ManCave Studio Diary #2 – I Won’t Tell You

Or maybe I will.

This week’s feature is John Mahler. I came to know John as the spouse of a friend who shares the same athletic activity I do. I came to find out that he was an aspiring songwriter, and after some coaxing and a few shared stages, John came to ManCave Studio to lay down some tracks. It seems to be going well, and we are working on our fifth.

Here is a bio of John from the old ABC Songwriters’ Circle.

John MahlerJohn Mahler asked himself a few years ago what he wanted to do with the rest of his life — music had always been his passion and songwriting his dream. Since his teen years, John had played guitar and written on and off, but life’s demands had invariably gotten in the way. Four years ago, he bought himself a new guitar, and re-engaged in the long-aspired-to commitment to finishing the songs of his youth, and to daily practice developing his own fingerpicked folksy-jazzy-bluesy style. With a growing catalogue of completed songs and renewed skills to play them, a friend said to him, “Now you have to perform them. After all, a song isn’t a song until it is heard.” Now John is applying himself to the craft of performing and sharing his songs with a growing and appreciative audience. (show #7 – Tuesday, December 5, 2017)

This song is I Won’t Tell You, which is a reflection on how the things unsaid can erode a  relationship, assuming I understand it correctly.

On this track, John sings and plays guitar on the first two tracks listed below. I play all other electric guitars and bass. The drums and percussion are Logic programmed with some tweaks.

Track List:

  • Guitar 1: Taylor T5 plugged in direct panned slightly right; light delay + reverb
  • Guitar 2: Taylor T5 plugged in direct panned hard left; repeating echos staring on second chorus
  • Electric guitar 1: I think I used a Gretsch Electromatic direct, amp emulation with chorus and a very light reverb. It comes in on the verse verse
  • Electric guitar 2: same Gretsch for slide on the bridge section; overdrive and delay
  • Electric guitar 3: as above with harmony line
  • Bass direct” only EQ and compression
  • Drums: Logic Brush Train Drumset loops
  • Percussion: Logic internal EXS24 plugin – Latin
  • Vocals: single track through the Rode NT-1A panned left
  • Vocals: same as above through the Sennheiser MK-4 panned right; slapback delay

This recording is a good example of the aim of the studio. Critical ears will catch the flaws for sure. At this point, it serves the purpose of putting the “flesh on the bone” for John’s song. And I’m always fine with going back to improve the product, especially with increased experience and fresh ears. Happy listening!

I Won’t Tell You ©2018 John Mahler


Dock on Queen Show Rescheduled

After sorting out the confusion (on my part mostly) about the canceled October 27 show at the Dock on Queen, the lovely folks there found a new slot for us on Friday December 7. So there will after all be another 2018 Félix & the Cats performance before the New Year. Best of all, early birds can catch the show because of a very civilized 8 PM start.

Put that in your calendar now! Thanks for reading and listening!

Be well!

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