Q&A Part II
4/26/2005 (updated 4/26/2005)
How extensive are your own records of what songs/gigs you've played where, and do those come into consideration when you're planning a new tour?
I am inconsistantly anal, i.e. I keep meticulous notes of every song played on every gig, all neatly filed on 5x3 index cards, which I then leave in dressing rooms on a regular basis. In spite of lapses, I have records with gaps going back to the early 80s, not quite Hutchingesque, but surprisingly good for me. The purpose? Mainly, I think, to not play the same thing at a gig I might have visited regularly over the years.
Which countries in which you haven't yet played are you most interested in playing?
None, really, but there are tons I would like to visit - Papua New Guinea, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Indonesia, India, Tibet, etc.
Duet albums are all the rage today. If you were to do an album of duets--or preferably, collaborations--who would you choose to fill out a 12-14 track CD? If I may make a suggestion or two, how about John Cale? Tracey Thorn? Terry Riley? Joni Mitchell?
I would do it all with dead people, now we have the technology (Conway Twitty)..
I'd go for:
George Van Eps
Speaking of duet albums, here's a quote from a 2002 interview: He has both a band album and an acoustic one (the latter tentatively titled Front Parlour Ballads) in the works, as well as an album of children's songs that he says is "mostly funny-slash-educational stuff for kids, a heavily coated pill." Next year, he plans to record an album of Islamic music with fellow avant-garde guitarist Henry Kaiser. The first is "the Old Kit Bag", the second is upcoming. Can we still expect the other two?
Expect away, if you must....I'm a song or two short for the kid's record, and the project with Henry could happen any time, but takes a while to set up.
Of all the songs that you have performed in the 1000 years concerts, which one/ones do you most wish you had written yourself (and perhaps tell us what's special about it/them in your view).
When I Am Laid In Earth' just kills me - such a beautiful piece of music, that does the emotional business at the right time in the opera - that and the piece that follows it in Dido and Aeneas are too extraordinary. I love that Ray Davies song, 'See My Friend'. Simple. Hypnotic, emotionally true.
You've mentioned Hank Garland (1930-2004) as one of your all-time favorite guitarists. Which of his recordings have influenced you?
There's a difference between favourite and influenced, I think. The record with Gary Burton was beautiful...and even when playing fairly crass stuff for the Nashville machine, he had a great touch....I forget titles, and can't find my HG CD.
"A Love You Can't Survive" has a wonderful guitar solo on "The Old Kit Bag", but you chose to perform it live without the band. Are there any of your songs for which you regard the guitar break as absolutely essential to their appeal or success?"
I like to think I can play anything acoustically from the repertoire, but in reality things like 'Tear-Stained Letter' require a lot of understanding, and even participation, from the audience. I suppose by subtracting the guitar break, sometimes you can find room for something else, less intense, but possibly suitable for the format.