(the album art if I spilled a glass of water on it)
With Frank Sarcia on drums, Brian Wood for the lead guitar solo (an Opus-era lift) and Brian Templeton on vocals and accordian.
Features Frank Sarcia on drums.
I wrote "Back To The Farm" in about 10 minutes one night after getting home from a particularly unpleasant day at work (these are my pre-Lexicon years). Not surprisingly I left shortly thereafter and went to work for Lexicon where I stayed for almost 2 decades. Of course after writing it in 10 minutes it's taken me literally decades to get a recording I was happy enough with to unleash it. The recording itself is another great studio drum performance by Frank Sarcia at his Atomic Drum studio in Medford with everything else overdubbed by me here in Billerica. The most recent just a few days ago.
I don't think I qualify as a "farmer" but I did grow the orange cherry tomatoes appearing in the image (they are orange when fully ripe and delicious). I'm sure there was a barn on this property at one point and a farm but all I could round up was a few of the remaining odds and ends that I recovered from our recently-replaced shed. Though we got an excellent yield from the couple of tomato plants and cucumbers we planted this year, the garden was very much ad-hoc and not very photogenic. Certainly not something you would go "Back To" based on appearance but literally did put food on the table and provided some much needed garden-yoga exercise.
Note that Back To The Farm immediately follows Riding Along in the "approved playlist".
"Play" was going to be the title track of the album but, with that domain name long gone, the chosen album title eventualy became Journeys. Having done several more complex songs I opted for a simpler structure focusing more on the main vocal melody. Full disclosure: I feel a lot better about the vocal melody than the lyrics but I'm not often visited by the lyric genie and have to make due with what I get.
It's worth noting that this is another of the No Muse recordings taken from the 2015 series finale with Frank Sarcia on drums and Ken Shano on guitar. My piano part is from the original recording but everything else was added after-the-fact including a great bass part by Jim Fabiano. We're considering doing a reggae spin on it at some point but this semi-live version surpassed even the studio production of the song that was in the works so it seemed like a good one to put out. I hope you like it. "..and if you listen, you'll hear the sound".
Features Frank Sarcia on drums.
Features Frank Sarcia on drums and Bruce Alger on Mellotron.
Also check out my spiffy interactive web page for this song that includes an interactive snow storm that is coordinated with the music.
No, not Brian Setzer or brain seizure; good and bad respectively. Seizer, as in something freezes, seizes, your brain. Like I did to the engine on my Galaxy 68 driving it when the oil light was on when I was 18. In my defense, I was stupid. But I also felt like I could just as easily go and dump the oil directly onto my parking spot and skip the step of getting dirty putting it in the car; it had a problem. And the problem got much worse after driving about 10 minutes with the oil light on. Also in my defense, I was trying to become less stupid; I was on my way to classes at U Lowell (now U Mass Lowell). So I literally seized the engine and had to replace it but that's not the only reason I bring it up. It's actually related to how I met my wife Susan. She stopped by my parent's garage in the company of a mutual friend one fall day when I was [painfully] changing out the seized engine in my Galaxy. We've been married now for 39 years so that may qualify as a love story.
But there's more to the story than that. In the 80s, I did part time work doing mostly minor modifications to pro-audio equipment but started selling a sampler mod for the legendary Lexicon PCM42 by Gary Hall who was one of the original designers of the device. It was a small-time operation but one of my quick-tests of the sampler mod was to sing something into a microphone plugged into the device make sure it captured it and played it back. After a while I noticed that I was singing the same bass line over and over and started adding backups like "bop bop, ba-do-be do-be, bop bop..". It was funny but didn't make the cut when I finally got around to writing some words (as such) and recording it with a drum track. I had an idea of what I wanted on the drums but could not get midi drums to sound right and eventually sent what I had to Frank [we do blankets] Sarcia who worked it a bit and came up with the amazing performance you hear on this track. No edits or samples friends!. Anyway, that sampler mod ended up becoming the very first prototype of the Lexicon JamMan which came out around 1993 that you all surely love.
"So what does all this have to do with a tiny tea set?" you ask. Well, if I'm interpreting the author's lyrics correctly, and I'm the author, the phrase "she give me honey love and sugar in my tea." suggests that she gives him/me honey love and sugar in his/my tea whatever that means. It's February in New England. That's all I'm going to say. I also have no idea what kind of image goes with a silly song like this so a tiny tea set from Susan's collection would have to do. My well chewed thumb and finger were included for reference, NOT because I'm pushing a side gig as a hand model.
Though I wouldn't advise dancing around tiny tea sets, this is a dance number so you may find yourself inclined to shake a so called tail feather while listening. A routine was never choreographed except the explicit instructions in the lyrics: hop, shimmy, scream out for Jimmy. Check. That's about as far as I got. Please interpret as your body demands.
But the music moved on from the questionable lyrics and singable bass line with the addition of Frank's amazing drum part. Brian Templeton brought in the piano, literally, which we dragged down the embankment of the White River in Vermont and recorded on a raft under a bridge with brook babbling around him for acoustic perfection. Actually, he just recorded them on a MIDI keyboard controller in the studio but the river thing makes a better story. It's easy for a mix to get out of control but I made an explicit effort on this one to keep the Brian's amazing piano performance in the forefront it was so good. It's hit or miss when someone comes in to do some overdubs but Brian killed it on this one.
Several years later I was working on a remix of the song and, not really loving my own electric guitar work, checked in with my friend Brian Wood ("That's a lot of Brian's there Bob") who sent me back the guitar and talk-box solos you hear in the song. (You did listen to the song right? Just checking.) Brian W's contribution was big but it wasn't until just a few weeks ago that I finally got the mix to a place where I could listen to in the company of others (If you are a musician you know what that means). At some point I had added a double track of my lead vocal since I hated the original so much but in the process of putting together the updated mix I added an extra long call-response-type echo to the main talk-box solo as a final touch.
Featuring Brian Templeton on harp and piano, and Frank Sarcia on drums. It`s worth mentioning that the brass was recorded as midi data from an early Roland guitar synth.