yeah- still chewing at this turn of events- shocked I guess- into reality....
I got a late call to do an opening spot for Glen Campbell. I loved his songs and thought it’d be an experience so I said “yeah!”.
I was to do a 30-40 minute set , solo, with acoustic guitar.
I’d seen Glen play in London in the 80s , with a string section (apparently he always played with strings then) , on a double bill with Johnny Cash at the Royal Albert Hall. I loved the great songs he’d gotten from Jimmy Webb and I’d recently seen a film about the session players he’d been a part of in LA during the 60s. “Wrecking crew:” was the name of the film and it was about all the players like Hal Blaine (drums) and Carol Kaye (bass) who played on all the Phil Spector and Beach Boys and practically every hit coming out of LA throughout the 69s. Strangely, neither Glen or Leon Russell figured much in the movie. There was one story where they were all sitting around before a session and wondering who the singer was. Then Glen said that he was! He was crossing from being in the band to being the performer.
I got to the first date in Toowoomba and worked my way into the situation. Tried to do the right songs , of my own, for the room, as they say. the room being the audience and the occasion as well a s the physical dimensions. Its always great to play in large rooms with an acoustic, the sound gets to rise and swell. I went over okay.
Glen Campbells band was very interesting. They had bass player and his brother on guitar, drums, keys (the musical director) and Glens youngest daughter on banjo and more keys. there was not a single amplifier on the stage , everybody wearing in ear monitoring. Glen had an amp but it was way off stage next to the monitor mixer, who also worked a few of the pedals.
Like Brian Wilsons recent tours, it was great to see classy American players with all their little licks and tricks. The guitarist would sometimes play an acoustic strum that was so stiffly on the beat of the snare that it looked strange but the sound was crystal clear and the extra tang and swish it added to the rhythm was great. The harmonies were all superb , especially the two brothers.
They had such a set list of classics that have never rolled off the AM band . “Wichita Lineman”, “By the time I get to Phoenix”, “Galveston”, “southern nights” and many more, that each was almost a set closer for the audience. they leavened the set with some hardcore country like George Jones “she thinks I still care” and Hank Williams “ lovesick blues”. Glens daughters came on to break up the show as well. It really had a hardcore country feel to it. The audience was hip to the country songs as well as Glens hits. he also did some great moments like the one hit by Hamilton , Joe, Frank and Reynolds called “don’t throw your love out on me baby”. (You’d know it if you heard it) and “the Highway man” which he recorded before the Highwaymen.
Glen did a few guitar moments in the show, playing “classical gas” and also “the william tell overture” where he ended playing the 12 string electric behind his head, to the roars of the crowd.
Right from the start of the show Glen would be throwing out these cool jazz country octaving solos and continue to do it all through the set. he really came alive when he was playing that guitar. Outside the songs, when he spoke , he was sometimes unsure of “the room” and had some stock schtick to throw on the floor but when the songs kicked in he was THERE. I guess hes been a pop performer but his real thing has always been to be a musician and that showbiz persona stuff didn’t and doesn’t come easy. He was , like a lot of his songs keep saying, a country boy and a rhinestone cowboy. I said hello to him backstage and he just started talking about looking at the ass end of a mule in prescott North Carolina and taking off to be a player. It was all real and all part of the show as well. Thats country!
In Brisbane they yelled and abused me more than I’ve ever experienced in my life . They had their reasons. (They wanted to see Glen of course. It was like that Yosimite Sam cartoon where he pays to see the high divin’ act and wants it NOW!). The band and management were very supportive and I did the rest of the dates. Nowhere was as rough as Brisbane. I wasn’t scared though. I was relatively young and strong in that room and I had to dig hard to play my music. Its never easy and sometimes its healthy to see how much sand you’ve got in you.
Glen ended the set with a corny Beach Boys medley which wasn’t very country but hey, he was in them for a few years!
I rode in the big country music channel bus with the crew and did the shows in the Gold Coast ,Tamworth , Canberra and Sydney and we ended it in melbourne. The audience there was, really, up for the show and the iconic occasion. the “room” was different here. They rose and cheered from Glens entrance and stayed upo. the band lifted and played songs harder and punchier and with absolute delight, even though they’d done them all a thousand times before. It was a real experience.
- dave graney
- Let's get Tight - 2017 CD with Clare Moore. Moodists - Coral Snakes - mistLY. I don’t know what I am and don’t want to know any more than I already know. I aspire, in my music , to 40s B Movie (voice and presence) and wish I could play guitar like Charlie Christian or Grant Green -but not in this lifetime, I know.
2014 solo album from Dave Graney. *****"If I've learnt anything in my years of writing about music it's that if you are going to do anything of worth in this tough game, you better have your own thing. Today's generic is easily replaced by tomorrow's. And yet you need to be flexible, to follow wherever the songs demand. In the case of this, only the second credited as a solo album among 30 or so Graney releases, it's a curious yet welcoming lane he walks you down, with acoustic guitars, not much percussion, vibes, smooth sounds. At the end of it you feel like you've awoken from a strange yet pleasant summer's dream. As shot by Luis Bunuel. It ranges from off-kilter reveries (A Woman Skinnies Up a Man, The Old Docklands Wheel) through to the softly seductive (How Can You Get Out of London) and the downright arch (Look Into My Shades, Everything Is Great In The Beginning.) This is music that is neither folk, nor blues, nor country, but it's all Graney, somewhere out to the left field beyond Lee Hazlewood's raised eyebrow. It's astringent on the tongue but sweetens in the telling." Noel Mengel Brisbane Courier Mail
you've been in my mind
June 2012 super high energy pop rock album - blazing electric 12 strings - total 70s rock drive. Greatest yet! available via paypal - $20 pp
SUPERMODIFIED - August 2010 remixed/re-sung/re-strung//remastered/replayed comp via PAYPAL
Knock yourself (2009)-first ever dg solo set-filthy electro r&b-available via Paypal- $20
available as a digital album too
We Wuz Curious (2008)-blazing R&B jazz pop album available via paypal-$20
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
AVAILABLE AS A DIGITAL album
Hashish and Liquor (2005 double disc by Dave Graney and Clare Moore) available via Paypal $25
UNAVAILABLE-COMPLETELY SOLD OUT!!!
Single album HASHISH available as a digital release