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All new music from Jody Harris, Dave Schramm, Peter Blegvad, Kate Jacobs, Peter Holsapple, Victoria Williams and Laura Cantrell with special guests David Mansfield and Todd Snider and honoring Captain Beefheart.
Presented by: Nicholas Hill
The Radio Free All Stars Dirty Dozen: Dave Schramm, David Mansfield, Dave Hofstra, Paul Moschella, Ted Reichman and Doug Wieselman
Back at Brooklyn Recording with an amazing All Star line up, we had lots of live action. Peter Blegvad was in town and contributed mightily with two songs and a tribute to Captain Beefheart — Dust Blows Forward and Dust Blows Back in an improvised performance with Nicholas Hill and the All Stars. David Mansfield wore a guest hat and played a beautiful tune of his own, destined for Bernadette Peters and the silver screen. A guest track honoring freestyle radio was flown in from Todd Snider. Jody, Dave, Kate and Laura all took advantage of the exquisite band and played new songs live. Nicholas and the band further honored the Captain with Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles.
Nicholas Hill and Peter Blegvad, The Dust Blows Forward ‘n the Dust Blows Back (Don van Vliet) performed live with but not within earshot of the Radio Free All Stars; Kama Sutra Music Inc. (Publisher)
Jody Harris, Mr. Nobody (Jody Harris) live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Jody Harris
David Mansfield, Ballad of Little Jo (David Mansfield, Nan O’Byrne) live with the Radio Free All Stars; Jocada Music (BMI)/New Line Music (BMI)
Dave Schramm, Been There, Done That (Dave Schramm) live with the Radio Free All Stars; Hot Stove Music (BMI)
Peter Blegvad, Had to Be Bad (Peter Blegvad) live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Peter Blegvad
Nicholas Hill, Her Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles (Don van Vliet) live with the Radio Free All Stars; Kama Sutra Music Inc.
Kate Jacobs, Now I Believe it All (Kate Jacobs, arr. by Ted Reichman) live with the Radio Free All Stars; Small Pond Music (BMI)
Todd Snider, Santa Cruz (Todd Snider) performed and recorded by Todd Snider; Nobody’s Collecting on These Songs (BMI)
Peter Holsapple, The Smartest Thing (Peter Holsapple) performed and recorded by Peter; Hospital Music (BMI) admin Bug Music
Victoria Williams, Singing to Freedom (Victoria Williams); performed and recorded by Victoria; Mumbletypeg Music (BMI)
Laura Cantrell, Starry Skies (Laura Cantrell) live with the Radio Free All Stars; Thrift Shop Songs (BMI) admin Bug Music
Peter Blegvad, Just Woke Up (Peter Blegvad) ) live with the Radio Free All Stars; Copyright Control Peter Blegvad
Recorded at Brooklyn Recording by Andy Taub, assisted by Shane Steinhilber
Other guests: Ted Barron, Tony Cenicola, Jeff Roth
Peter Holsapple on The Smartest Thing:
This song is a personal inventory, and hopefully not too personal for listeners that aren’t me; there’s nothing here that you don’t already know about me. I had tried a whole other set of lyrics, words and phrases starting with be-, but that seemed so contrived that, after I’d written enough to cover most of the song, I started writing an entirely different song, as if to purge the first one from my system. Didn’t help, I was still days away from any breakthrough. Eventually, I got these lyrics by way of the tag line, which I assume will be posted at the RFSC site. There are a lot of words; not like Dylan-a-lot-of-them but a lot for me. That may make playing this song out impossible, but we shall see. That’s not important right now anyway, as you have the recorded proof that it did get written, played and sung (and delivered right under the wire to RFSC).
Me on drums, Dano Rumor bass, Nashville-strung Yamaha acoustic, a tremolo-infused Tele and one doing rhythm, tambourine and vocals. I tried a keyboard on it, but I guess I forgot to tune the first guitar, so everything’s microtonally away from A440.
To Nick and Kate and all my compadres, thanks for helping me write a dozen songs this year. They’re of varying quality, but there are twelve of them. For me, that’s a minor miracle, and I’m forever grateful for this opportunity.
See you next year!
Dave Schramm on Been There, Done That
The lyrics for this grew out of a conversation I had with Andy Taub recently where we were both bemoaning the demise of “old school” recording techniques. Not analog tape vs. Pro Tools or some such frivolity, but how the performances are captured. How people would just all sit down in a room together and play and that would be the record, rather than carefully laying down a rhythm section and then layer after layer of separate instruments and voices. Of course Andy still does a lot of recording that “old” way, mostly for jazz sessions. He suggested I write my song about “What We’ve Lost”.
What have we lost? Well, we may have lost some spark of spontaneity and reality. Musicians playing together in the moment sounds different than those same musicians playing separately at different moments. But the song had it’s own plan I guess, because it ended up being about way more than music and recording, and in fact it turns out that it means exactly the opposite of what those two grumbling old farts meant. Gotta shed your skin once in a while or fade into the undergrowth.
And I think there is a whole beautiful world of music out there that may not have been able to come into existence in that “old school” way. So that’s a plus. But wait…that being said, “old school” isn’t really old, is it? I will always rather go sit in a room with a group of people and play together, generating heat and beauty.