Leave Your Light On


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Leave Your Light On

Good friend, Jonny Blundell, encouraged me to take the leap of faith to record my songs ‘properly’ (i.e. with decent mics, pre-amps, professional engineering and mastering). He brought Dave Langemann (who had just completed the new Freshly Ground album) over to our home in Newlands and soon after Dave converted two of our rooms into a proper recording studio.

With Jonny producing and playing various guitars and percussion, and Dave at the desk, we started the process. The songs sparkled in the magic made by those two fundis, combined with masterful input from Terrence Scarr (violin and viola), Roger Bashew (bass), James van Minnen percussion) and Nonzi Galada (additional vocals).

My heartfelt thanks to Jonny for the support and encouragement and to Dave, Terrence, Roger James and Nonzi for their contributions – very much appreciated!

1. Nqamakwe

Written and recorded some years back, this one needed a ‘make over’ but I never imagined such cool guitar from Jonny (on my PRS) with James on brushes, Roger on bass and Nonzi on additional vocals.

Hey little sister please look after me, I’m feeling so dizzy and you’re looking so sweet, You’re much too young to sleep in the streets, Just blow on the plastics and they’ll turn into sheets

2. Wild West

Some recollections of my youth in Krugersdorp and surrounds. Played on the Lakewood M14 with James on brushes, Roger on bass and Jonny on killer slide (executed on my 1937 L00 Gibson which was literally built with this track in mind!).

Our own Monte Carlo….at the tip of Africa

3. Leave your light on

A song more discovered than written, played here on my Lakewood baritone in 5/4 time with Jonny on Strat, James on brushes, Roger on bass and Nonzi on additional vocals. It’s the title track because it says a lot of what is in my heart in very few words.

All the pictures on your wall will end up hanging in my head … In the morning.

4. Better/Worse

Played on my Lakewood M14 with violin from Terrence

We are all rich and poor, black and white; we have all that we need

5. Catwalk

Here is a song which took years to hone…I hope you’ll agree it was worth the patience! With James on brushes, Roger on bass, Jonny on killer Strat.

What a beautiful body, she’s got money too that androgynous kitten eat up all of your blues

6. O Mani

Written and recorded in the late 90’s this one recently re-emerged and so we decided to include it on the album. Lakewood M14 with Jonny on the Lakewood bari and Nonzi on additional vocals. Strings by Terrence.

Messages from the other shore, obscure…

7. Don’t drink the water

This one took months to perfect (in fact it is still developing) and is a comment on the proposed fracking in the Karroo and related issues. Played on my Lakewood M14 in ‘dropD’ with Jonny on his Jaguar baritone and chains.

8. Trouble

Played on the Lakewood baritone with Jonny on Strat and percussion.

People will cut you ….Look the other way

9. uMoya

With the benefit of hindsight this song might have been written with a different spin; in fact I did change some lyrics in line with recent history. Having played it so often, it’s become an old friend, slightly re-invented for this album. Played on my Lakewood M14 with Jonny on Strat.

Now you are surrounded, hyenas on your blood, retreating into secrecy...

10. Tungsten

A protest against the proposed exploitation of tungsten reserves at the head of the Verlorenvlei near Redlinghuis/Elandsbaai with potentially disastrous consequences for the environment and no upside for the locals (as usual..). Played on the Lakewood baritone with fiddle by Terrence.

Just listen to the comrades squealing at the trough…

11. Pieces

Played on my Taylor 712.

And it’s not necessarily fair, somehow we all get there