Songs: Chasing after Bert (AGF 1), Nothing I Can Do (AGF 2)
"Chasing after Bert "
About the Music: "My customary mode of writing is to pick up my guitar, shake it around a little, and see what falls out of the soundhole. On one particular day what shook free was the repeating motif based on the D- chord that comes in after the first bit (the one using unison strings). I thought it sounded like something Bert Jansch might play, and decided, having been influenced by him when I was a teenager, to try to write, as a tribute, something I imagined he might write. ‘Chasing’ after him, of course, because Bert is Bert and will not be caught…"
Recording Information: "I’d made records live and at home, but not in a pro studio since my first LP (!) was recorded on a 16 track in Montreal. Jeremy Darby, owner of/engineer at Canterbury Sound in Toronto has done live sound for Lou Reed, Mark Knopfler, Van Morrison, etc, and has a sterling reputation for acoustic sound, classic mics, and vintage outboard gear. I wanted drums, horns, organ, etc on this record, and I knew I’d have enough to think about coordinating the music, without having to choose and position the microphones, push the buttons, etc. I don’t recall what he used or where it was placed for this tune—each tune had its unique setup—but do remember how Jeremy was quite amazed at how well the Lowden recorded despite its big body size. "
Instruments Used: Lowden O25 which is non-cutaway, cedar top, rosewood back and sides ( and a truly majestic instrument); year: possibly around 2000
Tuning: "Drop D, which is kind of my personal standard. (I play in G, A, C, and of course D in it, and often use it for accompanying other singers as well, enjoying the big chords and the extra note.)"
About the Artist: "I’ve been playing for a loooong time, and yet, thank G-d, I still wake up excited and eager to see what’s inside the box. I’m currently playing my Collings OM2H a lot, as well as a Gold Tone resonator (with Paul Beard cone). I am currently working on two new records, two concert DVDs, and any number of literary works (I used to publish poems and translations when I was younger and had a typewriter). Although I love being at home with my instruments and my cat (Hendrix), I am increasingly on the road these days, and I invite you to check out my website (noahsong.com) to see if I’m anywhere near you. If so, come on out and say hey. I’m always happy to widen the circle, and I always buy the first round... "
"Nothing I Can Do"
About the Music: "I don't play much piano, but I try to justify the presence of a large and somewhat inconveniently positioned instrument in my house by poking at least a few notes, an arpeggio, or such, every time I pass by on my way into or out of the kitchen.
One day (inspired by a blend of coffee I had just sampled?) I sat down and played more than my customary few notes on the fly. While enjoying a simple rhythm and a couple of chords in the people's key of C, a melody and a mood began to reveal themselves to me. I carried this fragile visitor over to the 6-string and found myself writing a love-song for an ex from the south of England.
This became "Nothing I Can Do"--a song considerably simpler harmonically than many of my other pieces—-undoubtedly a consequence of its origins on an instrument I am not at ease upon."
Recording / Instruments: "On this recording I play a Lowden O-25--no overdubs. For old time's sake I played fills on a grand piano, and for rhythmic gossamer added a Nashville high-strung (I think it was a small-bodied Larrivee) that happened to be in the studio when I went in to mix.
Two live versions of “Nothing I Can Do” have been posted on YouTube—-an early one (date uncertain) from just after it was written, and another from a 2007 live performance on radio KPIG in Freedom, California.This recorded version was released on “Waiting on Your Love"