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#934602 - 11/29/11 07:05 PM Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2)  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,710
Dan Sullivan Offline
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Dan Sullivan  Offline
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MI
I first posted this as a YouTube slide show in the video forum. Every time I listened to it, it sounded worse. So I'm taking another swing at it. It still sounds crappy on my laptop speakers. It's better on headphones. I'm looking for feedback on the recording. I'm limited musically but I'm trying to get a good enough recording of the song to be able to post it on some postal websites. I'm hoping to tap into the expert ears of the musicians and writers here. So any feedback, especially pointing out things I've overlooked or not noticed is welcome.

Sparkplug Bill's Last Run

[Linked Image]

Sparkplug Bill's Last Run
copyright 2011 Dan Sullivan

Keying on the Flying Dutchman
Sorting through the night
Sparkplug Bill, a postal clerk,
Was fighting for his life
The sad stare in his eyes revealed
A life too quickly old
Too many letters in too short a time
Had flashed past his console

No warm words consoled him
No words at all prevailed
There was nothing but a constant roar
And a steady stream of mail
As machine and man struggled
In uneasy unison
No one knew that Sparkplug Bill
Was making his last run

Sparkplug Bill, Oh Sparkplug Bill
Hey foreman ring the bell
Load another tray of mail
On the ledge for Sparkplug Bill

The zero bin was filled with mail
From console number four
Where the little hands of Sparkplug Bill
Lay still at the keyboard
The foreman pulled an edit
And he cursed beneath his breath
As he spied the sleepy figure
With his head slumped on his chest

Sparkplug Bill, Oh Sparkplug Bill
Hey foreman ring the bell
Load another tray of mail
On the ledge for Sparkplug Bill

With an edit in his hand
The foreman lifted Billy's head
Then he called for a relief clerk
For Sparkplug Bill was dead
There was no time to grieve for him
The mail could not be slowed
He was only a sparkplug
Who died at his console

Sparkplug Bill, Oh Sparkplug Bill
Hey foreman ring the bell
Load another tray of mail
On the ledge for Sparkplug Bill


Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

https://dansullivan2.bandcamp.com

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dansullivan2
#934609 - 11/29/11 08:35 PM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
Joined: Feb 2007
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Crozet, VA
I am not sure if I commented on the first version -- but I know I liked it. The playback quality does have some issues I think. The guitar is wavering like it is running on tape that is speeding and slowing up (ha, ha). I am not sure what to suggest to fix it. I am sure the original tracks sound fine, so you just need to re-mix and test that out put.

It is an interesting story -- I am not sure postal management would care for it too much!! Keep "plugging" away, you are carrying on for Woody Guthrie.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2018)
#934611 - 11/29/11 08:47 PM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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Vicarn Online content
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Vicarn  Online Content
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Hi Dan.
Are you playing a keyboard or have you got a lot of effects like flanger or phaser on the guitar?
It's hard to tell without knowing what you're playing and what sound you are aiming at.
Vic


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#934626 - 11/29/11 10:30 PM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: Vicarn]  
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Dan Sullivan Offline
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Dan Sullivan  Offline
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MI
Kevin, I'm trying to figure out this Logic Express 9. The wavering on the guitar was some effect. Thanks for the input.


Vicarn, There's the guitar with the effect. I tried that to hide my choppy playing. Then there's a few keyboard parts like the bass, piano and organ. Plus a small dose of harmonica. The sound I'm aiming for is probably more rhythmic and clean, kinda 70s folkie, country. I can't play lead guitar, so that's out. Thanks for having a look at it.


Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

https://dansullivan2.bandcamp.com

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dansullivan2
#934633 - 11/29/11 11:54 PM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 12,033
Scott Campbell Offline
Scott Campbell  Offline

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Posts: 12,033
Lakeland, FL, USA
Hey Dan:

It's a cool song and a good story. I don't get all the lingo but, given your target audience, I'm sure they will smile

As for the music, I liked the vocals, bass part, and percussion just fine. I think maybe if the guitar part was acoustic, it would be there. It might be acoustic now but the effects tend to make it sound electric.

Really, I think if you get the guitar sound right, it's good to go.

Scott

#934682 - 11/30/11 01:00 PM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: Scott Campbell]  
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,710
Dan Sullivan Offline
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Dan Sullivan  Offline
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Posts: 3,710
MI
Scott, Thanks for the input. Your comments on the guitar part makes a lot of sense and I'm going to try it that way.


Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

https://dansullivan2.bandcamp.com

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dansullivan2
#934717 - 11/30/11 02:34 PM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
Joined: Jul 2010
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Dottie Offline
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Dottie  Offline
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Hi Dan,

I can’t really comment on the musical aspects of this (though it does sound good to my untrained ears) but I think you’ve written a very fine story lyric. smile

Dottie



#934793 - 12/01/11 08:22 AM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: Dottie]  
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 947
IronKnee Offline
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IronKnee  Offline
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Hawaii
Hey there Dan....Good song!! I like what scott suggested about the acoustic guitar.
Good "stuff"................-Tom

#934825 - 12/01/11 02:28 PM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: IronKnee]  
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Dan Sullivan Offline
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Dan Sullivan  Offline
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MI
Dottie and Cognac, Thanks for listening and commenting. The story line's an old one, as old as John Henry's battle against the machine. Older in fact. I just put a new spin on it.


Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

https://dansullivan2.bandcamp.com

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dansullivan2
#935587 - 12/07/11 12:21 PM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: Dan Sullivan]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,687
MFB III Offline
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MFB III  Offline
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ohio
Love the tale of the common man told in an uncommon way, lovely write Dan.~~~~MFB III

#935621 - 12/07/11 03:19 PM Re: Sparkplug Bill's Last Run (take 2) [Re: MFB III]  
Joined: Jul 2010
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Dan Sullivan Offline
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Dan Sullivan  Offline
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MI
MFB, Thanks for checking this one out and the compliment on it.


Write from your heart, not what you think others want to hear.

https://dansullivan2.bandcamp.com

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dansullivan2

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