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So long AudioDesk, hello Logic

About seven years ago, I bought a Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) 2408 to do some home recording on my PC. The MOTU on my PC was easily the worst piece of technology I’ve ever owned. And communicating with their unicorn-loving tech support was an exercise in pain and endurance that would make a 12-hour call to a New Delhi call center seem like a walk in the park.

That said, I ran a nice little DAW program called ‘Cool Edit Pro’, which had a gentle learning curve and a surprisingly rich feature set. When my hard drive crashed, though, I had to upgrade my software, and was disappointed to discover that Cool Edit had been purchased by Adobe and rechristened ‘Audition’. I bought the new version from Adobe, and discovered that it was a crash-tastic piece of software that seemed to specialize in making my PC freeze irrevocably. Using Audition in combination with the MOTU was about as pleasant as having your nuts chewed off by rats.



Phil Ochs singing The Highwayman

By Kenneth Rainey. Filed under: TweedBlog, video. Tags: ,

I think this is the earliest Phil Ochs clip I’ve seen, from a 1965 television appearance. It’s great to see Phil young and in his prime.

Previous Phil Ochs posts:
Phil Ochs sings Cannons of Christianity and I Ain’t Marchin’ Anymore
Phil Ochs interview video (part I)
Phil Ochs interview video, (part II)
Phil Ochs sings Joe Hill
1974 Phil Ochs clip
Phil Ochs singing The War is Over
Phil Ochs singing Here’s to the State of Richard Nixon
Phil Ochs singing The Crucifiction in 1969


Fun with Anagrams

By Billy Oh. Filed under: TweedBlog.


A wet legend

Dang wet eel

Glee wanted

Get New Deal


Add your own!


Tangleweed’s episode of Roadtrip Nation online now

We’re very pleased to have our performance of Ola Belle Reed’s song ‘High on a Mountain‘ included in this season’s Roadtrip Nation series. You can catch it on your local PBS affiliate (except in Chicago, natch), or you can watch it online now. For the impatient among us, our little ditty appears at 17:55 in the episode, during the tourbus breakdown scene.

Many thanks to the good folks at Roadtrip Nation for their support.


The Takeup Reel

I’m listening to the roughs from our session with Mike Hagler on the 20th of October, and liking what I hear. One of the songs we tracked was a little fiddle tune I wrote a few months ago called The Takeup Reel. We weren’t especially happy with any of the takes we got of the tune that day (I think we were all somewhat weary from our gigs the night before), but we like the tune enough to take another crack at it next session.

It’s a simple little two-strain fiddle tune in A. The first strain uses a flat III chord to stretch the tonality a wee bit, while the second strain uses a more typical borrowed flat VII chord. I used my newly acquired copy of Finale to spit out a lead sheet for it. Sorry, no tab. Learn to read music already.

The Takeup Reel sheet music (PDF)

Here’s an excerpt (a rough mix) of one of the rejected takes. It’s not bad, really, just a little sloppier than we’d like. This is one of the first times I’ve used my resonator mandolin in a recording session. It sounds pretty decent, though I suspect that I’ll wind up leaning on my old F-2 when it comes time to cut this tune again. This was cut live with Mike at King Size, with the band gathered in a circle in the live room.

The Takeup Reel (MP3)


On our own, finally

We are no longer at the mercy of This website is now running on its own dedicated server. Excelsior!

Music-related posts will resume tomorrow.


More problems with

By Kenneth Rainey. Filed under: OffTopic. Tags:

I’ve complained in the past about our web host, Pages have been slow to load, email messages have taken an eternity to be delivered, and problems that a reasonably well-trained monkey could fix have lingered for way too long. And then I got this communique from them. The misspelling of my name is the least appalling thing about it.

Any time you get an email address from a company that includes the line, “we encourage you all to keep a close eye on your credit accounts,” it’s time to stop doing business with that company. And that is exactly what we will do. I am in the process of bringing our own dedicated server online, and will move everything from spry’s servers to our server ASAP.

Dear Keneth,

This message is to inform you that we have changed your login information for the following accounts you hold at Spry:

Your billing center login information:
Url: *****
User: ******
Password: *****

Please note that we have temporarily disabled access to login to the billing center at this time. If you have an urgent billing need, please call us at 888-808-SPRY option 2 or email

In addition, we have changed the login information for your shared hosting account, and sent a separate email to you with further details. Please note that we have disabled ssh, ftp, and cpanel access as a temporary measure while we verify that the security vulnerability has been fixed.

Because email addresses, mailing addresses, and passwords may have been obtained from our billing system, we highly recommend that you immediately update your paypal or other associated financial information. We encourage you all to keep a close eye on your credit accounts as well.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused you. For further information and updates on the security breach and our efforts to secure our systems and your data, please visit If you need to contact us for technical support, please email or call us at 888-808-SPRY.


Spry Hosting


Planxty playing The Little Drummer

By Kenneth Rainey. Filed under: TweedBlog, video. Tags: , , ,

Here’s a great Planxty clip from 1974 with a wonderful Christy Moore vocal and some very sensitive mandola accompaniment from Andy Irvine.

Here’s an interesting bit on the mandola from Andy Irvine’s web site:

Classicly, a mandola should be tuned way down to CGDA but I always thought this stupid with a Gibson because it didn’t have a big enough body, nor a long enough string length to cope with the hawser-like strings required. So I thought it logical–as it was two frets longer than a mandolin– to tune it a tone lower, using mandolin strings. So I tune it FCGC (I nearly always have the top string tuned down a tone)