Six Rooms And A Path

Posted by: Al-David

Six Rooms And A Path - 06/21/14 09:54 PM

Although I played lead guitar in a Country Band for over 35 years, I don't really have a Country voice - more R&B and Pop. This is my best effort, though!

I (Alan) originally wrote this in 2004, updated it in 2007, 2008 and again last week. It's a reasonable accurate reflection of my early childhood. We lived on a farm near Troy, Missouri until I was 8 years old. Our house had neither electricity nor running water.

Questions about the mix:

1. Is the vocal too loud? I think it might be a little loud in the mix.

2. Should I eliminate the acoustic rhythm guitar on the right track? Sometimes I think it competes with the mandolin chop rhythm ... other times I'm not so sure.

Two others things of note: You might notice I've been signing my posts as "Alan" & Di rather than "Al". I personally prefer Alan but most folks in the music biz know me as Al. I'm okay either way! Also, when Di's health improves, she'll be doing some more of our original stuff. She had a really bad stroke a couple of years ago and she having some recurring symptoms plus a respiratory issue.

File:Al - Six Rooms And A Path.SGU
Key=C , Tempo 154, Length (m:s)=3:38
8 bar intro, 129 bar chorus, from bar 9 to bar 137. Repeat x1 chorus
Melody has 975 notes, Melody harmony is < no harmony >(0)
Soloist track has 988 notes, Soloist harmony is < no harmony >(0)
Song is saved with Volume, Pan, Reverb, Chorus, Bank0,
Song is saved with bar changes for Volume Changes,
Style is _BAGGM_B.STY (Bouncy Pop Swing (165 RS))
RealTracks in style: ~537:Bass, Acoustic, Pop Sw 165
RealTracks in style: ~375:Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking Hank Sw 165
RealTracks in style: ~373:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Hank Sw 165
RealTracks in style: 616:Mandolin, Rhythm Bouncy Sw 165
RealTracks in song: 1871:Fiddle, Soloist WesternSwingAndy Sw 165
RealDrums in style: PopBouncy^2-a:Sidestick, HiHat , b:Snare, Ride

Six Rooms And A Path

© 2004, Alan D. David, BMI
Revised 2007 Revised 2014
All Rights Reserved

I reckon it’s gone but I really can’t say
‘Cause I’ve never been back since Mom passed away
That old farm house, white paint faded gray
Where I grew up and learned how to pray

We didn’t have much but we owned it all
Sixty-five acres if I recall
Close by his side, I worked with my pa
Plant every spring and harvest each fall

No running water
No electrical lights
No air conditioning
On those hot summer nights
A galvanized tub
Served as our bath
I’ll always remember
Six rooms and a path

In a plaid cotton shirt and old denim pants
Pa worked till his muscles knotted in cramps
We all had our chores, even Granny and Gramps
I cleaned the shades on the kerosene lamps

We’d sit on the porch at the end of the day
And watched as the sun slowly faded away
Then came the crickets as night found its way
Chirping in the corn, the fescue and hay

Repeat Chorus

A pot-bellied stove kept all of us warm
With Rover on guard we were safe from all harm
Out on the fence not far from the barn
That Rhode Island Red was our morning alarm

That ole wood burner, man it was neat
Stood in the kitchen on four iron feet
Cooked all our green beans, potatoes and meat
Baked Mama’s biscuits, made hot cream of wheat

Confused by the outhouse, with three holes on the shelf
There are a few things I’d rather do by all by myself

Repeat Chorus


Yeah, I’ll always remember
Six rooms and a path
Posted by: Greg Johnson

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/21/14 10:22 PM

Wonderful lyrics Al!! Great feel in general. I took a few songwriting classes with Steve Seskin (a very successful country writer). He said lyrics contain emotion and furniture. The furniture was the details that made the song relatable (not sure how to spell tha) and tangible. This song has great furniture-it feels like it's true. I also love the AAAA rhyme pattern you used without any of what Steve called "rhymitis", the feeling that it wasn't the right word, just one that rhymed. This is a beautifully done song. Great work! Take care. Greg

PS Thanks for the kind words on my new one. If you get a chance, please check out "Take Me Down" which is on the second or 3rd page. Just give me some backdoor comments. I don't want to be shamelessly self promoting. Thanks again!
Posted by: RichMac

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/22/14 03:01 AM

Hi Alan. Firstly thanks for your generous comments on Drift Away. I don't want to bump it again.

There are many parts of your song that remind me of my childhood although we only had a one berth outhouse . Thank goodness.

I also enjoyed the semi narrative style you use in parts of the song. Most enjoyable and very well done. The Mix sounds fine to me. Cheers.
Posted by: JoanneCooper

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/22/14 07:39 AM

Hi Al
What an enjoyable listen. I think you did fine with the country vocal. Loved the fiddle in the intro and the break
Posted by: boehm

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/22/14 08:59 AM

Hi Alan,

the lyrics kept me interested all through.
Your voice fits well to the style.
Very enjoyable listen.
Kind regards to Di.

Posted by: RnAM

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/22/14 09:24 AM

Hi Alan,

Enjoyable listen, nice choice of RT.
About the vocals: they sound OK in the mix.

R & AM
Posted by: Charlie Fogle

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/22/14 10:25 AM

Alan and Di - Great effort and production. I easily relate to this song. I live on our old family farm (in my case about 60 acres if I recall (.... ;=)....). It's been in the family for more than 100 years.

The farmhouse still stands, although now vacant and is about 200 yards down a path through the woods. Big front porch, tin roof, oak trees and a view of the open fields.

I agree with all the previous comments about the song - to me, your vocals are plenty country enough and they mixed in and fit comfortably with your song. I also was not distracted by any clashing between the guitar and mandolin.

Tell Di we're pulling for her and praying she'll soon feel better and can return to singing.


Posted by: tommyad

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/22/14 04:28 PM

Al, this has that old timey feel that fits the subject matter perfectly. The guitar and mandolin sound good together. Vocal level is just right. Nice job on this one. Tom
Posted by: dani48

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/24/14 09:36 AM

Hi, Al (& Di)!

This is one of your best
without doubt !:))
I found the mix just superb
but I am no expert on those
matters ! All in all a very
enjoyable tune and performance !!!:))

Posted by: PatrickH

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/25/14 09:57 PM

Al, this was a fun listen. I thought the vocals were mixed in well. I understand what you mean about the guitar and mandolin competing, or getting in each other's way. If you think things are stepping on each other. Rather than cutting one out, You might try spreading them elsewhere in the mix . Like they are sitting in a circle. An easy experiment would be to put the two guitars on one side panned slight apart on the same channel ( they are playing different patterns ), and leave the mandolin over on the other). I am not trained in this area. I just have fun moving thing around in the mix to see what happens. Thanks for the fun song and I hope Di can get back at this ASAP as well. I look forward to more good things. Take care. - Patrick
Posted by: Janice & Bud

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/26/14 12:50 PM

I like the story, the melody, the delivery and the supporting
production. All of it! I never lived sans electricity but for a
while our family had an outhouse. And as a boy I picked I could settle into this song pretty quickly.

You did a wonderful job of conveying the imagery.

Posted by: gruverider

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/27/14 11:41 AM

The lyrics are really exceptional, vivid with no forced or awkward phrasing for the sake of a rhyme, and nostalgic without being over-sentimental.

The vocals sound perfectly mixed to me, as does the entire mix. Your vocal tone here reminds me of the style like Harry McClintock on "Big Rock Candy Mountain- warm and engaging.

Great song!
Posted by: Jim Fogle

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/28/14 02:30 PM

Really nice song. You did well on the vocals, especially the spoken part. I didn't hear the acoustic guitar and mandolin walking over each other but do think the bass and drums are a little buried in the mix. I also think you could extend the fade-out a little more. While country may not be the genre you enjoy the best you have an excellent feel for it.
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/29/14 09:57 AM


Terrific write and production - as has already been said a number of times. Solid. Excellent mix and vocal.

One of your best!

Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 06/29/14 10:56 AM


this song summarizes my childhood pretty well! The only part you missed was the gravity-based water supply (500 feet of black plastic tubing, connecting the kitchen sink to a dammed-up stream... which explains the tadpoles in the drinking water every spring)

This song has the feel of something that might play on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion show.

I agree with others' comments about the rhymes... its not easy to make an AAAA scheme work without having it sound contrived, but danged if you didn't pull it off!

The style was absolutely PERFECT for the message! Nice job all around!

Re: the multiple holes in the outhouse bench... in our case, the holes were different sizes so the kids didn't have to worry about falling through when they stopped holding on to reach for a page from the Sears catalog...
Posted by: Al-David

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 07/01/14 10:40 PM

Hi Everyone ...

Thanks to all who took some of their valuable time to give this a listen and then for the warm comments. I hope you'll be okay with me answering everyone with a single, generic reply. As you probably know, I always answer everyone individually. But, with the medical issues our granddaughter has, and us packing up to move out of state to be closer to her, time is at a premium.

We're delighted everyone enjoyed their listen. Country is one of my favorite genres. Although I think I'm pretty danged decent at playing it, my voice really isn't country. Gad it worked on this one, though!

Someone commented the bass and drums were set back quite a bit in the mix ... that was intentional. It kind of has a Doc Watson feel to me and Bluegrass doesn't use drums, as a general rule. Although this isn't true Bluegrass, it kind of has that feel to it. That's why the drums are mixed low. I had the bass line a little louder, but in places (primarily the higher notes) it had a scratchy, sound ... almost like a squeal. I couldn't get rid of it (tried redoing the track several times but didn't like any of them as much as the one used), so I just dropped it back a bit.

Glad it brought back a few memories for some of you! Again, thanks to all who dropped in and left a kind word. We truly appreciate it!!!!

Alan & Di
Posted by: MarioD

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 07/03/14 12:32 PM

Alan this is a super song that brought back many memories! I think the mix is fine as is. I really liked your vocals and the lyrics.

We lived in an old farmhouse when I was a kid. No running water until the late 60's but I was gone by then, galvanized metal tub, no air conditioning unless you count the air leaks in the wall and windows and a coal burning pot belly stove for heat. We did have electricity, one outlet per room! It took a song like this to not only bring back some fond and not so fond memories but also make me realize how easy and fortunate I have it today.

Thanx for the ride!

PS - I pray that Di gets better soon.
Posted by: Sundance

Re: Six Rooms And A Path - 07/04/14 09:07 PM


I almost missed this one. Glad I didn't. It really reminds me of A Prairie Home Companion - consider that a compliment cause I love that show. Sounds great here.

Hope your move goes well and continued prayers for Di and your family.