Brad Meador
  
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Mar 21

Sketches

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I’ve haven’t posted any WIP in quite a while.  The truth is songwriting is a very difficult process for me and it takes a lot of time that I haven’t had so far in 2009.  That said, I have been playing when I can.  Generally my songs start off as little sketches that may or may not turn into something real.  Yesterday I recorded a bunch of new sketches so that I can carry them around on the phone and see if lyrics and melody present themselves in my spare time.

So, for the few hard core friends who are interested in this sort of thing, here’s what I’ve got:

The last one presents the most imagery to me when I play it.  I picture dancing in cobblestone streets into the wee hours of a humid night and rum-soaked kisses.  But that’s just me.  I tried the different guitars because I think they all lend a different flavor to the music – from some sort of Spanish\Latin thing through to 60s surf music.  I think there’s a chance that it might stay an instrumental after I work on it a bit.

Will any of these become full on songs?  That remains to be seen, but I’ve been known to carry sketches around for a decade before they turn into anything more tangible.

Thanks for indulging me…

Oct 19

it’s not you, it’s me

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EXP00903 I’ve been playing around with the basics for this song for several months, but I didn’t really figure out what it was about until vacation in Joshua Tree.  I was going to title it i don’t know #2 (because idk #1 is on downtime), but I think this is a much better title:

it’s not you, it’s me

Yes, that’s a whistle solo in the middle.  I recorded this in one take and whistled in place of what was intended to be a guitar solo, but the whistling is growing on me.  Maybe I’ve been inspired by Andrew Bird.

That makes 6 solid new songs in the hopper since the last album with a few more that are marinating.  I think a new album is in the works for 2009…

Photo Credit: Goofing around in Joshua Tree with Christopher Bost behind the camera

Aug 15

Broken Wings – Electric

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Angel with Broken Wings (Mark Bingham, Flight 93) by James H..I promised in my earlier post that I would take a stab at recording this one the same way that I wrote it.  Here’s Broken Wings with the electric guitar behind it:

Broken Wings – Electric

For reference, here’s the more polished acoustic version:

Broken Wings – Acoustic

Hmmm… still not there.  But closer?  Eh, at least it’s fun to sing.  I think I’ll work on some new stuff for now and come back later.

Here’s how anti-anything-pop-culture I was in 1985.  I had no idea a song titled Broken Wings was a #1 hit for Mr. Mister until I did a search on the title just now.  Apparently Nothing Left to Lose is a relatively more recent single by Mat Kearney.  Thankfully, it looks like no one has written a woman-killing song titled Micheline besides me, so I’ve got that going for me.  It’s all good – according to the New York Times’ songwriter’s blog, we’re all rip off artists anyway.

Photo Credit: James H.

Aug 11

Nothing Left to Lose – Electric

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Here’s a new sketch of Nothing Left to Lose with the Telecaster.  I didn’t capture the exact guitar sound I wanted, but it’s close:

Nothing Left to Lose – Electric

Here’s the more produced acoustic version for comparison’s sake:

Nothing Left to Lose – Acoustic

Ideally I could get this to the point where it sounds as stark and beautiful as the Up to the Mountain arrangement Patty Griffin used the last time I saw her in concert.  It was the highlight of the show for me.  Here’s a recording somebody posted on YouTube:

Patty Griffin - Up to the Mountain

Patty Griffin - Up to the Mountain

I think I need to be a better guitar player to make this work.  And a better singer.  And a better songwriter…  **Sigh**  Patty Griffin is so lovely.  🙂

Jul 18

Further to Fall

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This one is probably the most polished of the new batch of songs.  I introduced a recent performance of it with the fact that I’m from the South and a lot of my songs have some twang in them.  After I finished playing, somebody said to me "nah, man, not too much twang at all."

As if twang was a bad thing.

So when you listen to this one, close your eyes and see if you can hear some heavy pedal steel guitar in the background.  That’s how I hear it when I play it.

Further to Fall

Jul 11

Broken Wings

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the tele w bigsby #1 on my list of things to record when I get the time is another version of Broken Wings.  The emotive quality of this song makes it really fun to play, but I can’t seem to capture a recording that sounds like what I’m hearing.  I specifically asked for opinions on this song the last time I played it live at the Bazaar and got a thumbs up, but maybe folks were just being nice?  Judge for yourself – here’s the latest acoustic recording:

Broken Wings

I originally wrote this on the telecaster with a real dirty, bluesy electric guitar part.  Maybe that’s what’s missing?  Or maybe it needs another stanza?  Or a really good bridge?  More to come…

Jul 08

Gwendolyn

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I wrote this one a while ago – right after I completed downtime – but put it away for a while (explanation below).  Picture a rocking Old 97s-type arrangement (blistering telecaster and driving, shuffling drums) when you listen:

Gwendolyn

So I submitted this to Nashville Songwriters Association for a song evaluation right after I wrote it.  As part of your membership, the NSAI allows you to send in a tape of your compositions.  A “professional” will listen to the song, record their thoughts on the tape and send it back.  All in all it’s a great service and one of the main reasons to pay your dues.  When I first completed this one I was a member and dashed off a recording of the song, anxious to get feedback.  When the tape came back, the reviewer said it was the worst song he’d heard all day.

It was then that I realized I wasn’t mature enough to handle criticism of my music.

Jul 06

It’s Complicated

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This is the latest one that I’ve finished.  Believe it or not, it was actually more depressing in an initial draft, but now I think it has a slight bit of hope at the end:

It’s Complicated (6 String)

This guy sounds better with the 12 string, but I can’t seem to capture a good recording of that guitar.  Judge for yourself:

It’s Complicated (12 String)

And yes, I know this sounds a little bit like an Eagles song.  Maybe Don Henley will be flattered.

Jul 04

Nothing Left to Lose

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Though I’ve been tweaking it for a while now, this song came about as easily as a song ever has:

Nothing Left to Lose