Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dennis Driscoll sings "Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow"

Dennis Driscoll: Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow

After I had been working on this project for a few weeks, I ran into Seattleite Dennis Driscoll in Olympia at a now-defunct house-cum-live venue called "the Finger Complex." I mentioned the project to him, and he immediately had this song in mind. I had my tape recorder, so he just sang it unaccompanied right then and there. You can listen in and hear the automobiles driving by, and at the very end you can hear the band inside the house start playing. Dennis' singing voice is a lil' bit sped up on this song, due to the batteries dying. There's a few numbers that work out that way, it's just a part of the process. This situation was destiny if there ever was, and I'm pleased as punch with the recording!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

LAKE sings "Lonesome Valley"

LAKE: Lonesome Valley

While on tour this past fall, we (LAKE- Andrew Dorsett, Ashley Eriksson, Eli Moore, Markly Morrison, Adam Oelsner, Lindsay Schief) stayed in our friend Pat's new house. Pat hasn't moved in yet, but his dad Bill McHale was there doing some handy work. This house is more of a museum. It's filled with relics from about a century ago, from creepy porcelain dolls to rusty machinery, down to a nice old upright piano and a pump organ. About 15 minutes after we woke up, we got together and sang this song. We added a few verses, and took turns on soloing the first line of the tune. Bill sings all the choruses with us and Karl Blau. The session starts outside in the rain and slowly moves into the museum.

Golden Boots: Untitled

Golden Boots "What Would You Give (In Exchange For Your Soul)"

These boys are one of my favorite country singing groups out there today, and when I knew that I would be in Tuscon for a couple of days, I made a mission to track them down. Band members Dimitri Manos & Ryen Eggleston met me in a little wooden shed in the back of this airplane hangar, and I sat with them. First time we ever hung out, it was real nice. Loved that little homemade speaker mounted onto the electric guitar, and dig those harmonies! Singing the gospel with conviction. Thanks, Golden Boots!

Peter Stampfel: "The Titanic"

Peter Stampfel "The Titanic"

This particular session was a real treat for me.  A veteran of 60's psych folk groups the Holy Modal Rounders and the Fugs, Peter Stampfel was a prime candidate to translate a Carter tune.  This one, called "The Titanic," was originally recorded by the Carter Family in 1950.  Peter related to me that he had heard it on the radio around 1960, and had been wanting to play it ever since.  I went to his brooklyn apartment to record this song on the evening October 29th, which was coincidentally Peter's birthday!  He plays mandolin on this recording, and is joined here by friend Eli Smith on autoharp, daughter Zoe Stampfel on percussion, with backing harmonies by his birds Snapdragon, Gus and I.O.  This may not be the take used on the finished album, as there were several others recorded.
For the introduction, Peter relates a story about how the Carter family got personally one-up'ed by the Hiroshima attacks.  Enjoy!