AV Notes on Final Refuge
On November 15 2019 my new Cd ‘Final Refuge’ will be released through Continental Rose, which is a kind of combination of Continental Record Service and Blue Rose records.
It’s an atmospheric and down-home acoustic record. For the recording sessions we used our living room, the place where most of the songs took shape and where they sound best.
Chamber music is how it could be described, and perhaps even classical within the field of popular music, but that is for others to decide.
Original working title was ‘Homecoming’ and it would have stuck if there weren’t already hundreds of records with that name. ‘Final Refuge’ is a phrase in one of the songs and expresses it with more urgency I think. Anyway, homecoming seems to be a thread running through the songs.
With mostly vintage mics and instruments and analog gear we got the organic and artisanal sound we hoped for, capturing the songs and moments as both solo and in the round real-time performances. You can hear and feel interaction in the room and intensity in the air.
Acoustic guitar and vocal are at the heart of every song and I love the chemistry with my trusted basic combo (Rene Kaaij on piano, Timon van Heerdt on upright bass and Pete Fisher on percussion). It enabled me to stretch some moments and break free from the 3-4 minute song format and get a sense of adventure.
Tim’s ancient upright bass, Herr Otto von Brummweiler, moves a lot of air in the room, giving the recording a distinct vibe. There’s Rene’s telepathic playing on the woody upright piano weaving through the mahogany guitar chords. He also plays the Hang drum on one of the songs and is so musical you can jump into the deep end of anything with him and make it float!
I was glad to welcome Hans Heidt on saxophone to bring a playful sense of improvisation to some of the songs. Where the music seemed to beg for electric guitar or banjo I happily provided it. Of course my wife Kersten de Ligny’s singing was around the house, her golden frames around the paintings always make the collection shine. So these are the colors on the palette in making the picture of Final Refuge.
Last but not least of course, there’s the songs themselves and where they come from, it’s mystery and a miracle to me. I can only say that I was inspired and touched and hope others will be too.
This is just my perspective – or the lack of it – coming from right inside of it all and I can only wonder what will translate to the listener.
Liner notes from David Olney came to mind and rang so timeless and true that we had to include them on the sleeve. Compliments go to my son Kiddo who did the photography and design for the album.
Stay tuned and see you down the road!
AV, september 2019.