Your Tunes

The High and the Mighty - The Shadows Cover

1

Playing a Strat on this one because that's what the Shadow's used although on this track he might have been using a rather obscure guitar called a "Burns".

Normally I like thumbpicking a Chet Atkins or Jerry Reed number but since variety is the spice of life I thought I'd play an instrumental from the other side of the Atlantic this time and with a flatpick no less - I almost forgot how! hahaHope you enjoy it!

The rest of this blurb is technical stuff for those that are interested:

The High and Mighty was released by the Shadows in 1964 on the Album "Dance with the Shadows". It was written by Dimitri Tiomkin and was the sound track to the film "The High and the Mighty (1954)" Starring John Wayne.

On this cover I am using a Fender Deluxe Stratocaster. A Maton EM325C Acoustic, and a modified Squier J Bass with DIMarzio pickups. I am using a Vox AC30 emulation and a Fender DRRI emulation panned hard left and right respectively for the stratocaster. I have also programmed a multi-tap delay in Logic pro to emulate the vintage delay specifications and echo rate of the Meazzi Echomatic 2 and I have applied a tape echo emulation over the top of that to simulate Wow, Flutter and tape distortion (clipping).

2

A neat version of an unusual track- very romantic, surprisingly daring in chromatic movements.

I might be tempted to advise cautious application of the tape artifacts plug-in. The way the tremolo arm is used in this style, held constantly (which you have used very well) adds a little bit of pitch waver into the echo trail all by itself. You play the melody very well indeed, every note is struck clean and clear with a lovely fluid feel to the entire piece.

Solid rhythm work too, there's a lot of chords in there and you transit the piece confidently and with strong assurance. Very nicely done.

Final note, it's good to see a crisp shirt and tie. Mr Astro is a sharp dressed man.

3

A neat version of an unusual track- very romantic, surprisingly daring in chromatic movements.

I might be tempted to advise cautious application of the tape artifacts plug-in. The way the tremolo arm is used in this style, held constantly (which you have used very well) adds a little bit of pitch waver into the echo trail all by itself. You play the melody very well indeed, every note is struck clean and clear with a lovely fluid feel to the entire piece.

Solid rhythm work too, there's a lot of chords in there and you transit the piece confidently and with strong assurance. Very nicely done.

Final note, it's good to see a crisp shirt and tie. Mr Astro is a sharp dressed man.

– ade

Thanks ade - but did you like the bass player - he had a pair of sunnies on Almost Men in Black (MIB) I figured if I'm doing a Shadows tribute I should don the suit!

Yes I really didn't know what I was doing with the tape echo plugin - I set the delay to zero on it and tried to get some artefacts with it just to get some sort of vibe. I'm not a recording engineer unfortunately - I just know enough to get myself into trouble if you know what I mean.

Thank you also for the thoughtful review - very valuable to me.

4

The irony of all the modern fixation with artificial tape echo degredation is that when this music was being recorded, these were very undesirabe elements. Great effort was made to have the newest tapes with the cleanest acute-angled splices, minty heads, smoothest motors. I really believe the majority of the pitch fluctuations in the echo trails come from the tremolo arm deflections interacting with the record and play heads and the feedback regeneration. The repeats get darker and more sintered, yes indeed.

It's a very nice cut of a most unusual tune and its great to hear it done with considerable panache. And so different from the Chet material, a very nice left turn there.

That bass player is so cool, he doesn't ask anything from anybody. I think he wants to play FBI, which explains the sunglasses.

5

The irony of all the modern fixation with artificial tape echo degredation is that when this music was being recorded, these were very undesirabe elements. Great effort was made to have the newest tapes with the cleanest acute-angled splices, minty heads, smoothest motors. I really believe the majority of the pitch fluctuations in the echo trails come from the tremolo arm deflections interacting with the record and play heads and the feedback regeneration. The repeats get darker and more sintered, yes indeed.

It's a very nice cut of a most unusual tune and its great to hear it done with considerable panache. And so different from the Chet material, a very nice left turn there.

That bass player is so cool, he doesn't ask anything from anybody. I think he wants to play FBI, which explains the sunglasses.

– ade

Thanks ade!

I might have to do FBI just for you I love that tune too - particularly the bass note triad arpeggios in the middle of the tune. Love those!

6

Nicely done, MrAstro. As ade pointed out, it's a Shadows tune seldom heard these days.

Just one point -- in the UK, years before the Shadows moved away from Fender, Burns guitars were not in the least 'obscure'. They were objects of considerable desire amongst Brit guitar players who couldn't afford premium price American guitars. I couldn't even afford a Burns at the time -- I was lumbered with a mediocre Futurama ll.

7

Nicely done, MrAstro. As ade pointed out, it's a Shadows tune seldom heard these days.

Just one point -- in the UK, years before the Shadows moved away from Fender, Burns guitars were not in the least 'obscure'. They were objects of considerable desire amongst Brit guitar players who couldn't afford premium price American guitars. I couldn't even afford a Burns at the time -- I was lumbered with a mediocre Futurama ll.

– Dave_K

Showing my ignorance about Burns guitars. I can't really believe I hadn't heard of them until now.

8

Lovely piece sir,i particularly enjoyed the rhythm,Bruce is one of the greatest rhythm players,well,i think so anyway.

9

Lovely piece sir,i particularly enjoyed the rhythm,Bruce is one of the greatest rhythm players,well,i think so anyway.

– JCHiggy

Thanks JC.

Bruce is a good Aussie name according to Monty Python - look up the Bruce's sketch on Youtube sometime haha

10

Well played, MrAstro! As I don't dare attempt to play Chet, with this tune, you are venturing more into my playground, if you will. Ade provides a very cogent appraisal of your playing with which I heartily agree.

And, I am with Dave_K (as I almost always am) on the relative obscurity of Burns guitars. They certainly were in regular use in the Sixties. And, of course, most Gretsch players are familiar with the name from when Gretsch began using their vibratos.

11

Well played, MrAstro! As I don't dare attempt to play Chet, with this tune, you are venturing more into my playground, if you will. Ade provides a very cogent appraisal of your playing with which I heartily agree.

And, I am with Dave_K (as I almost always am) on the relative obscurity of Burns guitars. They certainly were in regular use in the Sixties. And, of course, most Gretsch players are familiar with the name from when Gretsch began using their vibratos.

– Ric12string

Thanks Ric - I love finding out about all the background info on the gear that was around in the 60's. So interesting.

12

Good ol' Hank - he was the reason that a lot of folks in the UK took up the guitar in the early to mid 60s. You got right into the spirit of the tune Andrew, that was a nice version.

Regarding Burns guitars - not only did Hank play a Burns guitar for a number of years, he had his own 'signature' model, which were used by himself and Bruce Welch. There was a bass guitar version of it also. Click HERE to find out about it :)

These days, Hank is still actively performing and recording - he hasn't rested on his laurels either - he's been practising hard in the Django Rheinhardt style, and heads up a loose group of musicians who gig around as 'Hank Marvin's Gypsy Jazz'. He was holding a lot in reserve in his 'Shadows' days!

Here he is jamming with a couple of his buddies, two years ago, channelling Django.... Hank and Friends

13

Woohoo! Thanks NSM for the link to Hank Marvin making a very decent fist of Lady Be Good. That was right up my street.

14

Very Cool @NSM! I believe he lives in Perth (Australia) now. I'm really pleased to see he's still going strong - isn't it great that you can play guitar right into our later years fingers permitting! Inspiring!

The Burns guitars and basses look cool - I'm ashamed I didn't know about them

15

Excellent job Andrew!! Very relaxing and a nice throwback to a different time in the world. I particularly like the fact you videoed this in black & white like a lot of footage from that era. It added to my enjoyment of your fine playing.

16

A neat version of an unusual track- very romantic, surprisingly daring in chromatic movements.

I might be tempted to advise cautious application of the tape artifacts plug-in. The way the tremolo arm is used in this style, held constantly (which you have used very well) adds a little bit of pitch waver into the echo trail all by itself. You play the melody very well indeed, every note is struck clean and clear with a lovely fluid feel to the entire piece.

Solid rhythm work too, there's a lot of chords in there and you transit the piece confidently and with strong assurance. Very nicely done.

Final note, it's good to see a crisp shirt and tie. Mr Astro is a sharp dressed man.

– ade

I edited my original post, ditched the tape delay and upped the level of the bass guitar and acoustic marginally.

I'm not sure I think it makes a great deal of difference but it was eating at me knowing that it could be improved a fraction

17

thanks MrAstro really enjoyed your playing. brought back good memories! Dave K my first electric was a futurama 3 my second was a white burns nusonic (with wild dog setting!) what a massive step up from the futurama. kept me going until I bought my 6119 gretsch tennessean in 1966.

18

davedee: a Futurama 3 eh? -- posh stuff back then! My Fut2 sounded pretty useless but at least it was playable, which is more than could be said for its predecessor, a Rosetti Lucky 7. In an attempt to get the Hank sound, a pal of mine 'converted' his dad's tape recorder (without mentioning it to his dad) into a sort of tape echo unit which we hitched up to our family radiogram. Result — Bombsville! And two rather upset fathers.

19

dave_k: I bought the Futurama 3 unseen from a catalogue. thought it looked very similar to the fender strat on the front page but much,much,much cheaper. It was useless. everytime you moved the strap rubbed against the guitar body and the sqeaking sound was much louder than the output from the Pickups. I ought to have been suspicious when the price had come down 5 guinies from the time I ordered it to when it was delivered!!! the action on the fretboard was brilliant though. my mate in the group got a Hofner verithin stereo..........his dad had a pub, my dad was a miner who was trying to get over a back injury from a roof cave in.

my amp was a tape recorder that had a built in PA system so I hooked it up to our years old radiogram !

20

Excellent rendition of one of my favorite tunes!

21

Well I spent the weekend trying to remix the video and get the amp model and mix sounding more like the original. I think it's an awful lot closer now.

I changed the amp model and delay model and remixed and remastered the track. I still used the original tracks I played - so nothing has changed that way.

I'm happier with it anyway.


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