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Clint's Mandolin


This song is a tribute to my (Bud's) step father. Clint was born in 1907, his father died young, and he had to get his first crop loan from the bank when he was only 14.  He lived his entire life on the family farm. During the late 1920's and 30's he, a brother (Sanford) and a friend played in a string band on Saturday nights - the traditional recreation time for farmers who worked 6-7 days a week. 

The prelude was created from an old tape that I recorded over 40 years ago of Clint, Sanford and me pickin' in the living room.

The arrangement and mix attempts to present the sound of a string band playing live into, at most, a couple of mics. The pickers had to "work" the mics moving in and out for fills and solos. It took some choreography! The bluegrass band Janice and I were in for many years used this setup.

Keeping with his style of music the song is a basic three chord write with no chorus or bridge. Many songs of their repertoire were of this style. Since I used to pick guitar or bass with Clint and Sanford I played and recorded my upright bass for the first time in a decade for this tribute.

This is, as Bill Monroe called them, a “true life song.”

The Soundcloud photo is a group of photos I took many years ago of Clint, Sanford, the mandolin he played 80 years ago and his favorite chair and cushion smile

While this is a personal song we do hope that you enjoy it and as always we welcome your thoughts.

J&B

Vocal: Janice - Rhodes NT1 mic, Scarlett 212 USB interface and Logic Pro X
Bass (1953 upright Kay): Bud - MXL mic, Scarlett 212 USB interface and Logic Pro X
Guitar rhythm: RT 598 - I comped in the Lester Flatt G run throughout the song keeping with the style.
Mandolin rhythm: RT 599
Mandolin solo : RT 820 - fills and solos were comped from multiple generations
Banjo rhythm: RT 590
Banjo solo: RT 591 - fills and solos were comped from multiple generations

Logic Pro X/Nectar 2/Alloy2/Ozone 7 and various effects from Logic.
Thanks to PG Music, floyd jane and Tom Adams


Clint’s Mandolin

clint and his brother worked the fields every day
times were hard but they held their farm together
on saturday nights they played in a string band
pickin’ at barn dances when a crowd could gather

years passed till they could no longer work the farm
i’d find him sitting out back on a feed sack cushion
playing mandolin, his brother on the five string
i’d join on guitar and listen to the tales they spun

time came when family and friends were all gone
he’d hold his mandolin staring into the past
i could feel the memories drifting all around him
some were fleeting but some will always last

today he rests a few miles from the old farm
his name and a mandolin are carved in the stone
a wise man who never left the land he loved
when i think of him i hear the ancient tones

above our mantle hangs clint’s mandolin
lord, i wish i could hear him play it again
i’d love to hear clint play his mandolin again

Janice and Bud Merritt
© 2016 / All rights reserved

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This is way super cool, and does have an incredibly great production quality that sounds like the real deal.

LOVE the scratchy intro.

And I love the way Janice goes all Loretta on "in the fields every daaaaaaaaaaaay."

smile

I can tell A LOT of work went into this one and it paid off. Superb, genuine, rootsy sound and great vocals. Great lyrics, too, by the way.

I do have a question:

In trying to emulate the sound of pickers "moving around a mic" are you referring to the way you worked the faders in the mix or some other technique you used to get that sound since you were using some real tracks?


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Hi Janice & Bud! Excellent work yet again on this its been a while!, Really fond of the vocals they're quite soothing. Well done! smile


Cheers,
Joe
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Originally Posted By: David Snyder
This is way super cool, and does have an incredibly great production quality that sounds like the real deal.

LOVE the scratchy intro.

And I love the way Janice goes all Loretta on "in the fields every daaaaaaaaaaaay."

smile

I can tell A LOT of work went into this one and it paid off. Superb, genuine, rootsy sound and great vocals. Great lyrics, too, by the way.

I do have a question:

In trying to emulate the sound of pickers "moving around a mic" are you referring to the way you worked the faders in the mix or some other technique you used to get that sound since you were using some real tracks?



Hey David. We greatly appreciate ALL of your comments. Glad the intro worked for you and, hahahaha, I was kidding Janice about "day." You oughta hear her say "bright night!" We are both lifetime residents of Georgia but her accent puts mine to shame smile

What I tried to do with the fills was based on playing bass looking at the backside of a bluegrass band for years. As a player worked his way closer to the mic for a fill or solo it sounded like they were being faded in and when the pulled away the opposite. I removed the respective rhythm when time for a fill and after the last rhythm note I volume shaped the fill in and then out and bring the rhythm back in after the fill note fades out. I hear bluegrass mixes sometimes when, for example, a rhythm mandolin is playing through a mandolin solo...but that destroys the live feel. Also I brought up the volume of the comped in G runs since the guitar player typically moves his/her guitar closer to a mic for that signature run.

Thanks again for the wonderful comments.

J&B

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Bud & Janice,

David got in good an early with "Superb, genuine, rootsy sound and great vocals".

A lovely tribute and a great story - told in a way that sounds like second nature to (y'all?).
You're experience in this genre shines through - the instrumentals were excellent and the production and write is great, and sounds like everyone was in the room. It's a great piece of storytelling.

The bass player really knows his stuff!!(nicely recorded).

Janice of course, is as ever lovely to listen to.

Brilliant.

Peter

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Great work. Everything is all right but I mostly like the bass line.

Always great songs by you.

Sergio



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Janice and Bud

Hey, just how good is this, eh?

Every part has been masterfully put together, delivering absolutely a great hospitality country feel.

Take a bow y'all. What a great story, what a great tribute. May Clint's Mandolin play for a long time yet.


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Hey Janice and Bud I hope you're not surprised to learn I love this track. Really nice song and mix and I'm deeply jealous of having Janice to do the vocal.

Your technique with the faders is the same as I've been doing with my bluegrassy tracks. There's nothing quite like the vibe of acoustic musicians stepping up to and from a single, sweet condensor mic, is there? It's good to see this kind of performance making a comeback.

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Janice & Bud,

This may be my favorite from you two - loved everything about it...

Bob

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Great song! Talk about a perfect feel. I love it!

I am tempted to run a few eq filters on it and add some vinyl clicks and pops to make it sound like the time I see in my head it's from. It wouldn't sound as great as you've done, but would make it feel authentic to me. If that makes ANY sense at all? smile

GREAT JOB! smile


Chad (Hope that makes it easier)

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Originally Posted By: Joe -PG Music
Hi Janice & Bud! Excellent work yet again on this its been a while!, Really fond of the vocals they're quite soothing. Well done! smile


Thanks Joe. Yes it has been a while since our last bluegrass production...about three years. We've been off in blues and bluesy rock/country thanks to Biab!

Appreciate you checking in and commenting.

J&B

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J&B, Old school greatness here!! You have done an incredibly good job of capturing the sound you were going for. And yes, you are right on about the subtle ways that a mix can be enhanced by remembering to mute the rhythm of an instrument when a lead is playing. This made me think of my grandparents who were lifelong farmers. Thanks, Torrey




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J&B,


This is delightful! A great tribute to the real origin of Bluegrass. And now, Clint's Mandolin is famous!

Merry Christmas!



Regards,

Bob

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This is the one of the best mixes I've heard on here. It's sparkling and smooth as butter. You deftly captured the fluid authentic flow of the arrangement in the mix. Bud playing that great sounding bass! Janice's beautiful voice. An outstanding production and heartfelt tribute to your stepfather.

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J&B,
I really enjoyed your tribute.The intro is like like a few seconds of time travel...left me wanting more of that old recording.
The song is beautifully recorded and has that " real" feel that I only hear in the most authentic country artists today ( Iris Dement comes to mind).

Well done!

Robert

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Hi Janice and Bud,

They don't come much better than this. One of your finest! I love it that everything about this is real. From the back story, the 40+ year old recording in the opening bars, Bud on upright bass, the mix recreating the "working of the mics" to the photo on SoundCloud. Even the song structure is how it used to be. You sure have put a lot of work into this, but it has paid off big time!

Times must have been tough for Clint and Sanford. I can just imagine how much pleasure they got from their Saturday night sessions. Imagine what they would say now if they could hear your song?

It's also a great production and I love Janice's vocal. It reminds me a lot of Linda Ronstadt.

Brilliant work,
Jez


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Very cool.

Also if you write a song called Bright Bright Night where Janice keeps saying "it happened on a Briiiiiiiight Briiiiiiiiight Niiiiiiiight over and over in the chorus I will not only put it on my playlist I will shell out cash money to buy it.

smile

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Very cool tune. Loved the intro. Mandolin was very cool. Awesome vocal and lyric.


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Wonderful tribute!! I love the early recording at the opening. Really nice live vibe, and Janice's vocals are KILLER!! With the music, the story, and the cool pictures, it is a multimedia, multi-dimensional experience. Great stuff!! Take care. Greg

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Well, what can I say that hasn't been said already - everyone is loving this song!

It's today's HOT FORUM TOPIC!

Thanks for sharing!


Callie
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PG Music Inc.
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