I aint on the good list

December 1, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Posted in song ideas | Leave a comment

here’s a santa-inspired song. I was up in the middle of the night with a head cold, and somehow the first line came to mind and stayed there until I got this down:

I aint on the good list – by Bob Wiegers – 12/1/2008 – tune: the usual campfire kinda thing

I aint on the good list this year
I have caused many a tear
So big guy dont check me twice
This heart’s been as cold as ice
No I aint on the good list this year

I aint on the good list this year
I done too much cussing, I fear
if you can see into my soul
back up that big rig full of coal
cuz I aint on the good list this year

I aint on the good list this year
things arent always how they appear
my heart has wandered to and fro
so can you make it white as snow
cuz I aint on the good list this year

I aint on the good list this year
you dont make exceptions, that’s clear
next year I’ll do what I should
but right now I’m not very good
so I aint on the good list this year

“simple song” video

November 15, 2008 at 11:04 pm | Posted in octave mando, video | Leave a comment

another Christmas song

November 6, 2008 at 3:56 pm | Posted in song ideas, songs with words | 1 Comment

it so happens that my Shepherd’s Song is one of my favorites, and I’m pretty excited about doing it in church this Advent season. I wasnt really planning on writing another Christmas song, but we read the Christmas story with the kids last night. also, Michelle is 8 months preggo, so I was joking about her riding a donkey in such a state (she was on the couch because sitting at the dinner table used up all her energy). which got me to thinkin a little, so here’s this work in progress (tune a little something like Kasey Chambers “Rattlin Bones”):

She’s Singin a Song – by Bob Wiegers – 10/6/08

Rough demo MP3 here

9 months pregnant and we’re far from home
me and my love wander down the road
got no friends, got no plan
got nobody who can understand

the pains been coming since morning light
gotta find some shelter from the cold of night
but there aint no room, their aint no bed
aint no place for her weary head

(chorus)
but there’s joy in her eyes, she’s singing a song
now she knows that it wont be long
till she holds his hand, looks in his eyes:
her little boy is God with us

we found a cave with some ox and cows
started a fire and chased them out
in the dirt and hay I laid her down
water and blood spilled on the ground

she cried out in pain the whole night thru
I hadnt a clue what I should do
so I held her hand and started to pray
singing a song to drive my fears away

(chorus)

through pain and blood she delivered her son
his cries pierced the dark as his life begun
she wrapped him up and held him tight
sang him a song til the morning light

(chorus)

Chris Thile and Edgar Meyer show

October 22, 2008 at 8:18 am | Posted in song ideas | 1 Comment

Had a good time at the Thile/Meyer show last night in Nashville. They played a bunch of stuff from the new record, some Bach, a strange quasi-improvisation, as well as some other stuff like a track off Not All Who Wander…, the Smoothie Song (which got the best in-song crowd reaction), and a track from Short Trip Home (if I recall correctly).

I think they were at their best doing the Bach stuff, as it lacked Chris’s usual musical fits and seizures, which I tend to get real tired of. their non-melodic stuff was interesting and challenging, yet to my tastes I got tired of it. I did enjoy the ethereal stuff like they did for an encore, but the frenetic stuff I cant get into the way I did when I was in college. But when they did get to something that had a little drive or a little melody, it was very, very good, as you would expect.

Anyway, we spotted Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas in the crowd, and seeing them take their seats got us a little sad, as we were hoping they’d sit in on stage. 

Also, it was good to go with our old friend Scott Anderson, who lives in Nashville and works for the Country Music Hall of Fame. we always have a good time chatting up music stuff, and it was very good to see his family.

Whenever I go to a show, I try to take away a little lesson for myself. Usually it’s along the lines of whether or not what I’m taking in is something I should aspire to. I remember the first and last songs they played were very mellow and ethereal, and I was quite mezmerized, thinking “wow, this is defintely something I want to do.” and I think that I’ve taken a baby step toward that with my “Simple Songs”. That stuff that I do is heavily influenced by Edgar’s stuff like “Short Trip Home” so it was very good to hear stuff like that in person. on the flip side, the crazier stuff reinforced for me that I do NOT want to go there with my own stuff…I’ll be happy with “normal”, thanks, but I’m glad someone is out there pushing the boundaries.

Finally, here’s a link to a low-quality vid of the encore tune:

still the same

October 16, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Posted in family, song ideas | 1 Comment

here’s a song brought on by a running conversation Michelle and I have had over the years, and some of the stuff I’ve been thinking about due to that. most lyrics written with Joe Pug’sHymn 101” (great, great song) in my head, although the first line is completely coincidental (I thought of that last week, before I heard his song). I suppose I’ll have to give it my own tune eventually.

still the same – by Bob Wiegers 

rough demo mp3 here

in 70 years I’ll be 101
if we’re both here will you still be my love?
If I’m old but I’m not wise
and never really realize.
will you still love me if I never change?
even if I’m still the same?

I’m finding I’ve got a lot to learn
and dross that needs to burn.
I can’t do this on my own
shatter my illusions of control
kick all these intentions to the curb
drag my good intentions out to the curb

(chorus)
you know I want another start
purge the darkness in my heart
but this stuff keeps holding on
while we’re looking for the dawn
so will you still love me if I never change?
even if I’m still the same?
even if I’m still the same?

sometimes I’ve got so much to say
but I’m always getting in my own way.
I want to give you all I’ve got
but that dont mean a whole lot.
I wish someone could figure me out
yes I wish I could figure you out.

I’ve heard what the answers should be:
look to Jesus’ love, now and eternally.
but working all these things out
can make me want to cry and shout.
but will you still be my lover and friend
will you be mine until the bitter end?

(chorus)

Senator Norris and the TVA

October 9, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Posted in song ideas | Leave a comment

this one was inspired by this article

Senator Norris and the TVA

Young and old come gather ’round
Hear how the TVA came to be found
Long before the New Deal was assured
Good Senator Norris fought one Henry Ford

Down in Alabama, town of Muscle Shoals
The president was selling, the story is told,
The Wilson Dam, and it almost got sold
To old Henry Ford, whose plan was quite bold.

The folks in the Valley started to dream
that soon they’d wipe out all poverty
They saw grand visions of fortune and fame
Detroit of the south would soon be their name

But to Senator Norris it didn’t make sense
No good for the people or their government
So he told old Henry and his pal Edison
Your profiteering here isn’t welcome

So the poor Wilson Dam had nowhere to go
And anger flared up at old Muscle Shoals
The Alabama Ghost it soon became known
But Senator Norris had a plan of his own

But with President Coolidge the plan went aground
And then later Hoover voted it down
But times had changed when FDR came
And brought to the people the great TVA

Build it for the people
The rivers command
Control all the floods
Bring power to the land

poor man’s recording studio

September 24, 2008 at 12:08 pm | Posted in gear | Leave a comment

well, I guess I’m not really poor, but when it comes to recording equipment, I have but one item: my little Zoom H2 digital recorder. that and a computer allows me to do pretty much anything I currently want to do, although I admit my wants and needs are rather minimal at this point. so, for the record, here’s how I record my stuff.

first, I record my voice and guitar (or mandolin, as the case may be) in one live take. I set up my Zoom H2 in our walk-in closet (or our little guest room, depending what is available) and just fire away. usually it’ll take a few tries to get a good take. right now, for me a “good take” is one where I don’t screw it up that badly. I will readily admit I am not an accomplished vocalist or instrumentalist. but my goal is to simply get my little songs down, so I’m not too worried about being polished. I’ve found that being closer to the mic on the Zoom makes for warmer vocals. 

once that’s done, I import the audio file into the computer and use Audacity (free audio editing software) to edit it if necessary. usually it’s just turning up the volume a little as well as fading in and out in the beginning and end. if there’s a mistake that can be fixed by some creative copy-n-paste, I’ll try that. other than that I leave it alone. I know there’s lots of nifty things the software can do, but so far I’m blissfully ignorant of such things.

if I want to add another track, like bass or mandolin, I’ll put the original edited file on my ipod and listen while I play along, recording the 2nd track to the Zoom. then I’ll but that side-by-side with the original in Audacity, nudging it back and forth until they’re aligned. this can be rather tedious, especially when compared to a “real” multi-track recorder, but this is what I got.

so far I’m happy with the results. last night I recorded a bass track for 4 of my songs, and it turned out pretty well. I’ll probably add in some mandolin soon too. there’s only 3 more songs left to record to make it to my goal of 10 (or 11) songs, and then I’ll see what can be added.

this is a pretty lo-fi operation, but I think that suits my humble songs. we’ll see where, if anywhere, this stuff leads, but so far it’s been fun.

Each Day

September 19, 2008 at 9:38 am | Posted in song ideas, songs with words | Leave a comment

here’s a song inspired by a recent sermon in church on Matthew 6. I’ve got old-timey, gospely tune in my head for it…we’ll see how it works out.

Each Day

each day has enough trouble of its own
each day has enough trouble of its own
but you say not to worry
but you say not to worry
cuz each day has enough trouble of its own

there’s an old man who’s dying, and everyone knows but him
there in bed he’s lying, don’t know he’s near the end

there’s a young mom sick and tired, finally seen enough
dad’s not coming around, now she’s called his bluff

we’re down on our luck
we’re down on our knees
you said watch the birds
and consider the lillies

each day has enough trouble of its own
each day has enough trouble of its own
but you say not to worry
but you say not to worry
cuz each day has enough trouble of its own

there’s a son of a widow who found out the tests were positive
now no one knows but Jesus just how long she’ll live

there’s young man who hasn’t seen a paycheck in 8 weeks
the kids are getting hungry, the roof is springing leaks

we’re looking for God’s kingdom
not sure we’ve found it yet
you promised all these things
but the sun is starting to set

each day has enough trouble of its own
each day has enough trouble of its own
but you say not to worry
but you say not to worry
cuz each day has enough trouble of its own

progress on 2nd album

September 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Posted in aspirations, Context (2nd album) | Leave a comment

for my 2nd home-made album, I’m doing my songs-with-words, and so far I’m calling it “Context”. I’ve pretty much decided on the track listing (at least 10 songs, maybe 12 if I can get them up to par), and I’ve recorded 5 of them so far. the album cover will probably be in the vein of the first one. I’ve even written some brief “liner notes”:

“Context” is a collection of songs about the things close to my heart: family, home and faith. This is a completely hand-made and home-made collection, done very simply in every way. I am not here to impress you with clever or obscure language, or fanciful guitar and mandolin work, but I do hope to simply sing a story in a pleasing way. So here you have songs about falling in love with my wife and kids, songs about Chattanooga (new and old, good and bad), and songs based on classic Bible stories. I have certainly enjoyed making these songs, and I hope you enjoy hearing them.

I’ve got extra motivation to finish it soon as there’s a potential show in town that wants a demo CD to see if they want me. so we’ll see how much I get done.

work talent show

September 17, 2008 at 2:36 pm | Posted in aspirations, Chattanooga, playing out | 1 Comment

 

 

so here at work they had a talent show, so I figured, what the heck, it should be fun. I was thinking of doing one of the songs I wrote, perhaps “Tear it down” since it’s about the building they tore down that was right next to our building. but then they announced it was a 70s theme, so I wrote We Had Love for the occassion: a song about Chattanooga in the 70s, and I threw in some references about the company too. most of the other entrants were doing stuff like “Proud Mary” and whatnot, so I didnt figure I had a chance of winning. I have nothing like the crowd-pleasing antics of a bunch of large women singing well and dancing like crazy.

so I didnt win. but it was still fun. I borrowed some cool 70s threads (thanks Jade, Isaac and Joe), and when I stepped on stage there was a murmur through the crowd, so I think they thought it was cool. I’m proud of the fact that I wrote and performed my own song (with my own instrument) and it was well-received. my boss, his boss, and his boss all had nice things to say.

as I ponder baby-steps toward performing some of my songs around town, I think this was a good experience. there was a pretty good crowd (500 maybe?), but I wasnt really nervous. the crowd wasnt really into the show in general, but I felt like they were happy with what I did. I always say my best rendition of a song is usually my best practice, and the actual performance (or worship service, as the case may be) is a notch down, but I think I did pretty well this time. I dont have much stage presence usually, as I tend to look down or away and not engage, but I got into it a little this time. I liken it to the persona that comes over me when I’m dealing with a sunday-school-class full of 3 year olds: I dont even recognize myself with all the enthusiasm and antics. I wont say it was quite that much, but I think I can get into a stage persona eventually. I am completely fine with being a quiet/boring person in general, but no one wants to watch a boring show.

so it was fun. next month I’m backing up my friend Chris at a fund-raiser, so that’ll be good. and I’ve got the possibility of playing for a neighborhood event later this year, so if I make the cut that’ll be a good next step.


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