New(-ish) CD Review

Another of my reviews for Folking.com, though it’s not by any stretch of the imagination a folk album. Heavy-duty guitar-dominated blues/rock. Well, it’s hard to dislike an album that includes covers of two of my favourite Hendrix songs and one of Rory Gallagher’s. And Joost de Lange is a very able guitarist.

The review has been up for a while, but I’ve been tied up with travel/work and unable to find time to post here.

JOOST DE LANGE’S ROCK BLUES EXPERIENCE – Live In Antwerp (own label)

David Harley

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Dying of Communication [demo]

A suddenly resurrected blues-y song. First time sung in about 30 years, so a bit rough, but I like the energy.

I woke up in the night thinking about this one for the first time in maybe 30 years. Fortunately, I could still find the words, though I’ve changed them slightly here (also the tempo is a bit more upbeat than when I originally wrote it). Unusually (for me) the slide is an open G. I’ve been using an open C again recently, too.

Dying of communication: Copyright David Harley 1976

Sitting it out at the full moon
Reading my mail from the next room
Can’t you see we’re dying
Dying of communication?

Checking it out with the radio
Late late news is ‘no place to go’
Can’t you see we’re dying
Dying of communication?

Sitting it out in the bathroom
Freaked out on ego juice
Fighting it out in the bedroom
Wondering what’s the use
Everyone knows we’re dying
Dying of communication

 

Big Road Blues [demo]

A Tommy Johnson classic that suddenly revisited my head after a decade or two.

I was actually noodling around with an arrangement for Castles and Kings, which I’ve started to think of as a sort of Shropshire train blues, when I suddenly found myself thinking of the Tommy Johnson classic ‘Big Road Blues’, which hasn’t crossed my mind in decades.

This version is a bit tentative (not least because I wasn’t sure I remembered the words correctly, and the arrangement isn’t at all how I used to do it). But I wanted to get it down before I forgot about it again, and I think with a little polish it’ll work well.

Anyway…

Two White Horses [demo]

A slide instrumental based on the song known as ‘One Kind Favor’ or ‘See That My Grave Is Kept Clean’, first recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson. It probably derives ultimately (and quite remotely) from a mournful Victorian ballad by Gus Williams called ‘See That My Grave Is Kept Green’. There is a recording of the ballad by the Carter Family, who also recorded something closer to the bluesier song as ‘Sad And Lonesome Day’.

Faintly Fahey [demo] [cleaner version]

Improvised slide piece that reminds me a little of John Fahey.

I’m ashamed to say I’m not well acquainted with the work of John Fahey, though I have occasionally played ‘The Death of the Clayton Peacock’ which I learned, I think, from a guitar anthology album. Even the way I play ‘Poor Boy/Vestapol’ ultimately derives from Stefan Grossman rather than either Fahey or Robert Wilkins. But that’s another story.

This is actually an improvisation (which started as a sort of pseudo-air in D-modal but somehow moved to a slide piece in Csus2), but it reminded me a little of the Fahey tracks I heard in the 70s. And now I think I’m going to have to start listening to him again.

Slightly tighter version than previously, played on resonator guitar.

Copyright David Harley, 2017.