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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Song Number 27: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I'm off to the States this summer (belated honeymoon - so excited!), and part of the trip will take in Memphis, and Stax Studios.  With that in mind, I thought I'd try and write a Stax-type number:

Stax for a long time was seen as the slightly bruised sister of Motown, and you either liked one or the other.  However, both studios had quite similar ways of working - staff writers; house band; featured artists.  The most famous arrangement of the house musicians, of course, was Booker T and the MGs: Booker T Jones on Organ; Steve Cropper on Guitar; Donald "Duck" Dunn on Bass; and Al Jackson Jr on Drums.  Like the Funk Brothers at Motown, they were a crack team of session musicians who were expected to walk into the studio, lay down a track in a couple of takes, and then move on to the next one.

Still a really cool logo.

Unfortunately, keys aside, I'm not a crack session musician, but I did my best!  If I'd had more time, I'd have done a more authentic-sounding sax arrangement - the Stax horns were always so much cooler than this one here.  Plus only having an alto sax makes things sound rather thinner than I'd like.

However!  I did play around with the panning on this track, to make it sound like a 3-track recording: Bass, Guitar, Drums and Organ recorded on track one (centre); Horns and tambourine recorded on track 2 (left); vocals and hand claps on track 3 (right).

But enough of that - it's time to donate! http://www.justgiving.com/songaweek.

Anyway, I've got to rush - off to see my teenage heroes Primus tonight.  My God have mercy on my eardrums.

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