Article Type

December song

Dec 22, 2008

Hot Cake

This tune needs a little prefacing.  In November I was playing my regular 3rd-Friday-night coffeehouse gig by myself.  Normally, I can hide behind Nate Houge but he was out of town so I was flying solo.  Much to my surprise my friend, and former Trace band mate, Russel Munson showed up.  We were chatting about how his rock band Live in Japan is on hiatus and that he’s doing some recording but it’s all quite folk music.  I mentioned how my recording gear was out of commission but that I still needed to record a new tune.  The next day Russel gave me a list of available dates and the best one that worked was my birthday, Friday, Dec 19th.

I decided that I would not write some quiet folk tune (as is my normal inclination) and write a tune for Russel to rock out on.  So, I listened to lots of Weezer, Jet, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Led Zepplin, etc, and the night before our recording session I sat down and wrote the tune.  I had also just watched Talladega Nights and I think Will Ferrell might have been a character influence in the song.

I showed up at Russel’s at about 9:30 AM and after we laughed for a while we decided to really record the song.  Russel and I both agreed that if I was going to go to a musical place I don’t often go, then we should go all out.  3 chords, under 3 minutes long, lots of vocal straining, feedback, distortion, finger-tapping solo, and even grunt-like-gutteral noises.  So I broke out my favorite (yet rarely used) pedal, the Hot Cake, grabbed the hollow body electric (best for feedback), plugged into the Fender the tube amp, turned everything up, and did a scratch reference track.  We put mics on Russel’s drums and he played it through a couple of times and did a great take the second time through.  I grabbed the electric again, threw down some sweet rock guitar and then stumbled my way through a rock solo.  I don’t think I’ve finger-tapped since 1989.  Then I did a quick bass track and sang the vocal a few times as I can only growl like that for a short period.  We then did a real basic quick and dirty mix and I was out the door by 4 PM. What a blast!  Russel, as always, was so much fun to work with and I will definitely use him again.

Enjoy the song… I know I do.