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American Idle


Steve Nathan

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No it's not a spelling error. I'm sitting here waiting (over an hour now) for the producer so I can overdub on the illustrious ms. Kellie Pickler. I know most everybody here doesn't watch that show, but after everything I'd heard, I watched a little video of her and after meeting her, I can honestly say that if "it's an act", she's really really good at it :eek:

FTR: I don't think it's an act.

Might as well do a little reading while i seem to have the time. :bor:

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Over and done in about an hour. :cool: Not too bad at all.

The producer (who technically was only 30 minutes late) is an old friend. I worked for his Dad for years back when he was teenager. I had played on the tracking dates so I new the song. Just added a pass of piano and some high strings. She sounded good. Very "radio ready". I have no doubt that it will sell well as she has quite a large fan base from being on that show. Too bad session "pickers" dont get any sales based bonus :(

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Steve Nathan Wrote

Too bad session "pickers" dont get any sales based bonus.

 

 

Yea if we only got a small cut of what we have recorded in the past. I would still be poor, but old Steve would see the royalty checks come in by the dozens.

 

Too bad because you help arrange the tunes by adding sweetness.

Jimmy

 

Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho

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Is it a country song?
Sorry it's taken a couple of days to get back.

Yeah, it's definitly a country record (although not traditional country). She can sing though and reportedly did not require a lot of tuning.

She'll sell a lot of records at first, with luck, enough to get to make a 2nd CD.

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My wife is from the hills of Western Kentucky and she has the same persona. Guess people who have never been exposed to that think its an act. The cant imagine that some people grow up never being exposed to a lot of things we take for granted. My wife had never been on a plane, never been on a boat, etc. Never experineced a lot of things.

Now only if she looked liked Kelly. :(

Steve

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Originally posted by BluesKeys:

Too bad because you help arrange the tunes by adding sweetness.

Yes, it's a shame arrangers don't get more credit.

 

Not being of The Beatles generation, it took me a while to figure out that some of the really cool musical things I liked about their music came from George Martin. Imagine "Eleanor Rigby" without him, among other songs. (Yes, I know the boys did fine on their own before he came along.)

 

Perhaps a more prolific, less well known, and dare I say more talented arranger is John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin fame). I love the way he can take a bluesy/rock tune with distorted guitars and seamlessly morph it into a string quartet doing variations on the theme (most notably on his solo recordings).

 

And the contributions of The Funk Brothers to a number of Motown hits.

 

But yeah, even the "pickers" are going to add just the right part to "make" the song. An OT example is the drum beat to Queen's "We Will Rock You", a staple at many sporting events. I imagine often times the efforts of a studio musician get overlooked, except by those in the biz (producers) that are looking for a certain sound: "get me the guy that played the fiddle on such-and-such song".

 

Even the songwriters pitching their songs are looking to sweeten their pitches. Sometimes a full arrangement will outshine a plain vocals-n-guitar track. (Steve, have you ever had to cop a lick from a demo like that?)

 

Studio musicians have their own signature "voice" when they play their instrument. On "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" they talk about one guitar player that got a unique sound by letting his thumbnail grow long and using it as a pick, and how that got him a number of studio gigs. To me it's no different than the vocalist. Yet only the vocalist is elevated to the status of "artist" and gets a percentage of sales. In most cases the vocalist is really a hired gun like the instrumentalists, just singing the words and notes on the page, not involved in songwriting (or even arranging).

 

The difference, of course, is that most people will associate the voice with the song, especially since they are mostly listening to the melody and lyrics. Instrumental solos today are either too abrupt to be memorable or non-existent.

 

So did Kellie Pickler write the song she just recorded? Did she arrange her part at all, or did she just sing it as written? (I'm not trying to pick on the Pickler in particular, just using her as an example.)

 

But this recording cannot be promoted on tour without Kellie performing it. The audiences may not even notice the sloppy replacement for Steve on stage, but if some other girl tries to sing it they'll want their money back. ;)

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Originally posted by MidLifeCrisis:

My wife is from the hills of Western Kentucky and she has the same persona. Guess people who have never been exposed to that think its an act. The cant imagine that some people grow up never being exposed to a lot of things we take for granted. My wife had never been on a plane, never been on a boat, etc. Never experineced a lot of things.

Now only if she looked liked Kelly. :(

Yes, it's hard to imagine anyone in this day and age who's never heard of calamari by age 19, or worse yet doesn't know the l in salmon is silent. (Calamari can be found in most of the sit-down restaurants in this area, not just the ethnic ones that have had it forever. Just like a lot of grocery stores have started carrying sushi. "Exotic" is becoming more and more commonplace.)

 

The animated character "Luanne Platter" on TV's "King of the Hill" is supposed to be a parody, an exaggeration; not true-to-life. Just like the old TV dads that were over-the-top clueless bumbling idiots.

 

Christina Applegate ceases to be a dumb blonde when the director calls "cut!" and she's not acting the part of Kelly Bundy from "Married With Children".

 

And yes, I've met women that do act the dumb blonde when out in public. (Actually, it seems they've chosen it as a lifestyle.)

 

But to be fair, I've heard of true-life stories of people that haven't experienced everything from the other side of the street, too. Kids that grow up in wealthy homes and have never seen a walnut still in the shell, or an avocado that wasn't already sliced up and placed on a salad.

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The 'l' in salmon isn't silent where I'm originally from (Cleveland), but some people there did also pronounce it without 'l'.

 

I agree RicBassGuy on the bits about arrangers getting more credit and instrumentalists getting a percentage of the sales. OTOH, I also suspect that some instrumentalists are partly to blame, because they (or their representation) didn't take time to negotiate the terms they really wanted.

 

Let's remember that Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, LA Reid and Babyface, Prince, and Stevie Wonder are all fabulous instrumentalists too, and none of them were born moguls. I'm inspired by their examples, because I believe that they're showing us--or at least me--how to get the job done. They evolved from sessions players into moguls.

 

I grew up around lots of musicians, and one of the first things I learned--even though I didn't understand it initially--is that lots of musicians (and other entertainers) die broke or bankrupt. It's mostly due to the fact that they didn't take time to learn the business. The business of making music is far more than writing songs, jamming, and collecting checks.

 

My music mentors beat it into my head that if I ever intended to do anything serious in music, that I'd have to learn something about producing, recording, marketing, etc. They also encouraged me to learn to play piano (my first instrument is trumpet) and to learn either to sing or to play several other instruments (at least one from each kind of instrument [strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass]). I chose the latter. I was also drilled to hire a professional to handle my money (since so many musicians went broke due to back-payment of owed taxes, embezzlement, or mismanagement).

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