Excellent blues man Son Of Dave – aka Winnipeg-born, London-dwelling Benjamin Darvill – releases his new, fifth, album Blues At The Grand on 4th November – just in time for fireworks.
For the first time with Son Of Dave it’s a full-band record and, as the man in the grey suit is happy to admit, it is his most joyous to date.
You can listen to the Martina Topley-Bird featuring album in full (review here) ahead of its release below, and why not do so while you read the man himself’s track-by-track guide?
Dear Computer Lovers,
Back in the days when the music was enough to set imaginations spinning, just catching a glimpse of your favorite music idol in the paper would be enough to think about for a week.
But now you need to have all your senses brutalized at once and a pedicure done by the band themselves just to get you to notice them. Well here’s old Son of Dave, starting off by fluffing up your left pinky toe. Ten new tunes on this record and you will listen to them if you want to keep all your toes.
Well Well Well
This stridently optimistic and perky tune comes from learning to hammer out chords on a piano to end the monotony of writing songs on the harmonica. Oh sure, I could go on about how the lyrics reflect a new phase in my life in which I’m more sober, in a healthy lasting relationship with a sane woman, and out of debt, but you wouldn’t believe that anyway, would you?
Hot Summer Nights
Borrows a but from the Stones doesn’t it? But I make up for that. And this one has my old pal Martina Topley Bird singing “doo doo waaaah” which puts it in a class of it’s own. Much better than when I sang that part on the home demo. Though my girly vocals are mixed in there somewhere too I think. Still with me? Fascinating stuff this reading on the internet….
We Goin Out
At a train station somewhere, i put a nice little bumpy beatbox and hummed bass-line into a dictaphone and sang a few words. I obsessed over that simple disco whoriness for months until this was the finished article. A working man’s disco blues. If this doesn’t catch on I will fuckin’ give up. I played everything, but the lady vocal is from Naomi Yhap, a woman I heard singing in a piano shop in Kilburn.
Now, I’m just getting comfortable with that title. I wrote this one over a 6/8 beat that Jimmy Hogarth (my super producer) threw up in the studio. I knew it needed something like ‘titty shake’ in the chorus, but I couldn’t bring myself to shout that. So I asked my friend Jake Vegas, an amazing creature in Soho, I asked him, “Jake, are there any three syllable terms for Stripping that are a bit more polite than ‘titty shake’ “? So he says to me, he says, “Oh man, you just gotta call it ‘Titty Shake’. You just got to. Don’t do it for me, do it for your family!” Thank you Jake.
They Let Too Many People In
This is an analogy for the entertainment business. It’s crowded. There needs to be a cull. I don’t want to go to a club and rub up against all these mindless slobs programmed to crowd in for a damn laser spectacle. I’d like to go outside, and take my drink with me, thank you very much. The rhythm section on this tune and a few others on the record is Joey Waronker (early Beck records, and son of Muscle Shoals Studio genius Lenny Waronker) and Henry Olsen (original Primal Scream bassist). So stick that in your name drop box.
Again, I like to write tunes on piano/keys these days. This sweet melody says, basically, fuck L.A.. Though I’d gladly live there if I could get out of bloody London. Next move will probably take me to a hermitage.
Who is she? Well that would be telling now, wouldn’t it? She asked me “why can’t you do a song about one woman, like Oh Carolina by Shaggy”? This shut the book on that subject. She doesn’t know how lucky she is.
The slow one on the record. You can get up to pee or get a snack. But if you listen, I hope you’ll feel the little hairs go up on the back of your neck. Did I mention I play all the guitars on the record?
Lay Your Hands
A stolen line from an old blues classic I first heard done by James Cotton. It’s in that damn Blues Brothers movie too. “What did I say to piss you off this time baaaay-by?” I’ll have that line thank you, and I’ll call…Full House! With Jessica Hynes (comedian, Spaced, Diary of Bridget Jones, a damn funny friend) on the chorus vocal. Again, she sounds much better than my girly singing on the demo. Though my girly singing is pretty good.
I guess this is the antidote to the seething optimism of the opening track. The Bluesman drags his sorry ass off into the hangover sunset his unwanted outdated disco ball scraping along behind him. Henry brought in Emil Nicolaisin to really beat those drums, and the lovely Josephine Oniyama on backing vocals.
There are also bits in between the tunes, recorded when I was drunk at the piano of course. Enjoy watching your idols trip over their clown shoes and fall into an early grave. I doubt any of you have read this far, but I wrote this anyway because to me, it has to be said. See you in the bar.
Son of Dave
Son Of Dave’s new album Blues At The Grand is out on 4 November 2013 via Son Of Dave Records. Son Of Dave tours the UK in November, including a stop-off at London’s Borderline on 23 November.