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For The Record

“For the Record” (2016), acoustic blues, dark and mostly miserable – but in a fun way!

This process is not very complicated, but it is easy for it to go wrong, so please do read the following:

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The download includes 11 MP3 tracks, PDF file of virtual CD cover etc. It’s also possible to download using the link that should arrive by email.

Samples:

Track 1 – Crossroads Track 2 – CC Rider
Track 9 – How Long Track 11 – Banks of the Blues

Each of these pieces was recorded in a single take*. That doesn’t mean a first take, of course – I banged my head on the table a few times on the hunt for a version without bloopers. (Remember Bill Nighy as Billy Mack in the opening of Love Actually? Only less funny.) What it does mean is that, apart from a touch of reverb and some trimming, there are no tricks here. No multi-tracking. Tracks have not been spliced together, good bits taken from one place to cover mistakes made somewhere else… none of that! One microphone, one guitar, maybe a harmonica in a harness, and off we go. Again. What you hear is what it was.

* There is one obvious exception: “My Creole Belle”, where you will soon hear that I played the guitar more than once. This is the only one that consists of more than a single track.


Track list:

Crossroads Based, of course, on a Robert Johnson number, with a groove inspired by Rory Block. The Crossroads is a dark and dangerous place.
CC Rider Largely traditional. Scholars argue about what “CC” means, but a “rider” is pretty much a “squeeze”.
Special Rider My take on Skip James’ take on a traditional theme. A song soaked in death and loneliness.
St James’ Infirmary A visit to the mortuary then a long visit to a bar. Traditional song, traditional activities.
The Girl From Arkansas Wistful – how sophisticated is that? Whatever did happen to her?
Refugee I don’t have to explain how much misery refugees have to go through, in today’s world as in the past.
In the Pines This one has innumerable versions, old and new. “The Pines” represent a place of darkness, cold and danger, an absence of love. The hectoring male voice plays against the sorrow of the luckless woman.
My Creole Belle A simple love song, for a change.
How Long Aka “Miserable Old Git Blues”.
Last Fair Deal Gone Down A lot of input from Robert Johnson on this one, again.
Banks of the Blues A version of an Irish folk tune, another version of which became a hymn tune, sliding over into a bit of blues and back again.

All songs are traditional, arranged by Alex Wilding, except for Refugee and The Girl From Arkansas composed by Alex Wilding