More Tunes

Songs, like all artistic endeavors, are meant to be shared.  Over the years I’ve kept my hand in the occasional composition, writing a handful of tunes that very few people have heard.   So, I’ve decided to devote a page of this blog to the tunes that have been collecting dust, waiting for someone to tap their toes or sing along. Here then are a few songs I hope you’ll enjoy.

Between the Cradle and the Stone

This is a new recording of an older song.  It was written about 20 years ago.  Back then it was called “Between the Forceps and the Stone” — a phrase I lifted from a Joni Mitchell lyric.  It was pointed out to me, way back then, that the word “Forceps” was too sterile.  And, I was told by a publisher that the third verse was too theological.  I changed the word and kept the verse.

This new version was recorded in the summer of 2014.

When I was developing the new version, I asked my friend, gospel singer Ronnie Spann, to sing it for a demo.  Unbeknownst to me, he was putting the finishing touches on a new CD and he asked if he could include “Between the Cradle and the Stone” on his record.  I was more than happy to oblige.  It’s always gratifying to hear someone bring their talents and interpretation to a song.  So, from his new CD entitled “Raise Him Up,” here’s Ronnie’s version …. which, by the way, I like very much.

I’ll Be There

This is another song that goes back a ways.  I wrote it eleven years ago, during a particularly difficult period.  It’s a promise to my kids.  It’s another example of what happens when a guy with musical leanings is allowed to play with advanced music software. Even though I sang and played all the parts,  a friend did ask how much it cost to rent the London Symphony.  🙂

Under a Purple Sky

Here’s an odd and interesting little ditty.  It’s odd because I would never have thought to write it. But my friend, Tim Ellyson, sent me some lyrics and I found them so picturesque that I set them to music.  The words are evocative, so the music needed to be a bit cinematic to fit the mood.  It was recorded back in 2010 on ProTools 8.  It was remastered in 2014.

Nobody

Okay, this one reaches way back.  It was written and recorded about 23 years.  It’s co-written with my friend Tim Rocco (of Rocco Guitars).  It was recorded on a 16-track Fostex machine and mixed to DAT audio tape.  Kerry “Doc” Stone played the bass, harmonica, and electric guitar.  So, who’s gonna’ love you?  Nobody. But me.

Walking On Your Ceiling

Fair warning: this song is complete nonsense.  It was written in 1981, in the middle of the night, in a hotel room in San Diego.  I couldn’t sleep and I had an old guitar and a four-track recorder in the room.  So, out came this piece of word play.  The version posted here was recorded back in 2010 utilizing Apple’s software, GarageBand. I wanted to see if such an inexpensive recording platform could handle multitrack overdubs and it actually proved to be quite sturdy.  And the newest version is much improved.  I recommend it to anyone who’s starting out recording and needs something to learn on and experiment with.

Goodnight Jimmy

My son, James, was born on May 25, 1988.  The first night home from the hospital, we spent the night with him sleeping on my chest.  The next day, I wrote this song.  In those days I had a Tascam four-track cassette recorder to record my musical ideas.  But over the Memorial Day weekend 2015 I decided to record it again for James’s 27th birthday.  This is the full Pro Tools version.

Message From a Friend

Here’s a blast from the past.  I wrote this song around 1980.  It was recorded by 707 and was on our third album. I was playing it one day recently and decided it would be a good project to revisit.  But, being an old guy, I had to lower the key a few steps.  That led to all sorts of new sonic possibilities.

Abilene

This song has been bouncing around in my head for more than 30 years, so I figured it was time to record it.  The name comes a city in Texas.  Why?  Because it was the first word that came into my head when I was composing this song and it scanned well.  As usual, I’m doing all the stuff with the help of Studio One 4 and some very good samples.  

 Whiter Shade of Pale

This song was one of my favorites growing up. I always felt that it needed a classical arrangement, so I fired up Studio One 5 (new and improved!) and went to work. My friend, Ron Spann, added the organ to give that Procol Harem feel. Let your mind drift back to 1967 and remember bygone days of still-groovy songs.

The Girl with the Broken Heart

This was a song I wrote around 1981, while 707 was at the Record Plant in Sausalito, CA. working on our third album. It was one of those tunes that just happened. The chords and lyrics remain unchanged from the first time they occurred to me, all at once. I knew it wasn’t right for the band, but the guys seemed to like it. So, we made a demo of it and that demo wound up on the CD release of The Bridge as a bonus track. But, this latest rendering is more how I imagined it. More subtle and orchestrated. I did this in Studio One 5.

Blue On Blue

Boy, this song has been around forever. I wrote it one night, sitting at the piano in my North Hollywood apartment. The words and music just sort of spilled out all at once. I never had any use for it, so it just languished in my memory. Having recently recalled it, I decided to record it. Cast you mind back to a smoky club with a little piano/bass/drums trio playing in the corner with two horn players sitting in. Oh, and a crooner. These days, I’m no crooner, but I do qualify as a croaker. This song was recorded and master in early 2021, once again utilizing Studio One 5 and some really good samples.

The Road to Ensenada

So, it was snowing. A lot. I was trapped in my house for two days. So, I decided to record a song that I have always enjoyed. It’s from Lyle Lovett. ‘Nuff said.

Martha My Dear

This is just a great song. And a great arrangement, thanks for George Martin. I have always liked this ditty that dates back to the late ’60’s. It’s from the Beatles White Album. I have a book of Beatles scores, so I followed the parts that Martin composed and added my own instrumentation … and lowered the key. I don’t have Paul’s McCartney’s vocal range. But, this was great fun to record and sing.

I Am The Bluegrass Walrus

Okay, let’s be honest. This rendition of a classic song has no reason to exist, beyond the fact that I imagined it and made it happen. I always thought it was meant to be a bluegrass tune. It was recorded and mixed July/August of 2022, utilizing Studio One 5 and lots of very agreeable samples. For the Beatles aficionados out there, see if you can pick the homage to George Martin.

Drive

I am enjoying recording new versions of songs I grew up with. This song goes back to the 80’s and what a nice song it is. It was written by Ric Ocasek and originally recorded by the Cars. I decided to orchestrate it and mix it with some electronics. A truly hybrid recording. Studio One 5 was my DAW of choice.

She’s Electric

The year was 1983. I was sitting in a hotel room in San Diego with a four-track recorder. And this is what came out. It’s a very 80’s little ditty, but when I found it on an old cassette, I figured it was worth an update.

Wichita Lineman

Let’s be honest, most modern music is not made with me in mind. I am not the intended audience. I prefer songs with complex melodies and chord structures. And Jimmy Webb songs fit that bill. I took my cues from the original record when making this recording. Why mess with something so right?

Love Looks Good on You

Well, this song dates back at least thirty years. Tim Rocco and I composed it, back when we were trying to be Nashville songwriter guys. I recently came across an old cassette of tunes we had written and decided to breathe some new life into it. My friend, Nathan McFarland lent his hand on the guitar leads.

Do What You Gotta

Okay, this song goes way back. I believe I wrote it when I was living in Glendale, CA in the mid 1980’s. It’s a funky little ditty that I recently found on an old cassette and decided to update. Get down. Get funky. Get back up again.

For No One

This is classic, sometimes overlooked song from McCartney. I put my own spin on it. Once again, this is Studio One 6 and more sampled instruments than one guy in his home studio really ought to have access to.

Legal Stuff:  Except where noted, all songs on this page were written by Jim McClarty and are the property of No Better Music/BMI.  Copyright 2000-2024.

2 thoughts on “More Tunes

  1. Jim Mc. Post author

    Hello Ellison. In earlier versions of WordPress, downloading the audio files was easier. Now, when I embed the link, it creates the player for streaming. I am not sure how to create a downloadable link, but I’ll look into it. So, it turns out you’re not stupid at all! 🙂

    And thanks for the kind words.

    Reply
    1. Scott

      In case you never managed to find the answer, here you go (on a PC anyway):

      Right-click on the page (pretty much anywhere on the page).
      Select “View Page Source”

      You will now see the web page in the HTML format. Search the page (Hold the CTRL Button and Press F). A search box will appear. Enter MP3 as a search string.

      Every instance of MP3 will be highlighted. You can now see the audio files as links.

      Right-click the link and choose “Save Link As”

      Viola!

      Reply

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