I’ll Mend Your Pots and Kettles ‘O

O.k., a new high def TV and a vacation have stolen me away from blogging in the last two weeks. I know, I know. Lame. The upside is that I have been productive in the Pigtown Fling Studio (the new name I’m giving to my studio space). I have been working on a march called I’ll Mend Your Pots and Kettles ‘O. I learned this tune from the playing of Jimmy Marshall, an accordion player from Worcester, MA, though originally from Ireland. Jimmy and his brother Eamon, who often plays at John Stone’s, have both been playing the accordion since they were children. They are close in age and Eamon is retired, so I suspect they have been playing for fifty-plus years apiece. They are both great and a wealth of tunes.

I started playing this tune on the guitar about a year ago. I always envisioned a nice harmony part to it. In this recording I experimented with using the penny whistle as a melody and using the flute for second and third voice harmonies. I rewrote the arrangement several times before I was happy. In addition, I recorded it three different times in the last two weeks. I have had a lot of fun with both the arrangement and experimenting with how to get a good recording of my guitar. Where I am at with this version is the guitar track is made up of four tracks. On the first two tracks I played identical part and panned one track all the way left and the other all the way right. I then played a melody track that is an octave up and sits in the middle. Lastly I added some light harmonics on the B part.

I also added a snare drum and a bass drum to the mix in one version. Unfortunately I do not really have any decent drums to play on and, oh yeah, I really suck at drumming. For the snare I used an old Eames Drum that my Grandfather gave to me when I was a child. All the snares were off it and I had to jury-rig them back on just to do the recording. It needs a lot of work. The bass drum is a real quality instrument. I found it at the local dump. It is a Magnum ProSound and is part of a children’s drum set. It has that great ringing quality that shouts out, ‘hey, I’m cheap, I’m plastic, but I’m guaranteed to drive your parents nuts!’. My wife was thrilled with this find.

Together the two sound like I’m beating a bag of wet bananas. Good enough for me. It gave me an idea of what a drum track might sound like. I will have to solicit the help of Captain Dan, Biscuits McGillicudy or some of my other drummer friends if I really want to make the drumming work.

Below is the version without the drums. I would love to hear what people think about adding drums. Should they be included on the track or should I nix ’em?

0 thoughts on “I’ll Mend Your Pots and Kettles ‘O

  1. Sean "Biscuits McGillicudy" Egan

    WoW Mr. Greg, you never cease to amaze me! Such a stirring and powerful tune! I love your arrangement. It says to me, “Here we come, get out of our way!” Your use of drumming ads to that feeling, of soldiers marching to battle. Subtle drumming, but so much emotion. Less is more in the drumming, in this tune. I Dig It!

  2. Tara

    If I hadn’t read about your riggin’ of the ‘cussion… I would not have know. I liked one particular point of the drumming that occurs at 1:39 I am not sure if you are doing a roll …or paradiddle.. whatever it is.. sounds good. Great job. The tune is still airing in my head. Nice one.
    God Bless.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *