Please forgive the absence of fanfares and fireworks, but ‘One Step Away (From The Blues)’ is now officially released, only three decades or so after it was first recorded for an album never released. Unlike the recent album ‘Tears of Morning‘ and the single ‘Moonflow VI’, it’s available on Amazon and Apple Music, among other sites such as Spotify, as well as Bandcamp.
Me on acoustic guitar, vocal and electric slide guitar
I have a history of being almost there in the music and recording world. Back in the 60s, the organizer of something I played at in Bayston HIll or thereabouts was photographed for a local paper playing (or pretending to play) my guitar (I guess that would have been the Hofner). In the ’70s, Wayland Smithy recorded something or other using my Gretsch Anniversary. (I should never have parted with that guitar…) In the 80s I had several songs on an album that was never released because of a contract issue with one of the other guys. My three tracks are here, though.
And I was involved with some other recording projects that were a little more successful (including some of the recordings on this site, hopefully), though I’m not sure whether I should include Peter Buckley Hill’s Tubular Brains in that category in view of Peter’s high opinion of it. 😉 OTOH there are some bits of Harley guitar in there I still quite like, having heard those tracks again for the first time in at least 20 years.
Anyway, in the next two decades I had other things on my mind, like parenting and IT security (not to mention job security).
However, a month or two ago, I was promoted to body part double for a video by the pseudonymous Virg Clenthills, a well-known C&W name in Ludlow and environs. Not only does it show one of my guitars, but my actual fingers, complete with Virg’s enormous rings. Which would have been a little awkward if I hadn’t been miming.
Not quite overnight success. And I guess if I’m going to get any more music of my own Out There, I’ll have to take Peter Gabriel’s advice and carry on D-I-Y-ing.
These are three tracks from an unreleased album provisionally titled Diverse Brew, recorded around 1985 at Hallmark and featuring Bob Theil, Don MacLeod and myself, Pat Orchard, and Bob Cairns. The project foundered because one of the guys joined a band whose management company proved uncooperative, as I recall. As the master tapes are now somewhere in Antwerp, where Bob now lives and is still musically active (his web site at http://www.bobtheil.be/index.html includes links to his albums), these were snarfed from a fairly naff cassette tape, so the recording quality isn’t exactly hi-fi.
We were supposed to contribute two tracks each, but as we were working together a lot at that time, Don decided to make True Confessions one of his tracks. His other track was a rather nice instrumental called October. (Actually, he also recorded another track with a very nice lady singer called Sarah that we worked with for a while.) As I wasn’t on either of those tracks, they aren’t included. Not because of my own ego and hurt feelings, but because they aren’t mine to publish. 🙂
As far as I remember, all these tracks were done using a cheap but very cheerful Kimbara acoustic (which my daughter still has, if she didn’t get fed up with the warped soundboard) and a Les Paul copy which was a bit inaccurate around the octave but had a very nice chunky humbucker sound. Don was using a Sigma acoustic, I think, and Bob was probably using a Takamine 12-string. No idea what the banjo was, as it wasn’t mine: I’d sold my own John Grey long-tail 5-string by then, and it was long before I bought my current cheap and cheerful Ozark.
A track from the ‘Diverse Brew’ sessions. This is a song co-written with Don MacLeod (he wrote the melody), and the mix is actually pretty good. But again, I don’t have the mix tapes or master to work from. Still, I’ve tweaked it as best I can.
Lead and backing vocal, acoustic and electric lead guitars: David Harley