…rummaging through the shoe box of old photos in the attic last week, I found a few interesting ones …
…so I’ve upgraded Rough Notes with them …
… “just in time for Christmas” (some might say) …
Hey hey Bruce Thomas – here’s a question:
I was talking with an old friend yesterday about your bass playing with EC and how, for us, it plays a such a huge role in the sound of those records. So much so that, for me at least, once you were out of the picture I stopped buying the records. Anyway, talk went to other bass players we love and at one point my friend said “how about Mitchell Froom”, to which I said that I didn’t know Froom played bass and he said “yeah, on those Suzanne Vega records.” So once we got that straightened out, I got to thinking about what else you might have played on that you feel came out particularly well – either pre-EC or post – but that showcased your playing well.
Best from cold cold cold NYC,
Fancy thinking Mitchell Froom played bass!! 🙂 To be fair though, he did come up with quite a few of the bass ideas. Outside of EC, I have to say the Suzanne Vega records are my favourites. I did play on many other records from Peter Case in the US to Billy Bragg, Madness, Tasmin Archer, and the Pretenders in the UK. I did a lot of records with top artists from Japan, Argentina, Spain etc, that will likely not have see the light of day outside of their respective countries — as well as sessions where we had to sign confidentiality agreements so as not to let it be known that the actual band or rhythm sections wasn’t playing on the record — some of which were big hits. (Clue: one involved a guy who had a song related to a Robin Hood movie).
I’ll chip in.
I’ve just got a CD copy of “Gone in the Morning” by Quiver. I’ve had the vinyl copy for years and it’s well worth a listen. The bass line on ‘Dorset’ is just wonderful.
Thank you. The star in that band was Tim Renwick with his lyrical guitar solos.
As far as the “sound of those records” goes, EC is the only one I know who hasn’t figured that out yet.
I don’t know if I’ve posted about these blokes before – Dr. Dog – but I think this is absolutely the best, most faithful homage to the style of the golden era of Beatles and Beach Boys psychedelic pop, that exists in a current band today. Some of their tracks really echo the best of Magical Mystery Tour-era Beatles and Brian Wilson’s vocal wall of sound, as well as Todd Rundgren’s later interpretation of same. Their drummer also seems to be particular influenced by Ringo’s style.
Actually, you have drawn my attention to these guys before, but I don’t mind you doing it again 🙂 It is a good homage to the genre without being totally retro.
I had known about the existence of the band since 2006, when ONE of their songs got played regularly on the college radio station. Never knew anything about them or heard any of their other songs for the next 10 years. Fast forward to June of 2016. I’m 40 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico on a charter fishing boat with 3 friends, the boat captain, and his son, who’s in his mid 20s and works with his dad over the summer as first mate. The captain’s son also served as the unofficial DJ for that trip, and when a song came up that I really loved, I asked him, “who is this? It sounds like a combination the Beatles and Neil Young.” Turns out is a HUGE Dr. Dog fan, and I wound up hearing 3 of their albums on the boat’s very loud stereo over the course of that day. That was my picaresque Dr. Dog experience and I have henceforth been singing their praises.
Hey Bruce – haven’t noticed all that much activity on this blog lately from other posters…hope the regular readers will chime in. Question for you and anyone else reading – were you aware of, or ever crossed paths with, these guys in the 90s? Morphine – a three piece band consisting of a singer who played a bass with TWO STRINGS; a baritone sax; and drums. Quite a remarkable combination and yet they got a hell of a sound out of it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP8QhblSkRI – such simple playing, but the way it all fits together is brilliant. And that moment at 1:37 when the sax plays the little riff and the bassist/singer mirrors it a second later…just kills me. I played the baritone sax for 3 years in high school jazz band. My favorite of all the saxophones.
No, we never crossed paths. It’s simple playing, but it’s very musical and competent playing, too. They make it work. In a way it reminds me of a cool version of the band Royal Blood — for using the bass in a non-standard way. [I think the blog is a bit quiet because most people are chiming in on Facebook these days. But I’m still here too!]
Merry Christmas, Bruce …and thanks for making so many great albums that much greater. “Get Happy” still tears the roof off the house nearly 37 years later. Not only great at parties, it IS a party. Who put the bomp in the bomp-bomp-bomp?…Mr. Bruce Thomas, of course! 🙂
…and a blessed New Year as well, my friend.
Thank you so much for your good wishes. Have a great 2017, yourself.
“Not only great at parties, it IS a party”
Indeed! New Year’s Eve, 2015-2016:
Aah! So that’s why they’re all reduced to awestruck silence 🙂
Can we buy a signed copy of this book? If so where?
Best thing to do I think, is to get back to me here with a snail mail (that I won’t post obviously), or e-mail me via the Contact button, or message me on Facebook — and I can can send you a signed title page from a book to slip inside your copy — with whatever message you like!
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