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Can songs be timeless?


A topic on an internet forum not too far from here. Various examples were proposed that might be timeless songs – examples from The Beatles, Dylan, Sinatra, et al. All the usual suspects. I opined that perhaps genuine folk songs that had been around for a couple of hundred years, or more, could lay some claim to quasi-timelessness – and maybe some plainsong from the abbeys and monasteries of the dark ages – but that no such claim could be made yet of anything from the genre of popular song.

Maybe, as is sometimes claimed, some contemporary songs may acquire the status of folksong – and hence a sense of timelessness – in a century, or two, hence. But not yet! The best to be reasonably aspired to in the early 21st century is some currency lasting slightly longer than five minutes…

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An optimistic morning…


The day is still and only on the coast does there appear to be the rumour of a chill wind. The light is sharp and the low morning sun keeps one honest when driving east along the north Deeside road. The gulls, judging by the absence of airborne nagging and screaming, must be sunning themselves on the cliffs nearby. Being Friday, I have high hopes of exeunt-ing this battleship-grey office building shortly after noon and do some real work in the studio…

…I have come to the conclusion that one EQ and one compressor – both used with a very light hand – is all that the guitar tracks are going to get. Definitely no hi-shelf on the EQ – I’ll provide any air together with the voice when brought together later on. There are – what? – half-a-dozen, or so, songs that are ready to be mixed? ‘Bout that. A simple task you might think for acoustic guitar and vocal, but it’s given me no end of trouble in the past – it’s something to do with the exposed nature of it all – no band or orchestra to hide behind. Ha! Any little sonic flaw seems to slap me in the face with its impudence. Damn things. Anyway, fingers crossed, folks. I’ll pick one, see how it goes, and post it here for you to tear into…

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My day job…


Don’t ask me what it is ’cause I won’t tell you. This is a deeply ingrained habit. I’ve always endeavored to keep that part of my life separate from the important bit. It’s a rare day-job colleague who knows I play guitar. I like it that way. Suffice to say I’ve got day job. Which is OK (sometimes).

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On Imitation


I fail to understand the impulse of some folks who doggedly try to exactly copy the playing style of the famous old bluesmen. I come across “tuition” in this regard through my lurking around some of the guitar forums out there. Lick by lick, folks slavishly copy the accents and even the supposed disposition of the fingers (passed down through the decades by some expert, or student, or by hearsay”¦) Surely this is the musical equivalent of painting by numbers? Better by far to put on a recording of one of these masters and play some air guitar – far more convincing.

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Just a nice day


Early morning this Wednesday very benign with blue skies and a trail, or two, of cirrus. I haven’t heard a weather forecast so I don’t know if it’s a lull before something. Also warm for the north-east of Scotland and the time of year. (Hey – I’ve just checked the spelling of “cirrus” and found that the word also refers to the male copulatory organ of flatworms and various other invertebrates. Guffaw, guffaw.)