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Everything posted by dhanners623

  1. A new song. I'll let everyone guess who/what it is about, although the jig is up by the end of the fourth verse.
  2. Once you have this down — and I think you’re 97-percent there, frankly — this will be a crowd-pleaser. Your high notes may not be “perfect” but they are genuine. I’ll take “genuine” any day of the week. A crowd, particularly on the Galveston sea wall, cuts a busker some slack. They’re appreciating the entertainment. You’ll be great, Buc. Just make sure you have some Ray Wylie Hubbard on the set list. Maybe some Shake Russell, too....
  3. I don't think you'll be disappointed. In my mind, J-35s were one of Gibson's secret bargains. Mine has aged quite well.
  4. This song started out a few months ago as "Trash Dump Fire" then morphed into "West Terre Haute Blues" and then with my lockdown time, I overhauled and rewrote it into "Missing Parts." Hope you like it.
  5. I'm biased since I am a J-35 owner, but I've owned a couple of J-45s in the past. My view, which some may disagree with, is that walnut is not what gave the J-45 the sound it has become famous for. That's not necessarily a bad thing if you like walnut, but to my mind, a J-45 made of walnut really isn't a J-45. It is a walnut guitar shaped like a J-45. I've got a 2016 J-35 and it is an excellent guitar. And it is made of the woods J-35s are known for.
  6. I had owned Gibsons through the years and lived by the creed, "Never buy a Gibson you haven't played." They just always seemed to be idiosyncratic guitars, and sound and quality varied widely from one year to another. But in 2016, I bought a J-35 through Sweetwater and was stunned by how good it was. Just an excellent guitar. (And I'd have to take issue with your comment about hearing that they can "get tinny when you dig in strumming." There's not an ounce of tinniness in mine, anyway.) As others have noted, though, it is hard to go wrong with the current crop of J-45s. They are good, solid, iconic guitars. We're always happy to help you spend your money....
  7. Does this do it? https://m.youtube.com/user/dhanners623
  8. Since most of us have time on our hands now, I have started a new YouTube initiative called The 3-Minute Project. When I analyze the great songs I listened to growing up, one thing that stands out is how short they are. Songwriters were writing for radio and to fit the song on a 45 (one side of a 45 could hold about 4:30 worth of music) and brevity was important. But gee whiz, they could tell an amazing story in less than 3 minutes.Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried" is one of the best songs ever written and he tells the whole story in 2:12. It took Johnny Cash 2:50 to sing “Folsom Prison Blues." Buck Owens knocked out "Hello Trouble" in 2:02. Dave Dudley took 2:24 to sing, “Six Days on the Road.” The list goes on.John Fogerty was a master at this: “Who’ll Stop the Rain” (2:29), “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” (2:39), “Fortunate Son” (2:21) and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” (2:35) are ready examples.I have started filming and posting some of my songs that clock in at 3 minutes or less. Some do that naturally, but some have required a bit of editing and rewriting. Actually, there are a couple of songs (so far) that I think have been improved by the emphasis on brevity.If you're interested, my channel is here: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCzdZhPModnRFb7fnZef-ZBANaturally, I'm not a Haggard or a Cash or a Fogerty. But my theory is if you like the songs, great, and if you don't, then I've wasted less than 3 minutes of your time.
  9. I’d reply, but I’d be accused of promoting “socialism”....
  10. So that is what you took away from the song? Interesting....
  11. I guess if you worked in healthcare finance, that explains what is, arguably, your knee-jerk reaction. Go back and read my original post. Other than calling countries with healthcare-for-all "sensible," (are they not "sensible"?) there's nothing political about it. Did I advocate socialized medicine? No. Did you read criticism of the American healthcare system? No. Did you see me express a "political" opinion? No. Did I explain the context of the song for people unfamiliar with seeing others begging for money for medical care? You bet. Otherwise, they wouldn't get the reference because they don't see that in their countries. Meanwhile, I'll see your study and raise you one: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/11/this-is-the-real-reason-most-americans-file-for-bankruptcy.html https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/medical-bankruptcy-killing-american-middle-class-2019-02-14 I'm thinking your own biases are coloring your reaction here. If you don't like what's being discussed, move on. Comment on another thread. Visit another website. Go out and smell the flowers. Crack open a book. Take a walk. But maybe not tell another forum member what he or she is free to post?
  12. Obviously, I disagree or I wouldn't have stuck it in there as context for the song. If you live outside the U.S., chances are you have no idea what the "jar on the counter" line refers to so I felt it important to explain. Our friends who live in other countries may be unaware that 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies in the U.S. involve medical issues -- either from high cost of care or time out of work.
  13. Songs can have unexpected trajectories. “Jar on the Counter” is the evolution of a song I wrote years ago called “Longwall Mine Blues,” which by spring 2011 had morphed into “Witch Hazel Mine.” It's a song I still enjoy playing live. An EP project I want to do involves West Terre Haute, IN. It was a coal mining town until the early 1960s, and they still mine a bit of coal there. I need a couple of songs about coal and I figured if I added a bit of local color, “Witch Hazel Mine” would fit on the EP. One tweak led to another. Lines got added, edited or cut. Verses got added, edited or cut. The title changed to “Sugar Creek,” and a series of even more tweaks resulted in an early draft of “Jar on the Counter,” then I kind of hit a roadblock or two. Over the weekend, a Facebook songwriting challenge group I’m in posted the new prompt -- “brittle.” For whatever reason, the word unlocked the roadblocks (?!?) and so here is “Jar on the Counter.” It contains zero from the song I started with. I can go back to doing “Witch Hazel Mine” as it was. As always, it is a work in progress and I'm not sold on the melody, but I figured the song is far enough along to present a version. For our international members and those who live in sensible countries with socialized medicine, the title is a reference to a uniquely American phenomenon. Sometimes in the U.S., you'll go into a store and there'll be a jar on the counter with somebody's photo -- often a child -- and a little note saying they are trying to raise money for a life-saving operation the person needs but insurance doesn't cover it or the person is out of work, etc. Basically, it is someone begging for your spare change to save the life of a loved one. And we wonder why America is wholly unprepared to handle a pandemic.... I've lived abroad for nearly six years and have lived and/or traveled in nine countries. So far, America is the only country where I've seen jars on the counter. And, yeah, J-35s were built for songs like this. It is in their DNA.... Jar on the Counter © 2020 by David Hanners I was UMW ‘cause it stood with us My family’s been union since the days of John Lewis The coal we cut just enriched wealthy men Took all they could then just packed up and left Our coal fed the Wabash River power plant When the air permits expired, that was the end of that When I’ll work steady next, I don’t know Life is hard and it's brittle, just like No. 5 coal Told us we’ll make America great again They said coal’s coming back but they don’t say when Rich man never knew what it's like not bein’ rich Or to not have insurance when your kid gets sick Jar on the counter at the Stop & Shop As if spare change will ever be enough Preacher says God works in strange ways Buy my beer, head home, waste another day
  14. Decided the song wasn't muscular enough. The subject matter needs a three-chords-and-the-truth approach. It needed some raw Americana injected into it. I started playing around with chords (just three...) and came up with a new melody, which led to a new chorus which led to this, which I am calling "done." The new "dollar store":
  15. Maybe it is just the New Testament. If it were the Old Testament, it would smite the guitar and turn it into firewood. Or a pillar of salt.
  16. Maybe check and/or change the battery before the gig? Here is Frank Ford's explanation for how to do what you're planning to do. He's doing it with a clear pickguard, though: http://frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/Pickguards/ClearGuard/clearguard1.html
  17. You may just have to glue it and clamp it overnight. It is a simple job for a professional. Frank Ford describes how it is done: http://frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/Pickguards/ReglueGuard/reglueguard.html Maybe the bigger question is why in the heck are you sticking a perfectly good J200 in the case for three months at a time? Those things are built to be played. Regularly.
  18. Did some editing/rewriting/revising. Here is today's version:
  19. Indeed, it is global, but the street marketplaces I've been to in the Third World generally exist to serve their communities and are locally run. They aren't necessarily predicated on a predatory business model that is partially dependent upon local governments for tax breaks that aren't necessarily available to local businesses. It is the whole government-shouldn't-pick-winners-and-losers thing. This piece was published last year, after I had come up with earlier versions of the song, but it is an interesting read: https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2019/0308/Sign-of-hope-or-worry-When-the-dollar-store-comes-to-town
  20. Well, that’s just it. The chains come in and use their advantage of scale to undercut locally owned businesses, who often find it difficult to compete and so they go out of business. The problem is compounded when the chains hit up local governments for tax breaks (“Hey, we’re bringing jobs to your town!”) and the mom-and-pops are left saying, “Where’s our tax break?” So the mom-and-pops go out of business. They sold produce, too, but the chains only sell processed food. I’ve seen this happen with my own eyes. Then, somewhere along the line, the accountants in some windowless office at the chain’s HQ decide the store’s margins aren’t what they ought to be, so they close it. (I’ve also seen this.) So in a relatively short period of time, the town has gone from having a locally owned grocery to nothing at all. So you wind up driving miles to the next town for toilet paper.
  21. Sometimes you wrestle with a song for a couple of years and you get to a point where you have no idea if you've won or the song has won. Such is the case with "dollar store." When I was back in the Midwest over the summer two or three years ago, I was struck by the growth of the various dollar-store chains in the rural areas. I read up on them and their business model. In essence, their existence and growth is predicated on there being a permanent American underclass; their executives have said so in as many words. This song has gone through more versions and rewrites than I care to count, and this is about the fifth or sixth melody I've come up with. This is the February 2020 version and, at least for today, it is growing on me. There are still a couple of issues; I fear "TANF" will lose some people, and I'm unsure about the use of the 7th chord (in this case, an F7) in the chorus. That said, Tom T. Hall famously said that any song worth writing is worth rewriting, so here is version No. 278 of "dollar store."
  22. I'm a firm believer that few songs are ever really "done." We grow and learn as songwriters and if we're not going back and revising our old stuff with what we've learned, then we're missing out. Such is the case with "Droop Mountain." As I explain in the notes, I originally wrote this years ago for a bluegrass group that never performed it. I rarely (actually, never) perform it myself. I stumbled across it yesterday, worked up a new melody, did some rewriting, reworked a verse into a bridge and made a couple of other tweaks. And so here, for your murder ballad listening enjoyment, is "Droop Mountain." I may change the title to "Annie of Droop Mountain." I'm playing my J-35, which is made for songs like this, although it probably is due for a string change.
  23. On a 17-hour flight, I'd definitely watch it. A couple of times.... Looking at a 14-hour flight this summer from Doha to Dallas. Maybe they'll have it.
  24. I believe in WWII Germans referred to dogs as "blockade mutton"....
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