Charcoal Soul

by Brad Peterson

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about

Charcoal Soul: all instruments and production, written and performed by Brad Peterson in the garden shed, spring of 2020.

Notes: Brad Peterson releases his new recording for spring 2020. Brad describes the song's inspiration as such:

"I spend quite a bit of time in my shed; it's very quiet here. So quiet that the tiniest of sound seems especially conspicuous: the sound of birds, an aeroplane, or the hissing of an amplifier at the ready. There's a sort of music to it -all hushed within my deadened burlap walls. As an engineer, I'm normally compelled to squelch these uninvited sonic contributors whilst I record and mix my songs, but for this experiment I asked: why not invite it in? And why not capture the sound of the homely shed as it is?

This song began as humble mellotron organ chords through various filters and modulation effects and an early 70s dry drum kit. Instead of suppressing the hiss in the signal path, I chose to accentuate it. I improvised a melody and some chord changes as the words "Charcoal Soul" just came out. It's a sort of ode to the songs that could be heard emanating from neighborhood teenage kids' bedrooms in my childhood. I suppose there's a juxtaposition of idyllic memory backdropping a more cynical lyrical commentary about how time has slightly embittered the sweetness. It's mostly a temperate arrangement except for when the comparatively lush backing vocals kick in; it was a lot of fun to record. With my ever-developing production skills, I'm able to Frankenstein almost any instrument and arrangement at this point ...at varying levels of ability."

I can imagine listening to this song as a six-year old, sprawled out on shag carpeting and staring at an album cover with the smell of patchouli incense"

lyrics

I promise to tell you
if I should stop believing
you move and dance
with slight of hand
that grabs and then retrieves me
but not without a heavy toll
when did we get so old
how do I have a big black charcoal soul
it's been a while
can't remember when we've last smiled
we seldom speak
and when we try
a magnificent lie
not without a heavy toll
when did we get so old
how did I get a big black
When did I get the big black charcoal soul
on this quiet night
in this dim light...
I promise to tell you
if I should stop believing
you move and dance
with slight of hand
to grab and then retrieve me
but not without a heavy toll
when did we get so old
how did I get a big black charcoal soul
when did we get so old
how did I get a big black charcoal soul

credits

released June 5, 2020
Brad Peterson

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Brad Peterson Chicago, Illinois

The word ‘maverick’ gets thrown around a lot; politicians, cowboys, designers and others have all been labeled as such when a soul sets itself apart from the mean in order to find out what is truly possible. Singer/songwriter Brad Peterson exemplifies the ethos of the independent, intrepid musician better than almost anyone. ... more

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