2015 27 Jul

Billy Mack, a folk artist friend of mine based in Allentown, Pennsylvania has come up with a couple of projects that I have taken part.  The latest project revolves around putting out a compilation of songs all relating to coffee.  Mr. Mack is putting together a coffee art house to open in September in Allentown, PA called Coffee House Without Limits which aims to serve as an art gallery, all ages music venue, and community space.

Billy Mack performs around the country on a low budget using Greyhound buses or whatever it happens to be to get from place to place.  He has quite an underground following and it is this community of similarly thinking do it yourselfers that he called upon for the coffee compilation.

I wrote a song simply titled “Coffee”.

coffee lyrics

A little video I made for my song:

Billy’s Coffee compilation can be listened and bought here: (I’m song 20).

Published under Good Musicsend this post
2014 31 Jul

Cyber Space is much like a desert.  There are those who sound the trumpet on what is important to them.  After some time, they disappear and sound another trumpet to go off in another direction.  But there are those who continue to wander, not aimlessly, but with purpose.  They are rounding up the troops becoming fishers of men.   To some, they seem like outsiders but really they are peacemakers.

Technology has given the little guy an opportunity to sound his trumpet and to voice everything from when he brushes his teeth to when he tells of some kind of disaster in his life.  The playing field is level but with that there are more and more people “doing their thing.”  The result is much more stuff for people to wade through to get the nuggets.  However, there are a few “John the Baptists” that articulate a strong message that the masses can relate to.  It’s not all about things “in da club.”  We’re getting beyond that.

The buzz word of the day is community.  Can there be community up in the clouds of the cyber world?  Definitely!  I mean, really.  There are those that live for Justin Bieber’s every last word on twitter.  They may be a little bit misguided but that’s community.

I wrote a song called “Leave the Desert.”  Maybe I was a bit misquided.

Matthew 5:9English Standard Version (ESV)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God.

Published under Lifesend this post
2014 20 Mar

The tunes from the tapes just keep coming.  It is a time capsule into the life that began in late 1999 and lasted until about 2004.  The Guittard Tapes era was an especially  creative period of my life.  In 1999, after three years of being a working stiff at an insurance company in Dallas, I struck out for a music school in Hollywood.  I made a dry run out there to search for an apartment and found one near Hollywood and Highland that was available for $925 a month.  I wonder what it is now that they remodeled that whole area where the Academy Awards are now held.

I was bright-eyed and optimistic, thinking that I could do something important.  At the school, I put up flyers to see if anybody was interested in making a “Byrds-influenced” band.  I had NO takers.  It was kinda weird that no one was turned on to the jangly psychedelic music.  Henry and I began to hold auditions for our band The Ragas in my Hollywood apartment.  We had a whole biker gang show up but it just wasn’t the vibe we wanted.  We also drove way out to the Inland Empire to audition a drummer.  Maybe it wasn’t the best thing to put an ad in the L.A. Weekly about our little band.  We never did find anyone that way.  Imagine the characters going through my apartment to audition.  One guy didn’t have a bass so we let him use my bass and he picked up a coaster to use as a pick.  That was weird.

During this time, I was soaking up the vibes of Southern California and often found myself in the Brian Jonestown Massacre scene.  The music was all around me and the folks in Texas wondered exactly what I was doing.  The Guittard Tapes were what I was doing.  I have hundreds of tapes from that period and it is great that I still have the tapes because for a period of ten years I had no idea where the tapes were.  I had spent some time in Bulgaria and my stuff was kinda scattered everywhere.

Jim Cine GrillOctober 1999 – Hollywood

The tunes from the Guittard Tapes have been extracted from tapes for over the last year.  I’ve put out two volumes of the Guittard Tapes and now I’m working to possibly put out a third volume.  If you want to know what was going on in my life between 1999 and 2003, listen to the tapes.  One song that I wrote just after two weeks of being in L.A. was called “Standing in the Doorway.”  What prompted the song was the earthquake that occurred on October 16, 1999.  I had never experienced a quake and so that day I did at two o’clock in the morning.  I didn’t know what to do with all the rattling pipes on the third story apartment building so I got out of bed and stood in the doorway.  It seemed like forever the ground was shaking.  It was  a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.

After quitting the school, I mainly went to a lot of shows with the Quarter After, Beachwood Sparks and others.  I was writing the whole time.  For awhile I was in a band with Cliff Magreta and Rob Campanella called the Belle Isle.  It was really a happening time.  And then 9-11 occurred and it seemed that a lot of things changed.  The optimism wasn’t there like it used to be.  As part of the Guittard Tapes there was a tune a did a few weeks after 9-11 that is an instrumental and I named it “3 Weeks After.”  It has a psychedelic trippy feel with Rickenbacker Twelve String and sitar.

Byron& JimWith Byron Berline at McCabe’s Guitar Shop

 Around late 2001  to 2002, my brother Bob was also in Los Angeles and for a few months we were in a band together with a guy named Andy McCutcheon.  It was really crazy how I met Andy.  My brother had been auditioning for bands as a bass player.  He came over to my apartment and played me a CD of Andy McCutcheon.  Instantly, I recognized it.  I had heard the music a few years earlier back in Texas as I had found him on MP3.com. I had previously downloaded Andy’s music back in 1998 or early 1999.  I had never met him but he was into psychedelic type 1960’s music.  It was really wild that my brother would say to me that he was auditioning for this band.  And so after a month or so, I was in Andy’s band as a rhythm guitarist.  We had some shows at the Crooked Bar, The Gig, the Rainbow Bar and Grill, and some other places.  I had read about Led Zeppelin hanging at the Rainbow and being up to no good there.

Scan10002Myself, Brother Bob, and Andy McCutcheon

During this period, I was working odd jobs at a rental car place, a talent agency, and some other places.  I did have the misfortune of being robbed of several guitars and some of the material in the Guittard Tapes deal with the loss of guitars and themes of betrayal and a sense of digging in my heels to the ground to stay in L.A. at all costs.  It cost me a lot but the Guittard Tapes to me our priceless.  It’s a musical diary.

Here are a few songs that I’ve just extracted recently from the tapes.

You Are On Track

You Are On Track by Guittard Tapes 2

The song is trying to hype myself up to stay and continue with the musical pursuit in Los Angeles. It wasn’t going exactly how I had hoped but this was an honest plea to dig in.

Jangly Ordinary Guy
Jangly Ordinary Guy by Guittard Tapes 2

The lyrics for this tune was written at a coffee shop on Melrose Blvd. I was waiting to meet someone and they did not show up. Being a bit frustrated I wrote the tune. The music for this one is more jangly with my 12 string Rickenbacker and I play simple drum beat. The other version I play the B-Bender Telecaster and it is more a country-rock feel.

Beach Basement Session
Beach Basement Session by Guittard Tapes 2

This one here is a early version of Beach before the more well known one on my “California Daze” album. The tune here was recorded in a care-free way trying to emulate the vibe of Dylan on the Basement Sessions album with the Band. The recording is imperfect but I’m not about perfection.

Station
Station basement session by Guittard Tapes 2

This tune is another raw alternate take. It was again trying to be recorded in a basement session way that was carefree and emotional.

I left L.A. in February 2003 and the picture below is just after I came back to Dallas, Texas.
Jim February 2003

 

Published under Lifesend this post
2013 17 Sep

See Lyrics and Original song below…

I recorded the original song called “Survival Mode” while living overseas in Bulgaria in 2007.  At the time, I felt everything was caving in on me as I was a Peace Corps TEFL Volunteer.  Mostly it was the wall of sound that I was dealing with in the classroom where I taught.  Probably Phil Spector would have dug the wall of sound.

At the time while overseas, I was paying close attention to American politics.  The song was written shortly after Andrew Meyer’s “Don’t Tase Me Bro!” incident.

The times were definitely a time when the basic American liberties such as freedom of speech was rapidly disappearing as is evident by what happened to Andrew for asking questions at a John Kerry discussion at a University of Florida forum.

It was like every day I’d read about another incident of one being tased.  Starting in 2011, the new thing is people getting pepper sprayed.  College campuses have always been  a place of dialogue but the powers that be want passive subjects and in the particular the incident at University of California at Davis sticks out as something to be concerned about.  One police officer very casually sprayed students who were sitting there peacefully during an Occupy protest.

Currently, I’m working on a podcast with a show in British Columbia for my album “Busted in Bulgaria” that came out in 2008.  I’ll be talking about what the background of the songs where and how I came to record them.  The podcast should be out by the last week in September. Survival Mode was one of the songs on the BIB album.  I felt that it still has a good message today and that is why I re-recorded it.  The original was recorded on a laptop in a rather haphazard way with only a handheld microphone and an acoustic guitar.  The updated version has electric guitar, bass, keyboard, percussion and background vocals provided by my wife.

 

We’ve got to preserve our health.
It is all for ourself.
People are running scared.
Just like they haven’t cared.

Some turn to the booze.
This isn’t what I choose.
Which is the way?
Certainly there’s a new day.

Chorus

We’re all in survival mode.
We carry big load.
We’re all in survival mode.
We carry big load.

Arguments and tempers flare.
This I don’t wish to bear.
There’s no point to this.
Better avoid and miss.

We live within our cave.
Wishing only to save.
Our egos cause problems.
With pride we wear our emblems.

Chorus

We’re all in survival mode.
We carry big load.
We’re all in survival mode.
We carry big load.

We make shady deals.
so we can eat our meals.
We keep up the front.
In our power hunt.

Have faith in one another.
We’re brother and sister.
Fight through the pain.
We’re all the same.

Words and Music by Jim Guittard 2007

Published under Lifesend this post
2013 20 Jul

Over the last fifteen years, I’ve recorded quite a few Byrds covers.  The first Byrds album that I bought was their third album entitled “Fifth Dimension” which was released in July 1966.  The 1996 Columbia reissue has a few extra bonus tracks.  The interview track is one of my favorites.  I still feel quite attached to this album.

I’ve recorded several tracks from the 5D album (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ) .  Mr. Tambourine album (6 and 9).  Younger Than Yesterday (8).  And Sweetheart of the Rodeo (7).

1. 5D (Jim)

  • Jim Guittard – electric bass, guitar, lead guitar, organ, vocals

2. What’s Happening?!? (The Ragas)

  • Henry McGuinn – lead guitar, vocals
  • Jim Guittard – guitar

3. Eight Miles High (The Ragas)

  • Henry McGuinn – 12-String acoustic lead guitar, vocals
  • Jim Guittard – acoustic guitar, vocals

4. Eight Miles High (Jim)

  • Jim Guittard – guitar, vocals

5. Captain Soul (Jim)

  • Jim Guittard – drums, electric bass, electric guitar, guitar, hand claps

6. Mr. Tambourine Man (The Ragas)

  • Henry McGuinn – lead guitar, vocals
  • Jim Guittard – guitar, vocals

7. You Ain’t Going Nowhere (The Ragas)

  • Henry McGuinn – lead acoustic guitar, vocals
  • Jim Guittard – acoustic guitar, vocals

8. Thoughts and Words (Jim)

  • Jim Guittard – acoustic guitar, backwards guitar, vocals

9. Spanish Harlem Incident (Jim)

  • Jim Guittard – electric bass, electric guitar, drum machine, vocals
  • Katia Guittard – voice
Published under Musicsend this post
2013 28 May

 

I recorded this one back on February 26, 2004 to be exact on my 4-track Tascam machine. I was dog/house sitting for Steven Collins (founder of Deadman) at his pad and he let me use his instruments to record and obviously I wanted to rise to the occasion that came knocking. I used his Rhodes keyboard to get a nice 60s vibe. The piece has not been revealed to the public until now as the song had been buried among the “Guittard Tapes” for almost 10 years.

Wake up, my brother!

Is it real or fake?
The world’s life’s at stake.
We watch the television.
And all can say could this be?

Wake up, my brother.
The time is now.
Wake up, my brother.
The time is now.
Wake up, my brother.
The time is now.
We’re gonna die!

Why all of these things?
We just need our wings.
We work to the max.
As if we’re on the right tracks.

Wake up, my brother.
The time is now.
Wake up, my brother.
The time is now.
Wake up, my brother.
The time is now.
We’re gonna die!

We’re all too busy.
In our own worlds of me.
Take time to say a prayer.
That we all might become aware.

Wake up, my brother.
The time is now.
Wake up, my brother.
The time is now.
Wake up, my brother.
The time is now.
We’re gonna die!

Words and Lyrics by Jim Guittard 2013

Wake Up, My Brother

Published under Musicsend this post
2013 2 May

Covers by Jim Guittard and Friends

I’m releasing these songs because I thought, “why not?”

The time period the songs were recorded is from 1994-2002 and in various cities: Dallas, Los Angeles, Austin, and Gunnison (Colorado).

It was in college in Gunnison, Colorado at Western State College that I started recording music on my Tascam 4-Track machine. In 1993, at that point, I hadn’t really started to write any of my own songs. Initially, I would make up different lyrics to songs I knew. I had read that that was what John Lennon did when he started out. He had some gig with the Quarrymen at a church and didn’t have any songs of his own so he improvised words to the Del Vikings “Come Go With Me.”

The tunes for my covers album are:

01. Captain Soul – (The original tune is an instrumental on the Byrds 5D album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Lead and rhythm guitar, drums, bass, and hand claps.  Recorded in Los Angeles around 2001.

02. Cars Hiss By My Window – (The original is a Doors song off L.A. Woman album complete with scat singing ala Morrison style.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals, lead and rhythm guitars.  Recorded in Gunnison, Colorado around 1994.

03. Eight Miles High – (The original is a Byrds tune off the 5D album again. It does not have the Coltrane type 12-string lead Rickenbacker.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Lead and background vocals, and guitars.  Recorded in Los Angeles around 2001-2.

04. Get Back – (Beatles tune on the “Let It Be” album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals, lead and rhythm guitar.  Recorded in Dallas or Gunnison, Colorado around 1994.

05. Hare Krshna Mantra – (This is an obscure George Harrison tune that he did with the Hare Krishnas for an album.

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals, keyboard, acoustic guitar, and percussion.  Recorded in Dallas around 1997 or so.

06. Inner Light – (This originally was a George Harrison tune B-side to Lady Madonna.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Lead and background vocals, lead guitar, drone keyboard.  Recorded in Dallas, Texas around 1997.

07. Mr. Tambourine Man – (Originally this was a Bob Dylan tune but Henry McGuinn and I did it in our duo the Ragas. We did it more like the Byrds version.)

Personnel: Henry McGuinn – Lead Vocals and lead acoustic guitar; Jim Guittard – Background vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar.  It was recorded in 2000 in Los Angeles.

08. You Ain’t Going Nowhere – (This was originally a Bob Dylan tune which was on the Basement Tapes sessions with the Band but here is the Ragas covering it based up the Byrds cover off the Sweetheart of the Rodeo album.)

Personnel: Henry McGuinn – Lead Vocals and lead acoustic guitar; Jim Guittard – Background vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar.  It was recorded in 2000 in Los Angeles.

09. No Reply – (This was based off the Beatles tune on the Beatles for Sale/Beatles ’65 albums.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals: lead and background, two rhythm guitars.  It was recorded in Gunnison, Colorado.

10 Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – (Here the song is based off the Beatles original from the Rubber Soul album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals:  lead and background, rhythm guitar, and sitar.  Song was recorded in Dallas, Texas around 1997.

11. Sun King – (The original is from the Beatles Abbey Road album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals:  lead and background, lead and rhythm guitars.  It was recorded in Gunnison, Colorado in 1994.

12. Thoughts and Words – (This original is a Chris Hillman psychedelic tune from the Byrds’ album Younger Than Yesterday.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals:  lead and background, lead and rhythm guitars.  It was recorded in Los Angeles in 2001.

13. Ticket To Ride – (The Original is from the Beatles Help! album.)

Personnel:  Bob Guittard – Lead Vocals, lead guitar.  Graham Cathy – Drums.  Jim Guittard – background vocals, rhythm guitar, and bass.  Song was recorded in Dallas in 1995.

14. Eight Miles High – (This is the Ragas version of the Byrds original from the 5D album.)

Personnel: Henry McGuinn – Lead Vocals and lead acoustic guitar; Jim Guittard – Background vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar.  It was recorded in 2000 in Los Angeles.

15. Norwegian Wood (This Byrd Has Flown) – (The Ragas version of the Beatles tune.)

Personnel: Henry McGuinn – Lead Vocals and lead acoustic guitar; Jim Guittard – Background vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, and percussion.  It was recorded in 2000 in Dallas, Texas.

16. Nobody’s Fault But My Own – (The original is a Beck tune off his 1999 album Mutations. The cover version was sent as a demo take for Jim to enter the Musicians Institute music school in Los Angeles,)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals:  lead and background, sitar, and 12-string acoustic guitar.  Song was recorded in Dallas, Texas in 1999.

17. Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle – (This original is a Nirvana tune off the In Utero album.)

Personnel:  Jim Guittard – Vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, wah pedal and effects.  The cover version was recorded in Gunnison, Colorado in the dorms at Western State College.

Published under Musicsend this post
2012 26 Aug

This group of songs collected dust for almost a decade. In 2012, I resurrected and mixed the songs from the misplaced 4-Track Tapes I had in storage boxes in Dallas, Texas since 2006 when I went into the Peace Corps in Bulgaria.

The tunes were all recorded in Los Angeles, California during the period 1999-2003.  At that time, I was working on songs for my California Daze album. The songs I include on the Guittard Tapes were never released until now. You will find some alternate takes or early versions for a few California Daze songs: Beach and Jazz Tune.

Back then I was listening to the Byrds quite heavily and therefore many of the tunes are intentionally jangly with Rickenbacker sounds. I played the drums, bass, and even a sitar on the first track which was recorded 3 Weeks After 9-11. Other instruments I played were a 12 String Guild acoustic guitar, Fender Telecaster B-Bender, Dr. Groove Drum Machine, and various keyboards and percussion.

Notice also that there is a song called Election 2000 which is about the Bush/Gore Election.

Here is the track list:
1. 3 Weeks After 03:36
2. Aliens 03:57
3. Ordinary Guy 03:44
4. Getting There Is Not So Easy 03:15
5. Jingle Jangle Instrumental 02:44
6. Batman 02:12
7. Jazz Tune 2000 Demo 02:30
8. Beach Original 02:06
9. Station 03:02
10. Election 2000 02:00
11. Jangly Instrumental 04:09
12. Psychedelic Consciousness 03:13
13. Walkie-Talkie Experiment 02:59
14. Are You Up Instrumental 02:48
15. More Jangle 02:21
16. Tremolo Instrumental 01:20

The sheet music for Jazz Tune (track #7) that I wrote while attending the Musicians Institute during this period.

It’s DIY project. Enjoy!

Jim Guittard

Published under Musicsend this post
2011 11 Dec

RAGA by More Jim Guittard

The main idea about this one was the tambura app sound from my android phone. On the electric guitar, I tuned the low E String to D and the A String to G. I like droney stuff. And then I added the tambourine and a homemade shaker of a can taped up with rice. Works well. I learned this from a Russian friend. Maybe I’ll add the sitar to it later.

Smoothie Instrumental by More Jim Guittard

In this one I think the coolest part is the jazzy keyboard with reverb and echo. I know there is a song where the keyboard sounds similar but I can’t remember what it is. I’ll try to figure it out and post it too. Then there is repetitive guitar with a phaser effect I believe.

Occupy Monotony by More Jim Guittard

I’ve posted about this one before but it is an instrumental too so I’m posting again. The mood is repetitive but driving forward. The inspiration is all the occupiers getting slammed to the ground by NYPD cops who are paid off by Chase Manhattan Bank. True story. Chase Bank gave like $4.6 million to NYPD shortly before all the arrests went down.

Lo-Fi Instrumental by More Jim Guittard

Everything’s Fine by More Jim Guittard

Droney echoey depressive instrumental with tabla, echoey guitars, keyboard, and harmonium.

Bee Psychedelic by More Jim Guittard

Another instrumental with bee effect.

The last few months have been very rough but this is what I’ve done.

Published under Musicsend this post
2011 6 Dec

Ever feel like your life is going in circles or that it is too monotonous or repetitive? Well, it may sound like this song. I tried to come up with something that expressed that feeling and here it is. It was recorded with a 330 Rickenbacker six string electric guitar, a Casio WK-500 keyboard, shaker and tambourine. Thanks for listening.

Download here:  http://www.archive.org/details/Monotony


(picture from http://www.motifake.com)

Published under Musicsend this post
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