Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

**

Monday, October 15, 2018

Alligator Man (#BOTB)


       Halloween is that time when we can be whoever we want to be and as stupid as we want to be.  Sounds like the story of my life...

Arlee Bird with brother Jeff--What is this?  The Great Pumpkin Competition?
 A Halloween Story     

      I don't seem to have many pictures of my youngest brother Jeff, but I never saw him that often after I left home.  The few pictures I have of me and him together are not very good from a technical standpoint, still that's what I've got now.  He died unexpectedly last November.  I still think of him a lot.

        Jeff was born on Halloween of 1962, a year before we moved from San Diego.  In those days Halloween was a big event for me--a day that consumed many days of thought both before and after the day had passed.  All my life I had liked Halloween as well as all things scary--not so much now, but I attribute many great memories to Halloween.

         As I entered my forties with a family for which to provide, I moved to Downey California in 1991 to manage a wholesale warehouse that distributed primarily Halloween costumes.  That old joy of childhood was now a year round job.  Every day for the next eighteen years the accoutrements of Halloween were all around me.

          Then in 2009 my branch closed.  We were in California so that was a factor (some of you might understand what I mean).  There was also a matter of changing times that brought new ways of marketing and delivery of product.  Our company was feeling the same impact that many companies have felt in recent decades.   Fixtures and remaining product were sent back to the home office in Charlotte North Carolina.  I stayed behind.

            The end of this story is the beginning of another.  To retell this story that some of you might have missed in past posts where I discussed it, as I tried to find another job in a time when jobs were tough to find, I began to write a blog.  My blog theme was Halloween.  My first many posts were related to Halloween and the Halloween business.

             In a pumpkin shell, that's the story of Tossing It Out--or at least this blog's beginnings. Over the past many years this blog has evolved through a number of themes and topics.  The main thing I've been doing on this site of late is Battle of the Bands.  That's what I'm doing in this current post and as noted in my previous post my theme will be Halloween related.  Well, kind of...



Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Alligator Man

       This song originally written and performed by Cajun Country artist Jimmy C Newman (you can find his original version here) has been recorded a number of times by a range of artists.  The song is about a bayou dweller who catches alligators for a living as opposed to some guy who dresses up like an alligator or even looks like an alligator.

        So what's the Halloween connection?   This song first caught my attention when I heard it recently while watching the movie Dracula A.D. 1972.  When I saw that the film was going to be on TCM I felt compelled to watch it.  In my youth I had been a big fan of films from the Hammer Film Studios which made this film.  Also 1972 is a year that I've always considered to be a milestone of sorts in my life.  For one thing I turned 21 that year.  I don't actually remember many specifics of that year other than I was attending the University of Tennessee at the time.

        In any case, when I heard the Stoneground version of "Alligator Man" I had to look it up on YouTube and discovered that with the many versions available it would make a good song for Battle.  So here we are with an ersatz Halloween Battle using what I think is a pretty cool song.  See if you like it as well and which version you enjoy the most...



Fairport Convention   "Alligator Man"  (1971)

            Fairport Convention is a British folk rock band that has had a long reign that produced a number of impressive solo acts. A version of the band continues to perform, but looking at their website it looks like they won't be coming to the United States anytime soon.  Their version of "Alligator Man" stays somewhat close to the original with a touch of rock and roll...






Stoneground   "Alligator Man"  (1972)

          Watching Stoneground perform this song in Dracula A.D. 1972 they look pretty much like the consummate hippy band.  You can watch the movie clip here--they perform the entire song along with some visual shtick that's kind of fun.  Some of the members of the band went on to form the group Pablo Cruise.

          See what you think:  Do you enjoy this song more done as a rock and roll tune?









Time to Vote!

       
Don't be scared to vote.  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.



Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside



Winner of this Battle Announced Monday October 22nd

        We'll have a winner next Monday as long as some of you have voted.  I do appreciate your votes.   And maybe I'll have something else to say on that day.  I mean, I don't think I'm just gonna come here and announce winners and that's all.  But you never know.

           Have you seen Dracula A.D. 1972?  Are you a fan of Cajun style country music?    Was Halloween a big deal for you when you were a kid?







Monday, October 8, 2018

I Don't Care Because I Do Care (#BOTB Results)


       Life is filled with paradoxes, the biggest one being that life itself is a paradox.  Have you ever seen how much you can do in one single minute?  I've had dreams that lasted mere seconds yet seemed like lifetimes...


Arlee Bird with youngest daughter Angelina in March of 2006

         Being a father is a whopper of a responsibility.  So is being a son, a sibling, a friend, or a decent neighbor to people I rarely see and often don't know their names.  Sometimes I become overwhelmed by my own smallness in a huge world in an infinite universe.   Things that I care about are literally all over the map.

          I'll eventually figure out the solution with which I feel most comfortable or have to accept.  Until then, here is the main point of this current post...

Battle of the Bands Results


        My most recent Battle was between two versions of the old standard "If I Didn't Care" as performed by the Ink Spots and David Cassidy.  I was hesitant with this pairing as I thought the original Ink Spots version might clean Cassidy's clock.  But apparently my better judgment worked once again to present a good race.

        Cassidy does a very credible job with his version and he still has fans as shown by his good showing out of the starting gate.  Then the Ink Spots took a strong lead and my vote goes to make that a one vote bigger lead giving them the win.  Still it was a nice showing for the late teen idol.

Final Vote Tally

Ink Spots                  16

David Cassidy          11


Next Battle on Monday October 15th

          Maybe I'll tie into Halloween or something seasonal for this next one.  Whatever it is I hope to make it a good one.

          Have you ever woken from a sleep that seemed to have lasted for hours and then realize you were only asleep for a few minutes?   Is your family geographically scattered?  Are they scattered in any other ways? 







Monday, October 1, 2018

If I Didn't Care (#BOTB) (#IWSG)


If we don't have some bad in life it's harder to appreciate the good.  Even though I've had my share of the bad, I can't say that I'd envy anyone else's life no matter how good it seemed...


Insecure Writer's Support Group




Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


  The co-hosts for the October 3 posting of the IWSG are Dolorah @ Book Lover,Christopher D. Votey, Tanya Miranda, and Chemist Ken!


October 3 question - How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?


        Maybe I care too much about what's going on in my life even though some might say that I don't seem to care about much of anything. Over the past year or so I haven't been writing much and I can point to major life events hitting me from all sides.  It's all been a distraction for sure, but somewhere within me I have the power to write.  I've seemed to have developed a strange aversion to writing of late.

          A lazy streak within me plays a discernible role in my lack of writing initiative, but still there is a spark that is failing to roar into a blaze of creativity.  Frequently I think about what I want to write or what I might write eventually.  Ideas and words continually flow in and out of my sphere of thought.  Then I get distracted by my world, my life.  Writing gets put on hold again.

        In my past I have often retreated into writing as a means of expressing myself or venting my emotions.  Writing for the most part helped me get through high school and college--and I mean writing aside from that which was required by my classes.  Through stories I could escape into worlds where my real life troubles were translated into fantasy which in turn was cycled into expression of my feelings and my beliefs.  My writing was my communication to some unknown reader in some other point in time.

         As I have alluded to in previous posts, my writing that has been fueled by my most intensely troubled times has typically been songs.  Lately my songwriting drive has returned, not so much due to any painfully emotional times, but a complex series of events and circumstances that have come together to create that perfect storm of dilemma.  Don't get me wrong:  Life has been good.  Still, there is a diversion of thought present that makes me want to escape into song more than story.

          In the meantime there are my memoirs to which I must return.  There are novels and short stories.  I need to write, but for now I apparently don't want to write.  Well, I want to write, but I am not compelled in the way that would work to my advantage as a writer.

           Writing calls.  I keep hearing songs.  Those are what I will write for now and hopefully I can find a way to get them recorded in a way that does them justice.

           Anyone want to start a band?

Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


If I Didn't Care

        The #IWSG questions along with my current patterns of thought in this year led me to use this wonderful song that has been a tune that I've heard throughout my life.  Some of you might remember this song from the film The Shawshank Redemption.  It's a song that has been oft recorded since its original introduction in 1939 by The Ink Spots.  Such a haunting melody expressing thoughts that we've all likely experienced. 

        Caring can be painful and distracting, but if we never cared about anything then we would lack passion.  A life without passion is not a life that I'd want to live.

The Ink Spots  "If I Didn't Care"  (1939)

       As with many other BOTB participants, I usually will avoid an original.  In the case of this recording, since it is so old it might be new for some of you. Anyway, it's old and maybe it's not your cup of tea.  You'll just have to listen and decide...




David Cassidy  "If I Didn't Care"  (1974)

          If you were around in the 1970's then you'll likely know the name of David Cassidy  He was quite a teen idol back then with his string of hit records and as a regular on the television show The Partridge Family.  I saw him live in 1981 when he was touring with a stage production of George M. Cohan's Little Johnny Jones. After that I had a whole new perspective of his talent as he did a nice job in that show.   Anyway, here is his more modern take on "If I Didn't Care"...






Time to Vote!

       
I do care about your vote so I hope you will participate.  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.



Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside



Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday October 8th

        Same place, same time next week.  Come back to see which version wins the most votes.  Have a great week.  I will try to do the same.

          When have you cared so much about something that it interfered with your life?   Do you ever feel like a passionate personal pursuit has been in vain?   Have you ever wanted to just totally get away from your life to do something that might seem crazy to others?







Monday, September 24, 2018

In the Middle of the Road (#BOTB results)


   Going someplace is often the best part of a journey, but heading back home can be mighty nice as well...

Me, Arlee Bird, in 2006 in my sister's living room when she lived in New Jersey

In the Middle of the Road

         Whenever I travel I prefer to drive.  There's that thing about being in control that I like.  If I want to stop somewhere I can.  If I want to take a side trip I can do that as well.  Driving to me represents freedom.  But freedom isn't really free and driving requires time and money.  That's what I liked about my job managing a theater company. 

           Entertainment is a risky business that has left many in heartbreak and disappointment.  When you have an offer that provides several months of a guaranteed route of bookings and all expenses paid then it's like getting a vacation funded.  I've never understood these rock stars who lament their heavy tour schedules.  But maybe they don't have the road in their blood like I do. 

           At this point in my life I no longer think of a road that goes on forever.  There is a destination ahead that I'm taking my time to reach. And there is so much more along the way that I want to savor.  I'm going to keep taking chances as though there is a lot of future ahead of me.  After all, time is relative...


Battle of the Bands Results



Taking a Chance on Love

         The Battle for this song was between two recording artists from the past--June Christy and Ethel Waters.  It looks like I presented a good match with these choices as this was a close result. 

          My favorite video would definitely be the clip with Ethel Waters.  Her rendition of the song is fantastic, but I do prefer that cool jazz style of June Christy and her band.  If my vote had gone to Ethel Waters then this contest would have been a tie.  My vote going to Christy gives her a marginal win.

Final Vote Tally

June Christy           11

Ethel Waters            9


Next Battle on Monday October 1st

         I am really pondering some stuff these days.  I won't say what it is right now because it's a lot of things.   I'm not just aimlessly stuck in the middle of the road, but I am at a crossroads.

        Do you like to drive when you travel?  Have you ever had a job that required travel that was paid by your employer?    What has been your most impactful crossroads decision so far in your life?





Saturday, September 15, 2018

Taking a Chance on Love (#BOTB)

 

Step right up and play the game!   If you don't take a chance you don't win a prize...






Taking Chances

         Life is filled with opportunities which in themselves are filled with chances.  We don't know for sure what will happen unless we try to pursue our dreams.  Any dream has the potential of failure, but the reward of success should be the focus of our purpose in life. If we enjoy what we are doing and think that our endeavors can be fruitful then we should push forward.  We will have to take some chances.

         In my previous Battle I debuted "Let's Run"--a song that I had written and, with a lot of help from my friends, managed to get three different recordings made.  The response from my comment section was favorable to very nice so that gave me a better feeling about the risk I took in releasing these songs on YouTube.  Eventually I hope to get some even better recordings and do something with the song.

         Since childhood, music has been a bit of a passion for me.  Writing songs is something that inspires me and helps me to think more creatively.  Music has been something I've taken chances with before in other stages of my life.  Now that I'm being drawn back to music, I might as well be prepared to take some more chances...


Battle of the Bands


     Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Taking a Chance on Love

         The current Battle is actually a sort of a part two of my Battle from May 15th of this year.   In prefacing that Battle I told about how I'd seen an episode of The Jack Benny Show that featured Frankie Avalon singing a song mash-up that had initially confused me.  At first I thought it was one song, but I couldn't decide what the song was.  Then I realized that Avalon's rendition was a clever blending of "I'll Never Say 'Never Again' Again" (which I used in that May Battle) and "Taking a Chance on Love" (which is the song I am featuring today).

        "Taking a Chance on Love" first appeared in the all-black cast musical Cabin in the Sky.  The stage play was later turned into a film which is where the video clip below came from.  In fact, both video clips in this Battle are musical shorts that were shown between films shown in the theater.  These would be the predecessors of the music videos like we more frequently see today.

         The two videos present a rather stark contrast, but both are quite good in their own ways.  But you be the judge:   Which performance of the song do you like best?  and Which short film do you like the best?

         Take a listen and do tell...


June Christy   "Taking a Chance on Love"  (1950)

       Jazz singer June Christy started in the big band era and for a few decades was active in the cool jazz genre.  Though she had the chops as a singer, she never achieved the recognition that maybe she should have.  In her final stage appearance in 1988 she shared the stage with the legendary Chet Baker.  Here she is with a pretty decent band of players...





Ethel Waters    "Taking a Chance on Love"  (1943)

         You might have seen "Cabin in the Sky" on TCM as it is shown often.  The film has a great cast and wonderful musical numbers like "Taking a Chance on Love."  One of my favorites in the film is Eddie "Rochester" Anderson who was Jack Benny's sidekick for many years. By the way, if you are a fan of Jack Benny like I am, reruns of his show are often played on Jewish TV (it's some cable network that I get on Direct TV).  Just thought I'd drop that bit of info, but let's get on to the song...








Time to Vote!

       
There's no right or wrong answers here so take a chance and vote.  What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? Which film clip do you prefer?  You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.



Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside



Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday September 24th

      That gives you an extra couple days to vote.  No excuses this time!  If I get anymore personal song updates I'll be dropping them here.  In the meantime, I'm waiting...

        What was the biggest chance you ever took?  When did you fully expect success only to be countered with not-so-successful outcomes?   How much do the outside voices hinder the inner voice of your dreams?  









     
     

Monday, September 10, 2018

The End of a Run (#BOTB Results)


        After one race has been run then the next thing is to start getting ready for the next race.   Never give up!  Keep running on...

The End of a Run

         If you haven't been following my past several posts, I wrote a song called "Let's Run" back in April/May.  Not being a runner, using the subject of running for a song seemed odd at first.  Still as I began writing my song the lyrics went from the actual act of running to the metaphorical marathon of life.  My song "Let's Run" was inspired by the metaphor more than the act.   You can find the lyrics to the song at this link.

        As fortune would have it, a couple of my neighbors helped me record a rough version of the song.  Schemer that I am, I asked for other covers of the song from anyone who might be interested. A friend of mine from Tennessee, Lonnie Carver, offered his version.  Then I came up with my own experimental version.

         Voila!   A Battle of the Bands was at hand.  If you need reference then here is that link.

        This past week the Battle has been running and votes have been decent.  Now it's the end of the run and time to announce the verdict...

Battle of the Bands Results




         The Battle of "Let's Run" was between versions by:   1)Arlee Bird, Ricardo Palma, & Nathan Lucero   2) Lonnie Carver  and 3)Arlee Bird/Take Too

           There were many nice things said about all participants and I do appreciate the many very nice and helpful comments.  Even my wacky experiment got a few votes and honorable mentions.  But the real horse race was between BPL and Lonnie Carver.  I'm not voting on this Battle because I just can't--I like all the versions for different reasons.   Thanks to everyone for one of the best voter turnouts I've had.


Final Vote Tally

Bird, Palma, & Lucero             22   

Lonnie Carver                          19

Take Too                                     5


Next Battle of the Bands post on Saturday September 15th

         I'd better get started putting this one together since I don't have my Battle picked yet.  I will keep everyone posted on anything that happens about "Let's Run".   If anyone wants to go give me likes on YouTube and maybe even share then I leave video links below.  And if you do go there, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.  I'm sure that would help some.


Let's Run   by BPL

Let's Run   by Lonnie Carver

Let's Run by Arlee Bird


I'm still accepting cover versions of "Let's Run" for anyone who'd like to be included in a future battle with that song.   I think a couple may be on their way to me soon!








Saturday, September 1, 2018

Let's Run (#BOTB) (#IWSG)


In this post I will be debuting the song "Let's Run" which was written for my favorite singing star, Marley Lego.  You likely have not heard of her, but she's still a star in my eyes--she's my oldest granddaughter...

Marley posing with some fans.

Insecure Writer's Support Group




Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog



The co-hosts for the September 5 posting of the IWSG are Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler.


September 5 question - What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

         As I have mentioned in most of my posts since May, I've begun to focus on songwriting.  I've been writing songs off and on since high school, but in April I became consumed with a song that I called "Let's Run" which I dedicated to my oldest granddaughter Marley whose singing performances had inspired my writing of the song.  Later in this post I will debut the song with three different recordings.

           I know very little about getting a song published.  I've seen movies and heard stories about songwriters trying to peddle songs to publishers or whoever would listen.  I've done minimal research though I know there is much information online about this topic.  Maybe I'll take this traditional approach in the weeks or months to come, but for now I'm going to just put the song out there as a sort of market test.   And to just have some fun putting something I've been talking about on my blog on actual display for public consumption. 

           The way I figure it, "Let's Run" is just one of many songs that I've written and new songs have been flooding my creative mind of late.  If I'm taking a bad route with this "putting-it-out-there approach then I'll do things differently the next time around.  For now I've had fun with this project and hope you listen and enjoy.  Then, once you've done that. please vote and leave your comments.

          I'm counting on you readers to help me with this project which might just lead me down a publishing path.   I've seen YouTube video break-outs before and I guess we just never know.  Especially when you're taking your first shot at doing something like I'm doing with my song.


Battle of the Bands


Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some blogs there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle on the 1st of the month.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.

Let's Run

       As the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge was winding down I began feeling a creative surge that began to focus on music.  Songs starting invading my brain space.  This was primarily due to video performances by Marley that were being put up on Facebook. 

         Then an odd melody began recurring in my thoughts.  It was a very peculiar simple melodic line which in actuality was not very melodic.  As these weird notes repeated themselves in my head, words began coming along with an expanded melody until I had a song.  I decided that this was Marley's song and maybe one day she might work up a version to sing.

          Why the lyrics were about running I can't really say since I've never been a runner and cannot run due to a heart arrhythmia.  But as I wrote I realized that the song was not so much about actual running as it was about persistence and staying in the race of life.  In the song life is a marathon and we need to keep on running in that race.  The message was as much for me as it is for any of us.

           Here are three versions that are very different in style and approach--keep in mind that all are very rough drafts.  I hope you listen, provide your feedback, and vote for the version you like the best...

Bird/Palma/Lucero   "Let's Run" (2018) 

            Toward the end of May after I had finished writing "Let's Run", I happened to catch my next door neighbor Ricardo Palma as I was picking up my mail.  I complimented him on his music website space at Bandcamp which I had recently discovered.  Richard is a friend of my youngest daughter (Marley's mother) so when I mentioned my song for Marley he immediately volunteered to help me record a version with his music software program and his own musical ability.  I gladly accepted since I didn't have much to work with on my own.

           Using his phone, Richard recorded me singing the song without accompaniment.  I know little about chords and writing music so it was in Richard's hands to figure out an arrangement.  Interestingly, his version was so different that what I had been hearing in my head and yet it worked very well.

            I like the way Ricardo imagined the song with a sixties surf vibe--or at least that's the way that I hear it.  Someone else said it reminded him of the group The Cars.  Beyond arranging this version, Ricardo also laid down 3 guitar tracks, one percussion track, and produced the entire sound.   Another neighbor, Nate Lucero, played bass guitar and I sang the vocals.  Ricardo used the Garageband app through his computer.

            If you're able to watch the video as you listen to the music you might note that I did a pretty decent job of matching the visuals to the lyric content.  All video is from my past summer's vacation. The road scenes were all shot by me while driving alone from New Jersey to Los Angeles (via Texas).   The journey segments shown start in Virginia, passing through East Tennessee and West Texas, and finally skirting a massive dust storm on I-10 just east of Phoenix.  The running kids are three of my grandkids.

            By the way, I often had the CD of "Let's Run" playing loudly as I drove on my trip.  As you might agree as you watch the road footage, this song version makes for a darn good driving song...   





Lonnie Carver   "Let's Run"  (2018)

           Some of you probably recall that I had put out a call for other musicians to contribute their own versions of the song (an offer still open).   I only got one taker so far and that comes from my friend of 50 years, Lonnie Carver.   This multi-talented performer has been involved with music since he was a kid and continues to this day.  He's been a great friend over the years and once again he's pulled through for me with his version of "Let's Run". 

            Using the Garageband app installed on his Ipad, Lonnie recorded his version with just him singing while backing himself on his guitar. He gives the song a nice laid back Tennessee vibe that takes me back to my roots.  After making his recording, Lonnie sent me the file which I added to a video I made.   Once again I've used my vacation driving footage from West Texas.

             Enjoy...





Arlee Bird   "Let's Run"  (2018)

          Are we ready to get weird?   As I was contemplating ideas for more cover versions of the song I remembered something I used to do back in the late seventies to make recordings of my songs.  Using two cassette decks, I would lay down a first track on one, then play that recording back while singing or playing something else over it and record that on the other tape deck.  I would record layers of sound back and forth between the decks until the sound quality was too diminished to continue.

           I decided to use this approach using my video camera in my living room.  This was an exercise in ineptitude and figuring things out by trial and error.  The video took over a week to make with numerous reshoots in an attempt to come up with an acceptable product.  Eventually I settled for the version seen here.  I was tired and wanted to get this done.

         During the shooting process  I did two different takes of me playing the violin and a final one with me singing in front of the big screen TV which is displaying the previously recorded layered video.  In all there are five layers of video and audio.  The percussion mostly got lost in the mix, but considering my lack of equipment the sound is not too badly balanced.

          It's a bit of a mess I'll admit, but I don't think it's a total disaster.  Perhaps we can call it an interesting experiment.   See what you think...







Time to Vote!

       
Don't worry about hurting my feelings with your vote.  After all the song is mine and whichever version wins your vote still makes me a winner.  I just want people to listen and vote.   What's your favorite between these two choices? Which song version do you like best? You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

         Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

Angel's Bark  


Debbie Doglady's Den

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 





Winner of this Battle Announced on Monday September 10th

       
           I'll be giving this Battle some extra time for voting to come in--at least I'm hoping to get more votes than I usually get on these Battles.  Please help me out with this and share the post and encourage others to participate.

           Are you hesitant to post excerpts of your work on your blog or elsewhere online?   Have you ever tried to get a song published?   What is the most number of times you've submitted the same work before getting an acceptance to publish?