Due to the millions –well, maybe not millions- of Dryve fans that have been requesting some more music I (Keith) have been compelled to dig deep in the spider infested closet of my music collection and resurrect the earliest recording from dryve –a project called ‘South’. I dusted it off, loaded it into my computer (I have an old computer) and am now exposing it for public consumption. Please, no vomiting on the playground kids.
Here’s my recollection of ‘South’.
It was recorded in the fall of 1993 –yes way back in ’93 at a home studio in Lake Tahoe. This was back when home studios were a commodity that would force one to drive hours to take advantage of an offer to record for free. I believe it was recorded on ½ inch tape on a system that would make even the most juvenile of today’s home engineers laugh out loud. But hey, it was free. This was when recording a hallowed, shiny, circular space age cd was still something that was financially out of reach for the average peasant. So it went to cassette tape and never made out of the tape realm actually, so forgiveness is asked for the less than stellar sound quality. The recording went O.K. until the end when the so called freebie turned into some diabolical request for publishing rights and all sorts of madness. Needless to say, we got out of there fast.
We took it to some studio in Vista, CA I think, and begged the engineer to work magic on the mess. Fortunately he was able to salvage it to a degree but struggled with the non-existent levels and the persistent hum (inspiration for the next album title maybe?). It was then manufactured into a beautiful cassette that was dubbed ‘South’.
I remember Paul and Cory calling me when they got the finished product shrieking with excitement at having our very own ‘tape’. In fact, Paul remarked they put the tape next to a ‘real’ tape by R.E.M. I think, and marveled at how it “looks just like the real thing”!!
It was rough but it was a start.
One highlight was when Paul and Cory went see Jewel (it was Jewel Kilcher then actually) play down at the Innerchange coffee house in La Jolla just as she was being ‘discovered’ by Atlantic records. She would play every week to an ever growing roomful of people knowing they were witnessing the birth of a star. Earlier on, Paul and Cory had gone to see her, hung out with her a bit, and given her a copy. A few weeks later they went to see her and she remarked to the crowd “There’s a couple guys from the band dryve in the audience tonight. I have a copy of their tape ‘South’ in my car stereo that hasn’t left since they gave it to me –It’s some great music; you should check them out.” Well, she went on to get rich and famous; I went on to make this website.
Here are some thoughts on the tunes:
All I Wanted –As terrible as the production is I always liked it much more than the ‘Hum’ recording. The washy reverb really gave it this dreamy vibe that captured the essence of the tune. I hate the Hum recording to be quite honest.
Rain –A pre-solo, stripped down version. The whole instrumental thing at the end slowly grew over the years. Quite unintentionally and organically I must say. A true experience of ‘letting the music lead you where it may’.
Georgia Clay –Better than Hum as well. Great, great lyrics by Cory.
On the Whole –The most country we ever got. Thank God.
Take Me back –This was our rocker for a while. It would get rowdy live and Paul would do this great Pete Townsend leap during the break. I played the guitar solo on this funny enough, but I gimped a bad note in the middle that they tried to cut out. But it ended up just sounding like they pulled the fader down for a split second –which is exactly what they did. I wasn’t around to veto that travesty. Gimps are human. Gimps are good.
Oklahoma Nights –Introducing Steve on trumpet. Hmm, Georgia, Oklahoma, South –do I smell a theme?
Freedom in Autumn –One of the first songs Cory wrote and an absolute masterpiece as far as I am concerned. I tried to read the lyrics aloud to my wife but I kept getting all teary eyed. This is just a beautiful song. Yeah I know, it sounds like they say ‘Adam’. Whatever.
Never Gonna Bring Me Down –This one petered out fairly quickly from the live set. Note the tape gimp vocal drawl at the end. That one was unfixable. Like I said, we were in a hurry to get out of there once our recording buddy got possessed by Satan and wanted our firstborns.
Hope ya’ll like get something out of it.