While I was writing and recording The Fall Will Probably Kill You, I experimented with the Orkney Tuning and, although none of those sketches got turned into tracks for the album, I enjoyed it a lot.
Orkney Tuning is very strange – it is familiar in some respects, yet very different from expectation in many others. You can get into a little groove thinking you have it all under control, but then one little misstep, and you are suddenly way outside of the lines. It is lovely and brutal.
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Hey – the day has arrived! The Fence Cutters album, Extended Play, is now available on all major streaming services like Spotify – worldwide – and downloads and physical CDs are for sale through CD Baby.
Our sophomore record started off with another long weekend at The Library, Allan Gill’s studio in East Austin, with Jeremiah Ball at the controls. If memory serves, we recorded about 30 songs there, then, re-recorded some and mixed everything over at Barbara Kay’s studio in Tarrytown. The three biggest changes are
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Hey! I’ll be playing a very rare Zirque Bois d’Arc solo set in front of the Pink Elephant on Saturday, August 26. I’m going to play at 7, and then Hugh’s new band with Richie, If You Know What I Means, plays at 8.
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Ry Cooder has put out, by quick reference, over 80 albums, collaborations, and soundtracks over his 50-year career. Along that time he has innovated technically (his 1979 record Bop Till You Drop was the first DDD album – recorded, mixed and mastered digitally!) and musically (his direct influence on the Rolling Stones, Little Feat, and Captain Beefheart is clear and undeniable). He also introduced many musical geniuses to the world stage – Flaco Jimenez, Gabby Pahinui, Ali Farka Toure, and the whole Buena Vista Social Club, for example. AND his soundtrack work in the 1980s painted memorable moments in Paris, Texas and a dozen or so other movies (I particularly enjoyed Alamo Bay and, yes, Crossroads).
Continue reading “The Fifteen Best Ry Cooder Records, and Why You Should Drop Everything and Study Them Now”
Like most stories for me, this one begins with memories of my father. Many of the songs he would play on the guitar (and later after arthritis set in on the piano) would be chord/melody pieces – hammering out the fundament with his thumb and plucking the melody up top – and thus definable as American Primitive Guitar. Once guitar became interesting to me, and I picked up a few of the licks from those pieces, he immediately started offering bounties on Chet Atkins tunes (“I’ll give you $50 if you learn ‘Little Roundabout'”). That was hard – there was no youtube, and very few people to ask (Chet Atkins didn’t live next door) – so I moved on to other things.
Continue reading “John Fahey to Marisa Anderson: American Primitive Guitar Past and Present”