First, let me apologize to hard core Chicago fans. I fully realize nothing could ever top the classic iconic original. Further, I understand even suggesting such a cover could easily draw fire as a musical abomination - worthy of a Guinness record for nasty comments. No worries, I get it. But these are all the same reasons I want to do it -sort of in my musical DNA, to just try things. In my defense, I am happy to say that when I played this excerpt for the song author, Robert Lamm, he was really diggin it! What a relief. But, still, hammer away at will. :)
I just wanted to provide an "I'm ok" update to Magellan fans that might be wondering about me since last month's passing of my brother and musical partner of 40+ years, Wayne. Wayne played rhythm parts on this track, not lead. However, here is additional info on "how" the bad ass Terry Kath guitar parts where achieved. [kind of..]
I have been trying to figure out how in the world to do those parts for some time! I always had this juvenile musical fantasy of "what it would be like to have Terry Kath in my band for one day, or one song". It comes with being a Chicago fan.
When Chicago played the original, as a band should, they did not play to a "grid", or mechanical timing as many artists do today. The ebb and flow of Seraphine's drums and the other Chicago members playing off each other's talents is what made the magic!
But, for a cover of the classic, this many years later, how in the world do I get the Kath parts to work? They wouldn't line up with my tempo map... In a nutshell, I filtered out all but Terry's guitar frequencies, which still left TONS of artifacts, and unfortunately, remained unusable as a sample. There seemed to be no way to separate out his parts. Then after some thought, I spent about a month working my way though every note of his solo and lining the notes up almost perfectly to a modern grid in my DAW software. [Studio One Presonus]
In was musically in time now, but still unusable due to countless grainy artifacts. So, I took the output of the filtered track and "triggered" or "re-amped" the IMPULSE of Terry's track into "Guitar Rig" software - viola! I have lead guitar parts. It still took a lot of trial and error to rope in.
OK, now the next problem. The only parts I had WERE the lead guitar -yikes! I had totally forgotten about the rest of the song! So, I started building the entire arrangement around the replication of Terry's guitar parts. Anyway, that's the short version of how those parts came together.
Also, I'm happy that Hal Imbrie, our original bass player for Hour of Restoration and Impending Ascension albums, is back! He is such a great guy and it almost feels like old times.
My friend Rob Lopez will also join me for some additional bass work and backing vocals. I'll do the lead vocals fairly soon.
That's it, Magellan fans. Rollin'...