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10/3/20 "Roll On" Beginnings

This is right after I wrote "Roll On." I'm at my folks apartment sharing the new song with them.  When I first wrote it, "Roll On" had a very similar feel to my song "Hey Mama." 

That's my mom commenting and singing along. She's the most supportive person you could ever meet. haha

10/19/20 Recording Vocals

Ah, the Jess Cam.  My wife is constantly sneaking up on me while I'm recording.  Here she caught me laying down the vocals for "Roll On."  This was the fall of 2020 and the recording studios were still shut down in NYC due to Covid.  So, I set up in my livingroom.  You can hear that I slowed the song down a lot.  I wanted to really get some soul in my vocals with this one.

10/26/20 Adding Percussion

I wanted a raw, loose, junky feeling for this song. Here I'm trying to find ways to add percussion without adding drums.  Washboard?

11/17/21 Should I try it in one take?

I keep coming back to this idea of trying to record some songs using my foot percussion rig.  I love the feeling of the songs when I'm playing guitar and foot percussion all together.  There's just something about the energy that feels so good.  The problem is that recording this way makes mixing more challenging.  For those non-musicians, mixing is basically taking all the instruments and making sure they are at the right level of volume in the song.  Anyway, it didn't work out.

1/20/22 Working Out the Chords

I'm constantly reworking my songs.  In this video, I'm figuring out some new ideas for "Roll On."

1/21/22 How should this go?

I had an idea to add some Beatles-inspired slightly dissonant chords into the song.  I wasn't sure which ones worked better though.

1/22/22 Thinking About Percussion Again

I like the song to be driven by the stringed instruments rather than the drums.  This day I was trying to figure out what tempo to record "Roll On," and of course, tempo and percussion are so interlaced.

1/26/22 Adding Bass

I love this old Kaye upright bass.  I added gut strings that give it such a warm sound.  Time to figure out the bass parts...

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Roll on
Roll all night
I wanna rock you through the night
Oh, yeah, til the break of day

I can't recall the days
Cuz they all seem the same
That's just the way
Life seems to stay

When red the rivers run
With the blood from crooked men
I'll be there
To swim and play


It's cold here on the hill
Where shadows stand still
Waiting for
A chance to kill

And if you think I lie
We can rock it in the sky
We'll go insane together
Laugh and cry

So many people they know so much
but about nothing at all
They'll hold your hand in battle
But let go when you start to fall


But you are not that way
And I want you to stay
That's enough
Of the rest today




Singer Songwriter's wirtten notes on imagery

I found this old notebook where I was writing some of my ideas surrounding songwriting.


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