Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

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The Cracks
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Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

Post by The Cracks » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:27 pm

I had to overcome a few things in order to complete this one. The major thing is a major case of writer's block. I have probably four or five songs that just need lyrics written for them but whenever I try my mind turns to concrete.

Anyway, this one is done. It started out as a two hour song challenge song but I recently redid the third stanza and added a new drum track that contains more flourishes, so I don't know how long it took in the end. The main vocals (minus third stanza) and piano were done in one take.

I started this out in Band-in-the-Box. I found a slightly jazzy style and used the drums and bass tracks only. I didn't program a chord progression but just indicated what key it should be in (G) and it just looped around and around. I played piano to it and this is how it turned out. I thought about adding more instruments but decided it worked best with just a plain three piece jazz combo type sound. As I stated above, I replaced the more simple drum track with one that contains more rolls, etc., to give the song a little more movement.

I recorded the piano directly into Mixcraft 5 via my Cl1 interface. I recorded the vocals through my SP1 mic via Cl1, into Mixcraft5. I used BnB wav tracks. I mixed it all in Mixcraft 5.

The lyrics tell a story of a Maryland guy who is in New York City. He's from the old days (pre-Civil War) when Maryland had more of a Southern culture than it does today and when tobacco was king. The Mason-Dixon Line was drawn to settle a dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania. Had Maryland had her way half of Philadelphia would be in Maryland now. The Mason-Dixon Line became associated with the free states (no slavery) and the slave states and the North and South during the Civil War, although Maryland stayed with the Union. Leonardtown is a real place in Maryland. (Edit) The line about "chicken legs and lines and crabs to eat" is about how people in Maryland catch crabs by tying chicken legs to strings (lines) and casting them off bridges or piers and they can catch plenty of crabs that way.

Thanks for any comments and listens.

Here is:

Mason-Dixon Line
Last edited by The Cracks on Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

Post by surfercook » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:35 pm

What a beautiful song. Brings a tear to my eye. Very soulful. Cool back story to it. Nicely thought up and great song writing. Such a nice light melody. :music: I love the humming on the fade out. I'm afraid to do a vocal track! :?
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Re: Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

Post by The Cracks » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:08 am

surfercook wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:35 pm
What a beautiful song. Brings a tear to my eye. Very soulful. Such a nice light melody.
Thank you so much Marc!

I don't know if you caught it before I changed the lyrics on the last stanza. I realized that my last song had a line about a Sally Mea. So I rewrote the last stanza to give it a more Huck Finn type feel. The line about "chicken legs and lines and crabs to eat" is about how people in Maryland catch crabs by tying chicken legs to strings (lines) and casting them off bridges or piers and they can catch plenty of crabs that way.

And, yes, I must say the light melody is what made this a keeper. I almost added some more active drums but I was afraid I'd loose that easy feel so I just called this one done.

Again, thank you.
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Re: Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

Post by dickl » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:05 pm

I think you're turning into Tom Waits.

You have way with a melody and lyrics which is so effective.

There also seems to be an air of nostalgia and looking back that is coming through now.

Loved the simplicity and power.

Excellent work Sean :-)

Cheers

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Re: Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

Post by The Cracks » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:59 pm

Dick, thank you very much. I am playing piano more as my primary instrument for writing. I can find the melody much better than on guitar. I think it's because of the ability to play individual notes instead of just chords, although I play chords on piano too.

I added a few drum flourishes to give the song a bit more movement. And I hated that I only said "you" instead" of "you're" on many lines in the chorus, so I corrected that too.

Thanks again Dick. I appreciate it.
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Re: Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

Post by Lungfruit » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:08 pm

Sean,
I agree with the Tom Wait's vibe. You got that down. It's a nice piece and your vocals are the stand out! It's mixed nice and it all sounds so good. Glenn
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Re: Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

Post by greenA2 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:12 am

Nice writing and brilliant execution. I like the sparse sound, sometimes with your stuff it's too obvious you use a cheap keyboard but this is not the case here at all.
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Re: Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

Post by The Cracks » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:28 am

Lungfruit - thank you very much for listen and comments. I appreciate it.

greenA2 - "cheap keyboard" As I recall it was like $450.00 - on sale! :noway: I'm just kidding. I know for a real sounding one a person could spend thousands. Thanks for listen and comments. I appreciate it.
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"No matter how hard I tried [no song] was ever perfect. There was always a pimple somewhere.” Burt Bacharach

"If you're enjoying it, why do something else?" Sir Paul McCartney

"The chords inspire the melody and the melody inspires the lyrics." Brian Wilson

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Re: Mason-Dixon Line/org/PSRE403/Cl1/SP1/Mx5/BnB

Post by voclizr » Mon Apr 10, 2017 11:09 pm

I really think you have your own style. You borrow from Dylan a bit, but the sound is still your own. It kind of reminds me a bit of Tom Waits and his loose vocal style, but it really works well for you. With the right management I think you could market some of your stuff.

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