Posts Tagged ‘Dave Harrington’

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Remember live music? “First Flight” documents about 40 minutes of jams recorded during the third week of my September residency at Nublu last year, and, for me, this show was just about the most enjoyable hour of music I played all year.

The ideal of the residency was to mix things up with special guests, different band line-ups, and varied set lists, keeping things fresh and new week-to-week, and this show was the wild card of the bunch. That’s because although Ryan and I have played together for years, and Dave and Spencer have played together for years, neither half of the band had ever met each other. I was tangentially aware of Dave and his music and was intrigued by what I’d heard, so I thought it was a cool idea when Chris Tart, the residency promoter, suggested a collaboration.

So, about 30 minutes after we’d all heard each others voices for the first time, we got up and played for a little over an hour, uninterrupted. The only thing discussed beforehand was that we shouldn’t discuss anything beforehand – not a key or a riff to start with, nothing – so as to preserve maximum spontaneity.

I think this music demonstrates a real connection on stage. In other words, each player was completely present and actively listening on the bandstand. Listening back, there are moments I can hear Ryan saying – musically – “Hey, let’s go over here! Check this out!,” or Spencer being like “Wouldn’t it be cool to go down this path?” And we followed. And it was cool.

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In my mind, that listening thing is the number one most important factor in any collaboration or cooperative effort, but especially in improvised music.

And I think it’s fair to say that a little more listening, a little more presence, would do the whole world some good right about now, don’t you think?

Chris Forsyth
releases August 28, 2020

Chris Forsyth – guitar
Dave Harrington – guitar, electronics
Ryan Jewell – drums, percussion
Spencer Zahn – bass

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Deradoorian (full name Angel Deradoorian) is releasing a new album, “Find the Sun”, on September 18th via ANTI-Records. She shared another song from it, “It Was Me,” via an animated video for the track. Rebecca Hac directed and animated the video.

Find the Sun was originally due out May 22nd, but in April it was pushed back to September 18th due to COVID-19 Virus.

Previously Deradoorian shared Find the Sun’s first single, the seven-minute long Krautrock-inspired “Saturnine Night.” She also shared a video for “Saturine Night.” Then she shared another song from the album, “Monk’s Robes,” via a video for the track.

Deradoorian was formerly the bassist/vocalist for Dirty Projectors. Find the Sun is the follow-up to her debut solo album, 2015’s The Expanding Flower Planet, and 2017’s Eternal Recurrence EP. Find the Sun was recorded with Deradoorian’s friend and percussionist Samer Ghadry, along with Ghadry’s frequent collaborator Dave Harrington.

“Overall, a lot of these songs are about trying to reach yourself – how to be your most
brilliant self,” Deradoorian said in a previous press release about the album. “Because we come from a culture that doesn’t actually support this. We are so deeply programmed to obey societal boundaries that we don’t even know the power we contain within.”

The previous press release further describes the song of the album: “Inspired by the freedom of Can and the singing style of Damo Suzuki as well as the influence of Indian spirituality on free jazz masters like Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra, Deradoorian gravitates to transportive, shamanic sounds on this record, wielding bells, flutes, and gongs in service of a rock record guided by the spirits.”

Summing up the album, Deradoorian said: Find the Sun is a record to sit and listen to, and ask yourself about your Self.”

With the passage of time, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Lone Justice were a great band who did their finest work in the recording studio quite some time before they put out their debut album. While the two LPs Lone Justice released in their lifetime — 1985’s Lone Justice and 1986’s Shelter — were both burdened with misguided production choices and too many guest musicians at the behest of their label, Geffen Records, the 2014 release This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, from 1983 captured them live to two-track in a no-frills demo session. The Vaught Tapes documented the interplay between Maria McKee’s stellar vocals and the band’s twangy but powerful take on rock & roll with a energetic simplicity their albums did not, and four years later, Omnivore Recordings have brought out The Western Tapes, 1983, a six-song EP that gives Lone Justice’s first demo tape a public airing for the first time.

By the time guitarist Ryan Hedgecock and singing force of nature Maria McKee got together in 1982, that scene’s scope had already expanded beyond hardcore and post-punk into blues rock, rockabilly, folk, and other realms of Americana courtesy of the Blasters, X, the Gun Club, and others. In their day, Lone Justice shared the goofy genre label “cowpunk” with similarly country-besotted rock bands like Rank and File, Jason and the Scorchers, and the Long Ryders.

McKee was an 18-year-old with a giant voice and a charismatic presence that intuitively plays to the crowd even when the crowd was just Vaught and her bandmates. It’s no coincidence that Dolly Parton (who contributes an endorsement to the liner notes) was an early fan; in addition to a vocal similarity, neither can mask that personal effervescence — a joy in performing — no matter how sad the song.

There’s no missing that Lone Justice could play. Hedgecock, in particular, comes off better here than on the self-titled album, laying down intricate country-rock licks that producer Jimmy Iovine would largely bury under additional guitars and layers of organ (from Heartbreaker-on-loan Benmont Tench).

Cut in May 1983, this EP features the group’s first lineup, with McKee and guitarist/songwriter Ryan Hedgecock joined by bassist Dave Harringtonand drummer Don Willens, and if this rhythm section boasts a bit less snap than the classic lineup with Marvin Etzioni (who produced this session) and Don Heffington, this band still has an energy and freshness that are absolutely winning. Etzioni was also a more savvy producer than Lone Justice usually had behind the controls; the sound is straightforward but full-bodied, he brought out solid performances from everyone on board, and the decision to bring in David Mansfield to add fiddle and pedal steel on some of the tunes was inspired. And Maria McKee’s voice is still a thing of wonder all these years later, a pure country instrument that still has the force to sing thoroughly convincing rock & roll. One can’t help wish some smart indie label had cut a low-budget album on this band in the manner of the Blasters’ outstanding self-titled album for Slash that would have documented their heyday before Geffen got ahold of them. But between The Western Tapes and This Is Lone Justice, we now have some reasonable approximation of it, and this is great fun from a band that had a lot to offer — more than their best-known work might suggest.

thanks to allmusic for the words