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Wanted to thank you for the kind remarks and the 5's for Pale Vanilla Moon. Jazz isn't a big seller on Bjam so I'm always surprised at the different responses...and also how few folks actually take the time to do so.
Wishing you continued success.
No problem Bill. I know how it feels, as if you're creating music in a vacuum and nobody hears it :-) I like to encourage fellow songwriters/music-producers to keep doing what they do. I hope that you have fun creating more music for future projects.
I feel this way about my own music. Its hard to raise above the noise sometimes.
Thanks so much for the 5-stars for my song Highway Bound. Its very much appreciated!
"Rhinestone Boots and Cowboy Boots" has some hilarious sounds that really capture the feel of a country honky tonk cowboy bar and that's a very good thing. You are always great with melody! The arrangement is superb...keeps it interesting. Since you began the Americana series, you've really been on a roll coming through with excellent music, one right after the other!
Thanks so much John, its very much appreciated! I'm so glad to hear that someone understands what I'm trying to to convey with these songs. Good luck with all of your music projects. I noticed that one of your tracks is in the Top 10 Rock category, congratulations!!
Thank you, Jim. I hope if I can hear what you're wanting to get across, the decision makers in the industry notices it, too. I'm surprised at the Hard Rock category because that sort of song is a stretch for me. I was very happy with my previous two, "Raindrop Soul," which I consider to be the most beautiful song I ever wrote, and the recent "Just Another Weekend," which has very conversational words but I still focus very much on melody because the melody carries so much emotional weight. The tune is so important to me that it surprises me how so many members put the melody in the back seat. "Just Another Weekend" debuted in the Earth chart at #1 in August which was something of a surprise, becoming my third trip there. The fickle charts do something I call the Broadjam Bounce...songs bouncing up and down, off and back on again. Makes me wonder what arrays and scripts are written into the code! Some of the other songs on the Earth chart really make me scratch my head, but so does the Billboard chart!
That's awesome that your songs made it in to Broadjam Earth! I've only had that happen a couple of times but it blew me away. I wish you all the luck with your songs. You should try for some opportunities with provider and see if you can get some of your songs placed.
Warren, thanks so much for the 5-stars on my new Halloween Hotel tune. Its very much appreciated! Good luck with all of your songwriting projects
Cheers Jim, nice work bud--classically hollows eve indeed!
Hi, Jim. Excellent classic treatment on "Haunted Hotel." It departs from your usual compositions and does it very well, making it a nice and welcome versatile addition to your catalogue. It has the classic sounds that could be featured in an animated movie. Definitely a marketable piece! That was quite the dusting we had last night. Fortunately our power stayed on. It went out in a large swath just a mile west. John
Thanks so much John, very much appreciated! I do like to write orchestral pieces like this for certain styles. I just feel that there are so many other composers that specialize in orchestral music that are much better than me, so I tend to focus on guitar-oriented music mostly. But for this one I couldn't resist the urge to create something like this. Yes, that was quite a storm last night, and we definitely can use the rain!
Thanks for the 5's for "Speed of Life". It's been on and off a few Bjam top 10 lists for awhile now. Still don' t understand the rating system...
Listening to some of your newer stuff, gotta catch up, and I really like what I'm hearing.
Hey Jim damn well done on the Isolated Homestead tune! This should be placed "somewhere " for sure!
Well done, well produced and I love the banjo later on!
Great drama in this one. It fits the current trend in the background music vibe. Love it.
Thanks so much for the 5-stars for my song Fugitive In the Badlands. Its very much appreciated! Good luck with all of your songwriting projects!
Musical greetings and best success
John, thanks so much for the 5-stars for my song Fugitive in the Badlands. Its very much appreciated. Good luck with all of your songwriting projects!
I love the swamp ghost tune a lot--it SHOULD FIND A PLACEMENT!
"Chasing Swamp Ghosts" is an excellent piece with punch and drive. You've really hit a pinnacle with "Americana Road Trip." What a set of tunes!
Thanks for the 5's for "Maybe It's Love". A pro reviewer kicked me in the rear and got me to do a remix of "Maybe" and this is what happened. Looks like it'll be pitched in Nashville....
Been listening to some of your latest and am really impressed with your guitar work in so many different styles and the recordings are flawless! Good stuff and fun.
Thanks so much Bill! Good luck with your music pitch in Nashville!
Jim, the album you're putting together is outstanding. Once you release it, I'll be sure to include it in my news. I don't have a great deal of visitors but those I know really should take a listen to what you've been doing. John
Thanks so much John, I really appreciate the feedback! I've been putting a lot of work into this album, trying to give each track all the attention to detail to make them as good as I can. For this one I'd spent a lot of time trying various things that didn't work (even bought a banjo), and editing out parts that I'd spent hours on earlier, in order to make it flow better, etc. Its very encouraging to get some positive feedback on this stuff. As you know, sometimes you slave away on your tracks and feel as if nobody is listening. Thanks so much!
You're much welcome, Jim. It is a delightful listen and I could really hear each instrument very well. I know what you mean with trying to perfect it. I think I remixed, refined, and uploaded "Raindrop Soul" about four times before it seemed just about right. I just remixed "Equal!" and upon listening, I like Jenny's powerful vocals but I'm getting a bit of a screech in the higher notes so I think I may have to go back in and do some slight cutting with the equalizer...it could be the frequencies that aren't heard that could even be causing it. But the good thing is that I've got those tracks where I'm the pickiest one over them. I'm going back and fixing several others, too.
Yes, we're often the most picky people over our own tracks. I've been involved with an online group of composers where we submit tracks to a team of professional composers and get them reviewed by those guys. Just when I thought I knew what to listen for, and get picky about, those guys are teaching me new things to check for in my tracks that I'd not been aware of before. A lot of it comes down to selectively cutting various frequencies in some tracks to leave room for other tracks that take up the same areas of the audio spectrum, along with careful panning of tracks to separate them in the stereo field. If you ever want a summary of what I've learned, I'd be happy to give you a brain dump, if that would be helpful for things you're working on .
If you have a brain dump ready, I'd like to read it! I practice panning, cutting, limiting, limiting. I have found a lot of online articles and tips, but some are written much better than others. I think the values to compress and where to cut are the trickiest. I have some urls I can send, and just listened to a frequency test last night. Interesting stuff as I tend to have the geeky mind. I'm taking a guess you may be familiar with things as writing markup, code, operating systems, and building computers? That made the entire thing of mixing/mastering an interesting thing to try.
I don't have anything written up specifically that I can share. Its mostly a collection of things that I've learned from taking Bobby Owsinky's Mixing Tips course, mixing tips from an Orchestral Composing course, and mixing tips from Sync Academy ... that all say the same kinds of things. Its also not a one-size-fits all approach that can apply to all music, but a way to approach your tracks to get them working well together. It would probably work better via screenshare. The problem areas for my tracks (due to the instrumentation) are always the drums, upright bass, acoustic guitars, and electric guitars. I have to find the nasty frequencies in each of these and tame them, use saturation (really helps acoustic instruments especially), and compression as needed.
This is really turning out to be a great series you're working on. "Signs Along the Lonesome Highway" is a particularly good piece. I like long stretches of open road as well. I think I've traveled nearly all of them in the Mojave, Colorado, and Great Basin deserts of California and Nevada. Favorites are CA 62 (Twentynine Palms Hwy...also my inspiration for "Far From Home"), CA 78 to Blythe, Amboy Road, Kelbaker Road, Morning Star Mine Road (I took my little pickup at 80 mph over the waves in the road with no one around for miles), US 95, and some roads in the middle of Nevada. All of them were peaceful.
Thanks so much John! I've lived in the Southwest for most of my life. I've spent a lot of time driving on roads with wide vistas where you see long lonely stretches of road, mountains in the distance, miles of open terrain with only a few small abandoned buildings on them. This kind of thing has always felt spiritual to me. I've often thought about musicians and songwriters that grew up in this kind of landscape and thought that it shaped their writing style also. Its amazing to think of all the great songwriters that came from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansans, ... (Roy Orbison, Jimmy Webb, Leon Russel, ... Pat Metheny ...) I can recall when I lived in New Mexico, driving home from college on a dark road where I didn't see another car for 200 miles. I even turned off my headlights and drove by moonlight on that road one time. Thanks for your kind words on this self-imposed album project I'm working on. I decided to go all in and try to write an entire album of music that I really enjoy. Its been really fun, and a lot of work. Hopefully I'll have some luck in finding a library to take my tracks, that's going to be my next task after I complete the album.
I think my favorite Jimmy Webb composition is "Wichita Lineman." A few others who lived in the desert or visited them frequently were Frank Zappa, Harold Budd, and Dewey Bunnell ("A Horse With No Name"). Jeana Potthoff put two albums on Amazon, Spotify, etc. I don't know how it's working out but she went through the ropes. Her albums are just beautiful. I have a new song up, "Raindrop Soul." Oh, and if you feel nostalgia for the old days when we drove the desert highways, go into the old cafes for burgers and fries; a favorite song is one of Bob Bentley's new ones from last spring, "Back to a Younger Me," which is a wonderfully great song.
Jim, "Tripping in Zambia" is a wonderful piece, full of variations and definitely the psychedelic sound. It's also the best tune the Ventures never recorded!
Thanks so much John!! I really appreciate the comments
Jim, your retro Americana series is going along great. "Bar Room Brawl in Bakersfield" is an entertaining, strong tune that rocks. These days, of course, it would end with gunfire, especially in Phoenix. I have to feel sorry for any poor soul who gets stuck in Amarillo. Your tunes have the feel of the titles you've given them. It's a great sounding series you're working on. John
Thanks so much John, you don't know how encouraging this is for me to hear. I started this album project as a bit of chance, not knowing if I could pull it off. Its great to hear that someone "gets" what I trying to do and understands the vibe that I'm going for. Yes, Bar Room Brawls these days are not fist fights, and yeah, if you've ever been stuck on the side of the road in Amarillo you might understand why I used some of those sounds.
Hi, Jim. Did you ever capture it on "Neon Motel Boogie." That thumping bass is terrific! I like that lap guitar. You like Brian Setzer? I have "Dirty Boogie," an excellent album. John
Thanks so much John! Yes, I love Brian Setzer. I actually have a Brian Setzer 6120 Gretsch that I'm using for this kind of music. It's my absolute favorite guitar. I love his playing because he takes a lot of chances in his playing, borrowing elements from Jazz, Country, Rockabilly, etc. He is a true master.
Here's to the very best composer in all of Arizona! I'm very happy to see you at the top of the Arizona, Unique, and Soundtrack charts! I've been waiting to see that happen. You have great composing skills that I admire. You are able to put across any emotion, any message, in your music, and you do it with care, purpose, and thought, and that's a big difference.
Thanks so much John! I really appreciate the kind words! Its especially helpful right now since I've been somewhat discouraged lately, with several songs rejected for different opportunities. I keep wondering if I need to change my approach or something. I appreciate the encouragement. Good luck with all of your music projects!
You're much welcome, Jim. That's the question for those of us in our group, The Rising Tide (Lifts all Boats) made up of myself, Robert Quigley, Jeana Potthoff, and Warren Hein. We are baffled, too. More on that in a private email. But of all of the tunes on BJ, there are a few songwriters who really know how to compose really terrific tunes and songs (my opinion anyway) and you are among them. I wonder, too, if we're just from a different time when songcraft really meant something. All the very best to you, too. Jim.
John, thanks so much for being so supportive to other songwriters out there. I can see in your latest news that you regularly mention other artists that people should check out. Its nice to see this!
Thank you, Jim! There are several songwriters as yourself who create such good tunes that I enjoy, and the latest news can be updated frequently. It's a good place to introduce others to what you and others are doing. Thank you for noticing. John
Greg, thanks so much for the 5-stars on my arrangement of Oh Christmas Tree. Hope that you have a Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas, Jim!
K Nelson, thanks so much for the 5-stars on my song "Oh Christmas Tree - Gypsy Jazz".
You Are Most Welcome ... Great Job ... May The Spirit And Joy Of The Season Be With You Throughout The New Year!
Thanks so much, you as well!
Thanks so much for the 5 stars on my songs Along the River Bank and Song For Berlin. Very much appreciated!
You're very welcome, Jim, and thank you for the 5 stars on Equal! I admire your compositions and arrangements!
Thanks so much John!
Thanks so much for the 5 stars on Oh Christmas Tree. Good luck with all of your music projects and hope that you have a fantastic Christmas
"Along the Riverbank" is a lovely piece that would please Eric Tingstad. I listened to "Song for Berlin," too, also a beautiful composition with the feel of meandering through the varied streets. You really write both elegant and earthy compositions, all very enjoyable.
Thank you so much for the comments John. I really appreciate it! Good luck with all of your music projects also!
Jim, listening to, "Oh, Christmas Tree" nice arrangement Sir, 5 Stars & Likes!
Thanks so much Corey's, very much appreciated! I just finished this one. I try to do a new Christmas Carol arrangement each year although most of them I don't post on Broadjam, just on my youtube channel for fun. Merry Christmas. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday!
Richard, thanks so much for the 5-stars on my song The Forest Much appreciated.
You are very welcome Jim. Happy to listen.
David, I'm listening to Booty Funk, ... digging it! I love those harmonica swell sounds, and the guitar parts, really cool!
Thanks Jim, you are always generous with positive feedback which always gives me a little boost! To be honest it's full of old samples I've got laying around my computer and a bit of a rush job too (bass could be funkier). I kept thinking it was a bit too repetitive but I also can see this sort of track in the background of one of those late night roulette gambling shows when they are idly chatting while they wait for punters to place bets (ha)
Thanks for the 5 stars for "A Day at the Country Estate". You have so much great music on your page I could spend all day there. I left a couple 5 stars myself.
Much appreciated Richard, nice to meet another real professional out there! Which of course your stuff is!
I'm always happy to see my favorites go to the top of the chart, one of which is "The Forest" at #1 Unique. Wonderful to see it there, Jim!
Thanks so much John, I really appreciate it. I feel lucky to have a song appreciated. Best of luck with all of your music projects!
I'm a big fan of Wes Montgomery, I love your cover of Road Song. Awesome stuff!
Thank you, glad you liked it. There's more in that vein in our song list. We'd appreciate any star ratings you care to give.