A Little Bit of Soul

Lyrics

Well I make it alright
It’s under control
I said I make it alright
With just a little bit of soul

And I said she is the only reason
She helps me to see
If she asked me for my soul
I’d give it to her for free

Well I make it alright
Everywhere I go
Just need to make it to tonight
Baby take me down slow

You might be an angel
But I bet you’re just a thief
But all you have to say to turn me around
Say “baby, come to me”

And I said
She is the only reason
She helps me to see
If she asked me for my soul
Baby you know I’d give to you for free

Copyright © 2008 Karl Ward

Writing notes

So there was this point in my life when I was partying a little too hard. I decided to take a break, not just from partying, but also from New York and basically the entire life I had at that point. I quit my job, I bought a car, I wandered around the South, I wrote songs–good work if you can get it. I mostly stopped going to bars (which was good) and stopped dancing and getting crazy (which was bad). But there was one night when I managed to go out to a dance party in a basement bar called Guernica (it doesn’t exist anymore) and I had a wonderful time with a certain girl. Now you know how there are movies where someone has a crush on a someone in high school and then they meet years later in a big city? That’s the one. So like the next day I drove all the way from New York to Georgia with this wonderful night in my head. I sat down at my parents’ house with my Strat plugged straight into a four track tape recorder and wrote this song in about ten minutes. That’s long enough to come up with the chords, the turnarounds, and write down the words. But there were more words originally–editing is a blessing. It’s true.

Recording notes

The drums and rhythm guitar were recorded in my apartment on Grand and Henry Street, where no one cared if I played drums all day, and almost no one tried to break into my place to steal my instruments. It was a little pink three story house, which I called “Little Pink” after the Band’s famous house in Woodstock. I bought a Tama drum set and set it up where my bed was supposed to be. Guitars were hung on every wall. There were at least three amplifiers in the room, I think they were 5, 25, and 50 watts. Adam came over to my place in the brutal winter months, when I had only an electric space heater to keep the place warm. We’d turn it on to warm up between takes, and venture out to the diner across the street to eat on the cheap. It was so cold. The rhythm guitar was my Telecaster (“Jenny”) straight into my Sovtek MIG-50, turned up loud and clear.

Nami and I recorded the vocals at Chimera Sound. Quinn recorded the verse lead guitar parts there too, I think.

The drugged out Henry Street crash pad got out of control, so I cut out and moved into a respectable place in Stuyvesant Town. I spent like a whole day listening to Led Zeppelin and then composed the guitar solo at my new place and recorded it one evening at Quinn and Nami’s apartment on Ninth Street. There are two takes of the guitar solo playing simultaneously. I think we did two takes with the intention of taking the best one, but then we decided it sounded better doubled.

Release Info

  • Release: A Little Bit of Soul
  • Artist: Ninth Street Mission
  • Format: Digital
  • Date: November 30, 2008
  • Personnel:
    • Karl Ward: electric guitar, drums, lead vocals
    • Adam Chimera: piano
    • Quinn Raymond: electric guitar
    • Namrata Tripathi: bass, harmony vocals