An autumnal fingerpickin' instrumental.
Some recent discussion on MeFi about the band a-ha reminded me that I'd recorded this acoustic cover of one of their songs a long time ago. This is actually based on an arrangement by Kings of Convenience, who made some interesting changes to the original song structure. Me on vocals and guitars (nylon-string and steel-string). [more inside]
Acoustic guitar and voice. Pretty straight as far as my memory of the proper song goes. [more inside]
A multi-tracked violin sketch/tiny cover of an excellent song by Lil Nas X that I can't get out of my head.
Havin' a play with the gang! [more inside]
Just a little song from my weird little indie folk heart. Actually reworking something old and the first thing I've recorded in a while, since I was pretty tired from the whole process of putting out my first EP in January. Also...stuff?...has been happening to my voice because I am trans and recently started testosterone therapy, I really notice the change in how my voice feels and I certainly hope others can hear it too!
Another weird, haunting indie folk song from yours truly! There is also a weird, haunting music video located here. This is all part of my first official release, which I am super excited about, under my stage name MK Ellison.
Walking with pushchairs to make the little one sleep forces you outside. [more inside]
"'I will work for honey!' This girl looks at me and goes, 'what?' I go 'yeah, it goes like this.'" [more inside]
Pretty proud of the vocals. This is a weird one, but my most haunting song yet. I had an image of a supernatural, quiet kind of nightmare where the narrator has a horrible premonition that something is coming for her, tries to run away, but cannot get far enough.
It's been a while since I posted any of my new songs here. What do you think of my kind of new direction (and quality of the recording)? Alternative folk-ish, acoustic song with clean vocals, guitar, mandolin, harmonies. Sounds happy but the lyrics are not. [more inside]
This song started as a joke and turned into something quite different. My friend and her husband have a lovely cat with an inspiring life story. During a recent visit, she said I should write a song about Magali, and after laughing about possible lyrics, it turned into a heartfelt song about the sweet, loving bond between a man and his cat. [more inside]
Not sure if I can do it justice, but I have loved this song every since I first heard Seven Swans in my college days. Light, soulful cover of a modern classic. I've messed with the harmonies a little, so some of the chords are more dissonant (but in a watery, calm way, not a harsh way, if that makes any sense).
I love this song. Cover with guitar, piano. From her 1995 album Wrecking Ball, which Wikipedia calls "career redefining."
Wrote a new song that I still like, unlike the last one I posted! Textured, mellow, summery indie/country with guitar, percussion, strings, vocals.
My wife had a pessimistic guitar instructor when she was younger, one of those "there's nothing new in music, there's only 12 notes" kind of musicians. So, as a rebuttal to that mindset, here's an in-progress 50+ chord progression that I think is turning out swimmingly so far.
This is a complete reworking of a song I posted before (17) which is now...prettier? Mellower? Flows more? What do you think of my new direction? [more inside]
An original arrangement of an old cowboy song, from the new album High on the Hog by Corwin Bolt & the Wingnuts. [more inside]
Wish I didn't have to keep writing songs like this. [more inside]
I've always known "Black and White" as a fiddle rag, but it turns out it was composed for piano in 1908. When I was a kid, it was one of about a dozen tunes my dad and I played together (over, and over, and over) with him on guitar and me on fiddle. In a total coincidence (no, really) my band decided to record it for our upcoming album “High on the Hog”. I never played it quite like that with my dad, but looking back it's fun to imagine I was practicing for this. [more inside]
Another set from some recent recording - two Irish hornpipes on guitar and octave mandolin. [more inside]
A quick, old tune
Another rough mix from a recent bout of recording. These are two tunes I played during the summertime wedding of two good friends. [more inside]
A classic Louis Jordan song all about chickens, interpolated with a fiddle reel that's all about chickens. Recorded and broadcast live 11/4/2017 for "The Back Porch" on KLCC 89.7 Eugene, OR. [more inside]
Topical song. Recorded live in one take, fast and dirty, at home. Vocal, three-string guitar and stompbox, all coming out of a 15 watt VOX guitar amp. I videoed the performance too, which you can see at Facebook or YouTube. If you'd like to download an AIFF audiofile, you can do so at SoundCloud. [more inside]
Henry King's Reel, a fiddle tune written by Trevor Stuart of Haywood County, North Carolina. [more inside]
As long as I am posting moody, folksy songs with voice and guitar...here's another one!
(That's the title, I have not in fact been drinking all day...) Country-ish, imagine you and your man are on the outs and you're feeling a little bitter about it.
This piano part and vocal melody have been rattling around in my brain for a while--finally wrote some lyrics and fleshed it out a bit.
A seasonally-appropriate fiddle tune, with solo fiddle triple-tracked but otherwise unprocessed. The fiddle is in DDAD tuning, which I like a lot. [more inside]
A song written for my 4 month old daughter. [more inside]
If you know of him, you may have an opinion that Daniel Johnston is a outsider genius, a troubled victim of hipster exploitation, or simply a not-so-typical independent musician who found his audience. If nothing else, his work is irrefutably full of sincerity and emotion. This little piece of his is one of the great American songs. [more inside]
Long time no tunes! A simple tune on the classical guitar, sketched out after my daily struggle to learn Chopin & Satie songs. Birds, for interest.
"Something inside me's changed—I was so much younger yesterday." I learned and recorded this cover of Hailee Steinfeld's "Starving" in a half hour one afternoon last month. [more inside]
Instrumental country death song
The old-time tune "Spotted Pony", played at a jam session at the 2016 Portland Old-Time Music Gathering. [more inside]
I, for one, welcome our new 2017 overlords. Written and recorded on a Zoom H4, New Year's Day 2017.
[Cover] Sentimental and simple, but a good reminder of what matters. [more inside]
Work in progress, a classic fiddle rag with some new old time fun. Words and arrangement by Mr. Corwin Bolt, played by the Wingnuts. [more inside]
Here's my submission (finally) for the assignment I got for the Great Raffle Request Challenge a few years back. The request: "Record a song (cover or original) on an instrument you don't really know how to play." This one's for Secretariat! [more inside]
Acoustic guitar improv + desert sounds from Freesound. Much longer and more free form than my normal way of doing things.
Acoustic guitar improv with ambient desert sounds. On the guitar I was trying to do bells by letting strings ring against one another. Recorded late Saturday night in the woodshed the the Soundcloud app on my Android phone. The guitar was my National Estralita. The ambient sound tracks are from Freesound - "A can rolling into the wind, in the desert of Atacama (Chile)." by felix.blume. "The Australian Desert at night." by "kangaroovindaloo" felix.blume Chile, desert » A can rolling into the wind, in the desert of Atacama (Chile)
This is a lo-fi demo of a new song I wrote recently. It was an experiment in seeing what I could sketch out with the least effort just using my phone. I doubled and harmonized with my own vocals in the chorus, but didn't have any multitracking software on my phone to do it, so I used a freeware app that let me record and mix a second vocal as input to the waveform of my original performance. [more inside]
Another acoustic song! I'm really digging this thing where I limit myself to two strings, probably because I'm lazy.
Improvised acoustic guitar / singing. Recorded on phone. A bluegrass standard, but I'm playing it as a stream of consciousness improvisation. Usually these days my playing is pretty much by the book, but here I was thinking about ecstatic / outside players like John Fahey and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. No patching in. Only one take. No overdubbing. Get it right in the moment. Be real and accept flaws as long as they don't spoil anything important. [more inside]
I've been listening to a lot of riot grrl and wrote this for a friend
Acoustic folk heartbreak. [more inside]
This mp3 was converted from a video I made, recording stereo audio straight into my phone. It's a rough draft with minimal instrumentation and arrangement I'm hoping to develop further with a group that recently started coming together called The Wishing Well Divers. [more inside]
First demo for RPM2016. 9 songs to go! [more inside]