Category Archives: Diverse Brew sessions

The magic fingers of David Harley

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 Virge 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 Virge’s enormous rings. Which would have been a little awkward if I hadn’t been miming.virge video

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.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

Diverse Brew sessions

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 includes links to his albums), these were snarfed from a fairly naff cassette tape, so the recording quality isn’t exactly hi-fi.

Table of Contents

  1. One Step Away From The Blues
  2. True Confessions
  3. Heatwave

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.

One Step Away (From The Blues)

(Words and Music by David Harley)  [All Rights Reserved]
There’s a song recorded by J.J. Cale (among others) with a very similar title. This is actually an earlier song and sounds nothing it. 🙂
MP3: One Step Away

David Harley: vocal, acoustic guitar, electric slide guitar
Don MacLeod: acoustic lead guitar
Bob Theil: 12-string acoustic guitar

And here’s a recent solo version.

Continue reading

True Confessions

True Confessions (David Harley – Don MacLeod) [All Rights Reserved]
Don wrote the tune for this. Very soft rock production.
MP3: True Confessions

David Harley: lead and harmony vocals, acoustic lead guitar, electric lead guitars
Don MacLeod: acoustic guitar, piano
Richard Davy: percussion
Anna (Lin) Thompson: additional vocals

Continue reading