Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chapter 8b: (When Love Has) Gotcha

Among memories of living times with my father, etched indelibly on my mind is one of my father commenting favorably on my college band [Ebony Specktrum]'s style. He told me that he could envision our sound someday being known as the Delta Sound. It's doubtless that he meant that highly complimentary; but to my shame, back then there was nothing about the Mississippi Delta with which I wished to be associated.

I grew up on a culturally cosmopolitan island known to its inhabitants as Valley State—literally in the middle of a cotton patch. Outside our collegiate borders—wherein seemingly every Mr. or Mrs. I addressed owned a graduate degree (many of those doctorates, who would be addressed as "Dr.")—most of the basic aboriginal element with whom I had my dealings were imaginatively restricted within the generational bounds of their limited expectations. Other than athletics—where successes blooms sufficient enough in occurrence to be a legitimate hope, anyone spouting any other so-lofty expectations was certifiably SIDney.

Fast-forward eight years…
Jack (Marchbanks) and I had met a year prior in the computer music studio at United Sound Studios (a.k.a. P-Funk Labs)…where I was employed as its sole engineer; Jack was among its first clients. He'd booked time to work on sequencing two songs (one of which was "Wherever You Go"—remade on Rodney Hoskins' 2002 "Tell Them" CD). We clicked as a production team; and a year later we were collaborating as a songwriting/production team—writing songs for my production company's in-house artists.

Specifically in the story, a fantastic Pop singer maiden then named Lori Adams, was the discovery of another exceptional in-house writer/producer: Ron Sylvester. Ron and I had written songs for her, and I'd decided to bring Jack in for a different flavor. Jack's music tastes run eclectic and culturally broad, and conveniently similar to my own.

As a Blues concert promoter, Jack had mentioned the name “Buckwheat” Zydeco enough that it had planted a creative itch in my subconscious. I pitched the idea to Jack of us creating a Pop piece for Lori—one flavored with Zydeco influences and instrumentation. He suggested reworking a Pop tune he had intended for Olivia Newton John, which Jack had written back in his grad school days.

We began work on "(When Love has) Gotcha". To further date things, I used my relatively new 4-yr-old olive drab DX-7 I to lay the pedal steel lines—eventually replaced in 2009 with live steel tracks played so wonderfully by fearless-fretty everything-man Vito Lafata.

"…Gotcha" came into play as a geographical US start-off point for a musical journey [launched in SIDon] that would cut up through the middle of America—from New Orleans through Mississippi to Memphis to Nashville through Dayton-Cinncy all the way to Motown.

As with so many of the songs on "The Mμne-Pi Parables", I am quite pleased to have so much live performance content on board. My father talked about me (with my group) creating a new Delta-sound. This is perhaps as close as I will come to accomplishing that; and if I’m hitting my target sound, it’ll not be completely new.

I once asked my father (a music maven, devotee, and an accomplished musician in his former pre-doctoral life, who'd once entertained dreams of taking Harry Carney's chair in the Duke Ellington Orchestra), "Dad, what's your favorite music?"
"You have to like all kinds," he replied.
I take that to mean that good was his category of choice. It is ours as well.


“…Gotcha…” unfortunately was so much a successful blend of Zydeco and Pop that it ceased to fit in as a Carbonated Milk piece. Truncated to just intro and exit, it serves The Mμne-Pi Parables as a perfect interlude piece—bridging the Rodney-led “I’m the One” and “Can I Fly Away With You?”. It is our intention to release “(When Love Has) Gotcha” in its fullness at a later date on Cindy Young.

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