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All That Is Old Is New Again – Feeling Ten Feet Tall

It’s sort of my curse that most of the time when I set down to go over a song or learn a part, a new song or an interesting riff falls into my lap. It’s a nice problem to have, I admit. But it does hamstring me sometimes, because I’m always rushing around to jot down new ideas before I forget them, and then I focus on those and am less likely to get back to what I was doing in the first place. But sometimes the distraction is more than worth it.

I sat down this morning to work out the lead break for a Windhaven song I’m working on called “Crazy Girl”. After running through it a few times, I somehow wound up playing one of my ancient riffs. And I mean ancient. As in, early 1980’s. It was a riff I’ve always liked, but I never really tried to do anything with it. Well, as I was playing it this morning I started singing a vocal melody along with it. Suddenly there was an entirely new song in my head, and I was rushing around trying to figure out how to keep from losing it.

I went to “the lair” and started my recording software, then recorded a guitar part, a vocal scratch track and a bass track. What I’m left with is a really rough demo of what I think will be an amazing, kick-ass song. In fact, it’s left me excited about where Windhaven may be going now that I’ve decided to record with my electric guitars and not be so obsessed with the whole acoustic thing, because I don’t think I would have wound up taking this approach with this song if I’d still been trying to do everything acoustically. Honestly, I now wonder if I was even cut out for the acoustic thing. My genes are just too rambunctious. I mean, any of these songs can be played acoustically live. My theory has always been that if a song can be played on acoustic guitar and it still jams, it’s a solid song.

A lot of pieces are falling into place since I’ve decided to record with the electric guitars. For one thing, I’m feeling that fire in my belly again. This feels so right. All we really have to do is figure out how to do this without a drummer, and we’re all set (I think we can). I know a handful of drummers who would gladly set in, but I don’t think the drum parts for these originals are all that involved. Surely we can nail down some stuff that’s interesting rhythmically without having to go through the complexities of working with other personalities. That’s always been part of my problem where original material is concerned. I hear much of it in my head already, and it drives me crazy when someone insists on doing it differently.

Anyway, I love how this is evolving. Windhaven is becoming something that’s somewhere between Blues and Rockabilly, and it seems like we’re going to retain our acoustic side, as well. It’s just a richer blend of materials. Man, after hearing the rough demo of this new song, which I’m calling “Ten Feet Tall”, based upon the only lyrics I have (when I’m standing near my baby / I’m feel about ten feet tall), I’m giddy with excitement. This is going to be fantastic.

And you know what? I’ve finally embraced the fact that I’m a damned guitar player. I still love bass, and I have a long way to go before I’m a shredder on guitar, but I have no doubts that I’m on the right path. In fact, I’m feeling about ten feet tall. Okay, that’s a painful pun. But I really am feeling like the jolly green giant today.

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Peggy Chaney
12 years ago

I’ve seen that happen in you! You are so talented in so many ways! I still lean a little toward Art though! To be able to sit down and just draw something like you can, an idea, a person, an animal or whatever, just has always blown my mind! We won’t get in to the music ability ,or the writing! Goodness! I never knew what to encourage you in or toward! You’ve done a fine job of deciding on your own though! I love you son! You are my heart! Mama

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