Madman's Diaries OM17 Footnotes - MMS Presents more Simplified Skynyrd

OK folks a bit later than normal but here are my final dry run recordings, for the JGC OM last weekend.

As I mention at the time, when your favourite bands have three lead guitarist, who are often playing harmonised melodies and lead lines alongside each other, breaking that down to a one man show is next to impossible. Multi track projects fine. Open Mic or just playing with just an acoustic forget it.

So having played a simple version of Every Mothers Son for OM 16, I went through my Lynyrd Skynyrd collection and started to compile what I could call my Simplified Skynyrd Songbook. At the moment there are eight tracks and a few possibles to add. So for this OM I decided to pull out a couple of favourites.

As the title suggests, these have been really dumbed down, as I still struggle to play more than simple rhythm while singing. The intro/outro for Curtis Leow was a hybrid cut to get the feeling of the original but in real “kiss” fashion.

And sorry to disappoint folks who mistook choking for a new vocal style but there’s no rasping in these two. But listening back it would seem things were going south when I recorded the first and that was early on in the day.

080723 All I Can Do Is Write About It

So that was ticked off and put to one side and it was back to the nemesis. Could play it fine without sing, could play it fine with the intro and outro but could I play the one lick/riff between the first chorus and next verse with out screwing up. No siree, not while that darned camera was rolling.

With 90 minutes to go before we opened for soundchecks, I decided against using my monitors (now realise mic position needs improving) and went back to IEMs. Hats n headphones don’t mix : Ran through with the chorus/verse bridge and bombed. Tried it at the next lower octave, so I was closer to the open E chord, bombed. All doable but not after I hit record. As soon as I focused on the opening line of the next verse, I crashed and burned. :scream:
So a hasty rearrangement to chug on the E had to be adopted and that’s what I went with.

080723 Curtis Leow Final

Here’s the simple piece I omitted, kind of butchered the original. And now you know why bands have lead singers !! Simples.

Guess this will have to serve as my July offering. There are a few Blues items to be recorded but guess that will have to wait until the calendar rolls to August for being posted in another Diary Chapter. So you’ll have to make do for now.



I think your simplified versions are great Toby. You have to forget the comparison to the originals as that’s not achievable. You’ve made these songs your own and I for one think that is a good thing. Well done! :smiley:


Hi Toby, thanks so much for giving me some very enjoyable minutes while I was listening to your songs :hugs:.
I haven’t known the songs prior to the OM, but I think they are just wonderful :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:. I really like songs that tell a story. And you are a great ‘story teller’. Very nice versions, delicate playing and singing. The intro and outro of Curtis Leow were absolutely great :+1::clap::star_struck:.
And you even wore a Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt :smiley:.

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More of one of favourite bands and well played and sung. I like your simplified versions and agree with @sairfingers above. Look forward to more.

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@sairfingers Thank you my dear friend. I think after I did the simplified version of Simple Man as an AOVYP post, I realised this was the way to go, if I just wanted to pick and sing & play these songs. And I guess that nicely merges to what the Open Mic are about. Yes there are solos being learnt and potential multi track projects down the line. But there is nothing better than just playing the darned song and hope folk recognise them. Appreciate the comments bud !!


Yes and had been for a few days and was going to change before the OM but the recording hiccups proved a distraction. Now if you like what I have been doing at the last two Open Mics you really need to check out the earlier Lynyrd Skynyrd albums. I’ve been focusing on songs before the fatal plane crash in 77, so those would be a good starting point. But the reformed band, who are still going in one form or another are worth a listen for some good old Southern Rock. Not sure about the story teller angle :rofl: I just like to add a little description about what’s on the menu. I’ll leave the real story telling to Ronnie Van Zant (and his brothers) he was the real deal. RIP. :sunglasses:

@skinnyt Trevor, man that is a compliment if Skynyrd is on your favourites list. There are certainly more to come in this kind of Madman style but I am also looking at some of the off shoot family bands that followed - Rossington Collins plus Brother To Brother with Donnie and Johnny. So more will be added to the songbook and aired as either AOVYPs or at future OMs. Thanks for the listen. :sunglasses:


Hi Toby,
that was a pleasure to listen to and a great appetizer for the OM17 - still haven’t managed to watch the recording (shame on me!), but now I’m looking forward to it even more. :smiley:

Liked both tunes very much and completely agree with Gordon: You made them your own in a very pleasing way. Like your singing voice a lot and the way you played the tunes was delicate, great performances to my ears! :clap: Thanks for sharing these two! :slight_smile:

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Thanks you Lisa, your comments are most appreciated. I’ve yet to do an OM which surpasses the last few takes of the last minute rehearsals. So maybe good you caught these first. :rofl:
Thanks for the comments on the vocals, as I have only really been singing and playing for a couple of years. Playing for longer but gave up on singing long ago, until I learned it was just another instrument that must be learnt. So this kind of feedback shows me the vox work has been worth it in the long run.

There are some great performances at the last OM so go check it out. I just plugged a 10 minute void towards the end, until our semi pro Muse @Rossco01 unpack his gear at the last minute, having been out during the evening and hooked up for a couple of top notch show closers. Call me a bit on musical padding but heck I’m having fun ! :rofl:


Lynyrd Jenner I enjoyed your OM performance live very much. So it was good to watch the dry run recordings

I think it is great that you are looking at ways to come up with an arrangement that you can play in a one man band arrangement. I wouldn’t necessarily call it simple as you can be very creative in your arrangements to incorporate fills to capture the essence of the lead lines. So I think looking at your other songs in your Lynyrd Skynyrd Collection to come up with a solo guitar arrangement opens is a great opportunity to further develop your musicianship. I look hearing the future ones the pipeline.

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@Socio Thank you James. If I can’t find the tab or chords on UG which is normally pants anyway, I’ll drop the OT into Riffstation, get a feel for the chords and monkey around with a rhythm that gives the vibe of the original. As to creativity there’s some rogue Chuck Berry patterns that crept in by stealth. Not sure the boys from Jacksonville would have approved but it worked for me :rofl:

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Hey Toby, I thought your OM performance was great. I haven’t heard much Skynyrd in my time - I only knew Sweet Home Alabama. When I first started learning guitar I had to look up what “Free Bird” was because of all the memes about it!

However I think you nailed it. Your husky voice in the OM, while unintentional, was great - it was clear it was concerning you with you coughing, to us it sounded good, except for the coughing!

It’s clear how much you love the music and you play it well. It’s not realistic performing a multi track, multi guitar, multi instrumentalist song exactly the same as a soloist. Impossible. But you made a song sound great, got the essence of it - it is good!

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Toby, I also very much agree with @sairfingers If it sounds good and sounds like yourself, then it is almost perfect like this :slightly_smiling_face:

I also only knew “Sweet home Alabama”… Yet, having listened to many, many Black Crowes albums this week after @Notter posted his video, Skynyrd will be the next thing for me to check out (there are some advantages to slow workdays :nerd_face:).

Your part at the Open Mic was the point, where I finally got more awake again, prior to that I had been dozing off a bit.
I have to be honest: While I am a big fan of intentionally raspy singing, your first song at the Open Mic did not sound good in my ears. But, and that’s a big BUT: I admire how you fought your way through the song, and how you jumped over the stones being thrown your way, so to say.
With the second song, I was relieved that you sounded better, and I just tried to listen to the story :slightly_smiling_face:


@jkahn Thank you sir. You young pups missed out on some great bands and with the way music is presented/broadcast these days, there not much chance of hearing them, unless you go to specialised digital radios like Planet Rock, which is most likely UK centric. I think we are influenced by the music we grew up with in our youth or what or parents listened to. Fortunately I corrupted my daughter very early on, as she has done with her kids. Can’t say the same for mine, as they were into Frank Sinatra and the like, and not the “dreadful noise” that was being played on radio in the 60s :rofl:
I’ll skip the husky voice in the future methinks. Not a pleasant experience ! :sunglasses:

@JokuMuu Nicole thanks for the listen and getting through the OM as well. Funny after a week or so of non stop Skynyrd in the car, I too have pulled up the Crowes discology on my aging iPod classic, that has all my digitised albums. They really are a great band, enjoy.
Regards to OM performance, thank you for your honesty, sounds like you were hearing what I was hearing. Was not a happy :rabbit2: but that’s how it goes some time. Its the very reason I record these dry runs, in case it all goes pear shape like this time. That way there is always a “this is how it should have been”. Thx once more. :sunglasses:


Hi Toby, thanks for sharing these performances, so great! Love your arrangement and effortless way you flow though the changes. I thought your raspy vocals were actually super cool! I would be keen to hear more of that :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Though, not to take away from your normal style, which I also think is great! :star_struck:
Skynyrd are such a good band and I was lucky enough to see them at the most random concert ever in 2019. My work (amazingly) decided it was okay to send me to San Jose (from New Zealand!) to attend the Zoomtopia conference that year and on the final night they had a gig out in this carpark with free food and drinks. It was the craziest line-up, Snoop Dogg opened followed by Skynyrd?! :exploding_head: You wouldn’t think it would work but it was awesome! Would have loved to seen the original lineup back in the day, but even so they put on a great show and up there as one of my favourite concerts I’ve been privileged to attend.
Thanks again for posting this, Toby, loved it live and loved it again now! :sunglasses: :+1:

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Hi Toby, I’m finding your recordings so very enjoyable :star_struck: Both the playing and the quality of sound are very very good, but what catches my attention at this turn is your voice which fits so perfectly with the sound of an acoustic guitar…I don’t know if I can explain effectively what I mean…and the singing was just so very good as well :star_struck::blush: Bravo, bravissimo!

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Skynyrd has so many great tunes, including these 2, and you’ve done a great 1 man/1 guitar version of both. Very nice Toby, really enjoyed these.

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Hey Toby, it’s been awhile since I’ve been around. Great to see and hear you play, so well done. Loved both songs.


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Hi Toby,
Simpel is goood :sunglasses: :clap:
And oh yes, I still have to watch OM 17 and I see that there are still a few AVOYP and I have to practice a song myself :upside_down_face: … I’m going to buy some time… you’re the last one for now .Thank you and goodbye :grin:

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Been a few busy days prepping for the family visit end of this week, so about time I replied to those kind enough to comment !

@nzmetal Boy that must have been some show. Would never have put those two on the same line up but if it works it works. Snoops not on my radar but hey live and learn.
Thanks for the comments on the playing, I think you confuse flowing and stumbling :rofl:
As to the vox I am hoping normal service will be resumed but still a claggy, so actually avoiding singing at the moment, to avoid permant damage - as I don’t want to end up doing Louis Armstrong covers the rest of my live. Thx for the visit. :sunglasses:

@SILVIA Glad you enjoying these last few. And yes I do know what you mean. I avoided even singing along with Lynyrd Skynyrd songs, as I found a lot of them were not in my range back then. The singing course certainly extended that far more than I thought possible. So while I’ll never match Ronnie Van Zant I can at least sing in the same pitch. And if the guitars is in tune it should all just mould together ! :sunglasses:

@Mari63 Thank you Mari. And yes too many to choose from but I have whittled down some simple favourites, that can be done in this streamline approach. Freebird is definitely not on the list though ! :rofl:

@Sweed Good to see you my man !! Boy it has certainly been a while and great to see you back. Thanks for the listen and comments sir ! Will you be venturing into the recording studio, once you’ve got your feet under the table again ? Don’t be a stranger. :sunglasses:

@roger_holland Hiya Roger, you are so right, where does all the time go ? When you find the shop selling it, send me the link. Thanks for taking the time to listen after playing catch up. Always good to hear from you ! :sunglasses:


I hope too, but then I’ve said that before. I think I had more time to do what I wanted before I retired. Still playing most days but it’s been awhile since I’ve dug deeply into a song.

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Toby, two well done, stripped down versions! “Curtis Leow” - haven’t heard it before but it really resonated with me. Loved the outro. I like your style.

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