Monday, December 16, 2013

The Mysterious Origins of Nola Blues video

Here is a video I made to demonstrate my post on the Secret, Mysterious Origins of Nola Blues.
You can hear these songs on PWCarr Music.

View this video on Screencast

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Secret, Mysterious Origins of Nola Blues

If you have ever heard "Nola Blues", you know that it is an acoustic guitar based Delta blues song.  Did you know it actually started out as a song played only on keyboards?

I wrote a whimsical keyboard instrumental called "Traffic Light" that was so-named because it reminded me of the sights and sounds you might experience while stopped at city traffic light.  It was recorded in Ableton Live, and has only five tracks - drums, bass, and three piano tracks - all played on midi instruments using my Alesis QS 8.1 keyboard as the midi controller.

However, I am a die-hard blues lover, so I took the bass and drum tracks from "Traffic Light", added a few bars to the verses, and started playing some guitar blues over them.  I added a lead guitar part and a harmonica solo in the bridge, and "Nola Blues" was born.

Several people have commented that they really like the slide playing in "Nola Blues".  I take that as a compliment, because there is no slide guitar.  There is just one rhythm guitar and one lead guitar that is duplicated and delayed slightly to add a little fullness.

But here is another little secret.  The rhythm guitar, played on my mahogany Guild D-25, is done in a tuning that probably few people in the universe have ever dreamed of.  It is so rare, I don't even know what it is called.  I call it a D5 tuning, and I have used it on several of my songs, including "Put Yourself In My Place" and "What's Gonna Happen".

As for the name "Nola Blues" ...
it could be a girl's name,
it could stand for No. La., as in North Louisiana blues,
or it could be N.O.L.A. for New Orleans, Louisiana, where I first started playing professionally.
You decide.

I'd be willing to bet that if you heard "Traffic Light" and "Nola Blues", you would never know that they are the same song.
Check out the clips of them on the PWCarr Music web site, and see if you can pick out the similarities and differences.

Note that you will have to stop the music player to hear the clip of "Traffic Light", then you can use the player to hear an extended clip of "Nola Blues" and the other two songs I mentioned.

Get your copy of any or all of Pat Carr's songs at the Music Store.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Recording Stuck With Chuck

When I was still working as a computer test engineer, I decided to start a music business to market my songs.  It was a logical step, since I had been playing music and writing songs for over 20 years.  After I was unceremoniously booted out the door of the computer industry due to "downsizing," I went full time into learning recording technology, music business legalities, internet promotion, and all the tools I would need to sell music online.

The first song I wanted to record was "Stuck With Chuck."  I had never been able to get a good recording of it when I was playing in a band.  I was preparing for it even when I was still working as a test engineer.  Whenever I found a song stuck in my head, I would start singing "Stuck With Chuck" so it would be stuck in my head instead.

I started by laying down a scratch drum track with a simple beat that I could use to record a basic guitar rhythm track.  Then I put a scratch vocal track on it so I would know where I was in the song while I was recording guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards.  Since it was the first song I had ever recorded at home, I was learning the technology as I went.  It was a long process, and I ended up re-recording and remixing it 41 times before it got to the point where I was pretty much satisfied with the result.  It has 16 tracks of rhythm and lead guitars, bass, drums, percussion, piano, organ, and lead and background vocals.

Along the way I learned how to make samples by recording one hit of a drum or cymbal from my Alesis drum machine, then use the samples to build a drum kit in my recording program.  It's not as easy as you might think, because you have to have just the right number of miliseconds of silence at the beginning of the sample.  But you end up with a natural sounding drum kit that you can play with a midi controller.  If you mess up, you can correct and adjust the beats visually in the midi track on the computer.  Pretty cool.

Some of my fans and listeners have told me that "Stuck With Chuck" is one of their favorite songs.  It's about a girl I was enamored with in my school days, and the lyrics are imbued with my characteristic dry wit...tongue planted firmly in cheek.

You can hear a clip of "Stuck With Chuck" on my web site and maybe grab a copy while you are there.
Check it out at

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pat Carr Music on Google Play

You can find some P.W. Carr Blues on Google Play and check out the cool cover art painting by my daughter Kelly.

She was inspired by this photo by Marcus Edwards of Sugarmill Productions.

Pat Carr

Friday, August 30, 2013

New Song - What's Gonna Happen

I have a new acoustic blues song available now on CD Baby.

Pat Carr: What

The title is "What's Gonna Happen".
It is a story I believe a lot of people can relate to in these times of economic uncertainty.
I wrote it after I lost my job and my daughter asked me, "Are we going to have to live in a box?"

Check it out on the Songs page of PWCarr Music.  It's on the Soundclick player.

While you are there, you can get a copy from my Music Store.

Pat Carr