cloudHQ to the rescue ]

Everything SOS does to collaborate is all online.  Sure, we back up our files to our personal hard drives but the meat of it all, the main hub, is all in the cloud. 

So when we decided recently to transfer all of our files from Dropbox over to Google Drive, we found ourselves in a bit of a conundrum.  Sure, we could download our massively large folders from Dropbox as ZIP files and upload them to Google Drive, but that was taking many hours of sitting and waiting, not to mention putting a large burden on our internet speed.  Plus, half the time the ZIP files would be corrupt so we’d have to start over.

Then we found cloud HQ which syncs all of our files between Dropbox and Google Drive for us so we don’t have to use our time or resources moving everything over.  They have a paid plan or, in exchange for writing a blog post like this one, they will give you a 1-year premium subscription to move virtually anything you want.  It’s a pretty sweet business plan and we hope it brings them lots of attention.

Thanks, Cloud HQ!

-SOS

Corn, Flour, Pine Cones | Written by Cory Maples

A departure from the normal project where we’re basically remote studio musicians collaborating from afar, Jordan and Cory were actually in the same room when this was recorded.  Jordan was visiting family in East Tennessee (where Cory lives) and we got together and laid this down one night.  

We had already called it quits for the year, planning on “Dreams” being our last song… But Cory wrote this little ditty and we felt we had to make it happen.  He wrote it as a tongue-in-cheek homage to our hillbilly roots. He sang a bar of “whiskey in the morning” and the rest just came out. There’s something fun about bluegrass when the music is driving and the lyrics make you smile.

And so, without further ado, we present “Corn, Flour, Pine Cones,” a drinking song about love, booze, and good ol’ country livin’.

-Jordan and Cory

Whiskey in the morning
Whiskey ‘fore the light
Whiskey for the cold
When my baby’s gone at night

Whiskey she won’t leave me
Loyal never strays
Whiskey near my heart 
thats where she stays

Corn, Flour, Pine cones
Down on the farm
Doesn’t matter where she from 
long as she’s warm

Straight from the barrel
Never passed around
Never saw a highway
Or the lights of town

or the tailgate of jim tom’s ford with the racing stripe and 457 you broke my heart

Oh that ain’t right….

Everything is clear when you’re all liquored up…

Whiskey in the morning
Best before the dawn
Whiskey somehow better
Naked on the lawn

Whiskey right and ready
the mood never sours
Whiskey on my breathe
Keep me fresh for hours

Whiskey like old yeller never let me down
Just like my shotgun when I put her down
Whisky here’s a question
Correct me if I’m wrong
Wasn’t there a woman at the beginning of this song

Ya ba Da ba Do I miss that dog…

Vocals, Mandolin, Bass: Cory Maples
Vocals, Violin, Guitar: Jordan Woods-Robinson Vocal Consultant: Steve Maples

Mixed by: Cory at Lonely Nights Studios

Dreams
Written by Jordan Woods-Robinson
Inspired by Langston Hughes

The Winner of our “Give Inspiration to Songs On Sunday” contest has been announced! Cindy Shopper of East Tennessee submitted a poem by Langston Hughes called “Dreams” and it was chosen to be the impetus for our latest track. Cindy will receive a custom SOS tshirt for her awesome submission.

The original poem was only 2 stanzas so I wrote 2 more to round out the song. The lyrics evoke a sense of grandeur but with a fragility that should resonate with every person that reads them. The idea that dreams should be so powerful and so bold that if they’re not achieved they will affect not only the dreamer but also those around them.

The original idea was for Dreams to have a very old-school Disney vibe with lots of choral voices and flirtatious, lively instrumentation around a dreamy-eyed melody. I wrote this on piano, however, and I was not able to provide the correct feel with my non-piano-playing-fingers… What came out was more of a crooner type feel so I went with that when matching the vocals.

My piano track, while complete, was still not what you would call ‘good’ so Justin Levine, pianist extraordinaire, tickled the ivories on this one and is the artist you’ll hear on the track.

I hope you enjoy and please keep dreaming!

-Jordan

Hold onto dreams
For if dreams die
Life is like a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly
_
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow
_
So hold onto dreams
For if dreams depart
Life bears no fruit
Of the mind or of the heart
_
Believe in your dreams
For dreams really do come true
And hold on to your dreams
And let your dreams take hold of you

Vocals: Jordan Woods-Robinson
Piano: Justin Levine
Mandolin Solo: Cory Maples

Mixed by: Cory at Lonely Nights Studios

The Long Goodbye | Written by Jordan Woods-Robinson

The hauntingly beautiful female harmonies from last week’s “In Debt” inspired me to find another style that could showcase their talents.  I turned to the styles of The Dixie Chicks and The Wailin’ Jennys, who both have such intricate, subtle harmony lines that float through the song and lodge themselves in your brain.

There are many stories and songs paying homage to the boys that go off to war but we very rarely hear the point of view from the wives, mothers, and sisters that are left behind to their own battle of holding down the home front without any information from the war.

I wrote the melody and my wife, Julie, sat down and figured out the vocal arrangement. 

The song also features Cory on his brand new mandolin and his first time playing it in the studio. Yippee!

As the fog rolls down from the mountain

As the smoke climbs to the sky

Heaven hides its angels from the

Demons passing by

_

Feel the cold winds rush down the mountain

Feel the shivers down your spine

The boys are off to battle for the

Mason Dixie Line

_

Feel our love out there on the battlefield

Feel your gals are by your side

We’ll come home together and let

Day turn into night

_

Keep those muskets close to your shoulders, boys

Keep the anger in your eyes

Keep your heart and soul entwined or

Face the long goodbye

_

Oh, it’s so long to say goodbye

Lead Vocals: Julie Woods-Robinson

Background Vocals: Jenn Warren & Julie Woods-Robinson

Guitar/Violins: Jordan Woods-Robinson

Mandolin: Cory Maples

Mixed by: Cory at Lonely Nights Studios

In Debt

Written By Shannon Fayth

I wrote this song while I was living in Toronto, Ontario. For me songwriting is organic and happens as a whole. What I mean is that I sit down to write a song and I complete it in that session. Songwriting is like a purge. I sincerely believe that some people feel more intensely than others. I am one of those people. When I feel sad it resonates in my bones, and wormholes into my every thought. 

When I wrote this song I simply missed my friend who I had observed destroy herself methodically and slowly. That is why I wrote the melody and lyrics with space and pause. I wanted to give the image of a person who was failing physically and mentally. When I wrote the chorus I wanted to leave the listener with image of a proud woman with her chin up, like a ballerina,  facing the world in-spite of her debts. The debts to me where emotional and physical.  The thing that frustrated me the most was as her friend I would have done anything for her. The lyrics explain that I knew she did not think of me as a true friend.  

This song as well as my other songwriting is a wonderful way to express myself, but also to get out the things that bother me the most.  

Jordan and the Songs on Sunday Collective have taken this song and given it new life. I am so pleased that the intensity of the emotion of the lyrics and melody are supported by music that expresses the same intensity. 

-Shannon

Heaven knows there’s disappointments
She knows there’s two times fear and on the other side are nails
What would I do if you were mistreated
What would I do if you were betrayed?

'Cause you're standing like a ballerina
In debt in debt up to your ears

I’ve been watching you go slowly
Your heart beats through the ground in through the dirt
If I could help I would just hold you
My arms are not enough to cure your hurt

'Cause you're standing like a ballerina
In debt in debt up to your ears
What about emergencies?
In debt in debt up to your ears
In debt in debt up to your ears

At least you know I really love you
But you never wanted much of that
You live your life like a dreamer’s dreamer
And I’ll be right behind you with your past

'Cause you're standing like a ballerina
In debt in debt up to your ears
What about emergencies?
In debt in debt up to your ears
In debt in debt up to your ears
In debt in debt in debt

Lead Vocals: Shannon Fayth
Background Vocals: Laura Bowman, Shannon Fayth, Colin Robinson, & Julie Woods-Robinson
Piano: Kyle Jenkins
Violins/Synths: Jordan Woods-Robinson
Guitar: Colin Robinson
Bass: James Woodrich
Percussion: Kevin Connelly

Mixed by: Colin Robinson

Turn your ideas into a song! (Contest)

Songs On Sunday from Jordan Woods-Robinson on Vimeo.

We’re looking for ideas for new songs!  If you think you have something awesome, leave us a Comment below (by clicking “Comments” at the bottom of the post) and lay it down for us, sweet daddy.  Next Sunday, the 24th, we will pick up to 3 favorites and announce them to the world.  Each winner selected will receive a FREE Songs On Sunday t-shirt mailed to you! 

Here are some ideas to squeeze your brain juices:

  1. An orchestral piece re-scoring the trailer for “Goonies”
  2. A rock ballad about this really sad breakup I once had.  Here’s the story…
  3. An Irish folk instrumental featuring a solo of armpit fart noises
  4. A pop song named “12 hours” based off this photo. image
  5. A healing chant of a made-up people.

Enter as many ideas as you want and share with as many people as you see fit!  After all, on top of receiving a FREE shirt, you also get your idea turned into a song!  

Winners will be announced Sunday, 11/24.  Good luck and thanks for listening!

Music by Jordan Woods-Robinson

Lyrics by Robert Frost

My main struggle with writing new music is finding the lyrics.  Many times, I will write a song, melody, harmonies, etc. before I even have lyrics.  It sounds backwards but I let all that fall into place and then I find vowel sounds and consonants that eventually form words that complete the song.  I heard an interview with the lead singer of Wilco once and he described the process as waiting for dust to settle on an old couch: if you allow the lyrics to float above for long enough, they will eventually settle into the song perfectly.

With all that said, I used to peruse a lot of poetry for inspiration.  I still do, occasionally, but it’s more so to find inspiration than lyrics. I wrote this song when I was 14 or 15 and these lyrics are verbatim a Robert Frost poem called “My November Guest.”  This song used to be a simple piece with one acoustic guitar and one voice with lots of pretty fingerpicking and trills and what not.  I wanted to revisit it with SOS and try a different application with it.  I was inspired by Lowry (a great Indie band that you should check out) and U2 in this final version.  Colin laid down some rocking drums (as usual) and the whole thing fell into place.  

Bam.  Dust on a couch. 

-Jordan

My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree; 
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay. 
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
She’s glad her simple worsted gray 
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees, 
The faded earth, the heavy sky,
The beauties she so truly sees,
She thinks I have no eye for these, 
And vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know 
The love of bare November days
Before the coming of the snow,
But it were vain to tell her so, 
And they are better for her praise.

Vocals/Guitars/Bass: Jordan Woods-Robinson
Drums: Colin Robinson

Mixed by: Cory at Lonely Nights Studios

Goodbye CBGB

Written by Jordan

The moment I sat down to write a song was the moment that I learned that Lou Reed had just died.  The social networks were flooded with well-wishes for Lou and remembrances of his affect on music, life, and culture.  While far from being a saint, the man had touched many people’s lives and had left lasting impressions with his music and outlook on life.

I found some quotes of his, generally focusing on the simplicity with which he approached music, and knew I had my inspiration for a new song.  I had this written within a couple hours, attempting to be inspired by Lou’s musings on life but without directly copying his music.  

I had met Lou a number of years ago, when he came into my restaurant and I served him lunch.  The lyrics for this are a combination of my memory of that day along with some of his quotes.  For being a man that could write characters so well, I feel he makes a pretty good subject, himself.

RIP, Lou.

-Jordan

Lou sat at the corner table, leaning on the glass

Flanked by his publicist and a small Tibetan Monk

He had a smoker’s cough and a poet’s eyes

Like any guy down on his luck

-

Billy walked by barking like a dog

There was a white Russian mixing white russians behind the wall

Lou said “1 chord’s fine, 2 chords are pushing it, 3 chords and you’re into jazz.”

-

Lou said, “I think life is far too short to concentrate on the past. I’d rather look into the future.”

And Lou said, “Life is like sanskrit read to a pony.”

-

Goodbye Crash Test Dummies, Goodbye REM

Goodbye CBGB’s, Goodbye Talking Heads

A hustle here, a hustle there

Little Lou’s gone everywhere.

__

Vocals, Guitar: Jordan Woods-Robinson

Bass, Drums: Colin Robinson

Mixed by: Cory at Lonely Nights Studios

When You Come Home

Written by Jordan

I’m constantly amazed at how/when inspiration strikes.  For this song, I booted up my recording software and turned on the first synth sound I could find.  After playing around with it for a minute, I found a chord progression I liked and knew I had a place to start.  When you uncover something that moves inside you, the rest of it just falls into place.  I had the music for this song written almost instantly and it was just a matter of finding the right lyrics.  I opened up a book of poetry published in 1908 and was drawn to the rhyme scheme of this one by Riley:

The temptation and lust on the page was so strong and honest that I had any easy time translating it to a new story with a catchy hook.  I borrowed some of the phrases directly and took creative license with others but I wanted it to be more open for the listener to add their own story, their own memories.

Colin laid down a great drum track on this and always seems to find the mood of the song instantly.  One of the most versatile drummers I’ve ever met.

Cory dragged everything into his computer to start mixing and had a near-finished track in a matter of minutes.  Then we had time to tweak and get this bad boy up.  Like I said, when you find inspiration that stirs something inside you, the rest falls into place.

When you come home again
When I see your face
A thousand ways to kiss you come to mind
But I won’t even take your hand
Because I know that another man
Holds you in his embrace and keeps you by his side

Then silence and perfume on your dress
The room sways a little more, a little less

And I see you at the door and I’m sure I’m in love with you
Who am I talkin’ to?
It was a lifetime ago but I know I’m in love with you
Who am I talkin’ to?

I summon up the tenderness
To smile warmly and I tremble, yes,
While my throat aches
To tell you of my days
I’ll never say I’m sorry 
That I hold you captive in my memory
I don’t deserve the place
Your arms make for me

Then silence and perfume on your dress
The room sways a little more, a little less

And I see you at the door and I’m sure I’m in love with you
Who am I talkin’ to?
It was a lifetime ago but I know I’m in love with you
Who am I talkin’ to?

Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Synth: Jordan Woods-Robinson
Drums: Colin Robinson

Mixed by: Cory at Lonely Nights Studios

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