Ian Anderson: Jethro Tull Remakes Classical

If you are 40+ in age or thereabouts (or a young retro recluse), you probably are familiar with Jethro Tull (Ian Anderson) and all the pop hits they (he) had on the radio.

And although this is not what many of you would consider an “amazing acoustic guitar video,” (say like a Tommy Emmanuel video) it is nonetheless a very enjoyable performance.

In this  remake of the classical tune “Life Is A Long Song,” this performance features a nice blend of piano, string quartet, light drum kit with brushes, and of course Ian’s strumming guitar and his infamous flute.

And despite some of Ian’s problems he had vocally  in the late 80s, his singing here is reminiscent of vintage Ian.

I just wanted to point out something that at first seemed a bit odd…

Ian is using what looks like a dynamic mic for his vocal and flute- looking a lot like an SM58, which is the warhorse of all live vocal application microphones. The quartet, piano, and even the drums are all using condenser mics… so why not Ian?
Well it occurred to me that he is sitting extremely close to the string quartet… which means if he was using a studio condenser, the bleed would be overwhelming. Bleed if maintained properly is normally a good thing in a live studio setting with the proper wall treatments (as long as you are not planning on overdubs and repairs) . But this is recorded in a living room!
The engineers perhaps might have had a condenser on Ian, and then choose to go with a dynamic which doesn’t pick up as much background. And a good quality mic-pre can even make a $100 mic sound good.

If you like these types of videos that are not necessary all about the acoustic guitar (but has one anyway), please let me know.


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