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Everything posted by dhanners623

  1. Great job! Well-written (sorry for what you had to go through to write it...) and the arrangement fits the song. As others have said, I hope this gets the attention it deserves.
  2. Edited the song (heavily) and did some rewriting. Here is where it stands now:
  3. Thanks! The song is still trying to find itself. The version I'm toying with now is four verses, no chorus, but I may go back to a chorus. It takes awhile for a song to figure itself out....
  4. Thanks for the kind words, all. When we move back to the U.S., I may record an album or two. I don't see much use recording them in Cyprus; all the musicians I want to work with are back in the U.S., and if I released a CD here, I doubt I would sell a single copy. I have since revised the song. Decided it needed a chorus. Haven't recorded the new version yet, but here are the revised lyrics. I'm cutting and pasting the lyrics, so I apologize for the big type. When I was a child we’d drive to Terre Haute Take Route 40 then Old National Road Right before National hit Paris Avenue That big trash dump would come into view Old tires smoldered, brown haze made you choke Roll up the windows and hold your nose I did not understand how people lived around that Dad’d say, “It’s West Terre Haute, they’re not aristocrats” (Chorus) Women with hard eyes spoke with few words Their husbands bought Falstaff on the way home from work Some say hard times are just a test But the people who say that always live someplace else West Terre Haute had been a coal mining town When the coal played out, things spiraled down Whitewashed buildings had seen better days Now it was where others threw stuff away Wives in housecoats hung wash on the line You got the feeling they were just doing time Serving their sentence in tumble-down homes Near the trash dump fire in West Terre Haute (chorus) That fire burned years, land and air were corrupt Burned ‘til the Feds made them clean it all up Trucked in topsoil, Lord knows what they spent They have flea markets there now on summer weekends
  5. No, the song's not about politics... When I was a kid growing up in East Central Illinois, we'd sometimes go to Terre Haute to go shopping. Before the advent of I-70, to get to Terre Haute from my hometown, you took Route 40, which took you through West Terre Haute, one of the sorriest zip codes on the planet. The place was run down and just did not project an air of success. On the east edge of town, there was a big trash dump, and it always seemed like it was smoldering. The smell was horrible. I have no idea why, but the dump came to mind the other day and I started writing, and this song is the result. (Since filming the video, I tweaked a couple of lines, as noted in the lyrics.) I'm playing my '16 J-35, strung with Martin Monel mediums that have been on there awhile. Thanks for listening, and happy Thanksgiving! Trash Dump Fire © 2019 by David Hanners When I was a child we’d drive to Terre Haute Take Route 40 then Old National Road Right before National hit Paris Avenue That big trash dump would come into view Old tires smoldered, brown haze made you choke Roll up the windows and hold your nose I could not understand how people lived ‘round that Dad’d say, “It’s West Terre Haute, they’re not aristocrats” West Terre Haute had been a coal mining town Coal played out, things spiraled down Buildings and people had seen better days Now it was where others threw stuff away That fire burned years, land and air were corrupt Burned ‘til the Feds came in and made them clean it up Trucked in topsoil, Lord knows what they spent They have flea markets there now on some weekends They say hard times are just a test But the people who say that always live someplace else If I were rich, I would’ve bought me a boat Slipped her into the Wabash and left West Terre Haute
  6. I'm no expert, but I've always felt you should fit the pins to the holes and not the other way around. When I had my J-45, I stuck StewMac slotted ebony pins in it without any trouble. On my J-35, I replaced the stock injection-molded plastic pins with machined camel bone pins. Whichever pins you go with, make sure you angle the tips: https://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Trade_Secrets/Chopping_the_ends_off_bridge_pins.html
  7. Congratulations! That is one drool-worthy guitar....
  8. Already been done.... http://www.bugoutguitars.com/ https://cannaguitars.com/ https://letstalkhemp.com/ganja-guitars-meet-the-man-building-top-shelf-instruments-from-hemp/
  9. It is an LG-1 3/4. It is smaller than an LG-1, and if you Google "Gibson LG-1 3/4" you'll see plenty of photos and videos of guitars that look just like it.
  10. A few years back I knew a guy in the Twin Cities who had a '94 J-45 (I was playing a '98 J-45 during that era) and the differences between our two guitars was like night and day. His sounded dead, even with new strings. Fortunately, the guitar's tone (or lack thereof) worked well with his dry folkie style. He once offered to trade me straight up, saying his guitar would be considered "vintage" four years before mine would. I declined because I didn't think his guitar was ever going to sound any better.
  11. I'm thinking of getting some sort of pickup in my Farida OT-22 (their guitar with LG-2 specs) and I don't want a UST. For those of you with K&K Pure Minis, do you like them? Advantages? Disadvantages? Overall impressions?
  12. Very good! The pieces fit together very well. When you stop worrying about your singing, things fall into place and you sound pretty good....
  13. Lars, if you instantly want to feel better about your singing, go to YouTube and look up “isolated vocal tracks” for Taylor Swift or Britney Spears. It will shake your faith in humanity to hear what they (and others) sound like without Auto-Tune, even “live” in concert. Leo Kottke isn’t known for his vocals, but he once said an audience will forgive a singer for a wrong note, but they won’t forgive him/her for an insincere note. You sing with sincerity. Keep that in mind.
  14. For the umpteenth time, don’t worry about your singing. Do you think Townes Van Zandt considered himself a “shaky” singer? No. He just sang the song. That’s what you need to do. If we wanted Placido Domingo, we’d be on a different discussion forum. The issue with extraneous words is they are, well, extraneous. You’re telling a story and you want the shortest path between Point A and Point B. Think of the listener and how many thoughts he/she can process. Plus, I will argue that on a love song like this, trying to fill in spaces with extra words because of a “shaky” voice (and again, it isn’t) is exactly the wrong approach. Lines need room to breathe. YOU need room to breathe. To reference another Texas songwriter, the late Guy Clark liked to say, “Less is more.” Give those lines some breathing room. As for the chorus, how married are you to the “Please, please, oh please” bit? How about something like I’ve got four hours to go, a new dawn awaits/This tired heart is ready to awake There are probably better choices than “tired,” but I threw that in there in a hurry. Again, you’ve done some great work here and I offer this in the spirit of trying to be constructive, which I realize is subjective....
  15. Fine job! I like it. Some excellent imagery! A couple of thoughts which, as always, you're more than welcome to ignore. The first thought is are we talking about a new love or rekindling an old one? This is a song that features movement (driving, the passage of time) so what about reflecting that with a countdown in the chorus? You've got three choruses, so how about singing "I've got three hours to go" in the first chorus, and "I've got two hours to go" in the second and "I'm almost there" in the last chorus? That shakes things up a bit and gives the listener a sense of movement, of getting closer to a goal. Speaking of the chorus, is there a better word than "fate"? Fate generally has a negative connotation. To me, it sounds like you're waiting to share a bad thing. I realize you're wanting to rhyme with "awaits," but I'm wondering if there's another solution. Other thoughts: V1, line 3: Could you lose the first word, "And"? I'm not sure it adds anything. V1, line 4: Similarly, do you lose anything if you get rid of "damn"? V2, lines 3 & 4: I'd like to see some distinction between these lines and the first two, signifying the dispute between past and future. In my mind, you do a better job if you use the word "But" instead of "Then" at the start of the third line. And could the fourth line just be shortened to "Don't accept defeat"? Adding the bit about the dare in there just seems (to me) an added thought to burden the listener with. Simplify. V3, line 1: Does the word "main" add anything? If you're going for motor imagery, an internal combustion engine has two types of valves -- intake and exhaust. V3, line 4: Now I'm going to get positively anal.... In the first verse, you're driving south. In the last line of the last verse, you're driving towards the sun, so you're going west if it is afternoon, or east if the first part of the drive was before sunrise. To compound the issue, the chorus tells us "a new dawn awaits." Sticking direction in a song (which I am all in favor of) requires consistency. If you add something about driving through the night then, yeah, you can be driving into the sunrise, which is great imagery. Like I said, nobody has ever paid me for advice, and you know what they say about free advice.... You've got some really good work here. Love your melody, too.
  16. Dinner guests are first. Next comes an open mic.... That said, I know some people love their light-gauge strings, but as a guy who has owned a couple of '45s over the years, the guitar needs mediums. At least that is the opinion of this gentle herald. You've got that nice big top, and it needs to vibrate. Lights just don't move it enough. If you want your J-45 to live up to its potential, go with mediums. Then start scouting open mics in your area....
  17. You do a fine job. But, yeah, one verse on the tires is probably enough....
  18. Thanks for the kind words. Re: an element of time. One of the issues with the song is it is pretty crowded, thought-wise, as it is. There are a lot of moving parts, and I'm not sure adding an element that dates the song adds to the narrative. The song takes place in contemporary times. (The Clements Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice referred to in the last verse didn't open until 1990.) On one of the other acoustic guitar forums I'm on, we sometimes share songs and one of the concerns expressed there was that the woman -- who is the catalyst for everything -- is never named. We learn about "Dale," but we never know her name. That was a conscious decision on my part, and follows a literary and cinematic practice of having an unnamed main character. For example, we never know the name of The Bride" in Tarantino's "Kill Bill," nor do we know the name of the lead character in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
  19. We were watching TV the other night and had on one of those true-crime channels. I was half-listening but when the narrator introduced a female character and said, “At 18, she moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she fell in with the wrong crowd,” my ears perked up. If that’s not the first line of a David Hanners song, I don’t know what is. I wrote it down.The next morning I opened my notebook, looked at the line and started writing, making up the story as I went. There’s been some editing, but what you see is pretty much what came out.I learned early in my journalism career that most people behind bars are there because they got caught up in a cascading series of bad choices. Yeah, there are some psychopaths who are just evil, but a lot of incarcerated folks were trying to feed a habit of some sort and things spiraled out of control. That doesn’t absolve them of guilt or lessen the impact of what they've done; it is just a reminder that a lot of them started out “normal” and one bad decision led to another.When I look at the forks in the road of my own life, I’m thankful I was either smart enough to make the right choice or too chicken to make the bad one. I'm playing the Farida OT-22 on it. Am really liking that guitar. A Cautionary Tale of Fort Worth © 2019 by David HannersAt 18 she moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she fell in with the wrong crowdWas the life of every party, drank too much and was too loudMet Dale on the loading dock at work, they had chemistry to spareLike high-test gas and a propane torch, they lived life on a dareSaid she knew a guy who knew a guy through a friend she used to knowLived alone on Lake Worth, was supposedly flush with doughIt was supposed to be a simple robbery, hell, the guy might not even tellBut when he resisted Dale pulled a gun and things went all to hellDale got stopped for a busted taillight; you know it's always something dumbWhen the cop saw the .45 on the seat, Dale tried to runIn the universe of bad ideas, that wasn’t the way to goYou might outrun a single cop but you won’t outrun his radio In the ensuing gun battle Dale held his own ‘til he took a slug in the chestLooked over to the passenger side, she was already deadFort Worth’s finest surrounded the car, Dale saw no escape routeGrabbed her hand, closed his eyes and waited to bleed outParamedics arrived in the nick of time and managed to patch the holeDale took a plea to avoid the needle, he’s doing life without parole93 octane and propane torches seldom make for good pairsYou got two deceased, one in the Clements Unit, the tale ends right thereThere’s no moral to this story; that’s not what life’s aboutExcept if you move to Fort Worth, Texas, don’t fall in with the wrong crowd
  20. Nailed it. THAT is how that song is supposed to sound. Great job!
  21. Gorgeous guitar. Congrats! Norman Blake once famously said, "Never trust a guitar without a belly."
  22. My GS100 arrived today via FedEx, a day earlier than scheduled. It is nice to have a quality stand. I ordered it through Sweetwater and I have to say that every time I've dealt with them, things have gone smoothly.
  23. Wound up ordering a GS100 from Sweetwater. Shipping by FedEx international was pricey enough, but when you live abroad, you learn to live with shipping costs. Nicosia does have some good music shops, but I haven't found a stand on the order of a GS100. The stands are either those floor things or over-engineered (and pricey) machines that grab your guitar's neck when you put the guitar in it. And the padding on all of them is suspect vis-a-vis guitars with nitro finishes.
  24. I may wind up ordering a GS100 from Sweetwater. They say they can ship it to me for $30.
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