Well we sketched out the oultine of a song...

Hmm… some kinda glitch - the quote above isn’t supposed to be there, and I can’t delete it…but anyway…

My son (Shea) and I often work together on recordings. You never know what style of music might be next on the agenda. Could be Reggae, or aggressive rock, or country or afro-beat or whatever. A while back Shea veered over into a folk-rock vein, and he wrote the song I am posting here. Click on the link below, navigate to the music page, and then listen to Brown Paper and Twine

Brown Paper and Twine

The recording is really just a sketch, and is full of flaws in timing, pitch corrected singing, etc. The idea was to lay out the idea for the song and then to go back and record it for real. Shea played and sang all parts on this one.

I am interested in your opinions and ideas about the song, not really about the performance, which is pretty rough. Think about song feel, structure, lyrics and that sort of stuff. Negative comments are welcome too.


T, can’t have negative remarks on this one. What a hook in that tune! The potential on this one is limitless in my book, with the exception it may be easily to over-play, over-produced. Excellant song writing. Thinking the Vocals may be the spotlight, highlight of this one. Waiting for a finished version

BTW, loved the finger style on Annies Song :D :D

Thanks, Yaz. I also think that the vocal part of the song will be the highlight when we record the final version. I told Shea that the harmonies sounded a little bit like the Indigo Girls style. For some reason he didn’t seem to like that much. :D

I think that you are right about keeping it simple, too.

If you ignore the performance glitches in the little instrumental bridge between second and third verses, does it seem to fit in well to you? This is the one place in the song where I can imagine more instrumentation might be needed.


T tell Shea it’s more early Lennon and McCartney sounding to me than Indigo Girls!

The build up in the middle is fine, maybe not more instruments as timing, quicker with the add on’s or something to that effect. That’s a hard call, maybe something to play around with as far as structure before laying down final tracks. But then again if you go 2nd guessing that can screw up an arrangement also.

I love songs that back off and then build to a cresendo at the end! Gives a certain feel. Still gonna be a great tune IMHO. :D

T, one thing that Yaz is right about is that this song has enormous potential. I think, personally, considering how the vocals in the instrumental bridge give a real feeling of build in the song I would be tempted to follow that through and lay down some drums behind the 3rd verse to give an extra “edge” towards the finish.
Whatever way you go, don’t do too much. This is a great song!


I agree with all comments so far, especially the "keep it simple"
Something jars on my ear though, I expected to hear a minor chord as the 4th chord in the intro.
I got used to it after a few hearings, but first time through it stuck out.

Waiting to hear the finished version :)


Thank to everyone. Real concrete useful suggestions! How great is that? I like every one of them.

I never would have thought to bring in drums after the bridge - but that is a great thing to try. Beefy, I hear the chord thing you mentioned. The chords go C-G Am-E-F- and so on. I tried several substitutions for the E chord, but the one that sounded best to me was an E-7 instead of a minor. Does that sound right to you?

The bummer for me is that Shea has now bounced over to Boston to do his industrial design stuff for the summer. So recording time together won’t happen for a while. But he’s found a fella who can play violin like anything. That may find a way into the bridge of the song.

Thanks again guys, really helpful comments.


(tspringer @ Jul. 22 2007,03:52)
Beefy, I hear the chord thing you mentioned. The chords go C-G Am-E-F- and so on. I tried several substitutions for the E chord, but the one that sounded best to me was an E-7 instead of a minor. Does that sound right to you?


The E was not what I was expecting from the previous chord sequence, that's not to say it's "wrong", just unexpected.
Anyway no-one else has mentioned it, so it can't be such a big deal.
Don't change it just on my say-so.


T, don’t change the chords, gives the song a special sound IMHO.
Ahhh, the joys of recording with your kids. I used to record alot with my daughter. Now she’s a RN working crazy hours and has 3 kids of her own. No time for recording. I miss it tho. Figure when she has time to record again I’ll be in a wheel chair with hearing aid and alzheimers. I’ll just look at her and say ‘Recording music? I used to know a guy who recorded music, his name was Yaz, haven’t seen him in years. Hey, you gonna change my bedpan?’