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Song Stories, Part I : August (A Prayer For Luke)

Corey Witt in the studio recording "strong"

The Tone Chef, hard at work on "August (A Prayer For Luke)"

I’d like to start walking you through some of the gear that was used on the recordings as well as the stories behind the songs themselves. In these posts, you’ll learn some recording techniques, so creative use of guitar effects, and some insight into how guitar players compose. I hope you enjoy this multi-part series.

For starters, August was one of the last songs written for the Strong CD (which you can purchase here on the site in physical form or here on iTunes) and was the least planned when I got to the studio on tracking day.

It opens with a cool drum thing from Dave Owens and starts with a rhythmic hook in the key of G. The hook is very poppy and I think I might’ve actually lifted the idea from an Andy Timmons solo. He inspires me so and I find myself trying to sound like him. The thing about this tune is that it started with me running a drum loop in Apple’s GarageBand app and just noodling over it. I set a goal to NOT do any soloing or fills but just to build rhythmic ideas to build into a song. If you suffer through the whole thing, you’ll see how the song was born in pieces. august_demo One of the things you won’t hear in that demo is the section where I solo over an Eb – F – Gm section. Literally, I felt like the song had nothing special about it and I created a C section/ bridge to change things up. It also allowed me to build some tension and release with that Gm chord since the song is in G major. You hear the obvious change on the last chord of the solo.

That rhythm guitar was recorded with a Fender Road Worn 50’s Telecaster into a 60’s Silvertone 1482 amplifier (with the coveted diamond-shaped baffle). The cool thing about that amp is that it has a very round, dark, syrupy tone to it which married well with the brightness of the tele. In the tracks, I wanted that rhythm guitar to bury well and not steal too much focus from the lead guitar or from the ear candy parts.

In the next installment, I’ll start breaking down some of the specifics of the ear candy and solo parts that went into this record. I’ll spend some time discussing the specific guitar, Adrenalinn pedal parts, and other stompbox elements that created the final song.

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