Gonna Cross It Off My List
This was my New Years resolutions song for 2020 and then Covid19 happened. Though I have all the time in the world now I'll be the first to admit that I simply don't possess the discipline to be one of those badass's that has the focus and ability to knock out a hundred things a day for any more than a day sporadically at best. It's nice to fantasize about it though. I guess this tune would be the flip side to Running All Around as it's got all the same players. Doug Strahan helping me out on guitars with Jeff Sanders on drums and Dave Wessolowski on bass and Jonny Keys on keys. This tune as well as all the others are set up for you to "pay what you want" and I'll be using proceeds from all my website sales this week to make a donation to HAAM. The Health Alliance For Austin Musicians. Thanks for all your continued support. I've got to make this solo thing worth doing :^)
The link to this one is right below this with the link to Running All Around.
Running All Around
About RUNNING ALL AROUND
I wrote “Running All Around” back in late 2011 not too long after the Asylum Street Spankers disbanded. The melody is based loosely on a recording I had on a rockabilly “mix” tape back in the mid-90’s. To this day I have no idea what the name of that tune was. It was a slow instrumental with a few twangy guitars and a saxophone. That mix tape has long since been missing from my old collection but I always remembered that melody, kind of. A few guitars doing a simple melody/harmony with the sax riffing over the top. While sitting around noodling on a guitar one day something resembling that melody popped out as well as the chord changes which are quite simple. Sometimes when I write a song I will just strum some chords and hum the melody I hear in my head for a while. Eventually the humming becomes more like scat singing and every now and then an actual word might roll off my tongue and then maybe two or three words together or maybe even an entire phrase. That’s how I came to what has turned out to be a great hook and apparently quite the ear worm- “I’ve been running all around”. Considering the life I’d been living for the previous ten years as a member of a band known for relentless touring, partying and living the dream the rest of the song pretty much wrote itself. I liken it to “Why Do It Right” in that it’s message is simple but deep. Well the tune sat on the back burner for a while but a few years later I’d have the opportunity to pull it out live when I went on tour with Strahan and The Good Neighbors in the fall of 2017. Doug Strahan is an Austin based singer/songwriter/band leader and a badass guitar slinger as well. He and Neighbs’ (Jeff Sanders on drums, Dave Wessalowski on bass and Jonny Keys on keyboard) are rooted in some serious outlaw country, blues, roots rock and some serious guitar jams (think Allman Bros guitar harmonies). As most of you know those are some of my roots as well so I simply couldn’t say no to the offer of adding a few of my tunes to the show. Now originally I’d conceptualized “Running All Around” as a slower tune similar to that mystery song from that 1900’s mix tape but that changed. I decided to triple time it making it more danceable and composed some twin guitar harmonies. Then I cut a quick demo in my studio, fired it off to Doug who being the complete badass on the guitar that he is learned one of the guitar parts note for note. The first time we played it I was like, “Oh, damn! That sounds great. No, really that sounds f’ing stellar with those guitar harmonies!” At this point I’ve been performing the tune with Doug and his band for a few years and have had a lot of folks tell me that that damn “Wanderin’ Around” song or whatever it’s called is totally stuck in their head. Yes! That’s just what a songwriter wants to hear. I’ve since been pulling the tune out with some other folks too. I think we’ve done it a few times with the Guy Forsyth Band and definitely with Chansons Et Soúlards, the cajun band I’m in. “Running” actually works great with a cajun/zydeco feel. Well when it came time to start laying the tracks in the studio I realized that for live performances the awesome double guitar thing Doug and I do wasn’t always going to be an option so I came up with a third part that can stand alone whenever Doug isn’t around. Then it takes on more of a rockabilly feel. Three guitars rocking out the musical hook. I love it! Another issue I ran into when we started tracking was that although I was very satisfied with having sped the tune up making it rock more I could still hear my original idea of several guitars harmonizing a simple run with another instrument riffing over the top just like the mystery tune from the 90’s. I decided to do just two instrumental verses of that idea as an intro leading into the rest. I've recently read and heard that having a very long intro on a single isn't the best idea as the listener may lose interest before the “hook” comes around and the song probably won’t get much airplay but I decided to let that not concern me. So what you get is basically “Running All Around" parts A & B and maybe at some point I’ll split the two or maybe not. A funny side story about part A: I had a day off to spend time in my studio and thought it might be fun to eat a chocolate candy that may or may not have had psychedelic mushrooms as one of it’s main ingredients. Yep, I think you can hear that influence in Part A for sure! I recorded four guitars playing that run in harmony each in one take. Not usually an easy task even for a simple part. Then I grabbed my hollow body and lay down a track of chord splashes with heavy use of the Bigsby tremolo. So far so good. Next was four or six tracks of singing falsetto “ooooooooo’s” and now its really starting to sound like what was in my head. Just one thing missing- a track with my Danelectro and a slide riffing over the top of it all. I only did one take of each of those because I honestly thought I’d listen to it the next day I think it was shite and have to redo it all. Not the case at all. After a quick rough mix I put the whole intro on a loop and lay there on the floor listening to it over and over for like an hour. It turned out exactly like I was hearing it in my head which I would describe as “dreamy?” I guess and as it tags twice after only two verses the drummer hits a roll on the snare that crescendo’s into a bam! Part A is now over and the listener is snapped into part B. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the tune (both halves) and that it gets stuck in your head in the most annoying/awesome way. “Running All Around” is one of two songs I recorded with Doug helping out on guitar and the second will also be released as a single in about a month. Both will be part of my long overdue next record which I’d really like to knock out before the end of 2020 and before the end of the world as we know it if it’s not too late;^)
Thanks to Doug and his band for helping me with this tune in the studio and thanks to Matt Smith up at The Six String Ranch in Austin for helping me mix and master it and thanks those who have commented about it already being stuck in their head thereby helping me realize it should absolutely be recorded and thank you for purchasing and enjoying and allowing your ears to be overrun with “Running All Around”.