Home › Forums › Active Melody Member Challenge Response Submissions › Sept 2018 Challenge Response – Sunjamr Steve
November 9, 2018 at 5:04 pm #116018
Since I had already done EP184, I considered this: It’s a 12 bar blues in Am, but it uses all minor chords. I spent some time Googling to see what songs (blues or otherwise) use 1, 4, 5 as all minor chords. The only one that appeared was a song called Tin Pan Alley. So I decided for the second time in my life to try singing a song. Am is not within my vocal range, so I had to shift it to Bm, which was possible but not ideal. This meant I had to build a backing track from scratch. I played all parts of it one track at a time. Then I recorded my vocals, and reset the camera and recorded my guitar solos. The solo licks are borrowed from Lucky Peterson (one of the greatest blues guitarists ever) and Stevie Ray Vaughan, plus a very few of my own invention. The rhythm is 4 beats of triplets per bar, which could be called 12/8, I believe.
Tin Pan Alley was a place in Manhattan where music publishers set up shop. It began in the late 1800s, and lasted until the early 1960s. The golden age of Tin Pan Alley was maybe from 1900 to 1930. Originally, there was no way to record audio, so the publishers sold sheet music, and that was how songwriters became famous. This was the time in history when people were transitioning from horses to cars. The movie clip at the beginning is said to be one of the oldest surviving movies with audio of New York. There were no traffic lights at that time, so traffic cops were stationed at critical intersections to try to make some order out of the chaos. Pedestrians at that time just walked freely all over the roads, parting to make way for oncoming carriages or cars. Watch the cop as he tries to direct traffic and not a single car or pedestrian pays any attention to him. He despairs and looks at his watch, then at the ground.
November 9, 2018 at 5:40 pm #116019
That’s amazing that you put this all together! I really liked the backing track and the lead and of course the theme of the Tin Pan Alley with video. Then you had to write the lyrics so you outdid yourself on this one!
You have to be really pleased with this whole project – I know I would be.
November 9, 2018 at 5:43 pm #116020
Man that is /was cool Steve,, very interesting submission,, you brought to view not only the History but the oldest video clips as you mentioned ,that is pretty deep and I really enjoyed your blues original,very relaxed and cool lyrics..video and story/song is genius!
November 9, 2018 at 6:49 pm #116027
Very well done, innovative and gutsy. Singing for me is a push.
Very enjoyable rendition of this classic. First cover for your next album?
November 10, 2018 at 4:29 am #116046
I love this blues and how you still managed to tell us a story in music. Few notes but well chosen, emotion, supported by a superb voice. Thank you
November 10, 2018 at 6:18 am #116057
That was just great all around Steve. Your backing track sounds great with some pretty cool lines played over the top. Excellent feel, touch and emotion. I’m impressed with your vocals too. You sounded more comfortable than your cameo appearance…sounded great. Keep at it…you got what it takes. Well done 👍
November 10, 2018 at 6:37 am #116060
Very good song,Steve and thank you for an educative article.
November 10, 2018 at 8:45 am #116072
That was a great song you put together! thanks.
November 10, 2018 at 9:02 am #116075
Great project Steve. You’ve added another title to your resume. Musician, Video Producer and now Historian. You come up with some cool ideas and this is a great outlet for you creativity.
November 10, 2018 at 9:07 am #116077
Well it’s all there as advertised in your introductory remarks….Thanks for the history lesson as well…..
You continue to be highly creative, advancing both your musical and video skills with each challenge. What is particularly impressive is your ability to put all the parts seamlessly together. You must spend many hours piecing together your productions. I always look forward to them.
Thanks for keeping us entertained….
November 10, 2018 at 9:55 am #116082
Really great job Steve!! The history lesson along with your good backing track and melody and singing was excellent! I also enjoyed the old film effects you used on yourself! Very clever,and again a job well done!……..Sal
November 10, 2018 at 11:53 am #116094
You never fail to entertain, Steve. Love all the various parts here and how they all come together. I think producing the backing track is as much a learning experience as composing a lead.
November 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm #116114
Steve, I am deeply impressed. Historic videos appropriately packed with blues basics. That’s something of a high end to me. Yes, it has something artistic. A great overall package. By the way, I like your singing very well. I envy you for that.
November 10, 2018 at 3:24 pm #116128
I’ve always thought that there’s nothing quite so powerful as a creative audio track set against an artistic video sequence, especially using historic scenes in monochrome. Steve, your creative production is yet another example of this, especially as you composed the elements yourself. Just superb ….. Thanks.
November 10, 2018 at 7:24 pm #116150
So cool, another masterpiece from the surfin’ guy! Excellent on every level. Reminded me of the movie Gangs of New York at 1:37.
November 11, 2018 at 4:00 am #116186
WOW Steve, impressed that you can come up with all this, lyrics, video, playing and singing. Setting the bar very high…
November 11, 2018 at 12:47 pm #116283
That was great. Thank you for the next excellent submission. I just love them and always look forward to watching the new ones.
November 11, 2018 at 2:00 pm #116294
Thanks for the kind comments, everyone. I forgot to mention this: All guitar parts were played on my new-ish USA Fender Telecaster with Shawbucker pickups, no effects whatsoever. I used the neck pickup with tone set all the way towards treble. For vocals, I added a bit of reverb, and a tiny bit of distortion. I have now learned that if I am going to continue to sing now and again, I will need to get one of those “pop filter” screens that sits in front of the mic. Without them, whenever you sing a word that starts with “p” you get a loud popping sound. I always wondered what those were for. Plus they look cool.
November 11, 2018 at 2:42 pm #116302
Your posts are becoming a MUST-SEE !! .
I don’t know what to write .. you’r clearly on another level.
I liked a lot this style and you played and sing like a pro.
November 11, 2018 at 3:03 pm #116307
Martyn in FranceParticipant
A .. MAZE …ING.
You never fail to push yourself beyond the boundaries and always come up with something really cool, inspiring and always a really good listen.
All that’s going on in this video may overshadow that really excellent solo; I watched the video through and then replayed it and scrolled down to make some comments and as I was typing I couldn’t see the video, just could hear the sound track. And then it struck me that the solo was so good.
Thank you Steve. Excellent.
November 11, 2018 at 4:42 pm #116358
Steve man, you always outdo yourself with each video you create. So much at play here, great video editing, song writing, playing, singing, – you’re a well rounded artist my friend. I really enjoyed your playing on this! I even showed this one to my wife Joan – she was also impressed. Thanks for creating these little works of art and sharing with us
November 12, 2018 at 4:11 pm #116546
Amazing Steve! I always look forward to your posts and this one didn’t disappoint. Very tasteful playing. You probably already know this, but there are apps that can transpose the key of backing tracks very easily. I use Capo which is Mac only. – Bret
November 12, 2018 at 6:46 pm #116595
Steve, first of all, your strat tone is fantastic from the beginning, I love it! Secondly, WOW!
So you play all the instruments now, backing track and all AND sing, too! Not too shabby singing, by the way. I really admire your creativity but your guitar skills are awesome too, everything sounds really great!
You have set your bar really high now ☺
November 12, 2018 at 9:01 pm #116614
First break after the vocals was the best thing I’ve ever heard you play. A perfectly tasteful, well constructed solo. Bravo. Singing was a big surprise, and you have a nice way of simply telling the story with your voice. Really nice job on this.
December 6, 2018 at 11:03 am #117990
I have just now been quickly going through some of these challenges from last month and listening as background music while at work… been busy recently and have not had much AM time, but I have to say, this one really caught my attention so I felt like I needed to comment on it. I think you really put together something special here. Really cool playing and singing and great job on creating your own backing track. Loved it!
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