Sunday, November 17, 2019

In The House ...

The song I'm working on recording a version of, "The House of the Rising Sun," has a long history.  In fact, some think it may date back to as early as the 16th century as a riff on "The Unfortunate Rake."

I recently put out, for public appraisal, a very bad recording of the guitar and drum line to my arrangement, just to demonstrate technical problems I'm having (volume drop-off somewhere between guitar and recording software).

Among the comments was one from my friend "Tony from Long Island," suggesting I use a better drum machine.

But I'm actually re-thinking things entirely and considering dropping the drums entirely, getting rid of the fuzz guitar effects, and not adding a bass line at all.

Just "clean" (or possibly light chorus or slapback delay effect) acoustic three-string guitar (not, strictly speaking, a cigar box guitar, but a $2 garage sale guitar I've three-stringed and enjoy playing more than any other instrument I own), vocals, and possibly harmonica and/or mandolin. I may change the tuning to a higher GDG variant, or go to Open E.

With a view toward that, I'm re-listening to a bunch of prior recordings. My current arrangement falls somewhere between the Animals and Frijid Pink versions. Melodically it will likely continue to do so. But instrumentally, I'm looking back at (in reverse chronological order) Dylan, Van Ronk, Guthrie, and Leadbelly.

What do you guys think? Here are the versions referenced above.

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