The Story Behind the Song — Blues Sparks by Allen Weber
So there I was, listening to John McLaughlin’s new (at the time) CDNow Here This
The CD ended, and all of a sudden, a melody popped into my head. I thought it sounded really cool, so I grabbed my recorder and sang the melody into it.
A Song is Born
Then I mentally played the melody in my head, and a bass line came, then the drum feel.
Immediately I grabbed my trusty Zoom h4n recorder, plugged in my guitar and recorded the melody, but much slower than it needed to be. I could not YET play it as fast as it needed to be played to make the song.
Then I grabbed a bass (which I use a lot for writing) and recorded the basic bass line I wanted. No I am not a drummer… in fact, I don’t understand how they can be so co-ordinated! So I wrote the concept of the drum feel down.
This was the absolute fastest I have ever written a song. Basically the song wrote itself!
Try it Out
Fortunately, a rehearsal was coming up the next day… So I introduced the song to the band.
And NO! It was Not like the old routine on the tv show The Honeymooner’s where Ralph is trying to learn to play golf by reading a book with Ed Norton.
Norton reading in the book says, “Hey Ralphie, it says here to address the ball”
So Norton looks at the golf ball on the floor, makes a grandiose gesture and yells “Hello Ball!”
That is not what I did when I introduced the song to the band… though on second thought… 🙂
I did want a turnaround that was not the typical going to the V. For all you non-musicians reading this, that means if the key is C the “V” is the Fifth note in the scale, which would be G (C, D, E, F, G)
I did want something a bit more odd, and with some dissonance — Thanks Monk!
So after another 10 minutes or so, I had the turnaround.
Preparing for Recording
I needed chords that sounded good, contrasting with, yet supporting the melody.
After fooling around for a while I had them. Wrote out a chart and gave it to Mike Noble (the keyboard player on the CD, and a guy who can read so well, you could take a chicken, dip it’s feet in ink, let it walk across blank music paper hand it to Mike and he could play it. Right… The first time he saw it.)
And there we are!
You Can pick up the digital track of Blues Sparks at:
Or at TheJazzBox.ca Blues Sparks MP3
And if you are so inclined, you can find Blues Sparks listed under Allen Weber Hot Shock at iTunes, Spotify, Last.fm and a host of other sites. If you have a favorite site for buying music, please let us know so we can get the material listed there too.
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