Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Death is on the Guestlist

I guess that at heart we're still well rooted in the country and countrybilly side of things, though that wasn't really so much a decision this time (or before, to be honest) as it was just what we happen to like playing, style-wise.

It struck me while rehearsing the new full set that The White Guys have a lot of variation in the songlist – in respect of mood, speed, tone, at least.

Of the songs that usually get dropped from shorter sets are the down-tempo ones like “Lonely Town”, “Papa's Waltz” and up until recently 'Roadworn” and “Dead in the Water” (The Supersuckers redos).

Frank mentioned at the soundcheck the other day that we'd completely forgotten a song from the list (which is getting pretty long anyway). “Which one?” I thought...

“Death is on the Guestlist!” he added, and that it was always a favourite with those that heard it. It is. Especially with Stan. And if Stan likes it, it's got to be good.

How'd this get on here?

Thematically speaking, “Guestlist” is probably one of the darkest songs that the White Guys ever entertained. Its inclusion on the We been Robbed Cdr was a bit of a headscratcher. We had tried two or three full band takes and it just was not clicking. The rhythm seemed all over the place and the rest just seemed to clutter the mood of the song too much. So I had all but resigned to scratching it from the tracklist altogether.

A bit later in the session somebody suggested I go in with Greg's acoustic guitar and just wing it solo. Now, those that know me know that there's a cold fear that grips the room when somebody gives me a guitar. I'm really bad at it (too many strings) and having Dirk Hugo setting up microphones and stuff around you is doubly intimidating. Over and above that, I'd never played the bloody thing on guitar before, and since bringing it into the set we'd transcribed it into a different key from when I'd written it. Good times.

In any event, despite all the hoo-ja, it somehow went swimmingly. I did two takes, uncorrected. Waldo waltzed in with the violas afterwards and hey-presto, le soft song!

We've only done it a few times in the show, but I think Frank is arguing that it make a comeback.

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