Death In His Grave

john_mark_mcmillan

Ninety percent of my playing out these days happens on a Sunday morning. And even though I’ve been doing it for years, I’m still learning how it’s done. Up-and-at-’em early on a well-appointed stage, it’s a strange gig filled with its own expectations and frustrations, triumphs and trainwrecks, blessings and curses. In other words, just like any other scene. But a lot more sober-er.

Last year I was asked to do this song for Tenebrae, easily the gothiest night of the Christian calender. You might know it as Good Friday, the night of Christ’s crucifixion.  Our service starts in a near-silent sanctuary, lit only be a few candles, blown out one by one as our meditations merge with the recounted Stations of the Cross. A little macabre, and much more effective than that Mel Gibson flick.

At the time, I recorded some scratch tracks to feel out the tune and practice it up. A year later, the same request arose again, so I found the old files to remind myself of my first take on the music. Not able to leave well enough alone, I started adding a few more things: sampled Feist for the drums, put a little Xmas in the bridge, and came up with a smeary organ sound by layering a warbly tape-delay on the old guitars.

In the end, I found it worth a second listen. I hope you do too.

 

 

play here: my take on Death In His Grave

download link: mp3 @320

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