Sunday, May 4, 2008

Peter Laughner - Cinderella Backstreet

Another song written and performed by Peter Laughner. This is a solo performance, with Laughner singing and playing a twelve-string acoustic guitar, tuned down a whole-step (a detail for all you guitar freaks).

Sometimes I play this recording for people, and get a kind of, "Yeah, it's nice, but what's the big deal?," sort of response. Listen to it closely (and as with the last one, allow for the fact that this is an amateur recording). This is a well-crafted song and a masterful performance, with an attention to detail masked by a smooth and seemingly casual surface. Playing single notes under the line, "An ear for the one-note tune," may be something of a cliche, but it's a detail that would be unthinkable for a lot of performers. And the way he delivers the final lines in the last verse ("Denise she did my eyes...") is a lesson in how to deliver emotionally intense lyrics. Basically, you have to actually mean them.

This song, and Peter Laughner, deserve more attention than I'm able to give him here. There's a lot of information about him available on the Web, of varying value. It says something that his estate probably earned its biggest paycheck when Guns 'n' Roses covered one of his songs. Which just goes to show you.

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