Slide Songs is John's tenth CD release and represents a selection of original songs that contain a slide guitar. John keeps a blog in musical form and these songs represent the last twenty four songs published. The songs are in chronological order, for earliest to latest.
Number of songs: 24
Running time: 1 hour 5 minutes.
Picture taken at the Brisbane Steel Club's monthly function, playing the Tim Kill custom resonator.
Altough there are some reso songs between Tim's Song and Boxes, I just couldn't leave it out.
List of Songs
This is the first song that I composed on the guitar that I commissioned Tim Kill to construct for me. A lovely instrument both in sound and looks.
A characteristics of any living thing when they find another life form is to evaluate it. Is it big or small?. Coloured or not?. How many legs? How many eyes? Am I being threatened?
I call the process 'boxing'. It allows for opinions to be quickly arrived at based on past experiences and can be a life saver.
However, the process has many failures as it works by generalising a couple of attributes and then assigning the boxes attributes to the person. By that I mean, you may spot a motorcycle rider covered in tats heading your way. The first box that fits would be bikie and try and get out of their way. Most likely the bikie is no source of danger to you, it's your boxing that causes the fear.
So We Both Lose
Was sitting outside a restaurant chatting with members of a motorcycle club, when I was issued with an ultimatum by the president: Join or move on!
Sorry, I just don't join groups, nothing specific to you, but I'll move on thanks.
An instrumental that caught me in a reflective state of mind.
As with most instrumentals, don't take the title literally, cast it away and create your own title based on how the music effects you.
An instrumental whose structure just 'came to me'. Make of it what you will.
Found myself in a bit of a feisty mood and composed some music to suit my mood.
I guess the question is: Taller than what? Something to muse on.
Blow Those Blues Away
Being under a 'blues cloud' sure can you drag you down.
Sometimes you just have to throw the blues away, even if just for a short time. There's a lot to live for.
Been So Long
When you are 'under a cloud' it's very difficult to get out from under it. You can be there for a very long time. When something catches your attention that reminds you of a pleasurable experience from some time ago, you naturally sit up a bit and take some notice. You fear that whatever it is will just pass you by. That's not always the case. Serendipity can catch you off guard.
Each June, for the last few years, I've been involved in playing bass in the house band for the Annual Brisbane Steel Guitar Festival held at the Zillmere R.S.L.
Wonderful event with world class players.
An instrumental. The words, the story are up to you.
In An Instant
The world can change in the blink of an eye. make the most of the moment.
Who Am I?
A question to me in the sense who am I to challenge your beliefs? I certainly won't try and change your beliefs.
I've Got The Flu
Haven't had the flu for a few years, but this year I did. Worthy of a song.
On my third trip to the U.S.A. I attended an annual get together of reso players in Nashville, Tennessee called ResoSummit, held by Dobro whiz Rob Ickes. This was going to be my last attempt at trying to find other players that think and play like I do. While the event was very good and met up with a lot of players I didn't find what I was searching for. The music was just fantastic as was the skill of the instructors and some of the attendees.
I just stood out from the crowd as they say. I'm not a particular fan of Bluegrass music so that didn't help. Just can't stand all those rolls. With my right hand, I play with a plectrum, not the 'standard' thumbpick, in fact I was the only player there that that used that technique.
The person that inspired me to play, Jerry Douglas, just does it for me. Love his approach to music as well as his fluid style. I was most fortunate to see him perform three times, once as a guest lecturer at ResoSummit and twice with his new band The Earls of Leicester.
On the last day, as I was sitting out in the park land of Scarritt-Bennett campus, watching the squirrels run about and this song came to me.
In terms of my search, I was disappointed and have accepted that I will not find what I wanted, but, I will persevere with the music that I can hear in my head.
Blue Sky Boulders
I have this philosophy that states that boulders just fall out of a clear blue sky and my task is to avoid them.
One of the problems with growing old is that there will always be someone that will compare your current work with your previous work. Nothing wrong with that, it's good to get an outside opinion. Recently a friend of mine offered the insight that I had 'lost my edge' musically. Too true. When I was younger and starting my musical career I used to play with a real passion and really churned out those notes. Gradually, through time and life experiences you find there is another way to express yourself.
Playing loud Rock music is just plain dangerous to your hearing, not doubt about it. Trauma in your life can really slow you down. I seem to remember a saying that your remember the pain long after the passion has gone. Seems to be the case.
Given that, I have lost my edge as I'm no longer quite so aggressive and have taken the quieter path.
That's not a loss, that's a growing path.
Tired Of Waiting
An instrumental with a sort of happy upbeat rhythm. One of my patented happy dirges. Again make of it what you will.
Since I found playing in a real band at pub volumes and quieter really caused havoc with my hearing, I had to take some action if I wanted to continue playing in the public arena.
Given that I searched for quieter ways to join in but found none. You're either out there or you're not. It's not just quieter, there also has to be good playing skills involved.
I did find one gem in my decades of searching and that was BOTSO, the Brunswick Old Time String Orchestra. Here was a group of twenty to thirty players playing acoustic music once a fortnight and having a real positive experience on everyone
I did get tired of waiting for something to happen in the local area, so I looked afar and found some gems.
Path Through The Forest
The idea for this song goes back quite some time. On my first trip to the U.S.A., I made a point of going to Devil's Tower/Bear Lodge in Wyoming. I made time to take the walking trail around the plug. Just took my time and took in the sights, scents and sounds. Wonderfully refreshing.
A song that just came to me on a Monday, hence the title.
A song that just came to me on a Tuesday, hence the title.
Frozen Shoulder Waltz
Some years ago I had a frozen left shoulder and that lasted for some time before a rather slow recovery. I now have a frozen right shoulder and this is causing me quite a bit of difficulty with playing any instrument. Just have to move very slowly to minimise the pain.
Just The Way It Is
Through experience I have learnt that some things are just the way they are and you have to accept them or go crazy. It doesn't mean that you have to accept them, just be wary of them and look for alternatives.
Same As The Last Song
My ongoing lament about the state of the music business. As a business, new music needs to be created rather than replay the past. It's only as good as you make it.
Although it's not discussed, most solo vocals that you hear in pop music are double sung to fatten them up.
I have started to use the same technique, but not on solo vocals, but harmony vocals. Sometimes I even triple sing them and then pan them out over the soundstage for a sort of 'wall of sound'.
External Links to Australian luthiers