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Ballin' The Jack

Another song written by one of our favorite artists: Trad. Arr. smile So nice of him to fill in when we have writer’s block.

First appearing in the late 1890’s the term “Jack” refers to a steam locomotive and “Balling” meant going full throttle. Later it was referenced in this traditional 1913 song to introduce a new dance. It’s been done by hundreds of artists from early jazz and blues to Judy Garland to Brenda Lee.

We made up an acoustic mashup genre band with 40’s boogie woogie piano, jazz rhythm guitar, rockabilly bass, western swing solo fiddle, fiddle background chops and N’ville drums. smile We also used an early jazzy chord progression and tweaked the lyric a bit and the melody a lot.

Comments are always welcome. Thanks for your time to listen!

Note: As this song is in the public domain (world wide) we own all rights to this arrangement and thus it conforms to PG Music’s ownership protocols.

Tech stuff:

Janice: Vocal > Rodes NT1 mic > Scarlett 212 USB interface > Logic Pro DAW > Logic Pro Channel EQ > Waves CLA Vocals

Bass: RT 2351 Acoustic Rockabilly / Waves Bass Rider > Neutron

Drums: N’ville Hillbilly Swing / Waves CLA Drums

Piano: MIDI SuperTrack 2067 Rhythm 40s Boogie > Logic Pro Grand Steinway > Waves CLA Unplugged > Waves Imager /

Guitar Rhythm: RT 558 Acoustic Jazz > Waves CLA Unplugged

Fiddle Solo: RT 1872 Western Swing (Bluesy) > Waves CLA Unplugged
The last note in solo to vocal segue was changed via Logic Pro’s pitch editor. Thanks to PeterF for the suggestion.

Fiddle Rhythm: RT 1115 Fiddle Country Swing Chops > Waves CLA Unplugged

Mastering: Logic Pro EQ > Waves LinMB > Waves Imager > Waves UltraMaximizer > Ozone Tonal Balance > YouLean Loudness Meter

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Dang!This song is HOT! I will admit, there is just too much to comment on with the song. It's So damn good. I'll try to comment on some things I don't normally comment on. I'm sure others will have NO problem filling in many more accolades.

I have said this; but do want to say at least this again, these mixes are phenomenal! You can hear everything. There space for it; and it's still tied together very cohesively in a warm way. That's what I love about your mixes; and I swear they keep getting better. You will probably tell me you use the same presets; but I don't know. Just mark me as impressed.

One specific thing about the mix I'm not sure I've REALLY mentioned is, I have now officially built a club in my head where your songs are played. I can very vividly picture this song being performed. I know where I'm sitting. I can see the crowd enjoying it...maybe put a crowd sound in sometime. wink It's that real to me. That stems from the authenticity of of how you do things. It REALLY matters!

The vocal is always great. How often? Always. But this was a masterclass on what you can't teach. (can you do that?) Seriously, this kids is what they call groove in a vocal. It's having a strong recognition of pitch and rhythm; then making it your muse. As a drummer, I can't tell you how much I appreciate how perfectly timed these vocals lines are. I'm not talking quantized. To me, quantized is not perfection. It lacks heart and feel; therefor is not perfect. This vocal is! It plays with the rhythm so effortlessly. Has Janice ever played drums or percussion? Many of the great singers have. You need that groove to make it this great.

I loved the violin solo when I didn't expect it. THEN Janice took the "this is a real band" to the next level by scatting right along. Come on! FANTASTIC!

The sound/instrument choices were brilliant as well. I love that piano! Actually, the drums too. And the bass. Ok, and the...I will stop now.

The picture is fun too! That girl CAN swing! No doubt!

To never disappoint is one thing. To continuously raise the bar, blow someone's mind, and inspire...that's just who you two are. Thank you for that!

I wanted to be sure to respond because I owe you, and a few others, comments on the songs I've been enjoying. I think I pre-mentioned that I'm somewhat absent in January to early February. Still listening though.

Thanks again for the smile.

(Not check for spelling or other errors. Speech to text. If you don't understand something. Feel free to ask. It can get interesting at times. lol)


Chad (Hope that makes it easier)

TEMPO TANTRUM: What a lead singer has when they can't stay in time.
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What a lovely job with the vocals, as always! Thanks for sharing.


Cheers,
Ember
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Well, Hear to Learn pretty much hit on all the stuff I noticed - clear mix, excellent vocals, great arrangement.

I always figured that "Ballin' the Jack" had something to do with the game of Jacks, so thanks for the explanation, too!

Had another listen. Audio perfection. laugh


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So, that's what you come up with when you have writer's block, is it? One of the likely reasons that works is that imagery -- Ballin' the Jack = Steam locomotive at full throttle -- sounds like something Johnny Cash would have come up with. Ya get a hook like that in yer mind and suddenly, no more writer's block.


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The style mash makes perfects ense once the chorus kicks in...I was scratchin' until then because I was listening to everything at once rather than going with the flow.
The flow is excellent.
Everything is clear, clean and classic.
Nuff said.


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rayc
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Nice work on this! Sounds really professional - the mix is superb, and I loved the chorus on this. Delightfully catchy and it flows effortlessly.

Thanks for sharing smile


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Deryk
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Originally Posted By: HearToLearn
Dang!This song is HOT! I will admit, there is just too much to comment on with the song. It's So damn good. I'll try to comment on some things I don't normally comment on. I'm sure others will have NO problem filling in many more accolades.

I have said this; but do want to say at least this again, these mixes are phenomenal! You can hear everything. There space for it; and it's still tied together very cohesively in a warm way. That's what I love about your mixes; and I swear they keep getting better. You will probably tell me you use the same presets; but I don't know. Just mark me as impressed.

One specific thing about the mix I'm not sure I've REALLY mentioned is, I have now officially built a club in my head where your songs are played. I can very vividly picture this song being performed. I know where I'm sitting. I can see the crowd enjoying it...maybe put a crowd sound in sometime. wink It's that real to me. That stems from the authenticity of of how you do things. It REALLY matters!

The vocal is always great. How often? Always. But this was a masterclass on what you can't teach. (can you do that?) Seriously, this kids is what they call groove in a vocal. It's having a strong recognition of pitch and rhythm; then making it your muse. As a drummer, I can't tell you how much I appreciate how perfectly timed these vocals lines are. I'm not talking quantized. To me, quantized is not perfection. It lacks heart and feel; therefor is not perfect. This vocal is! It plays with the rhythm so effortlessly. Has Janice ever played drums or percussion? Many of the great singers have. You need that groove to make it this great.

I loved the violin solo when I didn't expect it. THEN Janice took the "this is a real band" to the next level by scatting right along. Come on! FANTASTIC!

The sound/instrument choices were brilliant as well. I love that piano! Actually, the drums too. And the bass. Ok, and the...I will stop now.

The picture is fun too! That girl CAN swing! No doubt!

To never disappoint is one thing. To continuously raise the bar, blow someone's mind, and inspire...that's just who you two are. Thank you for that!

I wanted to be sure to respond because I owe you, and a few others, comments on the songs I've been enjoying. I think I pre-mentioned that I'm somewhat absent in January to early February. Still listening though.

Thanks again for the smile.

(Not check for spelling or other errors. Speech to text. If you don't understand something. Feel free to ask. It can get interesting at times. lol)



Reading this along with a cup of good joe really makes for a great start of the day!

Yep, about the same presets -- as you mentioned...but we do tweak them for each tune smile

We really do appreciate you mentioning the live feel. That is our objective for every song we do. We're always thinking could our arrangement be performed by a small live band? And, if so, what would it sound like if we were five rows back in the center? smile I guess for many that approach would be very limiting regarding use of tracks, etc., and we much understand that...but we decided years ago to just "dance with one that brung ya" regarding our continued minimalist productions.

And, Janice is very appreciative of your comments regarding her vocal. This tune has been done in so many styles that I (Bud) just threw out some chords and she had at it smile

Thanks for mentioning the photo...the eternal child!

BTW, you mentioned percussion...yes, she plays cajon and taps our rhythms all day long smile

Thanks for all!

J&B

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Crystal clear piano. Spread across the stereo field. Perfect.
Snappy snare. Pumping kick.
Cool, cool walking bass. Carrying his weight.

A heavenly vocal. Feeling, expression, fun. "I'll show this little dance to you..." just the right inflections....

A fiddle for a little surprise! Nice.

This sounds like a band that has been playing together for years (and still LOVE doing it).

Superb mix.

Y'all are the cat's pajamas.

smile

fj

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Heattolearn and Floyd said everything that I wanted to say but they say it so much better than I ever could.

Another winner!


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Originally Posted By: Ember - PG Music
What a lovely job with the vocals, as always! Thanks for sharing.


Thank you Ember!

J&B

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Bud/ Janice

Some pretty hard comments to follow! Loved the reviews so far, and the comments about the rhythmic singing.

Needles to say this is a flawless production, and a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

The mix is wonderful, the performance riveting and the arrangement excellent.

Another clear winner.

Peter

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Hi Bud and Janice

Just back to viewing the forum after having been away for a while.

Nice to immediately find another outstanding piece of work from you two.

I'm running out of superlatives!

Best wishes,
Leon

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I'm going to pretend that Balling the Jack has jack all to do with trains, simply because it's more fun.

The addition of the jazzier chords in the verses and breaks are a sweet juxtaposition with the straighter harmonies in the chorus. Sweet arranging. The band is classy. Janice sings all loosy and takes it home on that long slide. Grease to the rhythm of the wheels. (Just not train wheels.) wink

Hugely enjoyed.


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Originally Posted By: dcuny
Well, Hear to Learn pretty much hit on all the stuff I noticed - clear mix, excellent vocals, great arrangement.

I always figured that "Ballin' the Jack" had something to do with the game of Jacks, so thanks for the explanation, too!

Had another listen. Audio perfection. laugh


Thanks for the listens!

J&B

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Well, that was fun!

Great arrangement, outstanding vocal (of course!) and killer mix as usual.

Really enjoyed this, well done you two!

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Excellent job on this one...
You put your own stamp on an old well-written tune...
And I really enjoyed listening to your rendition!


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Great arrangement, production and performance. Always top notch from you guys. I've been away from the User Forum and this one makes it a lot of fun to come back to. Will be back for some more listens.


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WOW, is this GOOD!!!

I'm really enjoying your trip down music history lane. Janice, your vocals are as good as ever on this one! You need to keep doing this kind of stuff. I agree, with the scat and chattering, it gives it a real live feel.

Bud, your mixing is superb on this!

Awesome!

Steve


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Originally Posted By: edshaw
So, that's what you come up with when you have writer's block, is it? One of the likely reasons that works is that imagery -- Ballin' the Jack = Steam locomotive at full throttle -- sounds like something Johnny Cash would have come up with. Ya get a hook like that in yer mind and suddenly, no more writer's block.


Thanks! I hope so smile

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