How Does This Sound?

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All who know me know that I love to muck around with audio, remixing and fine tuning stuff… Sonicfrog and all that… Duh!!!! Here is and example of a recent recording we did at Pete Wolf’s studio. The song, California Blue, sounds good in original form. But, me, being me, decided to see what I could do if I tweaked things just a little.

Here is the original product off the CD.

DownloadCalifornia Blue (original)


Here’s what I did.

Though I DO have the original Pro Tools masters for each song, I don’t have Pro Tools, so I can’t get into each individual track – bass, guitar, snare, tom, Joannes VOX, my VOX, the recorder, etc. etc. – so I’m limited to the changes I can do. When I work with audio, I have long used Adobe Audition 1.5. Yes, I know this software is close to a decade old by now, but it works so damned well, I just can’t stop using it. Plus, the noise reduction is some of the cleanest out there.I mainly tweak the frequency responses with the 30 channel Graphic EQ filter, and add effects or take out noise with either a hiss or noise reduction tools.

I boosted the opening guitar bit. Some of the passages needed extra boosting, so I had to bring those up a bit more. That led to pockets of noise being amped too, so I made use of the noise reduction I was just talking about. See if you can spot it. The drums and bass were buried in the mix, so I brought up the low end to bring out the kick drum and bass, and tweaked some of the high’s to accentuate the snap on the snare (Chris Flores… You did a fine job on the skins for this cut). On my little bass fourish in the middle of the song, I added a chorus effect to bring that out a little.  Pete likes to bring the audio as close to peak levels as possible. I, on the other hand, like giving the music just a bit of breathing room. So I lowered the track about .63 dB’s. That is hardly anything at all, but it does make a difference.


Here is the final product.

DownloadCalifornia Blue (remastered)






PS. All the tracks were cut live, with most being the result of one take. The bass used on this track… the entire album… is a Dean Acoustic Playmate! Such a cool sounding thing!!!!


Acoustic Hgihway is:

Rick Calhoun – VOX, Guitar, Songwriter Extraordinaire!  (this is one of his songs)
Joanne Calhoun – VOX, Guitar, Shakers and Chimes and All That, Songwriter Extraordinaire!
Steve Kuykendal – VOX, Lead Guitar and More.
Nancy Kuykendal – VOX, Keys, Recorder, Again with the Shakers and Stuff.
Chris Flores – Drums and Percussion (also plays a mean guitar… we need to get him in on a few songs)
Mike Alexander – VOX, Bass, Goofy Hats (will play some keys, guitar, and mandolin in the near future).



Musicians Corner – What Were The First Songs You Learned To Play????

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On Bass… Here’s the list!

Sultains Of Swing – Dire Straights

I remember it sounded so easy, yet when I tried to play it, I just couldn’t get the timing right. Then, one day…. It just fell into place! That was the first song I knew I could play reasonably well. That was followed quickly by

Africa and Rosanna – Toto

I’m a HUGE Toto fan. The little bass slide at the end of Africa really helped me to develop that technique. I added some percussion bits to Rosanna until I realized… David Hungate never played them. But I have them in my tool shed if I need them!

Under The Milky-way – The Church

It’s just such a fun bass line. My drummer friend Dan, who would later be my drummer in my San Diego band RareForm, played this in one of his high school garage bands. It just sounded so good live, I knew I had to play it! Curiously enough… I don’t think I’ve ever played it live!!!! 🙂 Will have to do it when we play the Beachcomber on Oct 8th!


On Guitar?

Fragile – Sting

Would not have been my first choice. But since we play it in Acoustic Highway, and they showed me how to play it, it became my first song. It helped that it didn’t have any bar chords!

Last Dance w/ Mary Jane – Tom Petty

This is a classic RareForm performance piece! When Darren joined the band a year ago, he said he wanted to play the bass on this one. This was perfect, because I wanted to try my hand at playing guitar, and I’m pretty sure this is the first song I played on stage with my Taylor.

Persuasion – Tim Finn

I had always though the Richard Thompson penned Persuasion was a beautiful, under appreciated song. Long before I ever (finally) picked up the guitar, I wanted to learn this. I have only performed it once at an open mic – I wasn’t ready to do a solo gig, just me all by my lonesome. But Jim Rust, my partner in the Taylor Martin duo, got very sick and couldn’t perform that night. I decided “What The Hell!” and went on all by my self. I skipped the middle bridge because at the time I could not hit bar chords at all without crashing. It’s taken a year or more, but my bars are finally getting consistent enough to have a go at playing this song the whole way through. Here’s my post documenting this momentous occasion.

Driving Me Mad – Neil Finn

Loves my Finn Brothers!!!!! (Split Enz, Crowded House and all that) Driving Me Mad is a Neil Finn solo classic. I was surfing the web one day and stumbled on a video of him performing it on his acoustic guitar. I leaned it in three minutes! It helps that I absolutely love the song and already had it seared into my brain… AND… It doesn’t have any bar chords!!!! 🙂


Songs on the drawing table for guitar:

Is That Love – Squeeze.

Played this in my college band Out Of Hand! It would sound soooo cool on acoustic! I tried to learn it half a year ago, but it has a few bar chords, and I wasn’t up to the task. Now that my bars are getting better, I’ll have to give it another whirl.

Over My Shoulder – Mike And The Mechanics

Mike Rutherford is a HUGE influence on my bassing! This is such a wonderful song, and it’s not hard to play. But when I started learning to play it… That was about the time I found the Neil Finn song and this one got brushed aside. Need to pick it up again.

How Long – Ace

Or, I should say Paul Carrack, the man with a voice from GOD! Just last week I found a video of him doing this song on the acoustic. There are bar chords, but I think I can handle it. Note, Carrack played with both Squeeze and Mike and the Mechanics, and i think very highly of him as a musician.



My plate is so full with everything else… I haven’t had time to think about that instrument!!!!

Zep’s Battle Of Evermore……..??????

Caption This Sunday! Pt 2 “Where Have All The Millionaires Gone?”…

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He asked.



David Attenborough: “… And, like a lion in the Sarengeti, we see – how stealthfully – this magnificent creature of the wild – stalks it’s wealthy Conservative prey…”

Borrowed from: V the K.

Caption This!

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holy crap

Well… It’s about time Anthony Hopkins plays something other than Hannibal Lecter!

Barrack Obama… He’s Magical!!!!!

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    Andrew Sullivan writes:

    Obama call for Assad to step down in a way calculated not to seem like internal meddling….


    If you’re demanding that a world leader step down even if you’re absolutely right in making that demand… I’m sorry, you ARE meddling in the affairs of other countries! I mean, really! If the Russian President and the U. N. said Obama is destroying the world economy and should step down, is there anyone in the White House who would NOT consider this internal meddling.

    But… I know… Man Crush! Meep Meep, and all that.

Giving A Friend Some Help

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Error Bars!

Quote Of The Week!… “Paul Krugman is a political rookie.”

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This gem, from Obama for America (OFA) New Mexico State Director Ray Sandoval, explaining that Obama (of course) knows more about economics than Paul Krugman! Sandoval didn’t write it, but he forwarded it to supporters as a “Must Read”, defending the Presidents debt ceiling deal.

Paul Krugman is a political rookie. At least he is when compared to President Obama. That’s why he unleashed a screed as soon as word came about the debt ceiling compromise between President Obama and Congressional leaders – to, you know, avert an economic 9/11. Joining the ideologue spheres’ pure, fanatic, indomitable hysteria, Krugman declares the deal a disaster – both political and economic – of course providing no evidence for the latter, which I find curious for this Nobel winning economist. He rides the coattails of the simplistic argument that spending cuts – any spending cuts – are bad for a fragile economy, ignoring wholeheartedly his own revious cheerleading for cutting, say, defense spending. But that was back in the day – all the way back in April of this year. […]

No, the loudest screeching noise you hear coming from Krugman and the ideologue Left is, of course, Medicare. Oh, no, the President is agreeing to a Medicare trigger!!! Oh noes!!! Everybody freak out right now! But let’s look at the deal again, shall we? […]

Now let’s get to the fun part: the triggers. The more than half-a-trillion in defense and security spending cut “trigger” for the Republicans will hardly earn a mention on the Firebagger Lefty blogosphere. Hell, it’s a trigger supposedly for the Republicans, and of course, there’s always It’sNotEnough-ism to cover it.

And calling Krugman a “rookie” and suggesting Obama knows more about economics….


FAIL, but BOLD!!!!!!!

Here is a sample of how the Progressives are taking this. From the comments section:

Let’s see…. Nobel Prize Winning Economist or Nobel Peace Prize winning hypocrite and hapless putz or crafty quisling (take your pick)… I thik I’ll go with Professor Krugman, thank you.


Sandoval is full of shit. He must be hiring interns with two years of university Poli Sci under the belt or something. The point about Krugman’s not having data to back up his claim doesn’t even rise to the level of ludicrous. A high school student with a half term in macro could do the calculation on the back of an envelope.

If Obama wants to run against the Democratic party, I suppose that’s his privilege. But it is going to be a lonely convention in Charlotte, especially after B of A goes down, thanks to his masterful shepherding of the banking crisis.

And still, the Progressives are just not willing to form a “Tea Party” type political movement of their own, as I had predicted they would. I’m not sure that the Republican establishment treated the nascent Tea Party folks with such disdain!

Hat Tip: Insta-P

Obama… Has He Finally Jumped The Shark???

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Great News Everyone!!!!

After weeks of criticism by Republicans and some Democrats for not unveiling a specific deficit-reduction plan, as well as initiatives to boost the economy, President Obama is set to deliver a major speech after Labor Day introducing both. According to a senior administration official, the economic measures will be a mix of tax cuts, infrastructure ideas, and ways to help the long-term unemployed, all of which have enjoyed bipartisan support in the past. As for deficit reduction, the senior administration official tells First Read that the president will offer a detailed plan — based upon the deal he was trying to reach with Speaker John Boehner — that will go beyond the $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction that the “Super Committee” is mandated to find (in order to cover the cost of that economic stimulus).

Jeebus H Christ!!!! Don’t you think this would have been more timely maybe FIVE MONTHS AGO?????? And it’s SOOOO important, he’s waiting until September… Because, after all, it’s not like there is any need or urgency to get the economy moving sooner than that! Talk about leading from behind!!!!!

Instead, you went on A [political] BUS TOUR?

Oh, but maybe this whole bus tour thing was one of the bits of “bad luck” that has also prevented him from getting the job done!

I would say President Obama is a modern day Herbert Hoover… But that would be unfair to Herbert Hoover.

Andrew Sullivan – The Rose Colored Glasses Conundrum… Or, The Man-Crush That Just Won’t Die!

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Sullivan writes:


I rather glibly wrote recently that one reason president Obama has not opened a can of rhetorical whup-ass on those actually seeking the default of the US Treasury, is that he wants to avoid the “angry black man” trope. Once he is defined as that, the GOP needs nothing more to use the race card silently against him. That’s why they keep arguing that the president who killed bin Laden, prevented a Second Great Depression and achieved universal healthcare in his first term is somehow another Jimmy Carter.

But of course he isn’t. And of course he understands the political dynamic out there. He just knows that the one thing the far right wants – and needs – to do is get into a fight with him, elevating them, dimnishing him, and alienating the middle of the American electorate. His approach is the classic civil rights movement approach with a black leader addressing a largely white electorate: non-violence, reasoned argument …

If you have to see President Obama through the prism of  the civil rights movement in order to see him as a success??? You have a huge problem.

(A)    Many, maybe most of the current crop of voters never experienced the civil rights movement first hand. They may have encountered bits of clear racism in their lives, but for many, those were but tiny sparks compared to the all out raging flames of civil unrest and violence experience in the full fires of racism during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. It’s impossible for so many of us to relate to it because we didn’t live through it. Even if you did live through it, your perception of it depends on your point of view. Example –  I grew up in the 70’s, smack dab in the middle of the Cold War. Yet,  my generation as a rule did not perceive the Soviets as a threat the way the previous generation just ten years older did.  Yes, we thought they were dangerous, but, because we didn’t live through the Cuban Missile Crisis, and never had to hide under out desks for a nuclear  bomb drill, we simply did not grow up with the same abject fears as our older brothers and fathers.  We related to Brezhnev more as a joke on a Saturday Night Live skit than we did as an evil ominous world leader…. And our generation is better off for it.

More important


(B)     When you have to put on any lenses in order to perceive a leader as a success, you’ve got problems…. Because most of us don’t wear that odd prescription of corrective lenses, and the lenses we do wear, will never distort the world enough to paint President Obama as a phenomenal success the way that Andrew Sullivan HAS to see him as [Meep Meep].

Now, of course, I could be wrong and history could judge Obama to be a much better President than I give him credit for. However, history is not kind to weak Presidents, even if they get some good things accomplished. Carter, after all did get the Camp David Accords done on his watch and did actually deregulate more Federal programs than Reagan did. But I don’t see Carters star rising to anything other than “Better ex-President than President” status, which, by the way, seems to be the trajectory of Obama Predicessor-In Chief G. W. Bush.

And there’s a maybe unintentional funny ending to the Sullivan post. After posting a comment from another site exclaiming how wonderful Obama is and how…

“Obama is winning. Democrats are uniting behind him, although some white progressives think that they could do the job better. Independents are flocking to him.”

Sullivan ends saying this:

Let the Dish say Amen.

OK. First, President Obama has just this week-end hit an all time low in his polling numbers – 39 percent! So the voter are definitely NOT flocking to him… And, in the face of reality, that he’s losing support from Democrats themselves, one does have to be religious about this President to think otherwise…. Which is ironic, because Sullivan takes great pains to criticize the religious fervor that has gripped the base of the GOP!

It’s past time for him to look in the mirror.

PS…. And…. Meme Alert!

Obama has taken a seat at the negotiating table and said “There is no reason why we cannot work out solutions to our problems by acting like responsible adults.

The “Adults In The Room” one is alive and well!

Detached Hands In The News! UPDATE

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First, from Ann Althouse, documenting an attack on her by a riled-up protester:

He talks to the attacker just before the attacker yells “You’re socially retarded” and attacks me. The attack is at 3:58, off camera. Meade yells “hey” a few times and gets the incident framed. At 4:00, you see Chris [Althouse] detaching that man’s hands from me.

Then, this:

A family dog in Mission brought home a severed human hand…

Sgt. Jody Tittle said police were called to a residence around 8:25 a.m. on reports that the family’s black Labrador retriever had the hand in its mouth.

Jeez.. Remind me not to mess with Ann Althouse and the gang. They’re brutal!!!! 🙂