In Any Key – Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas Without You

Around 2000, I was asked to do a cut for charity, and had an impossible deadline to meet.  I gave this song to Mike Strange (just before he started engineering for Eminem) and he laid down the backing tracks.  I mentioned that the original key was not good for me and gave a couple of other options. We secured mutual friend and guitarist, Michael Marsac, to lay down the guitar, and set a date to record the voice and guitar i the home studio.

When I arrived, it was clear right away that there was a mix up in communication and the tracks were still in the low key.  Not a problem for all the MIDI tracks, but the guitar was gonna be live and was learned in the original key.  We simply didn’t have time for him to get comfy with it in a new key.  So, I just sang it down in one take, and they decided that the few things I wasn’t happy with were not worth the risk in having edits be obvious with the gear we were using.  Between that and time constraints, I had to make command decisions to go with the raw live take.

I’ll have to write more sometime about the premise my masters degree lecture recital.  The topic was what it takes to be a versatile studio vocalist.  Being able to be convincing in keys that are at times way out of your physical comfort zone, but you must know your voice well enough to transcend stylistic authenticity no matter hat.

For those who know my voice, this cut is gutsy and bluesy, but the actual power and intensity are dialed back a bit so as not to push my lower range too hard.  I was only able to let the horses run free toward the very end, but the take still works.  It’s all a fun challenge.

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1 Response to In Any Key – Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas Without You

  1. Whenever and what ever you sing…….SINGS!!!!!! Cousin Susie

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