'Conversation With The Blues' Song Book & Audio Samples

Conversation With The Blues

Musicians
vocal & harmonica: Michael Pickett
guitar: Shawn Kellerman, Teddy Leonard, Kevin Breit
mandolin: Kevin Breit
resophonic guitar: Michael Pickett
bass: Steve Chadwick, Leo Valvassori
Hammond B3: Bill McCauley
piano: Doug Riley
additional keys: Doug Romanow, Bill McCauley
drums: Gary Craig, Marty Cordrey, Paul Brennan
doumbek: Marty Cordrey
percussion: Rick Lazar
saxophones: John Johnson
trombone: Gord Myers
trumpet: Dave Dunlop
violins: Lenny Solomon, Norm Hathaway
viola: Arturs Janson
cello: Richard Armin
string conductor: Doug Riley
background vocals: Jackie Richardson, Liz Tilden, Troy Adams, Louise Pickett, Michael Pickett

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Conversation With The Blues
On a good night the interplay between musicians is like a conversation. This analogy works well. A primary icon of the blues is the solo voice and it matters little to the singer if anyone hears his voice.
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Big Train
I've had the title phrase kicking around in my head for some time and I tried various musical styles 'til I settled on this one, which is an inconsistent 18 bar form. The horns and background voices give it a real lift. "The blues is all right".
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Love Don't Mean It
John Lee Hooker meets J.J. Cale.
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The River
I owe a huge debt to Taj Mahal. This groove came from his "Natch'l Blues" and I've never heard anyone else use it, which surprises the hell out of me. I intentionally led one lyric into the next.
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When I Lay My Burden Down
Really an R&B feel with a Gospel lyric. I had to record it twice to get it right.
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Look Out At The Weather
I wrote this one thinking of S.R.V. and Muddy and the delta south of Memphis, where the sky and weather are tangible things that you can feel.
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Cecil & Spadina
I wrote this on a canoe trip camped on the north shore of Georgian Bay near Killarney. I "came up" at Grossman's, learned to play there. This one owes something to both Taj Mahal & Brownie Mcghee. Done in one take. The doumbek (hand drum) was added the last day we were in the studio. Thanks Marty. Say hey hey.
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Don't Matter To Me
The harp usually takes just a solo role but I like to back up other players when I play.
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Bad Love
Wrote this on my front porch in the summer. Louise wrote the hook. The vocal is the first take. I didn't realize 'til much later that I actually got to play guitar with Shawn Kellerman and Kevin Breit. Wow!
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Junk Thang
I like playing in f.
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Mother Earth
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Night Comes
This one is also live off the floor. I heard Molly Johnson and Doug Riley play this at the Montreal Bistro one night, it knocked me out and they both asked me to record it. Doug said he originally wrote it for a guy. Molly has just released it. Thanks guys. Molly, hope I got the title right.
Listen to Sample1 min MP3 clip

 

 

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