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BIG NEWS! My 10 year, 150 song, 9 CD, 'OUTSIDE THE BOX SET', recording project, is done! Recording finished July 17th in Studio B at Crystal Clear Sound, Dallas, Texas.
This issue tells you about it from start to finish with stops along the way for a new guitar style, and box office concerts.
1. The Last Session and The Song Count
2. The How Did We Get To Here, section.
3. Contents of all 9 CD's / Boxed set
4. Wanted - mini Publicists.
5. My Discography
THE LAST SESSION (and the final song count). July 17 blog post.
YESTERDAY, July 16, 2014, I finished recording my 10 year and 9 CD voice and guitar project started in the summer of 2004.
Setting: Studio B, Crystal Clear Studios.
My audio engineer Nolan Brett ran the machine, after holding up 3 fingers, and I finished the third and last back up vocal harmony part to my original song titled
"OH DARLIN"...ROLL" with my hands waving in the air!
Time 3:57 PM 7/16/14.* I _ WAS _ DONE !!! *
TODAY, July 17th, 2014, for the first time, I counted up all the songs from the 9 different CD projects (7 done and 2** yet to release, then the total set will be released as HUNKASAURUS AND HIS PET DOG GUITAR, outside the box, set!), to see how many songs there were in total.
For all these years I never knew how many I would end up with. Basically I was recreating my song list from the 17 years of playing the Box Office Concerts at the Inwood Theater, Dallas.
I knew my first CD was 30 songs - I even titled it "30". And I knew the last one we finished yesterday had 22. But the others varied, with usually closer to 12-15. So, I added them up (my secret aim was somewhere around 120 - 150)
Carried the so and so number .... WAIT ... it's looking to come out even..... NO!..FATE is STEPPING IN ....
FINAL TOTAL = EXACTLY 150 SONGS!!!!!
*The session was scheduled from 2-4 PM. Had 3 minutes to go!
** My 8'TH CD was released on 8/8/2014.
The HOW DID WE GET TO HERE, section.
"When I saw the Beatles, I became a big fan
and decided to be a big star ...." (Musical History of TMH...)
During the 60's I saw the Beatles, learned guitar, began writing songs, and playing in groups and combos.
Continued singing, writing, playing.
Started 12 BY 12 , the co-op record company with limited results.
Time for a change. No more bands. Decided to work on my own, one voice, one standard guitar, my 1964 Silvertone, bought for me by my parents from Sears for $50.
Began working on a new guitar style, that played bass, rhythm, and lead; all the parts of a group, on one guitar at the same time.
Test the waters. Recorded at Summit Burnet Studios a 4 song cassette with this new one voice, one guitar, back to basics, style. My audio engineer was one of the house engineers, Pam Irwin. Promoted it with limited success.
Year 1996, I got the idea to play my guitar during work, selling movie tickets at the Inwood Theater in Dallas, IN THE TICKET BOOTH, a glass enclosed booth. Manager, David Kimball, approved it. The BOX OFFICE CONCERTS begin. Two shows a night, twice a week, during winter and summer from 1996-2014.
Continued to build my songlist. Found and arranged originals or covers that fit the one voice, one guitar style. Began thinking of a big idea - I'd like to record these songs.
Year 2004, Found engineer Pam Irwin again, now teaching recording at Cedar Valley Community College, and arranged to record there during her summer break.
The looooooooonnnngggg recording project began.
At first I thought I would just stroll in, play 100+ songs live, and be done.
Changes - decided to record the guitar part first, and then the voice. That allowed for a better mix of voice and guitar.
Changes - I saw that adding two, and later three, background vocals gave the songs a depth and complexity that took them beyond guitar/voice (the so called singer songwriter status), to a sound, virtually as good as any big production record without the over production and clutter of many recordings.
Break: Before I started, I was clearly an amateur musician in the recording studio - as I would soon learn. After, with the help and support of Pam Irwin, I became a professional level musician in the recording studio.
What changed? Let's count them.
1. She requested lyric sheets to make her engineer notes. From then on we both had a set.
2. Musicians reading this, know that when you play without a drummer your tempo speeds up and slows down - and when you are recording and a little nervous, you play too fast. So we set up a 'click' track. It played a click in my headphones on beat. I then played my guitar to that. That took some practice - first to find the correct tempo to each song, then to play to it on the beat.
3. Singing - Lead vocal. To sing well you have to be on pitch (I have about a 2 octave range). To sing on pitch, you have to have enough air. To have enough air you have to breathe correctly, and breathing right for singing is NOT the same as breathing right for talking. This took a LOT of work. Lots of problems with certain low notes mostly (and a few high notes). On some songs, I changed keys to get them in my range. On other songs I changed the too high or too low notes, to ones a 3rd closer to my range (ex. Low C to E, two notes higher). Found out that listeners seldom notice the note changes. (I'll even confess this: On certain troublesome notes - not very often mind you - we even used auto-tune to save me time and money in the studio.
4. Singing - Background vocals. I soon learned that my talents did not include arranging background vocals. The ones I came up with, were pretty ordinary. I found out that Pam had a real talent for arranging background vocals that seemed to fit the lead voice, in a very natural way. They seldom were predictable, and seldom the same from verse to verse. That way, in the end, we got a song that could build in passion and intensity, or arc and come back down from a high point.
5. Pam was a stickler for pro-nun-ci-a-tion. She made sure my lyrics were clear and understandable. That has become important to me too.
6. Some guitar arrangements just did not work. I found that to get the best sound you have to make sure you are willing to change, and nothing is written in stone. By being open to changes in style, speed, etc - slowing up some songs, speeding up some others, we could get the arrangement that worked.
7. Get rid of what doesn't work. Overall my biggest rule, was keep it simple. Pam would often suggest that I just leave out a certain this or that in singing, or playing a certain intro or outro. Sometimes it was tough for me to do, because usually that is the way I had been singing and playing that song in the Box Office for years. But more often than not, she was right. The perfect example is the song "Happy Together". Note the quick ending - just right, not too much, not too little. I had planned a much longer fade out that would not have had the same impact.
8. Feeling of the Song. Each song was different. Both of us made sure that the feeling in my voice fit the lyrics. (With out popping the P's - a minor problem much like a paper cut to a writer). That means if I was singing about a break up, I couldn't sing nonchalantly. If it was a happy song, it should sound like it. Each song went with the lyrics.
This exchange between Pam and me, summarizes our years of work. After recording my instrumental, 'Grand Sweep', I mentioned how I'd like the final mix to sound:
Tom: I'd like it to have sort of a 'wall of sound' sound to it. A real big sound.
Pam: ... Tom, it's just one guitar!
We worked together for the first 6 cd's. But her limited summer schedule, and my desire to get going and finish the project led to changes. Enter Crystal Clear Studios.
Year 2013. Crystal Clear Sound had always made my CD's. I had even worked in their studios decades before on my first single "Stars Moon and Sun" ('82) - see discography . I liked the people, and when I talked to Keith Rust, the manager then, he suggested Studio B, the smaller of the two studios, would fit my needs and my budget. My engineer was Nolan Brett. He was a great fit for my project. He was efficient, supportive, and beyond that, he helped me correct a bad performance, and improve a good one. Working with him was an easy breeze. We recorded CD #7. Then after a break, #8 and I went straight to #9 and the last 22 songs. See above for that final recording session.
Year 2014. Now, putting out limited copies of CD's #8 and soon #9. Then preparing art work etc. for final box set. Look to later this year for the final set.
CONTENTS: HUNKASUAURS AND HIS PET DOG GUITAR 150 SONG SET
30 (A) - #1
Last Train To Clarksville
I'll Never Fall In Love Again
Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter
There's A Place
Ferry Cross The Mersey
Grey Green Eyes (faster))
Tristan and Isolde
Ballad of Willie Nelson
Play That Country Music
Dancing Across The Moon
Pardon Me Sir/AOL Can Go And Tank Tomorrow
I'm The Man Down There
100 % Groovy
Tommy's Got A Song In His Guitar
NEXT - #2
Anytime At All
For Pete's Sake
How Do You Do It
Not Fade Away
That Means A Lot
Secret Agent Man
Shake, Shout, and Go!
THIRDS - /#3
Mr Tambourine Man
I Need You
What’d I Say
Don’t Give Up On Love
Up And Down
When I Fall In Love
Sing For You
Let It Be Me
FOUR-TH - #4
Thinking About A Feeling
How Beautiful Girls Are
Girl From Ipanema
That Would Be Something
Can’t Help Falling In Love
5-TH - #5
Treat Me Nice
Under My Thumb
Tell Me What You See
I Say A Little Prayer
2x I Crossed The Muddy River
We Are The Kernels
Baby It’s You
6-TH - #6
Don’t Be Cruel
Within You, Without You
Till There Was You
Do You Want To Know A Secret
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Through My Window
7th - #7
That's Alright Mama
And I Lover Her
So You Want To Be a Rock n Roll Star
Tears On My Pillow
Don't Let The Sun
Cat's Meow #2
God Bless The Child
"8-TH" - #8
1. A Hard Day's Night
2. She Means Everything To Me
5. The Look of Love
6. Somewhere Over the Rainbow
10. Then You Can Say Goodbye
12. Tommy Bop
13. Anna (Go To Him)
15. Hey Joe
16. This Is It!
9-TH - #9 (not listed in final order)
You've Lost That Loving Feeling
Box Office Blues
Grey Green Eyes (slower)
I Can't Stop Loving You
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child
Forget That Girl
Light My Fire
I Got You Babe
Deep Rock and Roll
Musical History of TMH ...
Saturn Trine Venus
HUNKASAURUS AND PET DOG GUITAR - Outside the Box Set with all 1-9 cd's, booklet, and each signed and numbered, should be out by Christmas.
WANTED - mini - PUBLICISTS
Want to stuff envelopes at home for cash? Still too hard? How about sending e-mails from home for about $1 each? How about doing it when you want to, and for as much or as little as you want to? If interested, read on
You can make $1 per e-mail, by being a mini publicist for Musea and supporting the ideas of the art and media revolution. Fire up the computer for an hour or so a week.
Needed - mini publicists to help me promote the following: First this 9 CD box set, a possible world's first in music, but also the art and media revolution, my zine Musea, and writings, my art, my essays and ideas such as National Hiring Day, National Workers Union, CBA's Community Bank Accounts, and lots more.
Be one of my part time publicists. Contact me if you have some net time and it's something you would like to do.
TOM HENDRICKS DISCOGRAPHY: Before starting the 150 song Hunkasaurus recording project*, I had done a number of recordings. This discography (from Musea issue #134) lists them. They include "Your Love Is True/Say So" ('67) recorded by the American Blues, singles/45's: "A Hit Song/You" ('78), "DeskClerk/Others Like You", note the 'b' side is sung by Joy Tarver (''79), "Stars Moon and Sun/ Through My Window" ('82). Plus, "John And Martha - A 5 Act Illustrated Short Story" with cast including Karen Bella ('84), assorted singles on albums from the 12 By 12 Co-op Record Company recordings ('85-95) , "Hunkasaurus and His Pet Dog Guitar - 4 song cassette ('95), and the Landmark Theaters Music CD ('02).
*The 9 cd's of this set should be up on all major internet sites soon (CDBaby, I Tunes, etc.). You can hear them on my music website, buy them through your favorite online store, or contact me.
get back to basics
drop corporate arts
and over production
and join me in the
4000 Hawthorne #5
Dallas Texas 75219
AACA Member #1
Hunk and PDG 10 year recording project - Issue
Musea #193 Aug/Sep/Oct
(c) Tom Hendricks 2014
Front and Back Photos: David McGhee
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