Betcha Didn't Know

from by McLeod-Kendrick

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The first of many songs to come with Chelsea Kendrick. It’s about a girl whose man ain’t treatin’ her right. Ultimately, she does what must be done and 86’s the dude, and later admonishes her daughter not to be a doormat, like she almost was. (Is admonish still a word?) “Betcha didn’t know what I’s gonna do.” Indeed he probably didn’t. She ditches him at some point during the solo.

The fiddle work is that of Leah Calvert, who fronts the Dappled Grays, a killer bluegrass group here in the ATL. I briefly entertained the idea that I could figure out how to play the fiddle, AND write a half-decent solo. But while tracking her parts, it became quite clear that had "Epic Fail" written all over it. The violin is not an instrument for a dilettante.

After the first draft, I knew I had to have me some banjo on this, so I bought an electric banjo: a GoldTone EBM-5, the coolest looking instrument I’ve ever had. And I’ve owned a 60’s tear-drop Vox electric 12-string, a 60’s Ampeg scroll bass, and some other weird stuff. It recorded well - but not good enough!

So I marched over to Maple Street Guitars (the marching got some funny looks), and gots me my Orange Blossom GoldTone, which I love more than life itself. I promise to buy my next one from John Drummond at; if not that, then at least another unicycle from his other company,

Anywho, I ebay'ed the EBM-5 to my newest, banjo-est friend in Sitka Alaska. Send pictures someday, OK?

The overlapping vocal “rounds” at the end were inspired by some odd glitch in Sonar. The night we first recorded this song, something caused these vocals to be offset by 2 beats. A little light went off over my head. Not a bright one, more like a 7-watt night light. But as a result, I was up til 5:30 am chasing down the idea that led to the ensemble of Chelsea’s that you hear.

Sean O’Rourke did us up on the drums. On the kick, he used a 2nd mike outside the drum, made out of a speaker. It took him about 10 minutes to explain this to me. A microphone made out of a speaker. Yes, that is correct. A microphone made out of a speaker. Don’t make me say it again.

I have to come clean – I swiped the opening line from a guy at work. I think he said “it’s been a week full of Mondays.” Since we said “month full of Mondays” that’s OK, right? Hell, he owes me, I figure.

So, what about the guy in the song? To him, we can only say Man Up and do right next time around. Assuming that there is a next time, and the remainder of your life isn’t filled with bitter recrimination. Obviously, she was a catch. Dude. He's probably with some trailer trash at this point.

But can we be so sure? As my imaginary friend and banjo teacher, Festus Cordelio, once told me, some coins have two sides. For all we know, he’s with Shakira as we speak. All this is a matter for another day, and perhaps another song.

Thanks for listening.



been a month full of mondays
lordy me
what's a girl gotta do
to get herself free

i really don't think
it oughta be this hard
queen a' hearts
in a house of cards

took a likin' to you
when I's just a girl
the biggest thing
in my little world

i really don't think
it oughta be this hard
queen a' hearts
in your house of cards

if you were to take
your love away
my little heart'd break
and i'd a-fade away

oooh i wanna love you
oooh i wanna love
listen up baby
to what i say
stays the same
gonna be a change

my little girl
on my lap
i said lookee here hon
doncha take no crap

boy comes along
mess wit' your heart
need to decide
wanna play that part

really don't think
it oughta be that hard
don't build your life
in a house of cards

oooh i wanna love you
oooh i wanna love
listen up baby
to what i say
you better get ready
i'm coming your way

betcha you didn't know what i's gonna do
pack my things and walked away from you

betcha you didn't know what i's gonna do


from Betcha Didn't Know, track released April 1, 2010

Vocals: Chelsea Kendrick
Lyrics: Mike McLeod and Chelsea Kendrick
Banjo, Guitars, Bass, Keys: Mike McLeod
Violin: Leah Calvert
Drums: Sean O’Rourke
Mixing: Mike McLeod



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