Artist Name: Rick Lecksell Title: The Curse Genre: Folk Rating:
Tascam 4-Track recorder, 1978 Guild F-50 acoustic guitar with Barcus-Berry Hot Dot Box Pre-amp/Boost, Shure SM57, Suzuki harmonica and Sony MDR-F1 headphones.
“The Curse” is a male vocal folk song written, performed and recorded by Rick.
Reviewed By Marty Peters
Rick has submitted a stripped-down acoustic tune here that is squarely in the 1960s Greenwich Village era—the Dylan, Eric Andersen, Phil Ochs vibe is alive! Recorded on a basic Tascam 4-Track (cassette?) machine, this classic folk troubadour, acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocal arrangement focuses on the storytelling.
Sonically the recording lands firmly in the demo category. The Guild F-50 (my first “real” guitar back in 1972) is a fine instrument, but it definitely has a plugged-in pickup sound here. The vocals are quite a bit better. The venerable Shure SM57, while having gained legendary status as a snare, guitar amp and horn mic, can be passed over as a vocal mic, often in favor of its neighbor, the SM58. In our experience, the SM57 can be sensitive to plosives, and we did detect some here, primarily on the “P”s. Aside from that, the vocal part was well recorded.
The genre-correct harmonica is well played and captured, although it could have been a tad more present in the mix. A noticeable volume disparity between the vocal and harmonica leads to energy fluctuations throughout the song.
Rick’s recording has a live performance feel, and we’d love to hear the song individually tracked, primarily to use a mic on the acoustic guitar. Anyone who has ever seen the incredible Gillian Welch/David Rawlings can attest to the capability of the SM57 as an excellent acoustic guitar mic. Next, individually tracking the harmonica would offer more volume and balance flexibility during mixdown. Lastly, a pop filter or windscreen during vocal tracking is a way to combat the plosives. They can be obtained for very little money (homemade in many cases) and are a great tool to have in general.
Chad Rick Lecksell, email@example.com