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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

19. "St. Mary" by Rancid

Looks like all the inevitable curveballs of this process are happening right up front. Here, for the first time, is a song by an artist whom I don't like very much at all. Funny how one man's pargaon of punk-rock integrity is another man's quintessential poseur posse, seeming to endlessly rip off The Clash without bringing anything new to the table. This record is lurking in my library on the off-chance that someone I respect tells me to give the band a serious try.

But the aim of 39-40 isn't to bash artists, it's to take each song offered up by The Machine on its own merits and try to come up with a response to it or interpretation of it that furthers or redefines its intent. What we have here is a song-story with guns and love and revenge... maybe I will like it better if I turn it into straight country. Worth a shot anyway.

(It's times like this that I wish I had some nearby friends who were like ace country pickers and I could just call them up and say, "Hey, you busy? Wanna drop by and throw some pedal steel on this thing?" But alas.)

Rex Broome ~ Vocal & guitar



This is another one of those early vocals that sounds way better than I remember, and way better than most of them that I've done lately. That's more than a little frustrating.

I'm a little surprised that I added a harmonica but not a high harmony to this one. Most likely I was going for a true Guthrie-style solo artist feel, although I'm not entirely sure whether or not I cut the guitar and vocal separately or at the same time.

Most 39-40 songs fall into one of maybe six trope categories. Faux-Folk Balladeer is one of the big ones, and this is probably the third one I'd done at this point, after "To Beat the Devil" and, perhaps oddly, "So Let's Get Truth".


The added phrase "Smoky Mountain rain" is a shout-out of sorts to the Ronnie Milsap song by that title, which I actually do like in a not-very-ironic way.

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