LITTLE RED CORVETTE
Date: April 26 2016
Backstory: As far as music goes, one of my earliest memories hearing any kind of music (aside from maybe hearing my parents’ John Prine or Drifters records) was sneaking into my brother John Ryan’s room when he was at school and listening to his Prince cassette tapes. I’d sit and read the liner notes over and over while trying to figure out (a) whether the guy was black or white and (b) What I could do to look as cool as this dude with his guitar on his back posing on a motorcycle? Sadly, I only ever found out the answer to my first query. A few years back, I started to occasionally cover Prince’s ‘Little Red Corvette’ acoustic after I saw the guys in Athenaeum do a kick-ass full-band version of it one night at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte NC. Once my guitarist/dear friend Micah Nichols and I started playing together, he’d insist we do it from time to time–and so over the years we eventually developed our own take on the tune. So, to honor the passing of one of rock’s greatest icons & most prolific songwriters, Micah and I thought we’d pay tribute to the late/ great Prince with an acoustic cover of his 1982 classic ‘Little Red Corvette.’
The Recording: When I mentioned the idea of recording a quick and simple version of the tune to Micah last week, he was 100 percent game from the start. As a big Prince fan, he thought it would be a cool idea. So, he sat to work on the acoustics and song layout and then sent me an audio file of what he’d recorded so that I could track vocals at my house. I did so and then met him at his place later that day where we wrapped up the tune together at his home studio in just under a few hours. Thanks to mixing engineer/resident sonic genius Neil B Young being free that evening, we were able to send the track over to him so he could put the finishing touches on the overall mix–which he did (as he always does) with great skill and excellent taste.
We hope yall enjoy it and encourage you to pass it around if you’d like. You can access the FREE DOWNLOAD of ‘Little Red Corvette’ below OR by going directly to it on SoundCloud at:
THE RICHES of RAGS
Date: February 22 2016
Backstory: Growing up as one of five boys, I heard occasional stories about the tough times my parents went through when they first started a family in rural West KY. My older three brothers remembered a few details about those times and the old A-frame house my parents first called home, yet most of the details I would glean from my father years later in casual conversation. The one thing that struck me the most about his recollections of those early years was how much he smiled when recounting them. Some time later, I wrote a song about my folks and those years in that old house. It was titled ‘The Riches of Rags.’ After I had finished it, I made a scratchy iPhone recording of it and sent it to one or two of my brothers. Time passed and I had all but forgotten about the tune until a few years ago when–as my brother Joe prepared for his wedding–his fiance (now wife) asked if I’d play the song for the first dance at their wedding. I was honored beyond belief.
The Recording: As a wedding present to my little brother and his wife, I decided to take things one step further and record a full version of the song as a gift for them on their big day. So, I went through old studio files to retrieve drum takes we had recorded for the song and slowly began putting the pieces together. Before long, it was apparent I was in over my head. So, I huddled with Micah, Christian and engineer Neil Young and–using takes our drummer Ben Scott had already recorded–we pieced together this full band version of the song at our home studio(s). To date, it’s the only tune I’ve ever written/recorded that makes my mother cry. The song could very well be the story of any new couple starting out their lives together. So feel free to share the link and FREE download with any and all friends, loved ones or family members you think might enjoy it OR be able to relate to its story. The full lyrics can be found right here on the site at:
Cheers and Enjoy!