Unnamed slide piece demo

A piece so new and raw it doesn’t even have a name. I was basically just goofing around with a Maj7 tuning that I thought might have possibilities.

Hopefully, at some point the piece will turn up here better and more tightly executed (and with a proper name). In fact, I even have a set of words that might fit it. But this version is just here so that I don’t forget about it.

David Harley

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CD Review – Jack Brett

Review of the excellent CD by Jack Brett.

Another CD review for folking.com, this time for the very talented Jack Brett: JACK BRETT – Plays The Blues And Other Melodic Misfortunes (JBR Records)

A super slide player, but turns out to be a darn good songwriter, too.

David Harley

Butterfly (Over The Hill)

Most Saturdays – at any rate when I’m at home – I spend the hours between 12 and 2pm listening to Ian Semple’s radio show on Coast FM (Facebook page here). While Ian plays a great deal of local music, his tastes are wide-ranging: today, for instance, his playlist included Pink Floyd, Richard Thompson, Seasick Steve, Wilde Roses, and Ry Cooder, as well as more local names like Baldrick’s Plan and Julie Carter. And this was a track of mine that he played today. 🙂

My friend Vic Cracknell, who among other musical activities runs open mike nights around Surrey, where I lived for several years, often used to introduce me as ‘someone who plays authentic blues.’ As a result of which, I got used to introducing this along the lines of: “This is a traditional blues. However, it differs from most traditional blues in that it was written on the platform at Chalk Farm Tube station after an evening at the Enterprise folk club in 1983.” 

In recent years, I’ve usually played this on electric guitar. This version, though, was recorded on domestic equipment (or maybe a Fostex X-15) in the 1980s, with quite a different arrangement (and on acoustic guitar). I think I might try for a better recording using the same(-ish) arrangement in the near future. But in the meantime, this isn’t too bad considering it was taken from a cassette.

David Harley

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

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…