The Land That I Love – Part 2

20090518dano-001In Part 2 of Land That I Love I took a different approach to the track. I’m facinated by the intermingling of sadness and joy. It’s important to differentiate between happiness and joy. Happiness is a temporary emotional state that focus just on the immediate positive situation. To me, joy is a deeper state that revels in the full range of experiences of life. Regardless of what happens to you, a deep faith in an eternal hope results in joy. In this track I tried to bring the mornfulness of the slide sound evolving into the joy of the hope that stretches before us.

From a musical perspective I was inspired by the Classic Album DVD Queen – The Making Of: A Night A The Opera. The multiple layers of thick singing guitar sounds. I slowly bought in more slide tracks, fitting them together and then building it with more and more tracks with both licks and harmonies. Underneath the track I used the guitar as a percussion device, tuned to open E, hitting harmonics. You can hear more of that as the track fades. All slide was recorded with my Danelectro into an Fulltone OCD (version 1) into a T-Rex Replica and then into the Swart Atomic Space Tone. If you are wondering what the difference between different Fulltone OCD pedals is check out this YouTube clip.

Land That I Love – Part 2

The Land That I Love – Part 1

Keeley Fuzz Head
Keeley Fuzz Head

It has been a while since my last posting. I’ve been quite busy finishing Mike Blair’s “Alone Under The Stars” album. Last night the “GOLD” master was handed over to him to send to production. This will be available on iTunes and you can get a physical copy from other sources. A CD release party is in the works. Watch for Mike on tour across Western Canada this summer promoting the record.

In the meantime, I thought I would share more from the album to wet your appetite. There are two tracks on the album that I am featuring. In this posting I will focus on “Land That I Love” Part 1. This track touchs a sentiment that many of us who live on the prairies have, the love/hate relationship with our geography. I spend most summers in the Alberta Rockies fly fishing and getting away from our mosquitos. I guess you could say we are looking for “relief” in several ways. The bottom line is that, while we love the mountains, we belong in the prairies.
In Part 1 I would like you to focus on how a simple guitar part, actually just a two note alternating line, played on the Telecaster, really transforms the track. I wanted to get a bright cutting sound with a bit of “jangle” often associated with Vox amplifiers. To achieve this I used the Swart Atomic Space Tone and then used a Keeley Fuzz Head fuzz pedal to had a hint of fuzz using the germanium transistor mode. Germanium transistors are used in pedals like the classic Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face used by Hendrix and others. A reissue of the original Fuzz Face pedal is currently made by Dunlop. Germanium transistors are also used in high end studio preamps to introduce a warmth and body to the tone. Germanium transistors of often criticized for being flakey and inconsistent in their performance. Its just this feature that gives them character. Alternatively fuzz pedals use Silicon transistors which provide much smoother performance. The interesting result is that this creates a harsher fuzz sound.

Land That I Love – Part 1