‘Take Me Back’ – liner notes

April 23, 2020

So who hasn’t ever wondered about what it would be like to feel a first love again? Well, I think I was in love with everything with a skirt back in High School. But, think back to that first kiss and getting close to the opposite sex for the first time. Man, if you could put that in a bottle. 

The picture is the 19 year old version of me with a Susan, a first love . . . of sorts anyway! In my dreams mainly. I was in agony over her. She still inspires me. I actually tried to find her two years ago. What I found was an obituary and ended up writing a song called ‘Finding Susan’. Have not laid tracks down on that one yet. But I will soon. Oddly, she still has an affect on me.

Anyway, ‘Take Me Back’ was another one of those songs that the universe decided to send my way quickly. It just came out. 

I sorta had a vision on how I wanted it to be put together. I wanted three distinct parts and initially started the song with just my vocal and drums.

At first I thought it was pretty cool. But, it didn’t last. It takes awhile for me to get this stuff together and over that time I must listen at least 500 times, literally. And about 100 times in, I was kinda sick of that arrangement. So, I decided to leave the drums and add the strings and organ instead, and that never got old to me so I figured I had the right arrangement.

Really, Audrey makes the song regardless of the arrangement.

The Details – ‘Take Me Back’

Composer: Gary Arthur ‘Bod’ Noubarian (BMI)

Publisher: Arthur Bod Music (BMI) – ArthurBodMusic@gmail.com

Producer:  Arthur Bod

Recording Engineer:  A bunch of us

Mix Engineer:  Michael Brauer 

Mastering Engineer:  Joe LaPorta (Sterling Sound)

Studios:  Little ones all over the world

The Players (‘Lonesome Road’)

Arthur Bod – Lead and BG Vocals, D45 Martin

Audrey Karrasch – Lead and BG Vocals

Don Falk – Bass and Pedal Steel

Jeffrey Anthony – Drums

Leo Music Design – B3 Organ

Rick Curran – String Quartet

The Mix

When I can, which isn’t often, I really try to get a great mixer involved. When you’re an Indie Artist paying for everything, it gets really expensive per song, which makes it a challenge when you try to work with the best. Then again, the best won’t necessarily mix anything you send out.

Fortunately, Michael Brauer liked the song and made the mix possible. Michael is a very big deal having worked with just about every major artist you can name.  His list of credits is huge. Bands like Bon Jovi, Train, Zac Brown are just a few. I also think he’s another great guy and I’m really honored to have had him add his touch to this song. Thanks Michael!

The Lyrics

I want to feel again
A first love again
Lost in your eyes
Your smile and your ways
I want that magic again

Take me back
Take me back to that time again
Let me feel one more time
Like I did back then
Take me back
Take me back
Take me back

I want that glow again
From the night again
Wrapped in your arms
Stardust surrounding me
To feel your breath again
On my skin again
My senses alive
With you entwined

Take me back
Take me back to that time again
Let me feel one more time
Like I did back then
Take me back
Take me back
Take me back

Copyright © 2020 – Gary Arthur Noubarian

‘It Ain’t Love’ – liner notes

March 20, 2020

So, at the end of 2018, I decided it was time to get serious about my true love, writing and recording. I’d been away too long (lots to follow on that topic). And at the same time, I wanted to slim my life down. Really slim it down. Everything I had really owned me and I couldn’t take it anymore. 

I sold my house, and most all my material stuff and headed out west in January of 2019, just for a little clear-my-head time. It’s really liberating getting rid of your stuff, except music gear of course. I started buying more of that!

Seems that hotels along the way were inspirational, as odd as that seems. And I wrote a number of songs in hotels on the route west.  I’ve always thought that songs just kinda magically appear in my head. It’s like the universe is sending out vibes and you need to be ready and waiting with your guitar in hand to pick it up. 

This was one of those times when it just happened and ‘It Ain’t Love’ came out in like 10 minutes. I put my hand on a chord and the chorus was there. These are usually the better songs. Now every writer will tell you (except for maybe Dylan and McCartney) that this doesn’t happen every day. It’s a big high for me when it does!

I spend a bunch of time near Buffalo NY since I have family there. And the Goo Goo Dolls have a studio in Buffalo called GCR. Good people and reasonably priced, so, I though why not do a session or two there.  After my return trek from the west I booked some time and decided to lay the song down with a couple of great guys from the studio on Drums and Bass. I already had reference tracks down with vocals, acoustic, pedal steel and Strat. So, we used the click track to add the drums and bass. 

At this point the song was very Nashville. And I dig Nashville. That really is my style. But after listening for a bit back home (DC), it just didn’t feel right to me. It’s just not a country song . . . in my head anyway.

Shaw Hayes, the Strat player on the original tracks, and my favorite guitar player and Iguana band mate of old, suggested I change a lyric to make the song more female perspective. I was diggin’ that idea and thought how cool it would be to make it a duet with a chick singing the main verse.

So, I slowed the feel down, re-recorded the acoustic and drum tracks, removed the pedal steel, substituted the Strat melodic parts with strings. Then switched to upright bass and managed to get Audrey Karrasch to sing with me. She makes the whole song. Then again, I adore her voice!

I also learned a big lesson from this track. I need lots of revamping time. Trying things out in a big studio gets expensive. So, I updated a bunch of my gear at home so I could take all the time I needed to get everything the way I wanted, and then spend a bunch of time to editing stuff that no one will ever hear.

Of course, when the song was done, I needed a great mix. And that’s not an easy one for me to do. It’s really hard to judge sounds in my room. Actually, I spend most all of the time under headphones. So, I needed a good mixer in a real studio.

The Mix

Lots of people WILL tell you not to mix your own songs. I don’t really buy into that, but in this case there really was no choice. 

Thank you YouTube! I was watching a video about Plugins. If you don’t know what those are, they’re basically the software version of hardware used in studios. Anyway, Joe West was talking about workflow in his studio, and there was this big grammy sitting on his desk. I really didn’t know who he was, but I liked what he had to say, so, I looked him up.

Wow, Joe had (and has) great credits including hit songs, a grammy, a great story, and a great studio in Nashville. As it turns out he’s also a great guy.

So, I emailed him with a rough mix of the song and asked him what he thought. ‘I dig it he said’, which was a big high for me. A grammy winner who likes something I wrote? That could never get old.

I actually drove to Nashville to be there with him when he mixed the song. I wanted to meet him and was dying to see his studio. By the way, a Grammy is a heavy thing! Was also cool getting to hold one. Anyway, the end result was a great mix by a great guy!

The Details – (‘It Ain’t Love’)

Composer:  Gary ‘Arthur Bod’ Noubarian (BMI)

Publisher: Arthur Bod Music (BMI) – ArthurBodMusic@gmail.com

Producer:  Arthur Bod

Recording Engineer: A bunch of us

Mixing Engineer: Joe West (The West Barn)

Mastering Engineer:  Ted Jensen (Stirling Sound)

Recording Studios:  Here there and everywhere

The Players – (‘Lonesome Road’)

Arthur Bod – Lead and BG Vocals, D45 Martin

Audrey Karrasch – Lead and BG Vocals

Jeffrey Anthony – Drums

Rick Curran – String Quartet

LeoMusicDesign – Keys

Dave Roe – Upright Bass

The Lyrics

In your time do you think you’ll find, the love of your life
Well she just smiled and said to me
In my time I never did find the love of my life
So now I just need some company

It ain’t love so I’ll fake it tonight
It ain’t love but the mood is right
It ain’t love still I’m holdin’ on tight
But in the morning I’ll be gone ‘cause
It ain’t love
It ain’t love

Do you believe in forever
And happiness is an open door
No I don’t, and I won’t wait anymore

It ain’t love so I’ll fake it tonight
It ain’t love but the mood is right
It ain’t love still I’m holdin’ on tight
But in the morning I’ll be gone ‘cause
It ain’t love
It ain’t love

Copyright © 2020 – Gary Arthur Noubarian