Tuesday, November 01, 2011

THE SOLO SESSIONS 1988-1992 [notes]

Doug Duffey- vocal/acoustic grand piano
All songs written, arranged, performed and produced by Doug Duffey [except: House of the Rising Sun*- Traditional- adapted & arranged by Doug Duffey]. All songs published by Doug Duffey Music, BMI. Recorded at Ultrasonic Studios, New Orleans; JY Recording Studio, West Monroe, LA;  The John Cale Studio, Monroe, LA
Doug's notes:
doug-duffey-st.louis-cathed.gif (264209 bytes)LOUISIANA: most of the material on this cd relates to louisiana, new orleans, and/or the south, or has a southern, bluesy, rootsy, americana feel about it. there are a lot of southern images floating around in the lyrics. 

               CABARET VIEUX CARRE: these are some of my darker, more dramatic, somewhat cabaret/theatrical ballad type songs. combined they have the feel of a late night bistro; rather like the late shift where i worked on bourbon street. the only UP tempo song is 'leave the man alone' ...which i wrote about elvis. 

although i had played piano since i was 12, i mostly worked in groups, playing keys, in the 1960s until the late 1980s. i'd always written songs on the piano, or keyboard, and did a lot of home recordings- but never went in real studio and recorded solo. i began playing some solo gigs around 1987... and did my 1st solo recordings in 1988. 
there is something special about a real acoustic grand piano;  playing it, and singing at the same time, you become one with it. you get totally in sync, in a rhythm... and that's the way it should be. you can lose yourself. i cannot imagine recording solo any other way. 
i went in JY Studios in 1988, sat at the piano and played and sang one song after the other, off the top of my head. nothing was planned; nothing was rehearsed; i had no repertoire. there was absolutely no stress... i just did it. it was a very magical session. everything just seemed to flow... the songs rolled out.  if there was a tiny mistake, i didn't really bother about it ... unless it was VERY noticeable, in which case we would stop the tape, and start again. i dont really get hung up on technicalities... as long as the overall feel is there. for that reason i named the collection of those recordings "honest mistakes" [released on cassette] 
several years later, when i was living in new orleans, i'd written some new songs and wanted to do more recordings. i went to ultrasonic. it was a nightmare from hell :due to some personal issues, and the fact that the piano keys were stiff; hard as hell to play. everything seemed to go wrong. it did not go well at all; but i got several usable cuts, after much torture. i did a good version of 'trouble in mind'- but due to copyright/legal hassles i am not including it on this collection. 
when i was home for a visit, my friend john cale offered me the use of his steinway grand. we recorded in his living room with a big 2 track tascam. i had all my religious votive candles and incense burning... and a friend [wayne hopper] across the street brought cocktails... it went great.  again... no stress. everything i did that day just 'worked'. mais, c'est la vie! sometimes it goes, sometimes it doesn't. 2 out of 3 ain't bad!
later, when i was working solo on bourbon street, i had some of the songs from these sessions put on  cassettes and sold them on the gig. in the  mid 90s some of the songs were released on cd on a european label, but is now out of print. [long story] i gave the company 2 dats with 30+ songs on them and told them to choose- something i shouldn't have done. for that reason i have decided to make 2 cds from the 3 sessions... and sort them as i feel they flow better. 
so now... almost 20 years since the original recordings,  i've  released these songs to the world... through the miracle of new technology and cdbaby! 
the fotos on this page are from the era of the recordings [1988-1992]... most were shot in new orleans. the big one at top is one of my favorites.  it was taken in a k-mart foto-booth in little rock when i was doing a 2-week solo 'run' there.
 FOTO GALLERY: click on image to enlarge 
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