Using Your Head

Means Getting Your Teeth Into It!

8.30am and a phone call from Tommy Harden in Nashville, telling me all the final drums are sent over to Humph and the last steel guitar track will be there later today.

Plenty of tracks flying around and that’s what you get, working with tasty people who know what they are doing and have a mindset to do it.

So after nearly 4 years of struggle, let downs, doubt, aggro, delays, hold-ups and general ‘paying the cost to be the boss’ as BB King describes it, having to deal with the dirt before you get to the shiny stuff – I am at a point where it’s a fast road to production, some redone vocals/guitar and finishing touches.

Humph asked me earlier today ‘How are you figuring it now?’.

That was a good question because the strategy is all important at this juncture. Dan Dugmore who did the Lap & Steel Guitar in Nashville has sent 2 extra takes of each track, so that is around 36 pieces of free-wheeling’ steel and I need to get a handle on those mothers.

Next move, is Humph sends me the entire collection of Steel Guitar takes and I sift through, deciding what is to be kept.

In the country music realm, the steel guitar would often underpin and embroider the song with all sorts of swirls, slides, slurs, glissando’s and embellishments. You only have to check out the classic Nashville sessions from say, Pearl & Carl Butler, to see what I mean and an example of that is just what I sent over to Tommy and Dan before we arranged the band sessions.

Trad style, the steel would be mapping out the chords with rhythm sure, but I need a modified approach. A kind of ‘new, modern trad’.

Something new which can sit in with a southeast London boy dealing in the currency of pure Blues, but fixing on whipping it out in a souped-up and hip environment.

I want a really good balance between those tasty sounding steel riffs and cool ornamentation which adds colour, rich harmonic contour,m texture, feel and groove to the songs.

So, I just Use My Head on these matters.

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