Decca SKL5011 (1969)
Album available as:-
The selection on this album are intended to please not only Blues
and Folk fans but all those of the new breed who are just taking up
modern music. I get many requests for guitar pieces from "classical"
listeners, so I have included a few finger-busters for them. The two
pieces by Oliver Hunt and Stan Watson respectively have never been
recorded before. And the adaptation of the Purcell hornpipe is entirely
my own. For the next album, there is a Latin piece I would like to
do, and also a 14th century pavan for guitar: but we can discuss these
at a later date.
There are also two Muddy Waters' numbers here (both actually written
by Willie Dixon, the giant bass-player who resided at the "Trois
Mailletz" in Paris with Memphis Slim in the mid sixties.) And
there are two songs from Paul Simon. Paul is a good friend of mine
and these are two of his best.
The aim on all my discs, as you know better than anyone, has been
to make "music" a sufficient attractive title in itself,
and to draw some of those music lovers who previously though Jazz
and folk-forms and classical things to be irreconcilable elements.
And I predict there will be many more musical revolutions in the near
future. I myself would like to explore spirituals a lot more in the
next few years. And- if I get the time - I would like to follow up
two more projects. One is another trip to the East. Another is an
album of some 'pop' flavor of mine, backed by an orchestra. Pieces
like "No Milk Today", Rigby. "A Whiter Shade of Pale",
"Daydream" and something featuring electric blues guitar
- dig Lonnie Johnson on "Drunk Again" by the way.
You ask me about my Eastern modes and studies of Indian music. Well,
firstly, I am the originator of the modal tuning DADGAD - that is,
bass-string first. Also, Indian harmonics are extremely difficult
to hear unless you are in a room with a spherical dome-shape, and
even then you should not be more than 3 or 4 feet from the instrument.
One's listening progress may be learnt from being able to hear on
the high strings the 9th or sub-mediant RE, the fifth on a minor piece.
(Electrification, of course, and feedback, have made it almost impossible
for the 'teeny-popsters' to understand Ravi and Ali Akbar, and there's
even the danger of their ears for music been destroyed altogether.
- Original sleeve notes,
1969. (Thanks to Bridget Ramsay)
no such thing as a bad Graham album from the 1960s. While Hat isn't
necessarily the first one you should dig into, it offers the standard
pleasures that you expect from his records: excellent, feverishly
imaginative acoustic guitar playing; vibrant jazz-blues arrangements;
and covers of blues numbers, Paul Simon, and Lennon-McCartney. He's
just as capable of good-time blues ("I'm Ready") and a folk
cover of "Getting Better" from Sgt. Pepper as dark, slightly
dissonant instrumentals with a modal/Eastern flavour. As is the case
with most of his '60s albums, it's very hard to find, especially in
the U.S., where Graham did not have a record deal.
- Richie Unterberger (AMG)
1. Getting Better - 2:00
The two lads who wrote this show a definite promise. It's a optimistic
sing. I like it.
2. Lotus Blossom (Witherspoon) - 2:27
Long the property of Jimmy Witherspoon. I first learnt it from the British
blues singer, Redd Sullivan.
3. I'm Ready (Dixon) - 2:31
By Willie Dixon, and sung byMuddy Waters. A real city blues, Chicago-type.
4. Buhaina Chant (Blakey) - 2:33
A composition by the great jazz drummer, Art Blakey. He spent a number
of months in Africa, studying the kind of rhythms, which underline this
5. Homeward Bound (Simon) - 2:18
By Paul Simon, most of whose songs are as eloquent as poetry. This one
is a genuine 'on the road' chronicle.
6. Love Is Pleasing - 2:13
There are versions of this to another quiet different tune, but I think
this particular melody has a special charm
7. Hornpipe For Harpsichord,
Played Upon Guitar (Purcell) - 1:29
Part of a 3-part suite for harpsichord by Henry Purcell: Prelude, Air
8. Down Along The Cove (Dylan)
The Bob Dylan blues.
9. Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon)
Another Willie Dixon. As much a country blues, medicine, an in style,
as an intimate city blues.
10. Stan's Guitar (Watson) -
A composition by the elusive and talented Stan Watson, a jazz and classical
guitarist, and I learnt it from him without it having a title.
11. Pretty Polly (Traditional
Appalachian, Arr. Graham) - 3:24
Certainly the strangest of murder ballads. Appalachian in origin, and
usually accompanied by a banjo. There were some Scots immigrants to these
mountains about a hundred years ago who hardly mixed at all with the settlers
- consequently their music has a strong modal conception, and "Pretty
Polly" is no exception.
12. Bulgarian Dance -3:21
Adapted from one of A.L Lloyd's collected tapes of Bulgarian music. A
Turko-Arabic feel has crept unto it, however, turning it into a dance.
13. I Am A Rock (Simon) - 2:17
A highly individual statement, reminiscent of Nietzsche's lonely hermit,
voices spanning the mountaintops.
14. Oliver (Hunt) - 1:37
A piece in the style of the 16th century by the modern composer and teacher,
Davey Graham – Guitar & Vocals
Shirley Collins– Vocals