antiMusic Logo
Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds
spacer

Singled Out: Zamora Rose Project's Painting It Blue

07/05/2013
.
Today Zamora Rose Project tell us about the song "Painting It Blue" from their brand new album "Stand True". Here is the story:

The song "Painting It Blue" originated in a vignette from the autobiography of Keith Richards. In his book entitled "Life", Richards tells about the Rolling Stones going to visit Chess Records in Chicago on their first tour of the US. Chess had been the home of many of their idols including Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. So they wanted to check it out.

Apparently, when they walked in to the recording studio at Chess they saw a man on a ladder painting the ceiling. Richards did a double take when he recognized the painter as Muddy Waters. At the time, Muddy's career wasn't going too well. And apparently he had to earn his keep by doing work around the studio, including painting it. His career would later pick up when the Stones and other British groups would re-introduce the blues back to the American public.

Muddy Waters also had a special connection to the Rolling Stones as they took their name from one of his songs "Rollin' Stone" (also known as Catfish Blues). By reading the book, you got Richards' impression of that awkward meeting.

I wondered what Muddy Waters thought about the whole thing. Here was this young group of white, British musicians and they were getting a lot of press, radio play, and big sold out concerts by playing a version of the blues, when he had been playing the blues for over forty years, and was one of the pioneers of the genre and yet he had to paint the studio to earn his keep. To add insult to injury this group had lifted their name, the Rolling Stones, from one of his songs. It had to be a tough pill to swallow.

So, on a Sunday I started writing some lyrics. Writing from Muddy's perspective:

I'm painting the ceiling

Painting it blue

I decided to have him "painting it blue" as simile to the blues. And in some ways it is a takeoff on the Stones song "Paint It Black".

Records ain't sellin'

Got nothing to do

It was a fact that the early 60's were a low period in Muddy's career as he hadn't had a hit record since 1956. And Chess was undoubtedly less than thrilled with his production. Thus his

maintenance duties to stay on the roster.

In roll the stones

Lookin' so new

The Rolling Stones at the time were still teenagers, while Muddy was in his late forties.

They borrowed the name

They borrowed the blues

This references the Stones taking their group name from his song Rollin' Stone. And co-opting the blues, which had been born in the Mississippi Delta and went electric in Chicago. And then was resurrected like a phoenix in the clubs of London. It must have sounded strange to Muddy to hear white British musicians playing his music back to him.

I know they are trying

To help where they can

The Stones, Eric Clapton and other British Invasion musicians did serve to bring more attention to black blues musicians like Muddy Waters and helped them revitalize their careers.

But I'm up on this ladder

Brush in my hand

But it wasn't helping Muddy at that point in time.

White boys are makin'

A ton off the blues

Sure makes you wonder

The path that you choose

No doubt the Stones, Animals, Cream and countless other white British groups have made way more money from blues songs than all of the black blues pioneers combined.

Forty long years

Of paying the dues

Writing the songs

And playing the blues

Hoping my songs

Will carry me through

Get down from this ladder

And start playing the blues

In the end, it was Muddy's songs that did ultimately carry him through. His song Manish Boy was covered by many other artists including the Rolling Stones and Muddy played it with Paul Butterfield at the Band's last concert immortalized in the famous film "The Last Waltz." He died a successful and revered artist.

Musically, "Painting It Blue" started with a chromatic bass line that I had written to match the lyric. I played it for Phil Zamora and my daughter Heather Scarlett Rose who was just back from Boston. She had just graduated from the Berklee College of Music and had moved back to California the week before. At the time I only had the first few lines of the lyrics, "I'm painting the ceiling, I'm painting it blue". We recorded a quick demo in Garageband, with Phil playing the bass, and Heather playing a rhythm guitar part, with both of them singing. We just made up further nonsense lyrics as a place holder. The demo only ran about 40 seconds or so, but we had the basics for the bass line and the rhythm guitar chord progression. That helped me fill out the rest of the lyrics. Heather and Phil later helped with a bridge and the choruses. The lyrics gave all of the needed clues to develop the melody line for the lead vocal. The demo of the song was done in about 2 week's time.

Phil Zamora then told me that his old band mate, James Petrella was a good blues guitar player and he would be a good person to play the lead on it. After we had recorded the basic rhythm track we sent it down to James via FTP down in Santa Maria, which is about 200 miles south of our studio in Half Moon Bay. I told James the whole story of Keith Richard and Muddy Waters and asked him to play his guitars parts as if he were channeling Keith Richards. I wanted the song to sound like a Stones song, a la "Jumping Jack Flash," "Brown Sugar," etc. Doing things remotely on musical tracks is a bit scary. You never know what you are going to get back; sometimes it is great. Sometimes it is a train wreck.

James recorded both a rhythm and lead guitar track and sent them back to us via FTP. We were thrilled with the results and didn't ask for any changes. We dropped them into the Pro Tools session, and they fit quite well with the drums and bass tracks. We did a few overdubs and had it mixed, bounced to tape, and mastered by Justin Weis.

Thus is the story of Painting It Blue.

I later sent a copy of the CD to Keith Richards' attorney Peter Parcher asking him to send it on to Keith. Richards' book had mentioned that Parcher had previously been a go between on another song for Richards with Hoagy Carmichael. I figured "Painting It Blue" may have some interest to Richards, as it came from that vignette in his book. But Parcher sent it back to me unopened saying he wasn't authorized to accept things on behalf of Richards. More likely he was just doing his gate keeper job, perhaps too diligently. Then again, I'm not exactly in the same songwriter zip code as Hoagy Carmichael.

In any case, maybe Richards will hear it someday...most probably not, but at least we were able to honor Muddy with the song. I am sure, that he no longer has painting duties in that big studio in the sky.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

Zamora Rose Project CDs, DVDs and MP3s

Zamora Rose Project T-shirts and Posters

Zamora Rose Project CDs, vinyl and rarities

Share this article


...end


advertisement
advertisement

.
News Reports
.

Day in Rock:
AC/DC Guitarist On Young Family's Musical Heritage- Lawyer That Sued Led Zeppelin Suspended Over Conduct- Video From Guns N' Roses' Kansas City Reunion Show Goes Online- more

Beyond Rock: Demi Lovato Goes Topless For New Song 'Body Say'- Joe Budden Releases Drake Diss Track 'Making A Murderer'- 'Straight Outta Compton' Defamation Lawsuit Continues- more

Guns N' Roses Icons Izzy Stradlin and Matt Sorum Team Up- Slipknot Frontman Corey Taylor Takes A Fall On Stage- Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton Disses Ritchie Blackmore- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock


advertisement

.
Rock News Stories
AC/DC Guitarist On Young Family's Musical Heritage

Lawyer That Sued Led Zeppelin Suspended Over Conduct

Video From Guns N' Roses' Kansas City Reunion Show Goes Online

Former Motley Crue Singer Bewildered By Nikki Sixx Attack

Paul Simon Hints At Retirement From Music

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros 'Wake Up The Sun' Video

Trivium Release 'Dead And Gone' Live Video

Weezer Release New Song Called 'I Love the USA'

Metallica 'Beyond Thrilled' Be Part Of Fashion Campaign

Van Morrison Announces New Album 'Keep Me Singing'

Apple May Soon Be Able To Disable iPhone Recordings At Concerts

Hello, Goodbye: The Beatles in Tokyo, 1966 Book Coming This Fall

The Cult's Billy Duffy TV Special Airs This Week

All Hail The Yeti Announce Haunted & Damaged Tour

Genesis In The Studio For Abacab and Invisible Touch Anniversaries

Marillion Reveal FEAR Album Details

Wolfmother Added To Guns N' Roses Reunion Shows

Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith Jams With Street Performers

Suicidal Tendencies Frontman Reveals New Album Title

It's Fine To Let Toddlers Listen To Heavy Metal

Guns N' Roses Icons Izzy Stradlin and Matt Sorum Team Up

Slipknot Frontman Corey Taylor Takes A Fall On Stage

Aerosmith's Tom Hamilton Disses Ritchie Blackmore

Pink Floyd The Wall Studio Being Turned Into Luxury Apartments

Tool Have Epic Songs Written For New Album

Sum 41 Release 'Fake My Own Death' Video

Allman Brothers Offshoot Les Brers Announce Fall Tour Dates

Allusondrugs Announce Final Dates Under That Name

Other Music News Stories
Demi Lovato Goes Topless For New Song 'Body Say'

Joe Budden Releases Drake Diss Track 'Making A Murderer'

'Straight Outta Compton' Defamation Lawsuit Continues

Lil Wayne's Prison Memoir Finally Set For Release

Leslie Cours Mather Giving Away New Single 'We Are America'

Trace Adkins Talks New Single 'Lit'

Daye Jack Streaming New Track Called 'Raw'

Madonna's 'True Blue' Album Celebrates 30th Anniversary

T.G. Sheppard Extends North American Tour

ScHoolboy Q Releases Second Part Of Short Film Series

Trent Reznor And Atticus Ross Preview NASA Inspired 'Juno'

Deadmau5 Releases Virtual Reality Game

Wiz Khalifa Countersued By Rostrum Records

Lorde Helps Provide School Lunches To Poor Children

Trailer For Justin Timberlake's New Movie Trolls Released

Louis Tomlinson Seeks Joint Custody of His Son

Iggy Azalea Opens Up About Nick Young Breakup

Paris Hilton Reacts To Kim Kardashian And Kanye West 'Famous' Meme

Guitarist Learns To Play Again After Losing All 4 Limbs

The Beatles 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' Cirque du Soleil Video

Vinnie Paul Was Floored By Christina Grimmie Murder

Prince's 'Purple Rain' Jacket And Ruffled Shirt Being Auctioned Online

50 Cent Insider On Rapper's Arrest For Cursing

Prince Harry Joins Coldplay on Stage

Lady Antebellum Cover Justin Timberlake's 'Can't Stop the Feeling'

John Mayer And Bob Weir Duet On Grateful Dead Classic

Mental Health Struggle Inspired Lacuna Coil's Latest Album

Se Delan Release 'Blue Bird' Lyric Video

Reviews
All Recent Reviews and Interviews

5 Stars: Heart - Beautiful Broken

Vampire - Cimmerian Shade

Road Trip: Swaziland's Bushfire Music Festival Part 2

Road Trip: Swaziland's Bushfire Music Festival Part 1

The Blues: Walter Trout - Alive in Amsterdam

Quick Flicks: Johnny Winter With Dr. John - Live in Sweden 1987

Get To Know... Madysin Hatter

RockPile: Bun E. Carlos- Crown Jwlz- The Last Ditches

Jack Hues and the Quartet - Collaborations Vol. 3: A Thesis on the Ballad

Beninghove's Hangmen - Pineapples and Ashtrays

Motorhead - Clean Your Clock

Turning Virtue - A Temporary Human Experience

TBT: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Live 2006

Post Death Soundtrack - The Unlearning Curve

Rock Reads: Aliens Among Us: Exploring Past and Present

RockPile: Prog Edition (Asia, Security Project, The Raptor Trail)

Abominable Putridity - The Anomalies of Artificial Origin

Jean Michel Jarre - Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise

Rock Reads: Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements

MorleyView Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane)

Red Tide Rising - Voices

Denner Shermann - Satan's Tomb

The Blues: Blind Lemon Peel Blues All-Stars - Don't Tear My Clothes

Steve Porcaro - Someday/Somehow

Kiefer Sutherland Live

The Allman Brothers Band - Live From A&R Studios, New York, August 26, 1971

Howardian - A Smurf at Land's End

Anvil is Anvil

Album of the Week: Generation X

Root 66: Darryl Purpose - Still the Birds

Quick Flicks: The Dollyrots - Family Vacation: Live in Los Angeles

5 Star Friday: Searching for Sugar Man

Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved.

Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.