Rhapsody in Red

Featuring Clayton Crawford on lead guita

Hi folks,

My new music project is to record some of my favorite songs just for the fun of it!

The first in this series is Jerry Garcia’s Rhapsody in Red. I am very fortunate to be joined by Clayton Crawford, from Redlands, CA, on lead guitar. I am playing rhythm and bass. The drums are from The [Joe] Vitale Collection.

To listen, please go to my web site and click on the Fav link . You can either play the song or save it to your hard drive. It is recorded in 192 kbps MP3 format.

I am posting this here because the song was not recorded with nTrack. I hope you like it!

Awesome Mike! It’s very “period correct” sounding. That’s a compliment BTW…

Good stuff! :agree:


Thanks for listening!
Yes - I intentionally made it “period correct”, but the song, which was released 1978, is reminiscing about a time gone by (probably the 60’s) so that is the period I was trying to capture, hence the sound of my guitar and the slapback echo on my voice.

Wow - I posted the same song on alt.guitar.amps and you should see the contradictory criticism I got. One said the song was too stiff and another said the playing was good but the amps sounded terrible, and on and on. I personally don’t think I could do any better with this song than I did, with the possible exception of having some good backup singers (as Garcia did). I don’t expect everyone to like the song but I know that I recorded and mixed it well (and some folks have agreed with me).

I think D understood completely what I was trying to do with the song (thanks for seeing that) but man, other people are just critics.


I think D understood completely what I was trying to do with the song


How quickly memories fade Mike... Music "aficionados" these days don't have a clue... It's all over compressed, over processed, auto-tuned and then "mp3-ized".

Ignore the bone-heads...


Specifically the main criticisms I’ve received are:

1) The guitars don’t sound good
2) The vocals are terrible
3) The song is "stiff"

Interestingly, I’ve received mostly negative criticism from alt.guitar.amps, which to some extent you expect but it’s a little over-weighted toward the negative.

I thought it was pretty much right on for what you were going for Mike. Nice instrumentation. Recorded and played very well. No major timing problems… you need to start hanging out with the folks that “get it” more.
Good stuff!

Thanks Poppa - that is exactly what I was trying to do.

However, I do like to get “outside” criticism because people here may not be as “honest”, because we sort of know each other, and we don’t want to more supportive and less negative. I also send out a mailing to people who know me and I never get any real feedback from them, other than “it’s great”, which I know is not entirely true.

Even though these recordings are just for fun, I do want to improve them, so I need some some critical comments.

OK - so now they’re telling that the vocal track is flat in many places. I must be losing my mind because I went back & listened to the song again, and I don’t hear any real flat notes at all?!?! Singing is not my strong suite but I’ve always thought I have a resonable ear, plus I’ve always been able to sing harmony.

If anyone hears flat notes in the vocal track, please let me know. Thanks!

PS - I just listened to the vocal track by itself and I cannot find any flat notes. Now there may be other problems with it but no flat notes. These guys on alt.guitar.amps must be hard of hearing I guess?

I have listened to this a couple of 3-4 times. I like it. I think it is spot on.


Duff - thanks for listening (I appreciate it)! There may be a few slightly flat passing notes but I don’t think I was singing flat all through the song as some said I was.

New mix of this song on my web site (click on Fav). I recorded a new vocal track with the AT4050 and am using some new plug-in’s from PSP Audioware. Also, the drum track was created using 24-bits (instead of 16-bits).

Quote: (Diogesneez @ Jun. 03 2009, 8:52 PM)

Ignore the bone-heads...

That's tellin um Archie!
Those non'puritan boneheads :laugh:

Hey Mike, Music sounds pretty much spot on for the period. Everything tight and in the right place in the mix. Excellent playing, sounds pretty much what I would expect to hear from an early 70s rock band. I like the feel of it. :agree:
Vocals seem pretty much in tune to me, but the lead vox seems a little lifeless, hard to pinpoint why (and I’ve never heard Jerry Garcia’s voice to compare). I don’t hear flat notes but I think it needs something to add a little richness.


Vocals seem pretty much in tune to me, but the lead vox seems a little lifeless

Thanks for listening!
Actually the period is timeless for me :-)

I'll give the vocal track another try to see if I can boost the feeling.

Go for it, Mr Soul. It’s as good as anything it represents from whenever that was/is.
It ‘sounds’ like you intended it to sound and noone (boneheads) can argue with that.

Do it till you’re 'appy - then let go.