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.