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dhanners623

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Posts posted by dhanners623


  1. It's been quite a month.... First, I added a new EP, "Murder Ballads of the Texas Panhandle," to my website. And now I've added a second new six-song EP, "Postcard."

    The concept behind "Postcard" was simple: Each song had to be 100 words long exactly. Not 99, not 101, but 100 -- maybe as many words as you could fit on the back of a postcard.

    They are simple recordings done in my kitchen on my iPad, but the talented Don Arney of Quantum Productions in Terre Haute, IN, was able to sweeten them up a bit.

    Check them out here: https://davidhannersmusic.com/postcards-2/

    Thanks!


  2. "Worth the price" is a subjective approach. What may be worth the price to me may not be worth the price to you, and vice versa.

    As others have noted, when you find a good J-45, it is worth every penny. I've got a J-35 that I now consider a steal when I bought it new for $1,600 in 2016.

    Similarly, I've got a Farida OT-22 (their take on the LG-2) that is an amazing guitar and cost $423. If the J-35 was a steal, the OT-22 is felony theft. It just should not sound as good as it does, but it does.

    Of course the big difference is where these two guitars are made. Yeah, I prefer an American-made guitar (particularly as a 20-year union member) but after having lived abroad since 2014, I really do see it is a global economy. And it's not like the Farida cut American workers out of the picture entirely; an American worker (probably Union) unloaded the guitar shipment from the freighter, an American trucker transported it to Elderly Guitars in Michigan and an American worker sold it to me.

    Just find a guitar you like that inspires you. It'll be worth it to you, and that's all that matters.


  3. I’m having trouble telling from the photo.... Is the black portion a separate piece that is inset into the white border piece?

    Maybe the glue melted the plastic?

    It does look out of place on a pricey guitar.

    What of finding a local woodworker or jeweler who could make something similar? Except with cleaner edges, of course.


  4. Over the past three months or so, I've been in the studio recording an EP, "Murder Ballads of the Texas Panhandle." I think we recorded 10 tunes, but I winnowed the EP down to six, and they are up at SoundCloud.

    The songs are bare-bones, but if you've ever been to the Panhandle, you know the simple, windswept approach may be called for. (Plus, just try finding a banjo player in Cyprus....) I was hoping to add a buddy of mine in the U.S. who blows a great harp on a couple of tunes, but his recording engineer had ProTools crash on his computer (losing about a third of my buddy's new CD in the process...) so for better or worse, it's just me.

    Please give 'em a listen if you have a few minutes to spare. Let me know what you think.

     

     

     


  5. While maple isn't my thing, it's a beautiful guitar. And, yes, treat yourself to a pro set-up. It is worth every penny.

    I'm glad others have warned against keeping the tuner clipped to the headstock. If they hadn't, I was going to say something IN ALL CAPS because that is the fastest and surest way of screwing up a nitro finish. Clip the tuner on, tune up and take the tuner off. Same goes if you use a Kyser capo. Don't stick it on the headstock. Better yet, don't use a Kyser capo. They suck and there are lots better capos out there.

    I'll issue the same warning about leaving the guitar on a stand for long periods of time.  Don't. Even stands that advertise themselves as "nitro-friendly" cause problems if you leave the guitar on them for days at a time. And fixing a problem with a nitro finish means your guitar will be in the shop for awhile. Nitro takes forever to cure. Many of us (including your gentle herald) have learned this the hard way.

    Above all, play the heck out your guitar and be thankful you have a nice one. But remember the music is in you, not the guitar. The guitar is just a tool.


  6. 1 hour ago, Lars68 said:

    I had a listen and I really like the feeling of this stuff. The songs go together conceptually very, very well. I had heard quite a few of the songs before, but I think you might have changed a few of them a little in the latest versions. Great suff!

    Like me, I know you like a bare bones approach, but with that said, your iPad recordings are solid but the songs deserve better sound quality. I record using an iPad too, just because it's so incredibly simple, but I have added an external soundcard and a condenser mic. This simple setup really boosts the sound. I use an Apogee One soundcard and an Eartrumpet Labs Myrtle condenser I bought used a few years back, and they both work brilliantly with the Ipad and the Garageband app. Just a suggestion, but you might want to consider something similar. They will even work on an iPhone...

    Lars

     

     

     

    Thanks. I appreciate your insights. And yes, some of the songs have been rewritten.

    Yeah, it would be nice to have fancier equipment for recording, but this retiree is doing the best he can with what he can afford. Plus, I have to be realistic. A fancier mic isn't what stands between me and fame....


  7. It had been awhile (a couple of years, actually) since I have added anything to my ReverbNation and SoundCloud pages, so I pulled out the J-35, sat down and recorded five tunes that are part of a new undertaking I'm calling The Buck-Fifty Project.

    I like a musical saga as much as the next guy or gal, but most of us just write way too much. We take six verses to spin a yarn we could've spun in three -- or even two. The late Merle Haggard unpacked a guy's whole life story from birth to death row ("Mama Tried") in 160 words. There's a lesson there.

    The songs in The Buck-Fifty Project are all 150 words or less, including repeated choruses. I tried to get down to the essence of a story and leave some room for the listener's imagination, since it is not limited to 150 words.

    I added five songs -- "Belle Ayr," "Leaving Joliet," "The Oxyana Blues," "dollar store" and "West Terre Haute Blues." The recordings aren't fancy -- they were recorded on an MP3 app on my iPad -- and they all share a certain melancholy. But if you have a few minutes on your hands, mosey over and give them a listen and let me know what you think.

     

     

     

     

     


  8. 22 minutes ago, QuestionMark said:

    May Jerry Jeff's memory be a blessing.

    I got to know him a bit when my friend, his bass player, Bob Livingston of Jerry Jeff's Lost Gonzo Band, called me and said Jerry Jeff (who I had briefly once met in Austin) didn't really know anyone in Chicagoland anymore and would be performing at the House of Blues in Chicago, and would like me to hang out with him and Bob while they were in Chicago.  This was circa 2006.  So, of course I said sure and met up with Bob and Jerry Jeff where they were staying and hung around with them backstage before and after show.  Jerry Jeff wanted me to objectively critique his performance during the show, so afterwards backstage he and I engaged in some great musical conversation about his performance and music stuff, until it was time to call it a night.    That was a great memorable evening for me as a musician, and Jerry Jeff's validation of my musicianship and friendship meant a lot to me then and still does now.   He will be greatly missed and I'm really grateful to have had the opportunity to have gotten to know him.   

    Jerry Jeff was not only a great songwriter, and great pioneer of the Austin, Texas music scene, he was also a great advocate for other songwriters and other musicians.   Below is  a YouTube video of him singing Guy Clark's great song, "LA Freeway".   

    QM aka "Jazzman" Jeff

     

    What a great story. And one of the morals is, even when you’ve “made it,” a true craftsman still looks for — and cares about — objective feedback. He earned a reputation as a hard-living guy in his early years, but he was a true professional. He blazed a trail and he’ll be missed.

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  9. 19 hours ago, MissouriPicker said:

    Sorry to be a little late to this, David.  I really like the lyrics.  Great rendition of a tragic and historic event.  Both versions are good, but I think the second grabs my attention more.  While the fingerpicking version is sweet and very folksy, I think the second version adds a tenseness, despair, and seriousness to the event.....Just my view, but imagine Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction” being fingerpicked instead of the Doomsday background in the recording.  The lyrics are the same, but the atmosphere created by the musical accompaniment gives a different feeling to the song.  I like your mostly strummed version.  For me, it adds to the seriousness of an already tragic event.

    Thanks for those insights. I think you're right in that the strummed version creates more tension.

    When I boil down my concerns about the song, it comes down to my fear I'm trying to pack too much into the second verse in the second version. We've got troubled times, California giving us hope, RFK claiming  victory and saying, "On to Chicago," a madman shooting him, RFK falling, Romero kneeling to comfort him. That is a lot to pack into four lines.

    I'm at the point in my writing where if I can say something in one verse instead of two, that's the route I'll go. Brevity can bring out a certain energy. (It also keeps the listener from getting bored. I'm no Gordon Lightfoot telling about a sunken ship....)

    I think I just need to lose a thought or two from the verse. The song will get there eventually. I appreciate your thoughts and they do help. Were I in the U.S., I could workshop the song at an open mic or two and figure out what works of what doesn't pretty quickly. Nicosia has a grand total of one monthly open mic, but it is shared with spoken-word folks and they haven't held it in months because of the pandemic. Plus, if you did get a spot, you got only 5 minutes.


  10. 18 hours ago, Lars68 said:

    You are really turning them out now. I like it a lot and look forward to the  studio stuff.

    Stay safe!

    Lars

     

    Thanks. I’m looking forward to the studio stuff, too, but the upcoming EP is just going to be me and guitar. Our plans to add bass, harmonica and background vocals fell through one by one, for various reasons out of my control. So it’ll basically be a field recording with good microphones. Not entirely what I was shooting for.


  11. 16 hours ago, PatriotsBiker said:

    Wow! That really does change the whole feeling. Given the subject matter, I am inclined to suggest the first one was better. Musically, let's say I had no understanding of the lyrics, the second one really does well. The subject matter, though. Yeah, first version does it nice.

    Another consideration is that the message of the chorus suits the song better while the first handles the untold "secondary" human tragedy that was the lasting impact on this young man.

    Another good one, David!

    Thanks! I appreciate it. The song is still trying to find itself, I think. In some ways, I like the longer version and in some ways, I like the shorter one.

    The song may need to sit for awhile to sort itself out....


  12. A year ago at this time, my wife and I had made the decision to leave Cyprus at the end of the 2020 school year and move back to my hometown in East Central Illinois, or close to it. Then the pandemic hit and folks (particularly in the rural area I'm from) showed a disdain for wearing masks, social distancing,  etc., and a lot of flights were cancelled anyway so we decided it was safer to stay in Nicosia at least another year.

    One of the things I was looking forward to was putting together a bluegrass band. There are some crackerjack banjo, fiddle and mandolin players in that small town and they were game. So I started writing some bluegrass stuff.

    "Hard Times Don't Make A Sound" was NOT one of those songs. It was written as a folk song with the title, "St. Barbara of Uniontown" and I liked it. But the other day, I listened to some of Sturgill Simpson's bluegrass show at the Ryman and thought, "I should bluegrass-ize a few of my songs," and this came out. I turned the bridge into a chorus and did some rewriting here and there. As such, it is probably still a work in progress.

    (A quick note about singing, and this may be TMI, but.... Since we didn't travel this summer, I decided after many years of ignoring my teeth and avoiding dentists at all costs, I needed to get some serious work done. Cyprus is known as a destination for "medical tourism" so good dentists aren't hard to find. I'm about halfway through a fairly extensive bit of work and now I have stuff in places that were previously vacant. Aside from relearning how to chew food, it is also affecting my singing. I'm sure it is just an adjustment thing.)

     

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