Some Recording Notes
Pirates of Scamalot was recorded over about a three year period and incorporates some very old song ideas from 10 years or more back. A pre-release of the first 8 songs came around the holidays of Dec. 2005 and was titled “Pirate Ghost Ship Christmas EP with Scabby.” There were about 50 copies distributed mostly in the Portland area as gifts. Here are some details about the writing and recording of the CD.
Treading the Seas for Pirate Gold
We dug up this idea from an old hucklescary finn jam cassette from the early 1990s. The main (chorus) riff of the song was there, and I added lyrics and and an arrangement during the sessions for A Stranger in Scamalot EP in 1996. We attempted to record it, but it was too rough with all of the yelling and breaking glass we recorded. We again recorded it in 2003, along with I Scamalot and Storm the Halls. Those three tracks made it to Pirates of Scamalot.
2. Storm the Halls
This is one of the first three songs written and originally recorded in 2003 on analog 8 track and then transferred to Protools, and eventually Digital performer before it was finally mixed in 2006. The notoriously out of tune “flutophone” from Pipes of Perko (Last Days of Scamalot 2002) makes its first appearance.
3. Gruel II: Christmas at Sea
I wanted this to be the happiest, coziest pirate song ever. It is the sequel to “Gruel” on the Scabby’s Christmas Miracle EP. I tried every way of recording this song before settling on this downbeat groovy version that flattered the original melody and made the phrasing more comfortable (and fun) to sing. Other versions included a simple acoustic guitar, and a faster pop rendition that began with the original riff from gruel one.
4. Scabby Lay Down Your Sword
5. Ghost Ship
This was the last song to be recorded with both Matt & Kevin, except for the Ukulele song a few minutes later. The idea is rather new too. A rough demo and lyrics were first written about three months earlier.
6. I Scamalot
One of the first three songs written for the album, and one of the last to be completed. It sat without any kind of vocal in the mix for about three years.
7. Ukulele Song
8. Scamalot Rising
Tracked entirely by Kevin, this was a fun one to make. Very Bowie inspired, much like the bridge of “Otis Has Got A Secret Friend” (Last Days of Scamalot, 2002).
9. Captain Jennifer
This tale of a pirate captain who dances under the stars and becomes an outcast was working-titled “Mister Jennifer” after the third pirate ring (besides Skreebeard and Otis Rex) that never has been mentioned in our songs. At the very last minute I changed the title and tacked it on the end of the album along with…
10. Burial At Sea
I wrote Burial at Sea in 1993 when Pirate Jenny wasn’t named yet, but was about to happen. So it’s the first Pirate Jenny song. However, I never sang it on a recording, as that duty fell to Pirate Jenny’s early singer J.B. It was fun to finally record my own song 13 years later. This is the first time Hucklescary has covered a Pirate Jenny song.