As Songs Awoke One Morning From Uneasy Dreams: One Question with K. Russell



TheGourdsNews: I see that you've got a "Lakeway version" of Fine Leather Truck now to go along with your "Portland version" of Do 4 U and "Winters version" of El Paso. Grapevine says you've also done some recent experimenting with Boil My Strings and Grievin' & Smokin'...all on-the-fly, using the stage as your rehearsal space. What gives? Are you getting bored?

Kevin Russell: A solid ten years of playing some of these songs is boring to be sure. As we get older and more entrenched in our lives, we find ourselves in a curious place. Basically, like most people, we spend more of our lives working than creating. When we return from a tour everyone goes to their homes with their families and tries to get back in that flow. These two lives we lead have distinctly different flows of energy. One is a floating clubhouse that rocks and the other is a precious nest of sacred routine. Imagine Andy Griffith at Floyds Barber Shop and then at home with Aunt Bea and Opie. Those are two very different realities. Now imagine if Andy were to go with the barber shop in a van for a few weeks and then come home. That would have been a great two part episode. I would love to see him come back in the house with a scraggly ass beard smelling of onions and tobacco, not knowing even what day it is...then being wide awake at midnight after his family has been asleep since 9, knowing full well he has to get up at 6am to get them to school. Well, maybe that wouldn't make such a great episode, actually. Anyway, yes, we are on the bi-polar express that way. Without the luxury of new songs of any kind coming into the mix I have taken to rearranging things on the fly. Sometimes we go over them at soundcheck and everyone sort of has a chance to get a feel for how they might approach it. Sometimes, though, I just try to make something happen during a show by playing it differently. This is not a popular practice among the participants, mind you, but it keeps things interesting. I know some fans probably hate it...it annoys me sometimes when Dylan does it. But if works, it's a method that can breathe new life into a song. Otherwise, many songs would never get played again.

6 comments:

  1. when dylan does it feels like he's trying to sneak a song by the audience, or keep them from singing along.....I remember that primus wouldn't play jerry was a racecar driver unless it was done as a jazz trio, not as primus.......waiter, I'll take the boil my strings deconstructed please, it sounds delicious!

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  2. I love the new "Do 4 U".

    Alison

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  3. I agree, the new Do4U is great. may actually be better than the original.

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  4. as a big Andy Griffith fan, the thought of Floyd, Barney, Goober, and Howard (Jimmy, Claude, Max, and Keith?) in the White Whale is very unsettling. Jeff Cook as Aunt Bea? Mark as Opie?

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  5. "Fine Leather Truck" is one of my favorite songs. I don't much like their new version. But that's their prerogative, and I can totally understand what Kevin is saying. Be that as it may....they can do no wrong.

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