HMWT Episode 5 - Carly Jo Jackson "All the Way Down"
I met Carly after a show at Will's pub in late 2014. I'd seen her play several times and was a fan. The next spring she played right before Beemo at Florida Music Festival at Cheyenne Saloon. We got to talking afterwards and that planted the seeds of several future collaborations.
Basically everyone who sees her perform says the same thing, and they're all correct: she's a very charismatic and magnetic performer with a great voice. Beemo got to learn her songs and play as her backing band three times over the years, and while limited rehearsal time always made it a little harrowing, it was always fun and satisfying.
Carly released her EP "Au Naturel" in late 2019 and the only song I hadn't heard her play, "All the Way Down," jumped out at me. It's a fun song with a great chorus and some cool lead guitar work. So when she and I talked in March of 2020 about doing a long distance Quaran-tune collaboration and she suggested "All the Way Down" I was excited.
I got cracking on getting familiar with the song, working out some parts and coming up with fills. I adapted the opening guitar riff for the mandolin, and also pulled some from the bass line, a trick I use when playing with Amanda to help fill out a duo arrangement.
Carly sent me a video of her playing the song and I got to work in earnest. The first surprise was that it wasn't in the album key. This didn't totally surprise me (it wasn't the first time that happened: I'm on to you, Carly!), but it did require a tweaking of the parts and fingering I had come up with.
I kicked off the two mini solos by quoting the repeated post-chorus backing vocal harmony, the "Spin me round, all the way round" part which, fun fact, was sung by Michael McDonald of "Walking In Memphis" fame. To differentiate the two solos I went with more of a double stopped chord solo for the first, and a more traditional solo for the second.
I leaned heavy on mimicking the harmony vocal part in the post-chorus prior to the bridge as it's a part that's really distinctive and really supports the song well. I threw in some of my standard mandolin toolkit (e.g. tremolos on the pre-chorus and banjo style rolls on one of the late choruses) and after two tries I had a take I liked.
Cutting the split screen together in iMovie is not very straightforward. I had trial and error-ed out a fairly brute force way to do it for the Pleyel Duet video I had done a while earlier and I had the foresight at the time to write down the convoluted steps. (It involves multiple exports into and out of iMovie with some cropping via KeyNote and the iMovie Picture in Picture function. Not fun.)
So listening and recording song: 5 stars, great fun was had by all. Cutting video together in iMovie: 1 star, would not recommend.
Hope you enjoy it, be sure to check out Carly's EP 'Au Naturel" for the original version.