Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grasshopper Blues

     For such a seemingly simple song, "Grasshopper Blues" took quite a long time to come to fruition.
     I began writing the song at Long Lake, Michigan in August of 1992. I was kind of doing a play on words on the Robert Johnson song "Rambling On My Mind".
      I finished the song in Eugene, Oregon in the Autumn of that year.
     At the time, the song was an uptempo 'groove' song, with lots of room for soloing. I used to perform it a lot in that style with my friend Dave Gonella.
     Then, a couple of years ago, I struck upon the idea of slowing the song down a whole lot. I heard it now as something that might fit in with Neil Young circa On The Beach, or something like that. I also changed the final line to "I'm gonna have a mighty strange time", which seemed to fit the new mood of the song better.
     The recording of "Grasshopper Blues" for You Came Through happened pretty fast. Dan Eccles and I had rehearsed the song once before, with me on acoustic and him on lap steel guitar. It's a fairly straightforward song, so we were really going for the feel more than anything else. And Dan is all about 'that feel'.
    We set up in Mike Coykendall's living room late one night, Dan seated about 12 feet from me. After we got our levels, we recorded the song three times. I was kind of nervous, because it is such a slow song, with the vocals way up front. But Mike put a cool effect on my voice, and I was digging it.
    After the second take, I thought we had nailed it. But Dan thought we should try one more. I thought my singing was a little better on the third take, but the second take had a better vibe. So that was the keeper. A little later I added some upright bass to the track and that was it.

I'm crawling the horizon
Got scrambling on my mind (x2)
As soon as I find my shoes I will be fine

Tadpole in a bucket
His Time is left behind (x2)
I ain't no prince but I've been trying

Gonna find me a grasshopper
Gonna ride him to the stars
Gonna buy me a grasshopper
Gonna ride him to the stars
Of course I'll bring along
My steel guitar

I'm crawling the horizon
Got scrambling on my mind (x2)
Don't know when I'll get there
Don't know what I'll find
But while I'm gone I'm gonna have me
A mighty strange time

c  2012  boguemusic bmi