You better believe it is not easy.
We don’t necessarily go out of our way to pick hard songs. That isn’t it. Nothing is wrong with simple, such as the basic staple 3-chord song. Simple is solid. Simple is durable.
But the ear. Our ears tingle at the way particular songs deliver a recipe. In some cases, the song is simple. But for most part, they have an elegance to them. Elegance is not simple. Elegance is not about opulence. Elegance is not about complexity. Elegance is not out to impress. Elegance just is.
And when such a song delivers that caliber of musicianship to move me without the mission to impress, then that HITS the SPOT. I can say that being able to experience music this way is a form of being honored with a gift. It is only right to do the song honor back. And that is what we always try to do.
The covers we newly learned seemed simple. They flowed like syrup to my ears. But doing them justice was not. And we are not a band with a full catalogue of equipment. Doing the song as a replication cover is not in our capacity nor is it our intention to only replicate. To do the song honor, we try to contribute a translation of how understood the song’s vibe. As She Sang stated, ideas flow from serious to ridiculous, from funny to serious, from genius to idiotic, and more… The chaff is plenty, the harvested grain but a handful. Hopefully, through all the screening, the selected ideas are solid and offer another angle to appreciate the song.
As a duo, we have also slowly grown. Many thanks go to our supportive friends who we have had the fortune of knowing. Starting simply with acoustic guitar and piano keys, the sound ever so slowly rolled into a new phase. Speaking for myself, I started with but one guitar. That worked fine for a time. Later, to deliver a particular set of songs with a deeper end, I had another guitar at the ready with an altered tuning. This worked for quite a while. Then came the inevitable. Some songs we cover and some songs we wrote could not be delivered as well as we could unless the soundscape flexed.
This is where my still evolving relationship with efx pedals developed to respond to the musical need. first it was a wah ( a junior Wah, in fact). It still is my main go-to. The very odd pairing of an acoustic guitar and a wah just widened my guitar’s sound spectrum by one dimension. Next came the drive. The search for that growl and that grit resulted in a modified blues driver. I think I am still figuring it out. I can’t say i found what I wanted yet. But I am closer than before… Anyways, to continue… new kid on the pedal block is the delay pedal (double deca). This one i am real satisfied with (so far). I got the longish delay and a spacious reverb.
And being able to play with these pedals not only widened my guitar playing by a couple of dimensions, In perfect complementary form, Alma also is expanding her range of keyboard sounds as well! The singing of ours, also changed with the discovered soundscapes. We evolved. We still are evolving.
For two people, I definitely think we deliver a sound of more than two. Final element in our present setup that allowed us to rock with a bigger punch is our cajon (we named it Bugbog! how appropos). with a double lefty kick pedal and a kick mic, Bugbog now undergirds our songs with a solid reliable beat.
I guess I couldn’t foresee it then, but our motto “We Rock You Long Time” has taken on new meaning, and shall undoubtedly continue to do so. We are He Sang She Sang.
– He Sang