Rose O'Brien playing Eva Cassidy's arrangement of "Autumn Leaves" (lyrics video). Recorded live (Chico, CA, July 2012). For similar videos, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/RoseOBrie....
"Autumn Leaves" was written in Nazi-occupied Paris by the Hungarian composer Joseph Kosma and the French surrealist poet Jacques Prévert. As "les feuille mortes," it became a popular chanson covered by singers like Edith Piaf and Yves Montand. When it hopped the pond, it got English words from the prolific lyricist Johnny Mercer.
A jazz and pop standard, "Autumn Leaves" has been covered by countless musicians, including Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker, Wynton Marsalis, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Joe Pass, Chet Atkins, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Bing Crosby, Roger Williams, Barbra Streisand, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Eric Clapton.
Our version follows Eva Cassidy's on the Songbird album (originally on Live at Blues Alley), but after the first chorus, Katherine sings one of the French verses. Both the English and French lyrics (with a literal English translation) are included in the video.
Rose O'Brien is a Northern Californian acoustic trio with an eclectic repertoire of folk, rock, pop, and jazz.
Katherine O'Brien, vocals
Robert O'Brien, fingerstyle guitar
Ken Rose, fretless bass resonator guitar
For musicians and audio nerds, here's the lowdown on our gear, live setup, and recording method.
Katherine uses a Shure Beta 58A microphone.
Ken runs the signal from his Dobro fretless bass through a Fishman Platinum Pro-EQ. An unaltered signal goes to his Hartke amp and an eq-ed and compressed signal runs into our board, a Phonic Powerpod 620.
Robert uses a Dunlop medium thumbpick and .0225 silver-nickel fingerpicks to play his Taylor 414 limited edition (spruce top, rosewood back and sides). He runs the signal from the Taylor's Expression System into a Baggs Para DI, which he uses for eq. A Zoom A2 adds reverb and chorus.
Vocals and guitar go into our Phonic 10-inch monitors, and everything (bass too) into Kustom 12-inch mains. For small venues, we only need one monitor and one main.
RCA-to-1/4-inch cables run from the PowerPod's tape outputs to a Zoom H4n, which is set to stereo mode. The four-channel mode would allow us to use the H4n's mics to get the sound of the room, but we haven't been able to get a good blend, so for now we're just recording the board mix.
We use iTunes to convert the Zoom's WAV files into AAC files, which are better than MP3s and can be used the same way.
For interested Mac users, here's how to make a YouTube lyrics video in twelve easy steps:
1. If it's not there already, put your music in iTunes.
2. Open iMovie, go to the File menu, and open New Project.
3. On the iMovie window's right-hand side, click the note button and use the search feature to find your tune.
4. Write down its length.
5. Drag the tune to the Project Library and click on the T button to the right of the note button.
6. Choose the style of title you'd like and drag it to the Project Library.
7. Choose your background.
8. Write your title and click Done.
9. In the Project Library, double-click on the black box and write the length of your song in the Inspector.
10. Go to the end of your project, hold down the cursor on the end of the title bar, and drag it back near the beginning of the project.
11. Drag titles to the appropriate places in the song and write your lyrics.
12. When you're finished, go to the Share menu, click YouTube, and follow the instructions.
For guitarists, here are Eva Cassidy's "Autumn Leaves" chords. Make life simple and use a capo on the first fret.
Intro: Ebm7, Ab, C#, Ab/CBbm, Fm/Ab, F#7, F7, Bbm, Eb, Bbm9.
Verse: Ebm7, Ab, Ab/C, C#, C#/F, F#maj7, Ebmaj7, F7, Bbm, Eb, Bbm9.
Chorus: F7sus4, F7, F7sus4, F7/A, Bbm, Eb, Ebm7, Ab, C#, C#/F, Gbmaj7, Ebm7, F7, Bbm, Bbm/Ab, Eb7/G, F#, F7, Bbm, Eb, Bbm9.