Lawless Luke "The Black Ace" Cigar Box guitar 'The Black Ace' playing card, Delta Blues Slide Guitar player & composer, from Coventry, West Midlands, UK

Introducing my new bottleneck slide guitar video ‘I Am The Black Ace’

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As promised, here’s my latest bottleneck slide guitar video ‘I Am The Black Ace’. A cover of a Texas blues slide guitar song by Buck Babe Turner (also known as ‘The Black Ace’), originally recorded in 1937. Turner then re-recorded this song in the 1960s, it is this version that I have covered. In this blog I’ll talk a bit about this bottleneck slide guitar video and the recording process. Coincidentally this was the first video I made in my own home made studio!

It was a bitterly cold day in March, snow lay on the ground whilst ‘The Black Ace’ stirred…

Lawless Luke Black Jack Deluxe Cigar Box Guitar from Drummond & Hammett fence background snow, Delta Blues Slide Guitar player & composer, from Coventry, West Midlands, UK
Here’s me stood outside freezing my nuts off for an impromptu photo shoot in my snazzy new gear!

The recording itself took place on a cold day in March 2018. It was freezing and snowing outside whilst I beavered away in my studio, trying to get a live recording of this bottleneck slide guitar piece. I wont lie it took FOREVER! What previously had been a fairly straight forward song to play, soon turned into a real challenge. But that is okay. I believe you have to put yourself under pressure from time to time, to see what you are really capable of.

The home film studio, bringing this bottleneck slide guitar video to life…

Lawless Luke "The Black Ace" Movie still B&W, Delta Blues Slide Guitar player & composer, from Coventry, West Midlands, UK
Here I am in my home made recording studio, complete with playing cards and blu-tack!

As you will know from previous blogs, I’ve now gone full time with my music career. So I wanted to try and improve the production quality of my home made videos. Luckily for me my sister works as a professional in the film industry! You can check her stuff out at http://www.bythenumb3rs.co.uk/. The advice that she gave me was that cameras are important, but good lighting is really crucial! I opted for some professional lighting from Amazon, a backdrop and stand. It all came to less than a hundred quid and worked a treat.

For a camera I decided to use my iPhone, which worked out great! I hope you’ll agree that the production value on this bottleneck slide guitar video, is much better than my previous efforts! I also bought some snazzy new clothes, which was a perfect opportunity for an impromptu photo shoot! For the ‘set’ I added in my Michael Messer Lightning Resonator guitar, Fender Hot Rod iii deluxe amp, plus some blu-tack on a couple of playing cards.

Recording gear used for this bottleneck slide guitar video…

The recording setup for this bottleneck slide guitar song was pretty straight forward. I plugged my cigar box guitar and Shure green bullet mic straight into my iRig pro duo, set the levels and I was good to go. I used some amp simulation and drive on the vocals, because it’s all about that sweet overdriven blues distortion y’all! Everything was plugged into my iPad Pro using Garageband as the music software, which is an incredibly simple yet powerful music production tool. Previously I have always used Logic pro for recording, but to be honest Garageband is so advanced and simple to use, that I find it is quickly becoming my go to for most recording situations. You can check out my latest music here.

The tip of the iceberg…

Lawless Luke "The Black Ace" Tip of the iceberg, Delta Blues Slide Guitar player & composer, from Coventry, West Midlands, UK
Any performer will tell you, what the audience see is only the tip of the iceberg.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

As I’m sure any performer will tell you, what the audience see is only the tip of the iceberg. I started learning this particular bottleneck slide guitar song probably 6 – 9 months prior to performing it. I went through a whole process of transcribing the song, piecing together all the sections, working through any kinks in my performance, practicing, before finally putting myself under pressure to perform this piece in front of the camera. I’ll go through this whole process in detail in another blog. It’s safe to say it was hard work, but as the old saying goes ‘hard work pays off’.

That’s a wrap folks…

Lawless Luke "The Black Ace" Movie still close up, Delta Blues Slide Guitar player & composer, from Coventry, West Midlands, UK
Feeling pretty relieved at the end of a day filming, to have finally nailed a take!

So there you have it. I hope this blog has given you some insight into the recording process for this bottleneck slide guitar song. Who knows, you may even pick up some tips and tricks for your own video productions! If you do please let me know, I’d love to see some of your work. In my next blog post, I will talk in depth about the process of learning ‘The Black Ace’. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!

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