Cross Road Blues

August 21, 2010 3:25 PM

Rough as a bear's arse - the guitar is all one take (complete with many balls-ups and towards the end it's gloriously out of tune). But quite a good overall sound imho. Double bass features again. All in all, this is just a bit of twatting about really. With apologies to Robert Johnson and a tip of the hat to EC.

I had the riff and, after a while, realised it was quite close to what Clapton plays in Cream's version of this track. I did intend to write a song around it - even had a title - but I couldn't really get the enthusiasm together.......I mean, who needs another generic blues song? Not me. So I thought I'd just use the riff in a cover of this track. Whatever....

posted by MajorDundee (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

...a tip of the hat to EC.

But... Ernie Kovacs, that's a K, not a C. Oh, wait, you meant Elvis Costello, of course. How foolish of me. No? Not dear ol' Declan? Alright then, must be Eddie Cochran, then, right? No... well, damn, I'm stumped then...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:37 PM on August 21, 2010

Great song tagging! And this thing chugs along like crazy. The double bass sounds great, and I quite like your vocal delivery on this. The guitar playing is off the charts. If you had a picture of Eric Clapton on your studio wall, he'd be practically head-banging along to this.
posted by edlundart at 10:49 PM on August 21, 2010

No... well, damn, I'm stumped then...

Let me help you out here Flapjax - Emer Crudworth ring any bells?? Lives in England, getting on a bit, drinks beer, has recently quit smoking and may make further appearances on MeFiMu with selections from his modest blooz repertoire. Never seen that Eddie Cochran clip before btw - great stuff! Fascinated by his guitar - what is that? Like an ES175 but with P.90's. Been thinking about getting something with P.90's. They give a really hot, wired sound...

Thanks edlundart. I'm slighty disconcerted at why I put this out like it is. You comments on the guitar are kind, but there are bits in it - particularly the second solo - that are pretty sub-standard (for me anyway). It kind of falls over, and the upper register fast bits don't cut it. Normally I would have re-recorded until I got that right. But.......I guess I wanted to get some kind of sponteneity rather than perfection. The vocal was one take too. So this is as close to "live" as I can get on my own.
posted by MajorDundee at 2:14 AM on August 22, 2010

I know I have some trouble hearing this about my own efforts, but it's possible that the immediacy and spontaneity of this recording is what makes it work. The stuff that you can tell is "sub-standard" sounds great to the rest of us (at least to me). Further efforts to clean it up might have made the track better, OR it might have sucked some of the life out of it. So, I guess I'm just saying that I hear you about wanting spontaneity over perfection for this, and I think it may well be the right choice.
posted by edlundart at 11:05 PM on August 22, 2010

I'm sure you're right and I really don't mind at all what you're saying. Working alone and trying to create pseudo "band" music most of the time, I think the hardest thing is to get any kind of life into things. At least that's what I find. I have an extremely critical ear and will pick up the tiniest flaw in anything. And for me flaws=failure. I know that's kind of wrong and that a performance is often all the better for its mistakes and rawness. are what you is (as Frank Zappa memorably put it). I'm not really a natural solo performer - I'm a lead guitarist who can write the occasional tune, and that role is where I'm happiest. Doing solo vocals just with a guitar, which is all I could feasibly do "live", isn't really my bag. People like Flapjax can really deliver with that kind of very simple format - but he has a good voice and the confidence that brings.
posted by MajorDundee at 1:33 PM on August 23, 2010

the hardest thing is to get any kind of life into things. Well this is very much alive and it may have to do with spontaneity, as edlundart mentions above, but what I hear is that you're having a great deal of fun with this and that makes it fun to hear.
posted by snsranch at 4:08 PM on August 23, 2010

It was fun - not least of which was playing that double bass. Should have video'd it - you'd all have had a good laugh. I found myself semi-crouching to play it so I could sort of look across the neck rather than down it. So I was, really, trying to play it like a guitar. Only way I could play more-or-less in tune. Even thought about balancing the bastard sidelong on a couple of chairs and sitting down to play it. Crazy.....but, hey, if it works I'll try anything.... Hope Peterkins doesn't read this - he'd be horrified....
posted by MajorDundee at 1:44 PM on August 24, 2010

I like your sound and the mixing on this. And that's saying something because I am not a big blues fan and I hate Eric Clapton with a white hot passion. Good job, Major!
posted by tunewell at 4:11 PM on August 24, 2010

I hate Eric Clapton with a white hot passion

No need to pussyfoot around like that mate - don't feel you have to hold back or anything (!). I'm not a Clapton fan either - I don't have any of his records - but I'm more indifferent than fired up about him.

I never rated him as a guitarist until I turned on the TV one evening last year and caught some of Cream's reunion gig at the Royal Albert Hall. I have to say that on a couple of numbers old EC dispensed with his oh-so-cool pose and really did start tearing things up a bit and....well.......I was pretty fucking impressed. And, let me tell you, these days it takes a hell of a lot to impress me, particularly when it comes to guitarists (99.9% of the time it's the same old cliches endlessly recycled - true inventiveness is increasingly rare). So, I might not be much of a fan but I do respect the guy as a musician.

And you have to remember too - and this is another thing I try to bear in mind with people like him - that the reason he sounds boring is because you hear his trademark licks and sound all the fucking time. He doesn't impress because that sound is kind of ubiquitous and workaday. BUT......he was one of the originators of that sound and playing style - or at least developed it and made it mainstream. Thousands and thousands of guitarist owe Eric Clapton a debt whether consciously or not. And although that's clearly not in itself a reason to like his records, it is, in my view, a reason to give the guy his dues. Just my opinion and not trying to start a punch-up...
posted by MajorDundee at 11:55 AM on August 25, 2010

I've said it before somewhere here at Mefi, but I'll say it again: I will always regret not having a camera with me when, once at Tower Records in Shibuya, I saw a huge store display, with big cut-out letters (you know how they do, mount 'em on board and all) reading ERIC CRAPTON.

I am never without my camera since then.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:17 PM on August 25, 2010

it is kind of rough and sloppy, but the rockabilly feel of this, that two step beat, is a pretty radical reinterpretation of this song - i like the feel of this - very different groovewise from what people usually do with this
posted by pyramid termite at 11:03 PM on August 28, 2010

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