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#418870 - 06/22/17 02:19 PM [User Showcase] Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom)
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11803
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11803
Loc: GA USA
Dear Mama Video
The video consists of edited photos from various US government and state archives.
Dear Mama Audio
For audio only folks the lyric is at the bottom of the page.

On the evening before an anticipated dawn battle a young soldier writes home expressing his fear of what he portends will be the outcome...

We have a long standing interest in our local Civil War history and spent years researching the troop movements and engagements in our area. During General Sherman’s March To The Sea (November, 1864) thousands of his troops camped less than a mile from our home on a friend’s property (that has been owned by his family since the 1850’s). We have walked the fields and woods of nearby skirmishes and small battles (often unmarked and poorly documented) while pondering the thoughts/conversations of soldiers as they sat around camp fires awaiting the next day. Such musings lead to the writing of this song 25 years ago.

We originally posted it five years ago as our second BiaB production. Having never been pleased with the production we recently started from scratch with all new vocals, a different tempo, a different key, a tweaked lyric and new RT’s. And a new video.

We hope you will find the song of interest and we much appreciate your comments.

Many thanks to floyd for harmony/vocal arrangement ideas and to Tom for adding two acoustic guitar tracks.

Janice: Lead and harmony vocals / Nectar 2
floyd: harmony vocal / Nectar 2
Tom: finger picked acoustic guitar and acoustic guitar fills
2474:Bass, Acoustic, Held Ev 085 / Neutron
2028:Fiddle, Soloist CountryAndy Ev 065 / Neutron and EMT140 reverb
1593:Fiddle, Background Pop16ths Ev 065 / Neutron and EMT140 reverb
368:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming Ev 065 / Neutron and EMT140 reverb
1758:Banjo, Rhythm, Pop16ths Ev 085 / Neutron and EMT140 reverb
The bass track was comped from multiple 2474 generations. The fiddle track was comped from 2028 and 1593.
Mixed via Logic Pro X and mastered with Ozone 7 Advanced



dear mama
© 2017 Janice & Bud Merritt

dear mama, I take my pen
to write this letter to you
cause I’m so afraid of morning
and what they say we must do

chorus:
their camp flickers like fireflies,
all across the misty valley
the cap’n says we’ll charge at dawn
lord, i wish i was home with you and daddy
wish i was home with you and daddy

david got hit real bad
and slipped away just past noon
all he ever said to me
was he’d be seeing aunty sally soon

repeat chorus

i saw you and little sister
in my dreams last night
’n i wondered why you were cryin’
while your face glowed in candlelight

repeat chorus
wish i was home with you and daddy

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#418877 - 06/22/17 03:21 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 3289
Loc: York, England
ROG Offline
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Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 3289
Loc: York, England
Janice, Bud, Tom, Floyd.

An emotional, yet beautiful journey. This is a BIG song - an inspired and inspiring write.

The depth of the backing and the haunting beauty of Janice's voice carry you easily through the story, whilst the lyrical content leaves you feeling saddened and a little uneasy about the things we do.

An amazing production and performance by all concerned.

ROG.

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#418878 - 06/22/17 03:24 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 5156
Loc: New York
rsdean Offline
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Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 5156
Loc: New York
Janice, Bud, Floyd & Tom,

This is a beautiful piece of work. Outstanding song and a sweeping production - the mix sounds like vinyl with it's warm round tones. I also love the acoustic guitar parts by Tom and background vocals by Floyd.

The lead vocal by Janice is delicate, fragile and absolutely heartbreaking... So beautifully performed.

A new favorite...

Bob

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#418890 - 06/22/17 04:46 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5904
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Al-David Offline
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Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5904
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Hi Everyone,

The folks who have commented before us said much of what we were thinking. The one thing that struck us in particular is how big this song is with such sparse instrumentation. That takes talent! The song is full and dynamic from beginning to end, yet only a handful of subtle instruments drove the sound.

The video was awesome! I'm in the process of writing a historical fiction novel that begins right after the end of the Civil War, or, as many of the Southerners called it, the War of Northern Aggression. Your song made me feel confident and renewed my desire to finish it by year's end. It's actually the first book in a three-volume epoch.

That was such a great listen! Still feeling the sorrow and trepidation of the subject of the song. Simply marvelous!

Alan & Di
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#418892 - 06/22/17 05:12 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 7153
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Offline
Veteran

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 7153
Loc: South Carolina
Stunning and beautiful song and a powerful video. The story of your song reminds me of a recording "Sweet Was Our Rose" in the 1980's by a group named Atlanta.

Enjoyed this a lot.

Charlie
_________________________
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#418895 - 06/22/17 06:40 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: ROG]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11803
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11803
Loc: GA USA
Originally Posted By: ROG
Janice, Bud, Tom, Floyd.

An emotional, yet beautiful journey. This is a BIG song - an inspired and inspiring write.

The depth of the backing and the haunting beauty of Janice's voice carry you easily through the story, whilst the lyrical content leaves you feeling saddened and a little uneasy about the things we do.

An amazing production and performance by all concerned.

ROG.


ROG, thank you for listening and taking the time to offer such thoughtful and supportive comments. We are especially happy that you liked the production as we spent considerable time trying to get to all work together. The banjo was the most difficult but we wanted to have nothing but instruments that would be correct for the time period. As I mentioned the song has a special connection with us given the amount of time we have spent visiting and in a few cases discovering undocumented Civil War sites (a long story there) and I (Bud) know that Janice's feeling in her performance is genuinely heartfelt. We most appreciate your remarks.

J&B
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#418898 - 06/22/17 07:05 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1983
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
Steve Young Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/17/10
Posts: 1983
Loc: Canyon Lake, TX
What a powerful, beautiful song! Very well done on every level. The story line is well crafted into the lyrics. A very sober, complex part of our history. The video is very well done. All the performances are spot on.

You should consider doing a group of songs in this genre/storyline, as a musical portrait of this period. You do it so well.

Very touched by this.

Steve
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Music
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#418902 - 06/22/17 07:26 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 2360
Loc: Middletown, PA.
44kfl Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/19/12
Posts: 2360
Loc: Middletown, PA.
I love this!

powerful video

excellent vocals and mix

a great haunting quality to this story

wonderful job, guys

Kenny

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#418912 - 06/22/17 11:00 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 4812
Loc: Sydney Australia
PeterF Offline
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Registered: 12/06/03
Posts: 4812
Loc: Sydney Australia
Janice, Bud, Tom, Floyd,

Just played this masterpiece to my wife - "well that says it all".
I've listened a couple of times now and not only is it a haunting and lovely song, superbly performed and produced it's like a mini documentary (nice work Bud).
Wonderful stuff - congratulations to all concerned.

Peter

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#418925 - 06/23/17 03:15 AM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 4344
Loc: Ontario, Canada
BlueAttitude Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/30/07
Posts: 4344
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I listened to the audio version of this a week or so ago and thought it was one of your best, and after just watching the video I still think that. Just a wonderful song on every level!

Janice's vocal sounds even better than normal, not sure how that is possible! And production wise the way you handled the reverb on the vocal sounded great and a new technique for me, so thanks for sharing!

And the harmonies, just so tight!! Perfection!! A great song, performed by an all star cast with a professional mix ..... doesn't get any better IMHO.

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#418932 - 06/23/17 05:50 AM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3495
Loc: Florida
tommyad Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 3495
Loc: Florida
Bud and Janice, This is one of the best tracks ever posted on this forum. I was going to say a musical documentary and then I saw Peter beat me to it. To me the chorus sums up what it must have been like in the Civil War. I can't imagine the feeling of looking over the hilltop down into the enemy camp knowing that the next day will most likely be your last. The production has a warm sounding mix with some terrific editing including my own parts. Janice gives an impassioned reading of the lyric that could only have taken place with an extensive knowledge of the subject matter. The way she pronounces Cap'n is worth the price of admission by itself. A fine underlying harmony by floyd adds some depth. There's no way around saying the write is absolutely brilliant bringing into play the quiet desperation, fierce loyalty and regret felt by a teenage soldier. Thanks for letting me in on this one. It is outstanding in every way. Tom

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#418940 - 06/23/17 08:59 AM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5904
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
Al-David Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/29/12
Posts: 5904
Loc: Originally Missouri ... Now Al...
We forgot to mention one other thing that stood out to us when we posted our comment yesterday.

The subtle background vocals add so much to this. It's much like the cherry atop a sundae. The sundae's pretty danged good without it but that cherry just makes a statement. Diana and I were saying early this morning that we could hear this playing in the background in places of a Civil War documentary.Tom and someone else mention a documentary and yeas ... what a great addition this would be for such an endeavor.

This is a soundtrack of human emotion. Classic writing and fabulous delivery.

Alan & DI
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#418958 - 06/23/17 12:43 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 6318
Loc: North Carolina
David Snyder Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/29/14
Posts: 6318
Loc: North Carolina
Wow what a stunning production. This was a true pleasure to listen to and watch. I felt like I was just settling back to watch a Ken Burns movie with a great score.

All of the instrumentation was excellent and so rich and varied. Wonderful work with the backing guitars and vocals from Tom and Floyd.

In one word this piece was just truly sumptuous.

I loved it, great job.

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#418960 - 06/23/17 12:49 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 01/18/16
Posts: 1664
Joe -PG Music Offline
PG Music Staff

Registered: 01/18/16
Posts: 1664
Hi Janice & Bud! Great work on this, fantastic vocals and song. Very soothing! Well done always a fan of your songs! smile
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Cheers,
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#418968 - 06/23/17 01:28 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: rsdean]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11803
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11803
Loc: GA USA
Originally Posted By: rsdean
Janice, Bud, Floyd & Tom,

This is a beautiful piece of work. Outstanding song and a sweeping production - the mix sounds like vinyl with it's warm round tones. I also love the acoustic guitar parts by Tom and background vocals by Floyd.

The lead vocal by Janice is delicate, fragile and absolutely heartbreaking... So beautifully performed.

A new favorite...

Bob


Thank you Bob. It's great that you felt that in the mix. You better described what I was aiming for than I could. And Janice is very appreciative of your remarks about her vocal. As always thanks for your support!

J&B
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#418983 - 06/23/17 05:20 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6571
Loc: Davis, CA
Greg Johnson Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 6571
Loc: Davis, CA
WOW!!! Beautifully done! So well put together. So interesting to think of what it must have been like. You guys put together a very compelling story. Mix/production are absolutely wonderful. Great contribution from the forum A-team. Awesome!! Take care. Greg

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#418993 - 06/23/17 08:32 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 01/16/15
Posts: 548
Loc: Japan
HiroshiK Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/16/15
Posts: 548
Loc: Japan
Janice & Bud,

Great work!. This song is related to the American history which is something hard to understand for a Japanese, but the music itself is the common language for us and so is understandable smile

Good vocals and nice arrangement. Everything is beautifully balanced.
I enjoyed it very much.

Hiroshi

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#418997 - 06/23/17 10:46 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
dcuny Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/27/10
Posts: 5119
Loc: Sacramento, California
I love the first line of the song, and how it manages to do so much in such a small number of words. "mamma" indicates the writer is young; "i take my pen" is formal, archaic phrase.

Another thing that caught my ear was the interesting rhythms - it's very melodic, but the phrasing feels very natural.

Super job.
_________________________
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My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?

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#419033 - 06/24/17 09:55 AM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Al-David]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11803
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 11803
Loc: GA USA
Originally Posted By: Al-David
Hi Everyone,

The folks who have commented before us said much of what we were thinking. The one thing that struck us in particular is how big this song is with such sparse instrumentation. That takes talent! The song is full and dynamic from beginning to end, yet only a handful of subtle instruments drove the sound.

The video was awesome! I'm in the process of writing a historical fiction novel that begins right after the end of the Civil War, or, as many of the Southerners called it, the War of Northern Aggression. Your song made me feel confident and renewed my desire to finish it by year's end. It's actually the first book in a three-volume epoch.

That was such a great listen! Still feeling the sorrow and trepidation of the subject of the song. Simply marvelous!

Alan & Di


Thank y'all for the super review. Dynamics were on our mind while mixing this particularly with the vocals - we appreciate you mentioning that and what we did with sparse tracks. And we are excited that it renewed your writing interest! We always appreciate your support and kind remarks.

J&B
_________________________
J&B Videos
J&B Soundcloud
J&B Website

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#419052 - 06/24/17 01:01 PM [User Showcase] Re: Dear Mama (A Civil War song w/ floyd and Tom) [Re: Janice & Bud]
Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 8010
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Pat Marr Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 8010
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Beautiful as your songs always are, but also thought provoking. In this day of televised wars, complete with logos and carefully framed wide angle shots to maximize the shock and awe, it's worth being reminded that most wars are fought by people who are barely adults.

Nice job on the whole package, everybody who participated did an outstanding job!

I also liked the video.

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