Photo by Caleb Barnhart

Monday, March 1, 2010

Other People's Songs: Round Here

When August and Everything After came out, it changed how I wrote music; That's not an overstatement. No artist has influenced me more in my writing than Adam Duritz. When I was first writing songs, I blatantly stole from him. I would try to be subtle about it, but there were always specific lines in my songs or certain turns of phrase that would totally have been borrowed from one of their songs or were obviously in their style. Gradually, I found my own writing voice, but my affection for that record has never left me.
Round Here is a particular favorite. The song is beautiful and it rips my heart out even all these years later. One of the things I love about it is that it became a hit and yet it doesn't fit with the rules of radio. It's well over the 3:30 mark of most radio songs, and the song structure defies the rhyme and meter expectation. That's one of the things I love about Duritz's lyrics, they run more like poetry than rocks songs and yet they still work. Add his tendency towards the melancholy and you can see why I count him as such a big influence; The first is something I strive for and the second is something I come by naturally and have hard time overcoming.
Round Here was one of the first covers Three Mile Limit learned when we started busking on Church St. There is no amplification allowed when one busks, so it is necessary to find songs that are popular and that fall in a good vocal range to really carry and get noticed. I have a naturally loud voice and this song allows me to really let loose. It proved to be one of our most popular songs and one that always drew a good crowd and made us pretty good money.
This version was recorded at The Bee's Knees in Morrisville, VT on August 14, 2005. I played a bunch of shows up the East Coast that month in support of Moving Day. At the Vermont gigs I was joined by my good friend, Lyle King, a fantastic Singer-Songwriter in his own right. Lyle was gracious enough to play lead guitar and sing background vocals for me. This recording suffers from a great deal of crowd noise, a common problem for most musicians unfortunately, but I like the version anyway.
Round Here

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