Going to the record store and buying a physical copy of an album is an experience that seems to be slowing dying out. With the advent of mp3s, iTunes, and online music services it’s no longer necessary to leave your couch to get the latest release from your favorite band. With that being said, there are still a lot of us who cherish the record store experience and our memories of it.
One of these people is local F#lk n’ Roll artist Jeffrey Dallet. Jeffrey is an avid music lover who has amassed a jaw-dropping record collection over the last 15 or so years. Many of those records came from the shelves and bins of Jerry’s Record Store which was a Denver landmark for years before shutting its doors in 2013. In addition to records, Jeffrey slowly, but surely, accumulated a variety of stories and anecdotes about his experiences at Jerry’s and felt compelled to write a song about his experiences after Jerry’s closed.
The result is an epic piece titled My Old Record Store. The track reminisces about Jerry’s quirky staff and Jeffrey’s interactions with them in the verses. The chorus is an amalgamation of song and record titles. It’s a great song, but we were concerned that listeners might not listen to the whole thing because of its length.
The song clocked in at just over seven minutes long and we couldn’t cut out any sections, because we’d lose important parts of the story. Our solution was to incorporate different instrumentation throughout the song to create musical interest while simultaneously accentuating each sections’ lyrical theme.
The song starts with a Farfisa organ line that immediately draws the listener in while setting the mood squarely in the 1960s. The Farfisa complements the throwback vibe of the track and also the lyrics of the first verse, which relays the story of the early years of rock.
The Farfisa continues through the first verse, before handing the ball off to the electric piano. The electric piano provides a slightly different feel that is still well within the throwback vibe, but different enough to keep the listener engaged. This works well with the second verse’s lyrical content, which inhabits the same thematic space as the first.
The third verse changes the tone lyrically, which provides us an opportunity to change things up instrumentally, which we do by introducing a delayed mellotron flute to complement the psychedelic imagery in the lyrics.
The song’s choruses received a similar treatment. They take the listener on a journey through the best of music over the years, and it was important that the chorus instrumentation be every bit as compelling as the verses. In keeping with the throwback feel of the track we utilized piano, Hammond B3 organ, and eventually strings and church bells in the final chorus. The result is a triumphant sound that Springsteen would be proud of.
By utilizing different instrumentation for different parts of the song we were able to create a track that feels like it just started even after seven minutes. The lessons here are two-fold. First, it’s important to realize the impact of instrumentation choices and when and how they are used. The second lesson is that you’ve got to have a great song to really pull this off. No amount of production tricks or instrumentation changes can make up for a weak song. Fortunately for us, Jeffrey writes one hell of a song so we didn’t have to worry about that side of things. That left us free to focus on the production and the result is a song that hits the Sweet Spot.
Jeffrey has already released a single off of the EP titled Dear Dayton OH which can be heard on Spotify and purchased through iTunes. The full three song EP will be released on May 31st in conjunction with a CD release show at the Skylight Lounge. Find out more about Jeffrey Dallet at www.JeffreyDallet.com. More information about The Spot Studios is available atwww.thespotstudios.com.