Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day weekend.
I’m happy to say that the studio at Lady Bass Music got a major makeover over the past weekend. New carpet, new paint, good overall cleaning job….there’s a nice energy to the place now. Students and visitors are calling it inviting and “a bit serene”.
The weekend prior, I finished up work on a new holiday track. The track is “It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way”. This is a cover of a Jim Croce tune that bassist Michael Dimin and I pushed into jazz territory. Many thanks to Mike for being my partner in crime on this idea. If you are not familiar with Mike’s work, I can say he is a highly respected solo bassist, author, clinician and music educator. His book “The Art of Solo Bass” is available from Mel Bay. You can check out his albums and solo work on his website, www.michaeldimin.com. We’ve been doing a few duo performances over the course of this past year as time, geographic location, and opportunity allows.
So, without further ado….
This choice of tune may seem unexpected in some ways as Mike gravitates towards jazz and I tend to gravitate towards rock, prog, metal, classical and the solo bass realms. I discovered this tune when I was a young person and fell in love with it, literally staying up late several nights in a row to catch it being played on the radio again. (The magic of chasing tunes on the radio just to record them to cassette…the simple pleasures that younger generations than I will never know.) Jim Croce’s take on the Christmas season spoke to me because it was earthy and real…and a poignant reflection on how many of us truly experience the holidays. Reflection on events of the past year. Some good memories, some bad, and seeing how our inner weather influences our perspective on the world around us.
There is one element though that rings clear through the song….the sound of hope in the timbre of Croce’s voice, the lyrics, and the feel of the song.
I hope I have done the original song some measure of justice in this cover. Although the genre has changed, I intentionally tried to retain the beautiful, earthy, grounded feel of Jim Croce’s vocals….one of the major elements that drew me to this song in the first place.
Adding to this…the track is a collaboration between Mike’s audio students at his school in New York State, and the live audio class at my studio in Virginia. Students did the majority of the work recording, mixing, and mastering. I’ll blog about all the tech and logistics involved for the audio geeks who want to know in a future installment. Within a few weeks, this track will also be receiving radio play in my region on 95.9.
So, between coats of blue paint being applied in my studio over the course of a quiet Black Friday, I would spend my breaks creating a video for this tune.
Please enjoy, and your feedback is welcome.