I know it – I’m not a COUNTRY STAR. It’s just the title of my upcoming album (due June 2, 2023). It’s not even a country record. At a stretch its alt-country but that’s a straight-jacket that doesn’t cut it for me either. A blogger in Philadelphia recently reviewed the opening track DON’T SMOKE IN BED which is just out and he called me an “indie-folk Santa Claus”! Maybe thats closer. Whatever -I wrote it a long, long time ago. I first recorded it live in concert with Big Low in about 2002 and it appeared on a very rare EP called “3 Songs for 10 bucks” which I no longer have. I must’ve wrote it sometime in the mid to late 1990’s. I know I never attempted to bring it into the Wild Pumpkins at Midnight set (we were still going then) and it certainly didn’t last very long in Big Lows repertoire (2002 till 2013). I don’t know why. It’s as if the songs decide which context they want to come to life in or not you cant force any of that, you end up squeezing the life out of them if you do. So it disappeared for about 20 years until recently when Madelief van Vlijmen (picture in link) & I were bouncing ideas around and it re-emerged out of nowhere. She was on her little Paul MCartney Hofner bass that I love the sound of and we started playing it tentatively. The way she put a loopy melodic line underneath it sparked it up and made it feel brand new. We were, approaching the tune cautiously, not thinking too much, you know – noodling and vibing on something. “Super-chill” is what I think MF said about it, and it was. We’ve been playing it ever since and I never tire of it. The song had finally found its voice or I had finally landed in it or something….so I recorded it with Madelief and the rest of SONG CREW and this is the result! I often find myself re-writing when I dig up old stuff like this but this time I didn’t. I found the original draft on a crumpled piece of paper in a shoebox amongst scraps and pieces that I’ve kept over the years and I could find no reason to mess with it. Back when I wrote it I had no idea what I was trying to say, which I think is always a good place to start! Looking at it now it seems clear that I’m exploring what kind of advice I would give myself if I were to go back through my dreams, the low-valley mist of past experiences and personal history, and what would that then sound like through the lens of an incoherent narrative about who I am. I get excited just thinking about that. Hope you enjoy the tune
Dan Tuffy, musician, producer.
God willing and the creek dont rise an album release in April/May followed by a bunch of shows. I have began a partnership with Gijs at Harvest Music in Eindhoven who will be booking gigs and running a promotion campaign for the release of “Country Star” this year. I’m pretty happy to be on board they have brought some great music to Europe and run a tight ship. Down to Earth, no bullshit. After that I will be doing a run of shows in Australia then back for some more in Europe. In the meantime I’m busy recording another record. “Country Star” the new one is a full-blown studio album and now that I have got that off my chest I feel the urge to get simple again so I have set up a stereo ribbon mic in my dogbox studio at home and when the mood grabs me I sing a song into it. I’m pretty happy so far with those recordings as they are – most of them anyway. Some of them are asking for more sounds or the input of other musicians but a lot of them arent. That kinda stuff fascinates me once I get started – it’s as if the song knows what it wants. Follow the song. And, well, I cant wait to get back to the place below. Nice full moon pic I found of the Macleay River.
Live studio recording in from of audience with Madelief van Vlijmen (bass), Mische Porte (drums & percussion) & Stefan Wolfs (guitars & pedal steel)