Tidal Motion will be released on Friday!

Tidal Motion single artwork
Posted by John Ray Category: Writing

…and I’m almost finished mixing it. Jonathan Greene is going to master the tune for me, and we will release it in the new episode of Mr. Haircut coming out on Friday! You will be able to listen on iTunes or Stitcher at the end of the podcast, or you can come straight to my website or the Mr. Haircut site Friday morning to download your own copy.John Ray, canoe on the lake

I’m really excited about this tune for a bunch of reasons. I really like it; I’ve written a lot of music and this is one of my favorite pieces, but when I wrote it I never thought I would play with a band that could actually play it! I made a demo recording and sent it to my friend and worlds-best-bassist Oteil Burbridge, then shelved it for a year or so. Then I pulled it out at a jam session with Matt Sickels and Jonathan, and they said, “wow, that looks hard! Let’s do it!”, they both went home and learned it and we played it the next week! It is truly an honor to work with musicians as talented, dedicated, and badass as Jonathan and Matt.

Here is the sheet music and original demo recording I made that we learned the tune from. Feel free to download the chart and play this tune.

Tidal Motion Sheet Music – John Ray ©2016


Matt said it would be a good idea to tell the story of how I wrote this tune. There is a reason it’s called Tidal Motion; I came up with the original groove sitting in my canoe out in the ocean, barely in sight of any land.

I had played a gig somewhere on the outer banks of NC the night before, and knowing I would be off work the next day threw my canoe on top of the car, packed a cooler full of beer, frozen shrimp and granola bars, and grabbed my travel guitar and a fishing rod. This is one of the reasons I love my job so much- I get to do these things on a regular basis! I could already fill up a book with stories of these trips, but this one was pretty uneventful. Except that I don’t think I caught a single fish (beside the point) and ended up just sitting in my boat being rocked by the waves and picking on this little guitar. This rhythm just came to my head, and I wrote the first few sections of this tune as I sat and drank beer. It wasn’t until I got home and played the riff again that I realized it was in 15/16 time and modulated time signatures frequently. It all flows well though, at least in my head. Translating that to other people is a challenge, though, and the chart took me a while to write!

I hope you enjoy this tune as much as I have enjoyed the whole process of writing, rehearsing, recording, mixing and producing this! I look forward to my next project, already underway, called The Mix.

Here is the promo video for Tidal Motion if you haven’t caught it yet.

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