Chordwainer - Fever, the murder ballad

Chordwainer - Fever, the murder ballad


Here is my entry into the Cover the 50s contest. My approach was to treat the song as a murder ballad, the age-old musical/song form. I want to give a huge thank you to all the folks who made such great arrangement suggestions in the Bash thread on my preliminary versions as I got to this point. I appreciate it so much!!

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0 voters


This is spectacular!!! I can’t really comment on the mix yet, but you knocked this one out of the park in my opinion. :beerbanger:


Not saying anything new here Dave. I love this version. Its definitely original. I love the instrumentation and the way the instruments are recorded. Can’t really explain, but very much an acoustic sound.
I find it very hard to judge when a song is “radio ready”. I do realise that a well recorded mixed and mastered song has a greater chance of grabbing my attention than an amateur recording, but a good song shines through no matter what. As does this song!


Cool intro Dave. Like this a lot. Very boldlike. Sung well bud. I like that chord on the word tight. It sounds great me.


Great job Dave!
Great recording, mixing and arrangement.
Nit picking:
The banjo solo sounds to me a bit off tempo at a couple of notes.
Even though your voice suits the song perfectly I was expecting something to make it take flight at the end. Singing higher notes or something. An outburst (if I use the correct word) :slight_smile:.
Other than that top quality!


Thanks for the support everyone! Much appreciated. George, there’s no banjo, that’s mandolin. And yeah, there could be some “swing” in there, I wouldn’t want this tune to have everything smack on the grid. And I do have to live within the limits of my singing ability, and those limits are pretty severe!! :grin:


This is a damn good version! I REALLY like this one.

When you first posted your version of Fever back in May (I think it was May?), I liked it immediately. I love the way the stringed instruments sound together and your voice has a nice timbre. The addition of the drums and dynamics near the end of the song have created even more interesting flavour to this. I really think this is going to be hard to beat.

I haven’t voted yet because I need to listen to more of the entries to get a gauge on the competition but right now this one is at the top as far as I’m concerned.


Well, thank you very much Wicked, you are way too kind. Very glad you like my approach. As for the contest, there are some seriously talented people on here, I’ll be very happy just to be in the running! :blush:


Oh yeah… this was really good when you started it and now it’s even better. Really great take on this song. Top notch!


I first listened to this after I had recorded my solo version and after I submitted it. Then I started listening to all the entries, and I was daunted to say the least but it was too late. Plus I’m used to not winning, and I believe not everybody can be a winner but everybody can be amazing. And I was amazed with the creations of each person, and finally I heard yours, @Chordwainer, like a House of the Rising Sun Fever but very traditional, and I was impressed. Moreso, it seemed to have a relistenability quality for me personally, perhaps due to my set of tastes.

I want to listen to all of them again as some time has elapsed, and now I may feel them better. So far, they are as good as I remembered!


Many thanks Steve! HotRS is a great analogy to where I was coming from on this, and I didn’t even realize it until just reading your comment! :laughing: It was fun to do.


Nothing at all to add here. As I said on your bash, you made me actually like this song. You arrangemetn changes served the song well. Very very very well done!


Yes, I agree with miked. I REALLY like the feel of this version of Fever. WAY better than the original !!!


Excellent sounding on the iPad Pro.


This is awesome. In no way does the shortness of this message reflects my genuine enthusiasm.


Yes, I was really impressed by this version too!


Dave, are you going to release your Fever cover to the public? How about making a video for it? Do you have any plans to use it elsewhere?


Well shucks, thanks guys… have to admit it never crossed my mind to release anything publicly, and in fact I wouldn’t even know how to go about it. Release it where, and to whom? Just post it somewhere? I’m clueless.

I could see the “story” nature of this version lending itself to video treatment, but similarly, have no skills to make it happen. I suppose I could do some kind of still photo montage with publicly-licensed images, but that would take time I don’t really have, and honestly sounds kinda lame anyway.

Very much open to suggestions on either of these things!


I was just thinking that the cover songs of yours that I’ve heard sound really good and it would be a shame to not present them to a wider audience. This “Fever” cover is definitely a song that shouldn’t be kept a secret. Even if you just made a simple video to post on youtube. You could even just make a “Lyric Video”…Just use a basic video editor like Windows Movie Maker. All that the video will consist of is your song and the lyrics will scroll by as you sing the phrases.

Personally, I think your cover version lends itself to a great story video, but I would understand if you didn’t want to put all that effort into making an all out pro video with all the trimmings. It takes a lot of time and work for sure. I plan on making videos for a few of my songs, including my Fever cover, but I’ll be doing it in a low budget, DIY style. I have no skills when it comes to making videos. I’ll just take my time and learn as I go.

I don’t know how many songs you have, but the ones of yours that I’ve heard sound really good. Maybe at some point in the future, when you have the time, you could release an album. You could upload to streaming sites, put your songs on youtube and/ or if you want to earn some money back for your efforts you can make a website to promote and sell your own music and cover songs. Of course if you want to make money from it, then things become much more work because of the promotional/ marketing aspects of it all. But it would be self gratifying to get your music out to an audience that would enjoy and appreciate your creative work. All I’m saying is, your music sounds too good to not be heard.


@Wicked, thank you very much for your supportive words! Can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

I do have plenty of recordings, well over 50, with about 2/3 of them covers and the rest originals. Definitely a couple of albums’ worth of the (relatively speaking) strongest performances (many of which include my wife’s vocals). I have no delusions about any of it ever making money, but it is always gratifying when anyone enjoys anything I have produced. The group here has been so supportive in helping me learn, I was such a rank newb when I first joined this crowd in '13! (It will be five years in just a couple weeks in fact)

I think if I did an overtly public release that included lots of covers, I would be required to get some kind of license release, no? I know we discussed that aspect when putting up this Cover The Decades contest in the first place.

And who knows, maybe there is in fact some stock footage out there I could mash up into something that tells the story in my version of Fever. It would be fun to make a visual companion to the music!