This is in the current -AUTUMN- issue of Australian Musician magazine which is available at all musical instrument shops in Australia .
Guitars. Great to play, silly when everybody in the room, including the player, has fluorescent earplugs in. I was skipping rope yesterday with the door open, listening to John McClaughlin. He has a great sound on this CTI record from the early 70s. He has great fingers and tone. I’ve heard him do some horrible stuff but guys like him make the world of music go around by going off every now and again for a piss and a look around. They risk looking and sounding stupid but every now and again they come back to base camp with some amazing stuff they had to travel into some goofy places to find.
He does a track on a Mahavishnu Orchestra album (“the inner mounting flame”) called “you know you know”. Its such a great groove in a strange time signature that Massive Attack sampled it. Every now and again John comes in with this incredibly violent , intrusive chord that blows the speaker with its atonal notes and the crudeness of the sound. never fails to thrill me.
I also love that late sixties sound that you hear on early Jefferson Airplane or Country Joe and the Fish albums. Something about the semi acoustic guitars that those guys ( Jorma Kaukonen and Barry Melton) played, or maybe it was their skills that they all learned on folk tunes before getting amped up or maybe it was the big amps they were playing . Perhaps the mics were way at the back of the room and the sound was aloud to swell out properly rather than a mic being shoved right up next to the speaker, where no human ear has ever been. Jerry Garcia had such a great tone in the Grateful Dead too, and he hated recording. (They gave up for a decade and just told their fans to tape them, providing a special platform at their gigs for the bootleggers).
One of my favourite sounds is The late John Cippolina from the Quicksilver Messenger Service. On their second album, they cut a live set as their singer was in gaol on a pot charge. Its a great twin guitar freakout album called “Happy Trials” with one of the most perfect Psychedelic inversions of a wild western Frederick Remington painting on the cover. The tone of his guitar is amazing. Much of it is to do with his freaked out , souped up amp which is in the Rock’n’roll hall of Fame. His guitar was a Gibson SG. Two leads came ot of it. One pickup fed two small Fenders, also connected to some car air horns and the lower bridge pickup went to a giant bass speaker. That generation built their own sound.
Now I love to listen to players with flash and tone. Matt Walker is so great to see do any kind of gig. His skills as a writer and a singer put most to shame but I love it when he steps out on his semi acoustic and whomps a filthy boogie for ten minutes or so. His harmonica skills make me feel bad for bagging anyone for wheezing into those contraptions. In my band, the Lurid Yellow Mist, Stu Perera comes from that ill attended school, Guns ‘n’ George Benson. Danny Rumour from the Cruel Sea had such a great touch and his own aesthetic from surf and reggae players. He has an aura. Mike Rudd from Ariel/ Spectrum has the chops and a great voice. Its great to hear players who’ve been running up that fretboard for decades. I did some gigs with Glenn Campbell and he would just continually step off and blaze with this country picking sound and all these mad jazz octaving flourishes. He’d get all lost as he tried to find a new way from a verse to a bridge and out to a chorus and the look of mad delight on his face was great. It was one of those lessons that you never get to the end of some music.
Now with this festival season there is gonna be another visit by Jeff Beck. I saw him last year and he is a master of tone and whammy and evil touch. Not a pedal or even a tuner on the stage and he beat that guitar around. Bill Frisell at the jazz festival this year was a session with a master as well.Both Beck and Frisell did “a day in the life” from those four plucky proletarians from Liverpool and almost made me like them, for about five minutes. Songs by those mopetops are great when put through the six strings of an adept. Check out George Bensons “other side of abbey road”). People of all schools turned out to see Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe recently . Those guys are not on any real operating radar system but they pulled people into the Palais in Melbourne and from all reports delivered what the people had come for, and more.
Buddy Guy is gonna be around too , he knows how to destroy a guitar! And then Chris Spedding who had the skills of wearing a leather suit, slick back hair and Flying V straight into his amp. (He was with Bryan Ferry for the “in your mind “ period). He’s playing , again, with rockabilly man Robert Gordon.
James Williamson is back from beyond, if only on Youtube, with his trademark Les Paul violence with Iggy and the Stooges. He’s mean!
Theres also gonna be a visit from them Crooked Vultures and Josh Homme is, like Matt Walker, a master at many skills. He can turn on a dime.
Then theres gonna be a new album from Kim Salmon and the Surrealists. I’ve heard them play it live and its a guitar freakout album that I’m expecting in 2010. The Surrealists are unfinished business for Kim and he’ll be bringin the noise and the pain.
So if music is too confusing and everything is too available, too unlimited,perhaps you could just focus on one aspect. A tiny aperture. Perhaps just one instrument, and then whole different worlds can open up.
- dave graney
- WORKSHY - 2017 memoir out on Affirm Press. 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
also available as a digital album
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