished while you are here, let me know.