Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

Taking The Long Road

I have been notably remiss in posting on here of late. No, scratch that – I’ve been bloody useless. In my defence, it’s been a time of turmoil, change and soul-searching, but it’s no excuse, not really. I am a creator, and I need to share that creativity with the wider world, whether the reaction be good, bad, or indifferent. I suppose it’s driven by that old philosophical adage:  “If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Anyway, I may revisit some of the things I’ve been up to in the intervening couple of years, but for now, I want to share this with you.

In recent months, I’ve been doing some co-writing with an old friend, Steve Bonham. (Our connection goes back so far we’re into counting half-decades!) We last wrote a song together when we were about fifteen, so, as Steve likes to joke, we’re not what you’d call a prolific writing partnership.

Nevertheless, when he approached me to become a part of The Long Road, we began exchanging ideas.

We recorded over thirty songs at Woodworm Studios in Oxfordshire with Stuart Wood for a huge Anglo-Americana project, about half a dozen of which are co-writes between me and Steve. Woodworm is a studio steeped in history. Once owned by Dave Pegg, it has heard the talents of Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull among others, and the ghosts of their songs move through the walls.

One of the songs we wrote was ‘The Girl with the Rattlesnake Heart’ and it’s a song that had some interesting beginnings. I wrote the music back in 2010, in the shadow of the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue in Austin, Texas. I’d been watching a squirrel playing in the trees and had the fanciful notion that it was a blues aficionado, influenced by SRV. I named him Nutz McGee.

Austin 02 037

Me and SRV…..

It was a frivolous lyric, and needless to say, it didn’t make it onto my ‘Blue Odyssey’ album of the same year. But I always kept coming back to the music, knowing I could use it some day.

When Steve approached me to see if I had any ideas this one came to mind. “I’ve got a song about a blues squirrel,” I said, straight-faced. When he’d stopped laughing, he gave it a listen. He came up with a fabulously evocative lyric that dovetailed perfectly with the mood of the music, and ‘The Girl with the Rattlesnake Heart’ was born.

I remember the recording session for the song. I was like some kind of long-haired Basil Fawlty, running up and down the studio stairs like a lunatic, recording drums, then bass, then guitar, then backing vocals! I like the juxtaposition of the two guitar solos, mine, then John Humphreys slide solo, a nice contrast. The minimalist low bass note on the piano from Chris Lydon harks back to my Blue Odyssey album. When I’d visited Sun Studios in Memphis, I’d learned that Johnny Cash used to do this to add gravitas to a track. I think it sounds great on this.

A couple of weeks ago, the band came out to Andalucia, and we filmed a trilogy of videos for the project. Here is the first of them. ‘The Girl with the Rattlesnake Heart’

We still call it The Squirrel Song. 🙂

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March 27, 2018 - Posted by | Anglo Americana, blues, Music, Recording, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Video, Writing | , , , , , ,

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