JH Recordings

JH is: One-Take Bartlet, Volume IV

James Hearne

As ever, February brings FAWM, in which the songwriter attempts to write 14 songs in a month. Personal best this year: 7*. Also as ever, I blame the president. I've also appended two more songs written after last year's OTB but before February. I cheat. Deal with it.

Like the previous OTBs, these are all first-take recordings, tho in a break from tradition, I actually recorded them with a real (if cheap) microphone into a real (if odd and kind of slapdash) recording interface, and did things like "boost the volume" and "add reverb" in "post." It's possible that I avoided bulldog snoring in the background this time... it's also possible that I did not. Like every year, some of these songs may be new constants in the set lists, and some may never be heard from again.

*well, 6.5: I kept the chorus and bridge of Kentucky Straight from a few years ago and just rewrote the verses, because the old ones were...not very good. Which isn't necessarily to imply that the new ones are better.
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JH is: One-Take Bartlet, Volume II

James Hearne

So I only wrote four songs this year for FAWM (the goal is 14), which is a little lame. I blame the President. But, as a show of my esteem for you, the listener, I'm appending five more tunes that I wrote over the course of last year AFTER February, all recorded in the same scratchy home recording kind of way.

These are all first take recordings (full disclosure: I DID multi-track Today Is Today, because it would have taken me HOURS to nail it live. I'll practice, I promise), so all miscues, swallowed words, dog toenails clicking, and other odd sounds are part of the "fun." Some of these may become beloved members of the canon, others may be stripped for parts and sold on the black market. Time will tell...
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JH is: One-Take Bartlet, Volume III

James Hearne

Only got 6 songs done for FAWM (as ever, the goal is 14) this year, AND I was super disorganized, hence this collection is about two months late, HOWEVER: in those two months, I wrote (or finished) three more tunes, and appended one more that was written mid-last year. So my inability to accomplish really anything in a timely fashion ends up benefitting you (if, as I'm implying, more new music from me is a net benefit to you, which: your mileage may vary).

As before, these are all first-take recordings, straight to Garage Band on my iPhone, so any muffed chords/dropped lyrics/curious melodic choices/background noise is, if not intentional, at least knowingly baked into the pie. Some of these songs have already found their way into my repertoire, some will never be spoken of again. 'Twas ever thus...
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JH is: One-Take Bartlet, Volume I

James Hearne

My first attempt at the February Album Writing Month challenge (www.fawm.org). You're supposed to write fourteen songs in the month of February. I wrote... five. Almost had six, but it didn't take. More remarkably, though, I think they're actually all maybe not terrible, and I don't know that I've EVER written that many songs in a row that maybe aren't terrible. Your mileage may vary, admittedly...

These are all first take recordings, so some have decidedly incorrect chords and muffed lyrics; even in the couple weeks since I wrote them, some have already been refined or altered; some may, in time, be revealed to be much weaker than I think they are and scrapped for parts (or taken out back and shot). But maybe when #JHSophomoreRecord starts to take shape, some of these tunes will be on the list.
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Tomorrow's Clothes

James Hearne

Dating girls in New York City is difficult. Moreso when you don't live in New York City. Regardless, it's uphill both ways, particularly when you (like me) don't actually have any game to speak of. It almost worked for me once... almost: I guess drenched in post-gig sweat isn't maybe my most appealing countenance.

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This was recorded for The Way Home's excellent (if I do say myself) record, On So Thin A Line (which you should go get if you haven't: https://thewayhome.bandcamp.com), but was not released for reasons no one remembers anymore. The other ex-TWHers were kind enough to allow me to release this here.
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Strange The Way

James Hearne

Sometimes you make good choices, and sometimes you act upon those choices poorly. This is about one of those times. Another one, as my better half likes to remind me, is referring to her as a horse in this song. But I just like the rhythm of the metaphor, to say nothing of the quiet "Wag The Dog" reference. Or maybe not so quiet...
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  1. Strange The Way

Train

James Hearne

Maybe a little long for a single... but sometimes a brother just has to howl. This song has gone through a few incarnations: it began as a song about drunking bussing in college, got a lyric rewrite in the late oughts, and then an instrumental revamping maybe a couple years ago. You can thank or blame Alec Stewart (who you should really be checking out, too: https://alecstewart.bandcamp.com; check out "Gasoline" from Ipso Facto, then come back and thank me) for my more esoteric experiments with open tunings. If you've been with me awhile, you might already know this one... but this version is better. I think.
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  1. Train

Eight-State Arms

James Hearne

The great thing about touring is you get to leave your life behind. The terrible thing about touring is you have to leave your life behind. The important thing to remember about touring is your life doesn't stop while it's back home.

Or: I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller...
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  1. Eight-State Arms

JH Live Recordings

Live at Rockwood Music Hall, 6.24.2017

James Hearne

A matinee on the Lower East Side, this was a rollicking warts-and-all set played to an appreciative audience. Lots of Through Private Wars tracks, with a couple newbies and a Springsteen cover for good measure.
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Live at Sidewalk Cafe, 8.23.2015

James Hearne

This warts-and-all live recording was made on a quiet night on Avenue A. I've always loved the Sidewalk Cafe; it's been a warm, forgiving space for a lot of my acts, and this night was no different. Aside from a weird effect making my guitar sound like a 12-string, this was a nice pass through a couple rarer tunes, including one of my favorite songs I didn't write.
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Bands JH Used To Front