Q&A January 2011, Part II
2/3/2011 (updated 2/3/2011)

You've probably been asked this many times before, but I've always wondered. In "Vincent Black Lightning", did Red Molly set James up just to get his Vincent? I'm not bitter! Scott Rush

That's a very cynical interpretation.

Sorry for the geeky Guitar question but how did you get your guitar to sound like it does on the Grizzly Man Main Title!! Is it just a combination of Barber OD and the Univibe or just an expensive Amplifier? (plus Talent of course!!!) Thanks, Nick Reason

That was recorded on a Ferrington guitar through a Divided By 13 amp. I used a Red Robin repeat pedal, but more studio echo was added (probably expensive). There was no Barber or rotary effect.

Re: 1000 Years of Popular Music addition
So what would RT think about covering Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah in 1000 Years? Mary Winter

We usually look for less obvious choices to cover. It would also be difficult to do a better version than Jeff Buckley's, which I feel nails it.

Richard - do you ever play Night Comes In these days? I haven't heard it live in so long - and would love to again. The first time was  Edinburgh Folk Festival 1982 when (if memory serves) the band included John Kirkpatrick. Dave Mattacks and Simon Nicol.

I doubt its been rehearsed for the current tour, but I live in hope. Looking forward to the gig on Saturday 29 Jan at Warwick Arts Centre. Regards, Theo Wright

I don't do it much. Some of the newer material is close in feel and emotion, so I tend to neglect it for those reasons. But its time may come again!

I am a huge fan of The Bones of All Men cd and am wondering what gear you were using on that album.  The tones you generated were incredibly beautiful.  I am also wondering whether any more collaborations along these lines are going to happen. Thanks, Sean Maschmann, Vancouver BC

Joe Boyd had expressed his regret that the record was not better promoted at the time, and I agree that it was undervalued then, and sounds very good today. We tried to perform this as a concert at last year's Meltdown Festival, but Phil Pickett was sick and unable to play. I used a 65 Strat through a 63 Fender Deluxe Reverb, with few, if any, effects.

1. If you have seen it, what is your opinion of the film "The King's Speech?"

I enjoyed it very much. As a fellow stutterer, I writhed in my seat a bit during some difficult passages, but I was fascinated by the therapy sessions, and would have liked to have seen more of them.

2. Since Dream Attic was recorded  live, can we look forward to an even "liver" CD from the current tour. Paul Cowan

How more live can it be? None more live!

Great to see all the lyrics from Dream Attic, but what would really be fantastic are the chords for each song. Any possibility of adding them over the lyrics? Graham Beer - Tokyo, Japan

That will have to wait for the next song book, hopefully not too far away.

Please could you tell me some track on which you play accordion? Hope you're touring here in Australia again soon. Julie Melia

I'm not a real accordionist. I use it in the studio as a texture, but I can't play it properly. To hear me not playing it properly, check out 'Don't Renege On Our Love' from Shoot Out the Lights, or 'My Soul' from Front Parlour Ballads.

I am assuming after listening to the album Amnesia that you did not yet live in the USA. The song Yankee , Go Home leads me to believe that you had not settled in here yet. Do you see yourself writing that song today? And if so would you also ask the British Army to go home, from wherever they are "liberating" other cultures.

I am a huge fan of yours, but sometimes I tire of people from Great Britain taking pot shots at us, you guys do have history books that go back further than 100 years I assume. I mean during the 200+ years that Great Britain was the super power and everybody hated your country. Yours Truly, Bob Nelson

From your perspective this may be hard to believe, but I intended that song to be a statement of fact rather than a criticism of the US. I was comparing the US with Ancient Rome, making the point that all empires decline and fall, and it's usually better if that happens to see it coming. Empires may be inevitable, in which case it's better if they are more on the benign side than the evil side. There were good and bad things about the Roman Empire, the British Empire, and the American Empire. I would gladly criticize the British politicians for sending troops to die unnecessarily in some war of political convenience or vanity, and I hope I would do the same in the case of the US, whether I was a resident of that country or not. I would generally sympathise with the troops, not the politicians. I would say that many  Americans I meet are not particularly happy with US foreign policy going all the way back to Vietnam, and would be relieved to see the US spend less on the military.