• lead vocal: Christopher Jon
  • background vocals: Jeni Grouws, Christopher Jon and Doug
  • rhythm guitar: Christopher Jon
  • piano (Young Chang grand), Hammond A-100 organ and bass: Doug
  • backing tracks programmed and played by Doug
     sequenced on Sonar 3.1 Producer Edition
     VSampler 3; Papelmedia GM 2006; EZdrummer; RealBand
     VI.One; Casio WK3800; Alesis QS7.1; Yamaha NP-V80
  • recorded at: Bird-On-Fire Recording Studio / West Union, Iowa

Doug's notes:

Over the years the Memory Brothers have typically recorded original material on their album releases - especially during the years that Kevin Conner was an active member of the band (1977-1990.) Kevin's college years as a singer/songwriter on the coffeehouse circuit and my background in composition dovetailed nicely in providing us with a strong collaborative partnership.

Musicians who are also songwriters typically have a deep-rooted desire to write and release original music as opposed to recycling previously-recorded material. But the downside is that the general public is more inclined to purchase albums featuring cover songs (songs that have already become well-known by other artists.) However the temptation ultimately arises with just about every songwriter (even if you're a James Taylor or a Paul McCartney) that you just have to record some cover songs.

Despite the added expense of licensing fees (payment to publishing companies for rights to record their songs,) the increased sales and the sheer fun involved in doing an album of cover songs can outweigh the added expense and paperwork of securing licenses. So a few years ago, I started thinking seriously about doing an album of cover tunes.

In July of 2011 Christopher Jon came over to West Union, Iowa (where my studio is) to do a fundraiser with me. Since he was here in town for a couple days, we decided to commence work on an album featuring some of our personal favorite songs (e.g. Mustang Sally, Big Man, Bye Bye Love, Let Me Roll It, Kansas City, etc.)

It seems every pop musician loves Dave Mason's classic song "Feelin' Alright." Simple in structure (only two, alternating chords,) this song is deceptively difficult to perform. The magic is in capturing the rhythmic feel and delivering a soulful vocal, and this is right in Christopher Jon's wheelhouse. We patterned our arrangement right after Joe Cocker's iconic rendition - I mean how can you improve upon that?!! Chris nailed the vocal in one take, and then we layered the background vocals and eventually brought in the remarkable Jeni Grouws to "ice the cake" with her incredible vocals.

This session was a lot of fun - probably the most soulful and funky track we've ever recorded.

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Doug Koempel © 2015
SONG #15

writer: Dave Mason
album: Feelin' All right (BOF-94) 2013
artists: the Memory Brothers
play "Feelin' All Right"