This is a collection of songs by L.J. Hill in open tuned guitar notation, with standard tabs and fret picking notation that work on the open tunings that L.J. uses. Each song has a .wav file playback so you can hear what it’s supposed to sound like, and one of these days with L.J’s permission or audience demand I’ll put up the original demo recordings we made.
L.J. taught me these songs while we worked on the recordings and played gigs around town. I had a lot of time to work with him to get the notation and lyrics written out correctly, using software* that played the tunes back to us and helped us figure out how to note it out properly.
We checked the result with Steve Tafra who I think was pretty dismayed at what we showed him. I’d written virtually every note with ties and slurs to make it play back like a guitarist, but in fact that’s not how a guitarist would read it or anything like how it should be written. It must have looked pretty bizarre.
The keys were all weird too, but Steve showed us to get that in sync with the added instruments, and I went back through and took out all the ties** and it came out looking and sounding pretty good. Each vocal is interpreted with a lead instrument – trumpet, flute, fuzz guitar – that suits the song and is correctly keyed. I got L.J to listen to each of these songs at least twice before saving them down as finished. So you can see I must have got this right for once!
It took us about 6 months while LJ was recovering from some health issues. Every weekend, Sundays religiously, I spent at least 7 hours working on this music. It was a labour of love. I still busk some of these songs, especially “Here I Am Again” which is an awe-inspiring spiritual, and “When You Sing (Angels Dance)” which is so light and lilting in the guitar part, I swear to God, angels would dance on the head of my guitar when I played it, or they did when I played it with L.J.
Relay For Life…….No soundfile…not sure where this song is…has anyone seen it?
* Notion for iPad ** I can laugh about it now