“Film Music for Solo Guitar” album available on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, Rhapsody, YouTube etc.

FilmMusicforSoloGuitar

iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, Rhapsody, YouTube etc.

We all have favorite film themes and scores that we resonate with, that hold magic for us, and these are ten of mine.

For the film theme album, I kept the instrumentation sparse. I stuck to Acoustic Guild 6 string dreadnaughts for their woody “live” sound. Basses were acoustic upright. Digital instrumentation was kept deliberately to a minimum. I wanted the original film score “magic” and emotion to shine through. I left room for open improvisation to maintain a live, loose feel.

“Confluence” album available on CDBaby, iTunes, Amazon, etc.

 

 

ConfluenceArt

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This is a collection of compositions inspired by the rivers of India. Each river is a character in the story, and the images the music creates describe a journey into the souls of all the river touches. All of these journeys lead one to transcendence.

Confluence • ©2016 Chuck Bramlet, Chwarae Music, BMI
One O Eight • ©2016 Chuck Bramlet, Chwarae Music, BMI
Sangham • ©2016 Chuck Bramlet, Chwarae Music, BMI
Saraswati • ©2016 Chuck Bramlet, Chwarae Music, BMI
Maa Ganga • ©2016 Chuck Bramlet, Chwarae Music, BMI
Triveni • ©2016 Chuck Bramlet, Chwarae Music, BMI
Yamina • ©2016 Chuck Bramlet, Chwarae Music, BMI
Hanuman • ©2016 Chuck Bramlet, Chwarae Music, BMI
Paper Boats • ©2016 Chuck Bramlet, Chwarae Music, BMI

“Carols for Solo Guitar” album available on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, etc.

CfsgCB

iTunes, CDbaby, Amazon

Hark the Herald Angels Sing • Public Domain
Baloo Lammy • Public Domain
Christmas Time is Here • (Guaraldi/Mendelson) BMI
The Holly and the Ivy • Public Domain
Coventry Carol • Public Domain
Whence Comes this Rush of Wings • Public Domain
The First Noel • Public Domain
A Na Nanita Nana • Public Domain
Joseph Dearest Joseph Mine • Public Domain
O Holy Night • Public Domain

Starting new record

Heading up to Portland, OR late march 2011 (or more accurately, Vancouver, WA) to start new album, as yet untitled. A few songs are finished, but I don’t want to corral this pony too early, I think I’ll let it tell me what it is when it’s ready. I’m using the services of producer Aram Arslanian for this stuff, in his beautiful Kingsley Garden Studio.

Dogs Behaving Badly • Writing

Kevin Hunter made a songcircle assignment that was brilliant. Find an old newspaper or magazine, open blindly to a page, point a finger blindly to an item on that page. If your finger hits an article, the article title is the song title, if an ad, the ad headline is the song title. Then write the song.

The magazine was the New Yorker, the section was Talk of the town, and the heading was “Dogs Behaving Badly” about NYC poopscooping laws. Wrote the song without an editor (that voice in your head that says: “that sucks, that’s cool”). Later I gleaned that it was about a gunslinger that surrenders his weapons.

Dogs Behaving Badly
©2006 Chuck Lee Bramlet

Don’t want to be this anymore
Like a 68 Camaro
Or serape and sombrero
Don’t know about the dogs of war
Cause a 44 magnum
At the end of day is just a gun

Cause I took this fall
And I aint getting up today
Let the dogs behaving badly
Play

Don’t want to be this anymore
Chop wood carry water
For one more abandoned daughter
Once had a key that fit this door
Once you’ve busted it down
You don’t need it no more

Cause I took this fall
And I aint getting up today
Let the dogs behaving badly
Play

Don’t want to be this anymore
When the mockingbird mocks you
And the dumbest can outfox you
I don’t know who was keeping score
Once you forfeit the game
You don’t need it no more

Cause I took this fall
And I aint getting up today
Let the dogs behaving badly
Play

Next: Recording Dogs

Put Me to the Test • Recording

These guys did NOT play on the record

We did a “clean”  version in a different key, and without the riff early on, but it wasn’t sticking. Rich found me a nasty-ass guitar tone for the Les Paul Jr. and that changed everything. He again discouraged me from the overdub monster, keeping it basically power trio + backgrounds (the awesome Ms. Leslie King). After everything I orchestrated a full brass ensemble for the last verse, but Rich buried it deep in the mix. I don’t think he really believed in it, but you can hear the ghost of it if you really listen. Kudos to Rich for the great Bill Wymany swooping bass lines. This one should be fun to play live one day.

PUT ME TO THE TEST • WRITING

This was an anomale, I rarely write from a title, seems a little nashvillian, but I overheard someone use it in a sales pitch once. I loved the absurdity of someone taking someone else out for a “testdrive’. I first played it out at a chuck/ladytown/orphantrain gig, and Sarah and Aram spontaneously joined in on backgrounds.

I wanted the bridge to be a “sad happy ending”, a silver cloud with a dark lining, because I am just that kind of cynical bastard. let’s settle down with a white picket fence in the biggest distopia on the planet.

Put Me to the Test • 2008 Chuck Lee Bramlet

People talk shit
They don’t know where to go
Ain’t gonna quit
Just cause you tell me no

You know it just aint right
It aint right to put me down
I’m not like the rest
Baby put me to the test

Life is a bitch
If you lay down boy you’re dead
This aint a pitch
You best not let it go to your head

You know it just aint right
The way you make me beg for you
I’m not like the rest
Baby put me to the test

You’re a fine one to talk
with your bitter calloused ways
We’re gonna take that walk
Happy ever after
In the poison LA haze

Nobody knows
The way I feel for you
In or outta your clothes
It’s almost too good to be true

You know it just aint right
The way you put me on my knees
I’m not like the rest
Baby put me to the test

This River • Recording

This River -click to play while reading

Aram Arslanian, producer

I was lucky enough to work with Aram Arslanian producing on this track. Aram and his wife Sarah had a house in Sunland at the time. Aram has an awesome solo project ongoing called Orphan Train and Sarah has a band called Ladytown, and I was playing some live gigs with both.

Aram had me lay down the guitar track, and it all went down so relaxed we used take 2 or so. Aram put a conga down as a click, which surprisingly worked.

Later we brought in Joel Martin with his Les Paul and a stereo amp setup, again, Magic Joel, one or two takes tops, and he’s done and packing up while I listen back, stunned.

When Aram sent me the original mixes I was happy with everything but the lead vocal, which I was able to redo with Rich after Aram moved north.

Serendipitously, Sarah and Aram and son Sam moved to Portland, later settling in Vancouver WA, across the river. Aram now plays with one of my old friends James Low.  Small universe.

This River • Writing

I wanted a really strong finger-picking song. I really like the way a lot of traditional old english folk tunes are structured lyrically, with all the verses the same, but with a changing lead line, so that “singalongs” become easy.

I wrote this song about Portland, OR, a dark rainy northwest town built on the confluence of two rivers, the Willamette (NS) and the Columbia (EW). I lived there in the 90’s, started lifelong friendships, and if I could make a decent living there, I would be there now. The city has a subterranean moodiness and a beautiful melancholy that sunny LA deprives me of. I also had some romantic experiences that have changed me forever. I seem to have written many songs about this place, and the people I knew there.

THIS RIVER         2006 Chuck Lee Bramlet

River winds all through this town
and it loves you just like me
and it loves you just like me
but never sees the day
never sees the day

Rushes out into the sea
and it loves you just like me
and it loves you just like me
but never sees the day
never sees the day

River hides it’s secrets well
and it loves you just like me
and it loves you just like me
but never sees the day
never sees the day

Nobody knows your heart like me
No One knows you in the dark like me

Oh the wind and oh the rain
and it loves you just like me
and it loves you just like me
but never sees the day
never sees the day

Next: Recording This River, working with Aram