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The Blues Is Nothing

The Blues Is Nothing was born from Scott jamming during his daily playing. The song bed was modeled after a ZZ Top basic 12 bar blues but slowed way down. He thought the song needed a lyric so he contacted his Spirit Level mates and Ray developed a lyric that J&B feel is excellent lending itself to multiple interpretations. Scott felt the guitar solo would work best with a female vocalist so Ray suggested Janice and contacted us. Ray and I (Bud) have previously chatted about mixes and bass playing so when I heard from him regarding the vocal we were on familiar grounds. And the outcome was this collaboration. Those guys exposed the ethereal side of Janice!

We all four thank you for listening and welcome your comments and thanks to PG Music for BiaB and this community.

Scott Collingwood: lead guitar, rhythm guitar, arrangement & mix

Ray Cochrane: lyric, melody, bass, rhythm guitar, arrangement & mix

Janice Merritt: lead vocals, harmony vocals and melody

Bud Merritt: vocal engineering, mastering & SC photo

Piano: RT 3088,ElectricVintage, Rhythm AmericanaSlow128Mike Sw 040
Guitar: RT 565 Electric, Rhythm Blues Monday Sw 065
Guitar: RT 3356 Baritone Electric, Rhythm Moody128Brent Sw 060
Organ: RT 675 B3, Background Blues Monday Sw 065
Drums: MIDI 41 Brushes Kit (41)

Scott’s guitar – Gretsch duojet
Amp – Fender DLX Clone (Purdy)
Guitar Delay Effect -  Eventide H9.
 
Mixed in Studio One 5 and mastered with Logic Pro X and Izotope plug-ins.

The Blues Is Nothing
© 2021 S. Collingwood, R. Cochrane & J. Merritt
Wake up from dreaming,
Where nightmares are nothing new,
Break up from loving,
When loving has nothing for you.
But recall the pain and go there again
The blues is nothing but history ignored.

You won’t learn from this
You won’t heed my call
You won’t believe me
No, not at all
Until you’ve been here
And walked in my shoes
My shoes, my blues
Until you’ve made the mistakes
That everyone makes
The blues is nothing but history ignored.

The blues is nothing,
But a history in song, of every wrong
The blues is nothing but history ignored.

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The song begins with "Wake up from dreaming", but listening is just the opposite, like finding myself in a hazy, bluesy dream. smile

Nice playing and arrangement. Cool effects on the guitar and vocals.

To steal the phrase, everyone sings/plays it "like they feel it".

A real sonic landscape - nice collaboration! smile


-- David Cuny
My virtual singer development blog

Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
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Originally Posted By: dcuny
The song begins with "Wake up from dreaming", but listening is just the opposite, like finding myself in a hazy, bluesy dream. smile

Nice playing and arrangement. Cool effects on the guitar and vocals.

To steal the phrase, everyone sings/plays it "like they feel it".

A real sonic landscape - nice collaboration! smile



Thanks David. Yeah it'll take more than her first line to get one outa that dream. This was very different for Janice and we are most pleased that you liked it!

J&B

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Every thing is great about this.
I love how the vocal repeats and I particularly love the effect
on Scott's guitar. Very smooth and haunting. Well constructed lyrics.
Great work all involved. Rob4580

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Wow!

Such an interesting and unexpected collaboration!
Very unusual and super tasty tune. I have no words... CONGRATS to all! This one is very special. Love it. Thank you for sharing.

Misha.

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This is awesome y'all.

It was so good, I can only give it my absolute highest North Carolina compliment.

Oh Hayle Yeah.

smile

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This NEEDS to be in a movie. I don't care if "they" have to make a movie just to have this song in it! There's just such a strong emotional vibe from this.

You choose the perfect tempo. Any slow, it would have maybe dragged. Any faster, and I feel it would have lost the vibe that you have here.

If you have any idea how much I love the emotional content of a song you would know why I like this so much.

Scott-I love your tone choice and effects to really create the atmosphere. It's these kinds of things that brings songs to a completely different level. You fill in where it needs to be done; but never obstructs anything else. Not an easy role in my opinion. This song would have been totally different had you made different choices. I can't even begin to explain how glad I am you didn't. I love what you did!

Ray Cochrane: True to my word, I started grabbing the lines I liked and kept going and going...and noticed I had the song. It's not long lyrically but the word choice was fantastic. I love the whole theme of not learning from mistakes and that's what the song is about. Brilliantly done.

Janice-I don't think anyone else could have sung this song and had this level of impact. I'm very curious if the emotion of the song stays with you well after you have song it? I know great method actors who struggle with that. I'm thinking it may be the same with a great singer? I really appreciate what you brought to this song. Stunning.

Bud : I think a great vocal of this caliber being lost in a mix would be criminal. I know Janice sounds great...that's a given, but you always make room for her to shine. Your treatment of the vocal ALWAYS impresses me. Your sense of balance of what is going on is such a tremendous asset to any of these projects you do.

I also have to admit that I didn't realize how much I missed cover art until I started noticing the exceptional work you and a few other's on the forum create. It gives me a bit of nostalgia, yet also a new happiness to know this artform has not been lost. Thanks for your talents here as well. For me, it's a simple (not necessarily easy) step that adds that completeness to a project. It's much appreciated and does not go unnoticed. It makes me want to step up in this department. See, just another way you are inspiring people on the forum. smile

Overall, what's not to love? Really, really enjoyable listen. Thank you for sharing this gem. I'm sure PG Music is proud to be able to showcase songs like this!

Last edited by HearToLearn; 02/19/21 04:59 AM.

Chad (Hope that makes it easier)

TEMPO TANTRUM: What a lead singer has when they can't stay in time.
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Excellent collaboration, people. Janice's vocal is of course wonderful. She is a world class singer. I particularly like the way she repeats some phrases (for me that's what really elevates the song). Also enjoyed Scott's moody, burbling guitar. Nice lyrics from Ray and the bass playing and tone is great.
Regards,
Leon

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What a pleasure it was work on this song with Ray, Janice and Bud.

Originally Posted By: dcuny
The song begins with "Wake up from dreaming", but listening is just the opposite, like finding myself in a hazy, bluesy dream. smile

Nice playing and arrangement. Cool effects on the guitar and vocals.

To steal the phrase, everyone sings/plays it "like they feel it".

A real sonic landscape - nice collaboration! smile



Thanks David for the awesome comments. Ray's lyrics were very special and so well timed and relatable to these trying times. Janice took the lyrics to very special place. Was deeply moved by them and Janice's interpretation of them..

Originally Posted By: Rob4580
Every thing is great about this.
I love how the vocal repeats and I particularly love the effect
on Scott's guitar. Very smooth and haunting. Well constructed lyrics.
Great work all involved. Rob4580


Thanks Rob for checking out the song so glad you liked it..


Scott Collingwood
https://soundcloud.com/scottt709
https://soundcloud.com/spiritlevel-ca
https://www.youtube.com/@SpiritLevel-ge3hm/
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Yeah!!

This is the best song I've heard on here for a while I think.

Like Misha says, an unexpected collaboration, but man, it works big time!

Excellent write and solid performance from Ray.

Scott sounds great, a very different approach to soloing over a blues progression, but it works and it sounds unique and fresh.

And Janice!!! Just when I think she can't possibly get any better ... she does! Man, those harmonies and answering vocals .. sublime!

Bud, I love what you did right at the end to the vocal, that big reverb you added to it, very effective and a great way to end the song.

A big tip of the proverbial hat to all involved, fabulous!

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Thanks for the kind words folks.
I think the response to this song may have something to do with the results garnered from a really pleasant collaboration.
I was a complete pleasure working with Janice and Bud on this as their creativity is matched with a calm, casual, yet on the ball, approach that made the song better at every stage.
Working with Scott is always a pleasurable breeze.


Cheers
rayc
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This is all very good.
Silk and satin.
Well done to all.

Vic

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Originally Posted By: Rob4580
Every thing is great about this.
I love how the vocal repeats and I particularly love the effect
on Scott's guitar. Very smooth and haunting. Well constructed lyrics.
Great work all involved. Rob4580


Thanks Rob. This was a fun and different in a good way project for Janice. We're glad you liked it!

J&B

Originally Posted By: Rustyspoon#
Wow!

Such an interesting and unexpected collaboration!
Very unusual and super tasty tune. I have no words... CONGRATS to all! This one is very special. Love it. Thank you for sharing.

Misha.



Thank you Misha! And we are glad you are feeling better. Take care.

J&B

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Very cool, very trippy blues soup!!! A new PG collab is born!! A delicious, dark journey with a great interplay of Scott's guitar and Janice's vocal!! Well-written, played and produced!! Congrats to all!!! Take care. Greg

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Originally Posted By: David Snyder

This is awesome y'all.

It was so good, I can only give it my absolute highest North Carolina compliment.

Oh Hayle Yeah.

smile
[quote=David Snyder]

That compliment is well received and appreciated by us Georgia folks!

J&B

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Whoa! Good grief, folks, them there's some real despairin' blues you done conjured up. Had to take my anti-depressant meds after listening to the recording just one time! shocked Only an empathetic and skilled bartender could cure this kind of blues, but then he/she would have to put you out when the bar closes. Don't worry, hospital emergency rooms are always open.

The blending of actual instrumental musicianship from Mr. Collingwood and Mr. Cochran (oooOOO, yazz, yazz, YAZZ, fellahs, make them strings SING!) with the BIAB tracks is seamless, and therefore mutually complementary. The super-slow tempo lends a feeling of everything just winding down, down, down...to zero. Ms. Merritt sounds as though she's holdin' on to dear life itself. Somebody get that poor woman a seat and a fan!

"The blues is nothing, but a history in song, of every wrong." Thank God we got music to help us get the blues out of us before it does even more damage, right? smile


Last edited by bluage; 02/19/21 05:23 PM.

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A great song happens when you marry the right words (message) with the right flavor and texture and that's exactly what you guys did...great vocals and guitar solo work...man this was cool...thanks Dan


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rayc, Scott, Janice & Bud,

What a wonderful collaboration.
This collaboration is really unexpected.
Quite different personalities of rayc, Scott and Janice are mixed with to create a complex sound.
I found a special blues there that I hadn't even thought of.
Enjoyed my listen a lot.

Best regards.

Shigeki Adachi

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My usual approach to a Janice & Bud post is to get right to the song, push play and smile --well, I'm usually already smiling by then, so smile wider. This time, with SCOTT and RAYC in the mix I had to read first. Really cool how the song developed with such talent. Man, EVERYTHING about this is so good. Had to listen 3 times (so far).


Enjoy whatever happens!
marty

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J&B, Scott & Ray,
Such a great achingly dreamy feel to this- the band so supportive to Janice`s marvelous vocal.
Flawless mix... love the ending!

Robert

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