Singing in the Silence

Singing in the silence: copyright David Harley 1974

Backup:

 

It was cold waking up this morning
Just like all the lonely nights before
But there’s hope in my heart even yet
Rising early to meet the road

My heart sings in the silence
Racing down that old white line
A sweet voice whispers in my ear
That I’ll maybe get to see you one more time

Every time the road gets longer
It gets harder to pin down that dream
Racing for the scenery
Escaping from the scene

My heart sings in the silence
Racing that same old white line
That same voice whispering in my ear
That I’ll maybe get to see you one more time

Odd Job Man

Words & music (c) David Harley

Backup:

I haven’t actually done this with slide guitar in decades, but I found this version on a cassette and quite liked it. Even though it leaves out my favourite verse.

Words & Music by David Harley: all rights reserved

I’m an odd job man, I work by day and night
I’m an odd job man, I work by day and night
I’m a handy-doodle-dandy and my dovetails fit just right.

I’m a Do-It-Yourself demon, got the tool for every use
I’m a D-I-Y demon, got the tool for every use
I’ve got an A1 set of drivers when your screws are working loose

I’ve got the brace and the bit to drill just where you need
Gotta brace, got a bit, I can drill just where you need
I’ve the angle and the rhythm, satisfaction guaranteed

I’ve got the switches and the cable and my fuses never blow
Gotta jack for every socket and my connections never blow
When I overhaul your wiring just lay back and watch her go

I’m an odd job man, on the job just when you please
I’m an odd job man, fix it anywhere you please
If your hardware’s getting rusty, just let me slip you some grease

A 12-bar reflecting my long-standing interest in Do-it-Yourself. Though I hear it’s more fun if you don’t have to do it all yourself. Ahem.

Butterfly (Over the Hill) – two alternative versions

Having post links to a video and a couple of alternative versions of this blues-y thing, I discovered a couple of completely different versions lurking on a USB drive.

One version where I unleashed my trusty Les Paul. Haven’t done that for a long while…

Backup version:


 

And a slide version. Too slow for my taste now, but some nice slide-y moments.

Backup version:

David Harley

Adventures in Video – Painting the Desert

I don’t have technical skills to generate sophisticated animations and such, and I’d rather not flood the world with too many live videos of variable quality. But some recordings seem to fit OK with a series of photographs. Well, to my ear and eye, anyway. ‘Painting the Desert’ is actually an improvised slide guitar piece accompanied by photographs from a drive through the Painted Desert in Arizona, from when we followed up a work trip to the Bay Area and San Diego with a version of the Grand Circle Road Trip including Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, as well as Sedona, Oak Canyon and so on. I have a feeling that I’ll eventually find a use for some of the photos from those attractions, too. In the meantime…

Adventures in Video – Moonflow III

Music (c) David Harley, who played acoustic guitar, resonator guitar and electric guitars through the magic of overdubbing. Both electric guitar parts feature a Line 6 Variax. I can’t remember what guitar the first electric voice emulates, but the second was a Coral Sitar emulation. Photographs (c) Jude and David Harley: mostly from Stonehenge and York.

The recording was remixed for the video.

David Harley

Lady Mary (The Sad Song)

Not often I do a genuine(-ish) folk song… (It sounds composed, maybe in the 19th century?) Instrumental version of a song collected by Carl Sandburg in Missouri. Combines two close variants of the tune. He apparently called it The Sad Song, which indeed it is. The words are the subject of much discussion on Mudcat: maybe 19th century, maybe significantly older. The tune reminds me slightly of The Furze Field, but I think that’s a little too upbeat to go from one to the other.

Guitar and resonator guitars are all me. Isn’t technology wonderful?

backup:

David Harley

Ten Percent Blues [demo]

Words & music by David Harley: all rights reserved

Recorded in the 80s using slide guitar: this version, though, has no slide. Dropped D tuning.

Backup copy

 

This is the studio-recorded slide version:

backup

 

 

YouTube video version played in dropped D, no slide. From 2020.

audio capture:

Backup:

Got a seat facing the engine
So I don’t have to face where I’ve been
Luggage on the rack, no reason to look back
At all my wrecked and reckless gypsy dreams
No more bright lights, no more white lines
Or crashing in the back of the van
No more hustling small-time gigs
I guess time has beaten the band

No more deadlines, no more breadlines
Mr 10%, you’re on your own
No more fine print, no more backstage  blues
This rolling stone is rolling home

Got a ticket to take me to tomorrow
It can’t be worse than today
So driver, take me home and don’t spare the horsepower
I’m on a ten year holiday
No more missed chances and chickens*t advances
Cold chips in the back of the van
No more blown tires and fuses, no more broken promises
Time has beaten the band

No more deadlines, no more breadlines
Mr 10%, you’re on your own
No more fine print, no more backstage  blues
This rolling stone is rolling home

No more spotlights, no more ups and downers
Absolutely no stage fright
No more superstar fantasies
From today I’m strictly 9-5
No more infighting, no more moonlighting
No more one-night stands
All along while the band was beating time
I guess time was beating the band

No more deadlines, no more breadlines
Mr 10%, you’re on your own
No more fine print, no more backstage  blues
This rolling stone is rolling home

 

Faintly Fahey / Fainter Fahey remastered

This guitar piece started as a sort of fake Irish air in DADGAD but somehow became a slide guitar piece in Csus2 tuning (if I remember rightly), by way of one or two other tunings I can’t remember right now. Or maybe the slide version came first. Anyway, I can’t quite decide which way I prefer it. But there’s no reason I can’t keep them both in the repertoire (though I’ll need to practice them a bit before I do them in front of a real audience again).

Here’s the slide version, which acquired the title ‘Fainter Fahey’. Not that I’m as well acquainted with John Fahey’s work as I ought to be, but when I played the first demo version back, it reminded me vaguely of ‘The Death Of The Clayton Peacock’, even though the tune and tempo are completely different.

Backup:

 

Here’s the other version. It didn’t have a title originally, but it’s now called ‘Faintly Fahey’ because it’s pretty much the same tune as the other, but not very Fahey-like bereft of its slide context.

Backup:

Unnamed slide instrumental

Having tried heavier bronze strings on my resonator, I found myself trying for something a little different in the way of a slide instrumental. This doesn’t have a title as yet and will change as I get to know it, but I really rather like it as it is.

Just played into a microphone: nothing subtle in the way of manipulation, and I haven’t yet tried connecting it via its pickup. It’s a Gretsch Bobtail, if anyone cares…

David Harley

One Step Away (From The Blues) [remastered] 2019

If you’re unfortunate enough to have heard a lot of me in the last 30 years or so, the chances are you’ve heard this song. This is the version we recorded in the 1980s for an album that was never released. I’ve put it up here and there before, but this is a cleaner version. Unfortunately, I only had an imperfect cassette recording to work from, so there’s more noise than I’d like. But the mix is reasonably good, and I’ve remastered it here as best I could, given my unreliable hearing and unimpressive engineering skills.

  • Vocal, acoustic guitar, electric guitar: David Harley
  • Acoustic lead guitar: Don MacLeod
  • Acoustic 12-string guitar: Bob Theil

Backup version:

He never wanted her love, just a piece of her time
A loving night now and then, and no loving lies
Just a tender glance from distant eyes
But he learned too late to recognize
That he was far, far away – he’d missed the alarm
Drowning far, far away in other arms
He hadn’t noticed her changing till daylight broke him the news
Far, far away, one step away from the blues

He never wanted to stray far away from himself
He never thought he’d rely on anyone else
For a light in the window, a knock on the door
Somewhere to keep warm when the nights turned cold
But she was far, far away when the blizzard set in
The door stood silent and locked, and he was soaked to the skin
He hadn’t noticed her changing till she left him with nothing to lose
Far, far away, one step away from the blues

He only wanted to give a small part of himself
But she took his heart then found someone else
She never thought he’d give her more than a thought or two
When she packed a few bags and cut herself loose
And went far, far away in search of herself
Never thinking to leave her new address
Neither of them knew he was changing
Till he woke up with nothing to lose
Far, far away
Far, far away
Far, far away
One step away from the blues…

David Harley