Published in the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, Nov. 7, 2014
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… While the outpouring of testimonials around the death of Lou Whitney on Oct. 7 often praised his mentorship, two members of Luna Jamboree — Bryan Copeland (guitar) and Tyler Mathews (keys) — reflected on exactly what he offered and what they learned. The EP, “And Those Seen Dancing,” was one of the last projects Whitney supervised from start to finish, and it happened to be released on the day he died, Copeland said.
… Among Whitney’s advice: …
Less is more: “You don’t have to play all those flourishes; just clean it up and simplify it,” Mathews said, channeling Whitney. “People’s ears hear it, and they like it, but they don’t know why they like it. It’s that little bit of space.”
Avoid duplication of parts: Mathews said Whitney noticed that the piano and guitar parts in a passage of their song, “Stray,” were nearly identical, and he suggested a severely stripped-down part for keys.
“There were maybe three notes that stood out between the guitar and the piano parts,” Mathews said. “He said, ‘Why don’t you try this on the organ?’ We called it ‘chirping.’ I’d never thought to do that, and now I play it like that live. It completely changed the way I play that song.”
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