DAVID BLUE – ” These 23 Days In September / Stories / Nice Baby And The Angel / Cupid’s Arrow ” Reissue

Posted: May 20, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , ,

David Blue was born on 18th February 1941. He wasn’t born David Blue, of course, but Stuart David Cohen and he came from Providence, Rhode Island.  At age 17, Blue left home, and joined the Navy, but was soon thrown out for his “Inability to adjust to a military way of life.” He moved to Greenwich Village in the early ‘60s and one day saw Bob Dylan writing the song that would become the great folk anthem ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’.  Bob asked David to play the chords while he would create the verses.  It was performed that night at Gerde’s Folk City.

Once Bob Dylan made it, record companies came looking around Greenwich Village for potential artists. However, there was already a Dave Cohen performing in the village, who later joined Country Joe and the Fish. Our Dave Cohen told folk singer Eric Andersen that he would have to change his name and Eric said, “You’ve got such blue eyes. You should be David Blue”. When Dylan heard of his new name, he started laughing and sang “It’s all over now, David Blue”.

“At the beginning, no one in the “in” crowd liked David, except for Phil Ochs. Phil thought he was a tremendous performer and songwriter. Later on, people started coming around to his music. David’s music was all romantic. Phil’s was all political. In fact, David. Phil and Dylan were an interesting threesome when it came to writing about women. David would write about women who most people didn’t know – the exotics; Dylan wrote about the universals; and Phil didn’t write about them at all …David’s first appearance on record was on the Elektra LP “The Singer / Songwriter Project” where he performed three songs under the name David Cohen. Around the same time he appeared as one of the Broadside Singers on “Broadside Ballads, Vol.3”

When Bob Dylan had his motor cycle accident in 1966, David Blue sent him a note “It’s been done already” – a reference to James Dean. While Bob was recovering, he was recording with the band and David can be seen on the cover of The Basement Tapes – he is sitting to the right of Mrs Henry. Blue joined Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975 and appeared in Renaldo and Clara, the 1978 movie that was filmed during that tour.

The Reprise album, “These 23 Days In September” was released in 1968. It was produced by Gabriel Mekler who was producing Steppenwolf. Gabriel played piano and Bob Rafkin, guitar.

His first album for the newly-formed Asylum label – “Stories” (1972) – had a self-portrait on its cover. The album featured some magical slide guitar from Ry Cooder. The musicians on the album include Rita Coolidge, Chris Ethridge, Milt Holland and Russ Kunkel, which is pretty much an A-Team.

In the album’s ballads, particularly “Grand Hotel,” but also “Midnight Through Morning” and “The Street,” he revealed a more lyrical style that was warmer and sadder than anything in Dylan’s repertoire. Those songs would point a direction for him to find more of his own sound on subsequent albums.

Graham Nash, then a superstar with Crosby, Stills and Nash, produced the album “Nice Baby And The Angel” in 1973. Background vocals included Graham Nash, Dave Mason, Glenn Frey and Jennifer Warren. Glenn Frey was so taken with the track ‘Outlaw Man’ that he took it to The Eagles and it was featured on their album “Desperado”.

“Cupid’s Arrow” released in 1976 was produced by Barry Goldberg and featured Jesse Ed Davis and the Liverpool musician Jackie Lomax. The title track was written about protest singer Phil Ochs and it was sung at his memorial concert.

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