Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

The Trees They Do Grow High

Get Flash to see this player.

One of the beauties of iTunes and, lately, my last-on-the-block purchase of an iPod, is that I've been transferring everything in my collection to mp3 or AAC... rediscovering bits of my past...Especially when I put the music on "Shuffle", and the unexpected pops up...

As this did.

This is me learning fingerpicking, lead guitar, and multitrack recording, all in one go... People talk about the Tascam Portastudio 4-track revolution, but before THAT, Tascam made a radical cassette deck that allowed you to record the left and right channels separately... You could then use a "Mix" function to add a third track when you mixed down to another deck...

Well, I bought one. This was the time in my life when I was learning rudimentary fingerpicking. I had also been lovingly advised by my bandmate Phyllis (and our engineer Kristen) that, "if you're going to try to improvise, you might start by learning the melody..."

So here is me, in about 1979 or 1980, doing just that. I figured out a fingerpicking pattern for the song and put that in one channel, and then I noodle and improvise in the other, learning overdubbing as I go... Eventually, having run out of alternatives, I end up by (briefly) actually playing the melody...

This is a hissy and primitive recording, kind of flat, no effects, no compression or reverb... But with other folks dipping into their archives, and also submitting "lo-fi" offerings, for some reason I wanted to put this scrap of my history out there...It's rough, but it's real...

The song is a traditional one, with a beautiful melody. I don't sing on this, but the lyrics are some of the most sophisticated and just plain good, in my opinion, in English folk song...

For much better renditions, check out Joan Baez's version (vocal) and John Renbourn's two versions (instrumental)... I think Pentangle may have done a vocal version as well...

I tried to upload it with an iTunes Equalizer setting...if that doesn't work, try rolling off the highs to get rid of some of the hiss...
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
Song Stats
Hits: 6862
Comments: 52
Fans: 9
Plays: 1271
Downloads: 355
Votes: 15
Uploaded: Dec 06, 2005 - 08:00:59 AM
Last Updated: Dec 06, 2005 - 06:36:02 AM Last Played: Jan 27, 2017 - 11:13:20 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter download song
Tascam 122 2-track cassette deck
Radio Shack dynamic mic
Phyllis's old Atlas guitar
Only tweaked in GarageBand and iTunes
Jim Bouchard said 4309 days ago (December 6th, 2005)
a Radio Shack dynamic mic? I had one of those! Just wait until I dig out my old tapes I recorded on my Fostex X-15 and you'll get a sampling of that. That machine is long gone, so I'll have to go with the mixes as they are.

The iTunes equalizer setting is only for playing in iTunes. If you want to apply that to your track, I guess you could copy the setting and use the AU multiband EQ on the master track to duplicate it in Garageband.

Aside from the hiss, this sounds pretty good. Starts out pretty tentative. I know the song but I don't think I can pick out the melody here, as the lead you're playing doesn't seem to to state it very clearly. But we all have to start somewhere!
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
Ed Hannifin said 4309 days ago (December 6th, 2005)
Coming soon...(if I'm brave enough)...old Fostex x-15 tapes!...Yes, I had one of those, too. In fact, it's still in the basement of the program where I work, along with the Yamaha 4-track that replaced it...and our wonderful Zoom digital 8-track...I don't know if the X-15 still plays at the right speed...

It's amazing to me how much hiss I could ignore back in the old cassette days...Listening now, it's very present... Back then, I could "listen through it", and most of us who listened or recorded with cassettes got good at ignoring the medium's flaws...I was always more bothered by the pitch fluctuations...

And I think a lot of musicians started out with Radio Shack mics...Among other things, they sounded decent and just refused to die, no matter how abused... Not to mention Radio Shack battery powered mixers...replacement 12 inch speakers... every adapter under the sun...usually chained together to an absurd degree...

Thank you for cluing (sp?) me in about the iTunes equalizer. Of course, I should've thought of the AU eq in the master track... Thanks for that tip as well... At some point I need to get something along the lines of SoundSoap or something like it...

I do actually get to the melody for one go-round shortly before the fade...but I am also engaging in what my friend Joe once called "that Jerry-Garcia-Steve-Stills-where-is-that-danged-melody style of playing"... wandering about...ever grateful to find myself still in the key...

Fun to remember those times, though...

Thanks for listening, commenting and reminiscing, Jim,

eleveneyes said 4309 days ago (December 6th, 2005)
it's always a treat
to rediscover forgotten bits of your past. actually, this sounds pretty
darn good for an RS mic and a Tascam 122. First time hearing about
that device. I used to record with two tape decks. Record into one, then
patch that into the one of the channels of the other tape deck while
playing live into the other tape deck. repeat that process and you have
endless amounts of bounced tracks limited only by your hiss threshold
cuz that would accumulate fast.
anyway, thanks for sharing!
Check out my latest song called You And Me
Ed Hannifin said 4309 days ago (December 6th, 2005)
it's always a treat
Yeah, it is a treat to find these forgotten bits of the past...

I, too, used to bounce from deck to deck. I ended up buying the 122 and then
a Tascam deck that was basicallly the same deck without the overdubbing
capability. I would bounce back and forth between them... Hiss like crazy,
despite the Dolby, but so cool to be able to arrange three whole tracks...

Amazing how far we've come since then...

Thanks for listening and commenting...

said 4309 days ago (December 6th, 2005)
guitar piece. I especially like your noodling in the beginning. This has
a fresh feel about it, cetainly not like it is 25 years old. Your early
skills were shining on guitar. I wish I had the recordings we did from my
band songs in the early seventies. Didn't think to hang onto those tapes.

Really nice.

Ed Hannifin said 4309 days ago (December 7th, 2005)
Thank you, Jack. For some reason, this dusty recording does bring me back to
an interesting time in my personal learning curve... I'm glad you stopped by to

White Hawks said 4309 days ago (December 7th, 2005)
nice guitar pieace:o)thanks for sharing.

- Hawks
Check out my latest song called Shepherds Out in the Field
Ed Hannifin said 4308 days ago (December 7th, 2005)
Interesting little emoticon, there, Hawks...

Thanks for stopping by for a listen. I'm glad you could find a bit of something to
like with this...

Tadashi Togawa said 4309 days ago (December 7th, 2005)
Your voice
The lead guitar is a voice of your mind.
The arpeggio is a voice of your finger.
Check out my latest song called Mexican taste
Ed Hannifin said 4308 days ago (December 7th, 2005)
Your voice
The problem for me, Tadashi, is that wandering "voice of my mind"...

Thanks for listening and your insightful comment...

Bubowski said 4307 days ago (December 8th, 2005)
Oh Yeah Pentangle!
I love that band. I saw them live at the Great America Music Hall in San
Francisco in the Eighties. Nice to here those old tunes from the past.
Thanks for sharing.

Check out my latest song called Drumbeats off Jupiter
Ed Hannifin said 4302 days ago (December 13th, 2005)
Oh Yeah Pentangle!
You're a lucky guy if you got to see them, Graham. I hope you got to see an
incarnation with both Bert Jansch and John Renbourn... I never saw them, myself,
but I still listen to them in the car, at home, in the office...

Thanks for listening and leaving a word of reminiscence...

I have a word for you, too: mellotron!

selters said 4304 days ago (December 11th, 2005)
First of all i find it very interesting listening to you talk about the good old days. For someone that havent heard of anything
else then digital recording its fascinating! It is interesting to hear
how your playing skills has improved. And i just came to think
off that you recorded this the year I was Born! That is pretty cool. Hmm, i dont think i have ever heard this melody before,
but I will try to find a version of it now! It would be nice to hear
you publish some more of your old stuff mister! We would love
to hear it!!

Check out my latest song called The Callous Way You Act
Ed Hannifin said 4302 days ago (December 13th, 2005)
It isn't enough that you write these dark songs, selters, now you have to make
me feel very old...

Oh well.

Yes, I think I have lived through very interesting times in the realm of home
recording... I think it's really bringing music back into real people's lives and
homes again...instead of being this rarified, highly specialized profession...

I do have a great number of ancient recordings... I'm pretty sure there are a
few more with good enough quality for other MacJammers to listen to...

My wife keeps asking me about this: You and Cydniko are the only guys that
ever call me 'mister'... I don't know what to make of that...

Thanks as always for your encouragement and listening, selters...

ledebutant said 4301 days ago (December 14th, 2005)
I think selters may be trying to kill you, Ed.
selters said 4299 days ago (December 17th, 2005)
I think i call you "mister" because I respect you. Or it might just be because i think it sounds funny :D
Check out my latest song called The Callous Way You Act
Dena said 4302 days ago (December 14th, 2005)
Beautiful song
This is lovely. Thanks for pulling it out of your archives!
Check out my latest song called Out West
Ed Hannifin said 4301 days ago (December 14th, 2005)
Beautiful song
Thanks, Dena, I'm glad you liked it...

Thanks for the listen...

Cori Ander said 4301 days ago (December 14th, 2005)
Wow Ed!
That was beautiful, full of charm! Thank you for opening some of your
history for us!

Even though of course it is obvious how your guitar skill has evovled over
the years, I still recognise the Ed-style. It is here, being planted for
growth! The tenderness I so much like in your music, the Ed soul, is there!

PS Really sorry that I am discovering your tune so late (have still 21
unheard posts in my mailbox after this...) DS
Check out my latest song called O store Gud
Ed Hannifin said 4298 days ago (December 17th, 2005)
Wow Ed!
You know, Cori, I know what you mean about the "Ed-style"... I do have this
particular way of wandering, this particular way of attacking or emphasizing
certain notes or slurring others... and I hear it as much here, years ago, as I
do now... It does sound like me, to me...

I imagine those same qualities would drive others up a tree... But yeah, I'm
amused to note that there is a sort of "Ed-ness" to what I do...

I'm always pleased when you get a chance to listen to whatever I've got
posted... I value your responses and encouragement very much...

ledebutant said 4301 days ago (December 14th, 2005)
Notifications Wonky!
I don't know what on earth happened, how I missed this. I always get
an Ejh notification, but somehow, I seem to have accidentally removed
you from my fan list (or perhaps my five year old co-hort did it for me).

I'm back as an Ejh fan and won't be late to the party again!

I love it that you dug this up. I'm not as young as selters, so I
remember cassettes very, very well indeed. I remember using Noise
Reduction and thinking, "Wow that sounds so much better, now". Of
course, it was still as hissy as a python, but we accepted it because
there wasn't much better on offer.

You could have replayed this to get a digital recording, but I kind of
hope you don't. It has its own charm and is a record of a moment in
your life. Very nice.
Ed Hannifin said 4298 days ago (December 17th, 2005)
Notifications Wonky!
Please don't call me Wonky...

Ah, cassettes. I've been going through a lot of them over the past year. I have
cassettes that I recorded from LP's that I used to play in the car...I am
AMAZED at what I used to accept as the best available fidelity...hiss, crackle,
pop...And my old recordings, with no reverb or compression to speak of,
sound like old field recordings to me now... I think I was really proud of them
when I did them...

But they do have their own funky charm now, as reminders of the time... All
that time just waiting for someone to invent Macs and GarageBand and
MacJams...just being able to do many overdubs, and JUST BEING ABLE TO
to excised a single bad note or phrase...

I'm always glad when you listen to my songs, ledeb. Thanks for your wise and
witty as always comments...

classicalman04 said 4299 days ago (December 17th, 2005)
good use of the mic and overylaying
Check out my latest song called Trusound
Ed Hannifin said 4298 days ago (December 17th, 2005)
Thank you for the listen, and for your thoughts.

rtcooper said 4297 days ago (December 18th, 2005)
Pretty Nicely Imaged
Yeah, it's better when tweaked in Tunes. (The EQ in Tunes is strickly
local, it does not attach to the file. One needs to do it on this end).

I am either incredulous or Phenominally Impressed by the idea that you
were Starting your guitar Skill Set as recently as 1980! You are gifted,
as some are, in your ability to accomplish so much, so late. (But, Med
School doesn't promote idle hobbies, now, does it?).

This is quite a complete rendition of the emotive facets of the piece.
Quite sweet.

Check out my latest song called The Loon and the Hula Moon (mstr)
Ed Hannifin said 4294 days ago (December 21st, 2005)
Pretty Nicely Imaged
Thanks, Cooper. I didn't start as late as this sounds... I think I started playing
guitar in 1974...but it was RELATIVELY late...I was nineteen and a
half...already in college...and then I was twenty-five or six when I started
getting into fingerpicking a bit and actually learned a scale or two...

And despite Bizarre's insistence on calling me Dr. Shrink, I am not a doctor
and not a psychiatrist or psychologist, I'm a licensed mental health counselor,
a Masters level psychotherapist...so no med school for me...

I'm glad you pick up on emotional heart of this. I'm aware of its many flaws,
but something of me comes through it, along with something of the original
tune, and I just like it somehow...

Thanks for the listen and thoughtful comments, coop,


screamalexz said 4293 days ago (December 23rd, 2005)
i think it's rather a beautiful compositioning. i should put together some finger pickings pieces to post, because i've gotten decent at that. im starting to add a melody to one of my recordings right now. you're talented.
Check out my latest song called Broken Spirit
Ed Hannifin said 4288 days ago (December 27th, 2005)
Thanks yet again, Chance. I have to admit that I didn't write the melody here,
although I do wander all over and around it, and I guess I have to take
responsibility for the good and the bad of THAT. As you may have noticed,
this is pretty old, but I admit to being attached to it.

By all means, get some acoustic fingerpicking out there. If you come up with
a decent melody, run it by thetiler. He can flesh it out like nobody's business.
There's plenty of others here who are great at it as well. (I'd volunteer my
buddy Cori, but last I heard he's resting from new projects at the moment.)

Thanks for the listen and comment.

ginz111 said 4285 days ago (December 30th, 2005)
I miss the hiss
Hi Ed,
Now I dont know much about your genre, but I do know know that this is a soothing delicate piece. Very calming to my mind. Amazingly there is very little tape hiss. I had two of those mics. When I was doing my rock stuff on a tascam 4 track I used those to mic the drums. I appreciate you always listening to my music very much.
Check out my latest song called F.Y.D.
Ed Hannifin said 4285 days ago (December 30th, 2005)
I miss the hiss
Well...I hear hiss on my gear...to the extent that I hear the upper
frequencies...so embarrassing to use one of those test tone CD's and just not
hear the tones above 15khz...

I'm glad you find this calming and soothing... I think I was kind of calm and
reflective when I was recording it, those many moons ago...

Radio Shack mics... one of those universal beginning points....

I enjoy your stuff, ginz, so I very naturally show up and listen...

Thanks for listening to mine...

Komrade K said 4272 days ago (January 12th, 2006)
Beautifully played
Glad I chanced upon this (I was thinking I haven't listened to enough of
your output) very well worth sharing. It's amazing what you can find on
old tapes...

Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Ed Hannifin said 4272 days ago (January 12th, 2006)
Beautifully played
Thanks, Komrade. I'm pleased you're checking out my songs. I'm glad that you
and others have "gotten it" about this rough recording. It's true, sometimes
there are neat little moments on old tapes. Sometimes some dreck, too, believe
me!... But still, there are these little snippets of history....

Thank you for listening, and for leaving me a comment.

Dayton said 4240 days ago (February 13th, 2006)
Very nice and mellow.
Very nice and mellow.

Could stand to be a little bit louder perhaps, in my take on it.
Check out my latest song called I'm Not Dead
Ed Hannifin said 4234 days ago (February 19th, 2006)
Very nice and mellow.

Thanks for listening to this very old track. As noted, this is over twenty years
old, and comes from an old cassette...

You're right; this is a bit low level, but I wasn't getting such hot results trying
to boost it wtih compression and whatnot...

I'm glad you listened to it, though. Please check out some of my other songs,
which are of more recent vintage.

VicDiesel said 4236 days ago (February 17th, 2006)
Sweet and light
Nice piece. A bit noodl-y, but quite listenable.

Check out my latest song called Sonnerie de Ste Genevieve
Ed Hannifin said 4234 days ago (February 19th, 2006)
Sweet and light
Yes, indeedy. This is the quintessence of noodlitude, partaking of a noodlicious
amount of noodlossity...

But, as noted above, I just like it.

I'm glad you listened and left a comment. Thanks.

dreadmon said 4234 days ago (February 19th, 2006)
very enjoyable - and nice work with the cassette mix!
Check out my latest song called Don't You
Ed Hannifin said 4234 days ago (February 19th, 2006)
Thanks, dreadmon. I'm glad you listened and left a comment.

Please check out a wider selection of my other ones, if you get a chance.

elfdaughter said 4210 days ago (March 15th, 2006)
This is great!
I love going back through all my old stuff and finding out how I've improved, and its nice to hear other people's old stuff and see how they've improved as well. I really like this, and yeah, I spotted the melody line before the fade - I think that really works though, and improvisation is actually very difficult to do!! I didn't notce the hiss too much (but then again, I have a pretty loud laptop fan).

Excellent quality, considering it was recorded about five or six years before I was born!! ;)
Check out my latest song called Summer Rain
Ed Hannifin said 4209 days ago (March 16th, 2006)
This is great!
Thank you for stopping by to listen, elfdaughter.

I am sometimes surprised when I go back to my dwindling boxes of cassettes,
at how much hiss used to be considered acceptable, and how much I could
"listen through"... Digital recording has really cleaned up the soundscape...

I'm pleased that you enjoyed the improv. There is something neat about
getting to the point where, whatever your quirks and foibles are as a player,
you are at the least not afraid of your instrument, and you're okay with
fooling around on it and exploring what it can do.

And I'm glad that SOMEBODY could spot me touching down, ever so briefly, in
the melody...

Thanks for listening.

said 4201 days ago (March 24th, 2006)
This is quite a nice offering, as it dusts off a moment from way back
then. I have recordings similarly ancient and unrevisited...stuff I
recorded on a Sony reel-to-reel in the infancy of my folk music
timeline. You have inspired me to pull up something to share.

Thanks for sharing.
Ed Hannifin said 4164 days ago (April 30th, 2006)
Thank you, Rich.

Katchoolik convinced me to get SoundSoape, and now I'm revisiting ancient
hissy tapes like crazy...

alanfraser said 4179 days ago (April 15th, 2006)
And the music does grow pretty
Very nice feeling and it really doesn't matter how old it might be as that vibe is timeless.
Check out my latest song called Too Much or Not Enough - Live at 20th Century
Ed Hannifin said 4164 days ago (April 30th, 2006)
And the music does grow pretty
Thank you for taking the time to give a listen, Alan. I appreciate it.

breezer said 4130 days ago (June 3rd, 2006)
How can one not love this?
Great Playing!
Check out my latest song called Took Him To A Nightclub
Ed Hannifin said 4129 days ago (June 4th, 2006)
How can one not love this?
Thanks a lot, breezer!

said 3885 days ago (February 4th, 2007)
: )
THANKYOU for a very very very nice song . . : )
I really LOVE it !! : ) : ) : ): )

Sounds so clean & I believe simplicity is one of mans best gifts....
Looking forward to listening more to You
Keep it up & take care

THANKS AGAIN...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ed Hannifin said 3884 days ago (February 4th, 2007)
Thank you, lenabdt...
I very much appreciate you listening to this older selection... That's very nice of you, and I also appreciate that you left me a comment... I'm right with you about simplicity...

I hope that you do have the chance to check out some of the others at your leisure...

said 3854 days ago (March 7th, 2007)
This is still a BIG FAV..... & yes I've checked out a few & can't beleive all the great stuff that's here! What a creative place !! : ) : ) : )Thanks again glad I got back to You!
Ed Hannifin said 3853 days ago (March 7th, 2007)
Hello again, lenabdt!
It is very kind and of course flattering for you to be listening to so many of these tunes... I do appreciate it...

And you're right... landing at MacJams is like settling down next to a cool fountain... Creativity bubbling up like water from a spring...

said 3854 days ago (March 7th, 2007)
: )
You want to hear the scores I put first times I heard this weeks ago?!...they're still there!!!!!10-10-8-10 !
MarkHolbrook said 3027 days ago (June 10th, 2009)
Ed I remember drooling over that device! I had a stupid 4 track reel-to-reel with all the wonderful drop outs and other issues and the massive thump of the punch in!

This is really cool to discover your past. I've done so on a few cassettes myself. Sweet picking, sweet melody.
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Ed Hannifin
Location: MA USA
send a note
Psychotherapist and long-time guitarist and songwriter ... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Who's Online
Invisible Members: 0
Visitors: 122