Song seven on the DVD is “Talk To Your Daughter”, a song written by the great bluesman J.B. Lenoir. I discovered it on a Lightnin’ Slim album called “London Gumbo”. Not unlike Muddy Waters’ “London Sessions” album, this is also a record that was made by an American blues artist while on tour in the UK. It was produced by Mike Vernon. The whole album has a nice feel to it and “Talk To Your Daughter” stood out for me on my first listen.
I’ve recorded this song three times now; the first time was on the Live in Norway album, the second time was the Albatross Reunion show and now on “Troubadour” and I’m happy to report that each version is different or has its own ‘vibe’.
When you play live as a band there is basically two types of song that you can play. One type has a very definite arrangement and you need to stick to that each time you play it. It may have a particular riff or middle eight that is an integral part of the song. The other type has a very loose arrangement and allows you to jam and go off on tangents. “Talk To Your Daughter” definitely belongs in the second category, which is probably why I’ve managed to record three different versions of it.
When you’re on a long tour you really need songs like this in the set. They allow you to catch your breath and interact a bit more with the audience. They allow you to jam or improvise and most important of all, they allow you to interact with the other members of the band. After you’ve played several shows you really need something new each night to stop the set getting stale and having songs that you can ‘jam’ on solves that problem.
So what you’re really looking for is some new direction to take it in and that can come from several different sources. It can be the vibe you get from the audience. Obviously if the audience is really into it that helps the whole band relax and then the playing gets more relaxed and so you’re more inclined to stretch out a bit. Other times it can be something one of the band members plays that triggers something in you and then off you go down that road.
For this version it was something Ralph did while playing slide. He just played something and it sounded like a voice to me so I picked up on that and started having some fun with the vocals. He bounced right back on it and it developed as we rolled along. It was a lot of fun to play it on the night and I think Bas plays some lovely harmonica on it and Ralph plays some really great slide guitar. We wanted to add a blues tune or two to the set so it worked in that sense too.
I normally play this song in open G but because Ralph was also playing guitar on it this time I only tuned the A string down to G. Lazy or what! It’s probably the most fun song on the DVD, so as always I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed playing it. You can view the video here
I’ll talk to you next week when I’ll be writing about the next song on the DVD – Sheilagh.