Monday, 2 December 2013

The first LP that I ever bought - Carl Perkins Original Golden Hits - Sun Records

Carl Perkins Original Golden Hits - Sun Records
Photo courtesy of Screamsville Studios 2013

Browsing through my old vinyl I've re-connected with the first LP I ever bought: Carl Perkins Original Golden Hits. I guess that would have been around 1969,1970. I remember I'd looked at it longingly in Rumbelows for several weeks, picking it out and reading the song titles, and then eventually I'd taken the plunge and bought it. Hey - an album purchase was a big spend back then! Well I guess that as an investment it's certainly paid off, it's still with me and it's survived a million plays. And Carl's picking style, over that million listens, surely must have had an influence on me. Today I've given the album a re-spin and it's just as I remembered - it's great!!! Like the tough Sun vinyl it's pressed on, this stuff was made to last.

Track listing:
Side 1 - Blue Suede Shoes / Boppin' The Blues / Lend Me Your Comb / Only You / Tennessee / Honey Don't.
Side 2 - Matchbox / Dixie Fried / Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo / Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby / Your True Love.

Listening to it now it still rocks, Carl had rockabilly in him, natural. It's clearly apparent that the songs are played live in the studio, a couple of the tracks have tatty endings, and I'm sure different takes would have slightly different riffs, solos and feels - it's all being performed on ability and instinct.

Instrumentation is electric lead guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar, stand-up 'fiddle' bass, drums, a little piano here and there and mostly Carl's one lead vocal, occasionally with a second vocal harmony part. I particularly love the economy and dry tone of the guitar breaks.

It's highly influential stuff too - obviously, and famously, listening carefully to these tracks would have been the young Beatles - with three tracks here later covered as official releases. Says it all, really.

Many years after that first album purchase I recognised myself within the lines of John Sebastians' song 'Nashville Cats'......the record man said everyone is a yellow Sun record from Nashville, and up North there ain't nobody buys them and I said "But I will".

Friday, 18 October 2013

Stefan Grossman - a short appreciation

Stefan Grossman
Photo courtesy of Screamsville Studios 2013

It was a great thrill for me to sit less than ten feet from Stefan Grossman the Bronx folk blues acoustic guitar master, in concert last week at The Works, Sowerby Bridge UK. Quite uncanny too, to hear my own guitar licks played back at me, only being executed much more accurately and, in all honesty, simply much better. I caught myself thinking "I play that, yeah I play that!!" then remembering why that would be the case - because I learned those riffs off Stefan in the first place!

When I began my guitar journey over forty years ago I was listening to and studying rock 'n' roll guitarists,(and I still am, of course), mainly Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins. Over time, it became evident to me that their styles, tones, choice of notes, chord progressions and so on were based on an earlier form of music - the mysterious "blues" (Remember, this was a very long time ago). Now back in those days those sounds were only accessible to me via funky old hard-to-get albums by oddly named old guys such as Lightning Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Son House. Scary dudes from some another planet. I found myself drawn to this stuff, and would listen intently to these scratchy old records - the crackle and hiss was in the original recording - I wanted to play like that, but trying to work out what was going down seemed to be next to impossible. Bad sound, out of concert guitars, alternative tunings, bottleneck slides, capos up at the seventh fret, and so on. All this through a fog of extraneous noise and with a time delay of decades.

Stefan Grossman came along and for me he became THE MAN, the key to this other world of blues. He had the talent, patience love and dedication to dissect and lift the guitar playing out of the past and into the now. As a youngster he'd taken lessons one to one from the legendary Reverend Gary Davies, who'd apparantly told him to "bring your money, honey" and Stefan clearly had also listened and listened and listened intently to those ancient tracks until he had accurately figured it all out. He published written tutors and he released records (and later CDs, videos and DVDs). In these he would slow down and patiently demonstrate the tricks and secrets as to how it's all done. This he delivered with good humour, generosity of spirit and boundless enthusiasm. Stefan became, and remains the "go to" guitar tutor for me. A truly inspirational guy.

Stefan Grossman and Dave Peters
Photo courtesy of Screamsville Studios 2013

Monday, 2 September 2013

Instinct (lyric)

Words And Music © Dave Peters
Recording Artist on Everyday Records

i got an instinct, of what it's all about /we set it in motion / let it scream out and shout / don't take it too serious / let it all hang out / the wind it cut through me / chill me right to the bone / we huddle together / we ain't never alone / i think of the good times / of the times that I've known / solo / if we play it by instinct / there's no way that we know / if we'd got it together / would it live would it grow / but if you tell me it's over / well I'm anxious to go / solo / if you're taking to talking / just count me out / i'll be taking to walking / like you just found out /and i'll tell you it's over / and we can't work it out.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Studio 2013 - a one liner .

I was back in (Everyday Records) studio last week with record producer Helen Walker - we've started recording a new track, or tracks hopefully. It's great to be back! More very soon ..........

Monday, 6 May 2013

Eastwood Airline Mandola - Review

REVIEW - Eastwood Airline MAP Mandola in Seafoam Green (updated Jan 2015).

Hi y'awl,   I just wanted to share with you how much I'm loving my Eastwood Airline MAP mandola. 
I bought it online about three years ago, since when I've used it on stage and in the recording studio literally hundreds of times.  
Great things come in small packages - very true of this cutey. Its such a funky - looking animal, very appealing, very sixties retro, and what a wild colour, man! 
The solid - body shape is the American  map, but on my lefty, it’s a mirror image of course. 
It’s drawn loads of queries, admiring comments, and one  “New guitar, Dave?“

It’s really in the zone to play. If you can play the mandolin, after a few minutes familiarisation you can play the mandola too, as the chord shapes are the same. It’s just ”seven frets lower”, - a  deeper voicing compared to it's baby sister.
The model is comfortable and light and is a dream to play. It  has a nice slim neck, perfect for my taste,  and is very stable.
Tuning and gauges of my preferred strings :-  C- 36, G-24, D -16, A- 10. (Standard mandola tuning)

For live gigs, I used to carry both  an electric mandolin and  the mandola, however, I latterly started to simply leave the mandolin at home, and by the magic of using a capo, I discovered I only needed to take the Eastwood.   Capo-ed at fret 7, the mandola becomes a mandolin. I can recommended this as  working  very well  indeed and I've encountered no intonation issues. At the time of writing I'm using the mandola capo-ed up  on stage for six numbers.  

Aside from sounding like an electric mandola,obviously, if I had to describe the sound of this instrument I'd say it's a lot   like a 12 string electric guitar, with a loud bright ringing tone  producing some nice chords, virtually replicating the jingle jangle of the electric Byrds.

The pick up seems to be a notch louder / hotter  through my amp(s) than my electric guitars.

Stage amplification - I'm currently mostly playing through a 1 X12 Peavey 40w Combo (occasionally mic-ed up), and the mandola sounds really neat played clean with just the slightest tiny touch of reverb.
This mandola is cool, I think it’s great and I’m absolutely using it more and more - it's already prominently  in the mix of my work-in-progress next  EP release. 
By the way, I'm not affiliated with Eastwood Guitars  in any way, I just happen to  love this mandola. 

Photo courtesy of Screamsville Studios 2014

Thursday, 2 May 2013

My MP3 Player......Update 2013

Rock 'n' Roll  Records Of The Month (aka "Those Golden Oldies")

This could become  a regular feature - or just as possibly be extremely random and rare, seeing as how the last time  I published this list was over two years ago !
Anyhow, my top five most listened to tracks this month are .............

1. The Price of Love - Everly Brothers
2. Way Down - Elvis Presley
3.  Back In The USA  - Chuck Berry
4.  Motorbiking - Chris Spedding
5.  Big River -  Johnny Cash

.........All ace tracks DP  !!!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

poor boy blues

Words and Music by Dave Peters 2013 (revised lyric)

( (chorus) nobody helps this poor boy out / he's lost his strength he's lost his clout / he used to be in but now he's out / nobody helps this poor boy out / there never was a time like this before / i'd never heard the slamming of a door / with no one here that i could call my freind / can't say that i'll be back or when / chorus / from where i stood it seemed like up was down / from where i stood it seemed like lost was found / from where i stood the world just wasn't round / from where i stood her love was out of bounds / chorus / solo / chorus / outtro.