This next release is called The Smoky Mountain Encounter
...Listen to it here
Well we packed up all our luggage in our ragtop Ford
The first thing you should know is that we’d made this trip before
Cuz we love them Smoky Mountains; we don’t even need a map
We put the top down and point our nose towards the Cumberland Gap
But things were gonna get just a little weird this time around
Darkness fell fast with no moon up in the sky
The trees were hanging low; the road was strange on this eerie night
Weird lights tailing us: headlights failing us
We wanna put the top up, but I can’t risk a stop
Slowed it down to a crawl on that mountain as time stood still
The next few hours was a jumble of events
Vague recollections of a kind that make no sense
Dashlights flickerin’, the clock took a backwards spin
Static cross the dial as we’re flooded in unearthly light
Stopped dead in our tracks as memory fades into black
We finally came around as we were heading down
The other side of that mountain
With the sun sitting high in the sky
The only souvenir we’d picked up on that ride
Was a subconscious dread of objects unidentified?
That’s about all I recall, nothing much more I can say
Now I got a good tale, to pass to my grandson one day
The lyrics to this song are loosely based on a story my grandma had told me on many occasions over 40 years or so.
Now, when she first told me this story, about a trip through the smoky mountains in the late 1950s in their convertible, I was probably 7 or 8 years old, maybe younger...and I asked her to tell it to me many times in the following years, up until last year, when she told it to me for the last time.
But, when I first heard her tell this story it was the 1970’s, and movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind were in my mind, as well as TV shows like Leonard Nimoy’s In Search Of, which seemed to frequently feature stories about UFO’s and Alien Abductions.
Now, my grandma was such a terrific story teller, that as she was telling me about what happened to them on that dark and eerie night in the smoky mountains...
-where they couldn’t get the top up fast enough on the car
-and they felt as though something was following them…watching
-and they stopped for fuel in the middle of the night in a place that shouldn’t of even had a store, let alone all of the weird looking people that were in the store staring at them silently...
Well, my imagination filled in a lot of blanks!
So this is the story she told me, processed through the filter of 1970's pop culture in the mind of a 10 year old
Now, I’m sure that you noticed; I had a guest star sit in for the intro to this track, none other than OUR grandson, Mathias.
It makes me pretty happy to pass along a story from my grandma down to him.
And he did a great job getting up in the mic and doing his part, especially since he’s not even 3 years old yet!
This is a fairly new song for me, and I have only played it live once or twice. It’s a fast one and its hard to play, so I had to rework the arrangement a little before I recorded it.
I did however play it at a show at the BuzzBin Shop in Canton Ohio, and my friend Bill Locke who is the drummer in a fantastic band here in Canton called The Said So, grabbed me after the set and said, “What was that fast one? I like that one!” so I knew it was a keeper!
The music itself actually came about in sort of an unusual way. I adapted and borrowed the main guitar riff from some music I had created for a documentary that one of Jean’s friends had put together …read more about that here if you’d like
I used my late 30’s Kalamazoo on this song. I split the signal, running one side direct into the board with a couple of cheap transducer pickups that I taped together, and the other side I mic’ed up with my Shure 55.
The whistle track at the beginning was me, and A LOT of reverb and slapback delay
This song is one of the first I have recorded that reflects how much old time and mountain music I love and listen too.
It’s not really a rockabilly song; but what is rockabilly anyway, but a mixture of hillbilly music, rhythm and blues, jazz, and great American Music.
So hopefully you will all bear with me as I explore some more sounds in the future
I’ll be playing this one at my first two shows of 2014.
The first show being Thursday March 13th at the BuzzBin Shop …click here for details
And the next being Sunday March 16th at Sadie Renes in North Canton …click here for details
See ya soon