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MP3 David Wells - Blue Lover

Sexy blues, biting satire and spectacular playing by some of L.A''s finest jazz/blues players make this a must-own album for fans of David Wells and the Upscale Blues Band.

10 MP3 Songs in this album (30:54) !
Related styles: Blues: Electric Blues, Jazz: Jazz Fusion, Featuring Guitar

People who are interested in Bonnie Raitt Larry Carlton Robben Ford should consider this download.

Notes on each track:
Blue Lover is a breakup song that captures the moment just before she says she is leaving. Instead of a story of what happened that led to this, or what the future might bring, I stayed with just that instant in time when the world comes crashing down. I wanted to go deeper into the feelings of that brief moment when denial can’t hold back the reality that you are about to go off an emotional cliff.
Musically, it is a 6/8 groove, just as the other opening/title tracks of the previous two albums (See a theme here?). The guitar solo was developed to play the chord changes in a way that the audience could hear, even if there were no band. The syncopated line of the guitar sets up the 6/8 groove and repeats as a theme throughout the song. Musically, I explored chords with the sixth, ninth and sharp 11 tones on this song and in Male Pattern Blindness. The harmonies on these songs are particularly poignant and ethereal.

Seconds is my answer to “Fever”, a sultry, sexy song that celebrates passion, seduction and playfulness. Tom Brechtlein’s funky drumming and Hussain Jiffry'' bass gets the tune up and dancing immediately. The horn section on this tune is spectacular and was written to interplay (call and response) with the guitar. I indulged in a double length guitar solo on this tune to give time to build intensity of emotion. The guitar starts out sensuously laid back, builds through some wild chromatic riffs to a bluesy finish and drops down to a whisper for the final verse. Jessica gives some great a cappella color to the end.

Are We There Yet? began as a hammer-on guitar riff that I heard in my head. I wrote the lyrics to satire our collective obsession with image over substance. I like the way the lyrics turned out, particularly in that the title makes a nice ending for the song. The scat singing between verses is something I recorded when I began tracking the tune as a demo for the rest of the band to hear. I was going to have some better singers do the parts but Hussain and Jessica thought it was hilarious as it was so we kept it. Russell’s piano adds a great touch. Tommy drumming on brushes completes the mood.

Male Pattern Blindness began as the guitar solo and experiments with using a 6/9 chord as a transition (like a tritone substitution for you music theory buffs) between the IV and the II chord. I honestly didn’t have anything to say lyrically, so I wrote a song based on a phrase I came up with when I couldn’t find something (that should have been obvious) in the fridge.

Your Call Is Important was inspired by being on hold with a cellular phone company for 45 minutes. I used the music to express the increasing frustration of the person on hold. It was a wonderful excuse to explore some crazy chromatic riffs, diminished arpeggio’s and outright atonal shredding on the guitar. My son worked his delay pedal on some parts to get otherworldly effects. My friend Lisa Fuson who does voice-over for film and TV did the voice of the telephone operator. I rolled off the bass and down-sampled her voice to make it sound like it came over a telephone. At one point in the “song” I needed the sound of a dial tone, so I just recorded it right off the phone.

Birthday was written on the way to a friends birthday party. I decided to record it so people could have an alternative to the standard happy birthday song. It’s short but rocks the house.

So Sexy was just an excuse to play some old fashioned rock and roll. The guitar part came first (as usual). I thought the rhythm of it sounded sexy, so the lyrics fell out of that. It’s not great literature but we all had a lot of fun playing it. I envision it as the soundtrack to a scene in a movie (where a group of guys turn their heads to watch a pretty girl walk by).

Minor Blues came from exploring chromatic passing chords. Again, it was inspired by the music, not a life situation. My working title while I worked out the music was Minor Blues, so I developed a story line that used the word “minor” when I was on a minor chord and “major” when I was on a major chord. I pushed the bounds of lyrical credulity by incorporating a line about getting to work by “nine sharp” when outlining a sharp nine chord on the guitar. A little joke for the musicians in the audience, a plausible story line for everyone else. I really indulged myself on the guitar solo – three times through the changes. This gave time to build the horns, which sound terrific, and for me to get into some whole-tone arpeggios on the guitar.

Kool Aid was inspired by hearing about the 40th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, and thinking about how we all think we are smarter than those people that died. I think we have a false, smug sense of security, thinking we aren’t being duped daily by the media and corporations. This song is not about politics (despite the extreme right-wingers using Jonestown as a metaphor for liberal delusion). It is a call to humility. We brought in Casey Jones, a reggae drum specialist for this tune. Casey and Hussain (bass) laid down a fabulous reggae groove. Never having played reggae, I could not have pulled off this tune without their expertise. I then told the horn section that I wanted them to sound like a drunk New Orleans funeral procession. They nailed it.

Flying was inspired by watching my sons learn how to paraglide and then watching a video of their paragliding instructor jump off a cliff in the Alps. I wanted to capture the terror of anticipation, rush of adrenaline on takeoff and the incredible peaceful freedom of gliding through the air, stepping from one mountaintop to another. The song ends the album and points to a different kind of writing in future work. I hope you enjoy.

December 2010
David Wells

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