Tuesday, April 26, 2011

“The Dead Will Hear” / “There’s A Woman”

“The Dead Will Hear” / “There’s A Woman”

October 18, 2010 at 6:54 pm


Here is a very different version of “There’s A Woman” done live in 1987.  What strikes you right off is that we used an ‘a capella’ fragment of another song, “The Dead Will Hear”, to introduce it.  This was done for a Christmas concert and we would use that song again more extensively for a Christmas concert at the Sons of Mary in the 90’s.  This was one of the very first songs I wrote in the 70’s, and I include the full lyrics on this ReverbNation post.  As a teen, I was excited about discovering the strong Biblical and patristic basis for the way the Church has always presented Mary’s role.  Reading the early fathers gave me a feel for how much a part of the birth of the Church Mary was, and how she has continued to be the spiritual mother Christ offered us from the Cross.  This fits perfectly with “There’s A Woman”, of course!

The recording isn’t the best but I say it’s worth posting for its uniqueness.  (The bass tom is overdriven near the beginning, but, hey, this is live, isn’t it?  They fixed it about 10 seconds in.)  It sounds like we were using the Roland Jazz Chorus amp to amplify the 12-string along with using a direct microphone.  This version is unusual in that you can make out some of Mike’s stylings on keyboard.  Dave’s fantastic and familiar, hooky bass line and Greg’s regular part and my 12-string carry the thing through with enough familiarity, despite all the variations.

The vocal arrangements are very different; we seemed to be lacking a second female voice for this and we adjusted, I guess.  I was holding the ending notes during the bridge part for some reason instead of joining in the lyrics with Denise and Dave like we do on the multi-track version [ here is the link:  http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/song_details/4776854 ] and the “O Maria” part has a lower instead of an upper harmony.  Most notably, Denise takes off riffing on “O Maria” near the end and I started responding back with ad-libs; I kind of like the idea of ad-libbing live like that.  Of course, for the coda (“Woman, there is your child…”) Pepi and Jim have the echo effects jacked up to maximum effect, which is easy enough when you’re laying down recording tracks, but tricky to do live!  Good job!

Denise has commented several times the last few years that she really misses singing, meaning how we all used to blend and bounce off of each other.  She really has been an indispensable part of the ‘LW sound’ and I think all of us are eternally grateful for her great gift, not to mention her wonderful caring and personality.  Maybe we’re all just going to have to get together real soon and do some more performing together again!

Denise Vassel thanks Mark!
October 19, 2010 at 11:59 am