Back to Track 4

The last time we talked about Track 4, we had a pretty rough cut, and an incomplete song.  It started with metal, then went into bluegrass, then…well then it just stopped.  Here it is again… for science.

With some possible lyrics in mind, I have now completed what I think is the first draft of the complete song.

To recap, this song immediately follows the song where Abram kills his wife.  At this point, he really loses track of reality, and decides to murder his children as well.  It’s a timeless and classic story really…

Anyhow, the song goes back and forth between intense electric guitars and melodic bluegrass.  (I even tried to sneak in a metal riff at 1:39…I’ll have to mix that much better though). The ending sequence is heavy on the guitars, and climaxes with a barrage of repeated guitar chugs.

Because Abram thinks that the lord wants him to be doing these things, the lyrics “I AM GOD’S HAND” come to mind for the ending… I’ll see if I can work them in there.

It’s still pretty barren (and yes, rough), but that’s what you get with only one instrument.  I’m just a rhythm guitarist, so it won’t sound flashy until more tracks are layered onto it.

Let me know your thoughts, and I’ll try to write lyrics over the weekend.  Hell, I might even try to sing a draft! …let’s see if I can still scream.

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We need a logo

When forming any kind of band, perhaps the most important discussion item is the band name.  It needs to be grabbing, unique, and it needs to reflect your style.  Will it have humor? Elegance? Will it be fearsome? Will it contain any English words at all?

These are all critical questions that usually result in shouting matches between band members.

Lucky for us, the band name was the first thing decided in this project. Thank god.  This is quite rare though, and is usually the product of some ridiculous, drunken conversation.  “Oh man, you know what would be an awesome band name?!”  No, I don’t, please shut up.  But even if it is good, you’ll probably just forget it the next day.

I must say, however, that this idea is pretty good so far. It has progressed much further than any of my other ideas, including a grindcore band called Chester Copperpot, where we frequently feature samples from The Goonies and other 80’s movie classics.  Maybe that will be my next project

Track 3: Bullet Holes the Size of Matzo Balls

After the band name, of course, comes the band logo.  There is a lot in a name, but how you choose to present it in a logo is extremely important.  I mean, how do you make band names such as See You Next Tuesday, or The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza seem metal if you don’t make it look metal?  You can’t.

One of my favorite styles of band logo is the undecipherable metal writing.  Here’s one example:

what?

There might be letters in there somewhere… The ludicrousness of the illegibility of band logos is the focus of one of my favorite contests: The Completely Unreadable Band Logo of the Week at Metalsucks.net.  Every week they feature a new band logo.  If you identify it, you win a prize.  Check it out just to see just how crazy some of the logos can get.  Here’s another example for you:

“Owen Hart” …pretty rad, actually

That said, what kind of logo should Blood and Banjos have?  Metal, or bluegrass??  A hybrid would probably make the most sense.  Something to capture the essence of both genres.  I’m no artist though, which is why I brought this up with my friend Eric.

Eric is a great artist and has graciously offered to help out.  Check out some of his work here.  I love this one below:

i would skate the shit out of this deck

He said he’d work on a few sketches and send them my way soon. I’ll share them when I get them, stay tuned!

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The Brooklyn Sessions

Recently, I was able to play with Patrick and Dan in person, which has a huge advantage over sending files back and forth through the tubes.

In Brooklyn, we played guitar and banjo and worked out some of the progressions and banjo parts. We didn’t work out any metal sections, unfortunately, as we only had acoustic instruments at the time.  That will come…

Anyhow, I took a few video clips with my computer (awesome quality) and spent a few minutes editing it.

As you’ll see, we still have a few kinks to work out, but there’s nothing like playing together in the same location. This is definitely a milestone. Enjoy!

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The Return

No need to worry, I’m back.  I’m ready to continue the B&B saga, and I hope you are too.

Now, where were we?  I think it’s pretty clear that we still need much music written, and that is my main focus right now.  We have some material for tracks 3, 4, 6, and 7, but that’s not even half!

The other day I played around with a couple of licks, and combined it with a more folky progression at the end.  Definitely needs to be matured and ironed out (especially around 1:10) but it’s a starting point.  Have a listen:

Has a bit of an upbeat feel to it (not so black metal), so I think it will go well in the early portion of the album, probably track 2.  This is when the Devil visits Abram, and before things get too dark.

Also, I think I need another bluegrass progression before the electric guitar kicks in. We’ll see where I can take this!

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Prior Art 6: Cover Bands (B)

This post is part of my 3 week series that explores previous examples of blending of bluegrass and metal music.
I will be back in action June 13.


Apparently, turning metal songs into bluegrass covers is even more popular than we thought.  There exists yet another group that does this with expert ease, Hayseed Dixie.  

Here they are covering an old Motörhead song, and doing it well!

Last but not least, we have the well named group Unclefucker.  This was quite the find, in fact I’m still giddy about it.  For once, we have a metal cover of a bluegrass song, and it’s amazing.

Remember “Man of Constant Sorrow” from Oh Brother, Where Art though.  Yeah, this is way better.

So awesome…  Sadly this band isn’t around anymore, but they might’ve been the best integration of extreme music and bluegrass to date.

So there you have it, the most complete investigation of prior art that I could muster.  The bar is set pretty high, but I think I’m up to the challenge!

Prior Art 5: Something Different

This post is part of my 3 week series that explores previous examples of blending of bluegrass and metal music.
I will be back in action June 13.


So far we’ve seen plenty of bluegrass inspired metal, and metal inspired bluegrass.  But what about the folk music of other countries? Hard music has a way of influencing other musical styles, and the results can be amazing.

One such example is the very successful group, Rodrigo y Gabriela.  The Mexican guitar duo plays a blend of musical styles that might be described as “metal influenced flamenco.”  I happen to be a big fan.

Hints of metal music also find their way into traditional Japanese music.  Here is a video of two musicians rocking out on some shamisens (again, found via No Clean Singing.)

Not that I don’t respect this for what it is, but just imagine some bass, drums, and screaming vocals added to the mix…