Saturday, 23 July 2011

Return of The Twangster with "Jamabilly", "Big Ones in Texas", "Matchbox" and "Ziggy's Return"

Emboldened by TropicalRob’s musical postings on You Tube, I’ve decided to inflict some more “product” on my readers - safe in the knowledge that, after all, you don’t have to listen to any of it.  Above, you'll find "Jamabilly", which I’m rather pleased with.  It’s a jaunty but controlled little number with few surprises, but some classic rockabilly guitar riffs and a cheeky little organ part: "Jamabilly".
Next up, "Big Ones in Texas", which started off as a slow Texas Blues  drone (E5, G5, A5, G5, E5 etc.), but which was so dreary I changed all the guitars around, inserted some “Green Onions”-style organ sections near the end, and whacked the beats-per-minute up by 25 to 150.

Having used my own voice on a number of tracks, I recently came up with one which I can just about bear to post. It’s my take on the Carl Perkins rockabilly classic, "Matchbox". I’ve adopted a Sleepy La Beef bass baritone for the number, which sounds slightly less awful than my other attempts at singing:

Finally, here’s one I made earlier - six years ago, to be precise, when I was still trapped in the nightmare “Blue Screen of Death” world of Bill Gates. “Ziggy’s Return” (our cat had been lost for six weeks and I was just finishing this off when my wife finally located him - hence the title). It’s a bit bonkers: I was that kid let loose in a sweet-shop, only the sweets were VST instruments. Still, for all its myriad faults , I’ve always been quite fond of it (the song, not the cat). I warn you - it’s very loud compared to the other tracks.


  1. I particularly liked Jamabilly, especially the bit where the piano comes in for the first time when the piece goes into Danny and the Juniors land. I will get round eventually to posting some tunes. At the moment, I am exploring what can be done using just the Garage Band App on an I-pad and a guitar plug-in. I think it's my attempt to get away from over-complex software and over-elaboration.

    As for the voice, well for a moment I thought the Big Bopper had landed safely after 42 years. How about a cover of Chantilly Lace?
    Sunday, July 24, 2011 - 06:00 PM

  2. Thank you, Ex-KCS - it just feels more controlled than anything I've done before. And I am extremely honoured to be mentioned in the same breath as the wonderful J.P. Richardson. Chantilly Lace is too much his song - I might try his version of White Lightin' o0r Little Red Riding Hood.
    I added a lot of expensive Apple virtual instruments to my palate nine months ago - and the amount of choice just confused me, so I've put them to one side. Do let me know how you get on with your simpler solution, and I'm really looking forward to being able to hear some tracks!
    Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 04:14 PM

  3. I'm really impressed by your voice on Matchbox. Sounds as good as any other singer I've heard. Just need a couple of screams in there at appropriate intervals! Those guitar riffs are good too. I never leant to do that old Chuck Berry style stuff. You should definitely sing more, it gives a piece of music so much more character. Keep it up!
    Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 09:22 PM

  4. Scott, I've sent you an email with my version of an old Burritos number, recorded on an IPad Garage Band App with a plug in for my guitar. I am sure it was more fun to do than to listen to!
    Thursday, August 11, 2011 - 07:36 PM

  5. Thank you, TropicalRob, for your heartening comments regarding my voice. I’d like to add vocals to more songs, but, despite writing a stack of novels, I’m a dreadful lyric writer, and my voice only works on very specific songs – no idea why that should be. I only took up the guitar so I could play Chuck Berry-style licks and rockabilly, to be honest, and then got interested in other stuff.

    Ex-KCS, I’m back from holiday and have had the pleasure of listening to your version of “Close Up the Honky-Tonks”. Really excellent! Great voice and guitar technique – especially the bouncy, uptempo country licks, which I can never get right, and a general production that suggests you’ve done a lot of this sort of thing. I’m impressed you can do all that on an iPad. Will you give me permission to post it on this blog?
    Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 07:36 PM