The raw sound of the ’40s
PREPARE to be transported back in time for a vintage music experience when CW Stoneking rolls into town this February.
Along with a five-piece band that includes two backing singers, Stoneking will bring the 'drenched in the '40s' sounds of his new album Gon' Boogaloo to Byron next month.
"We will be playing everything off the album together with some old material and telling a few stories," he said.
Stoneking's new album gets its sound from the way it was recorded: all the musicians and singers performed in the same room at the same time.
It was all captured straight to a stereo tape machine using a vintage Soviet era stereo microphone. No overdubs and no fix-ups, just the raw performance.
The result is an intimately detailed group of songs that includes the infectious Get on the Floor.
You can practically hear the back up singers, Vika and Linda Bull, leaning in towards the microphone to deliver the hook lines.
This is the way the very first recordings were made in the '30s and '40s and it stands in stark contrast to how music is made today with every note, syllable and beat digitally manipulated into icy perfection.
"It really was an accident that we recorded this way," said Stoneking.
"The original multi-track machine broke down and the back up was no better, so we decided to go ahead and record everything using the one microphone.
"I only had the band for two days, so we gathered around the microphone to get it done and had a lot of fun in the process.
"The band really came along for the ride. Vika and Linda who have sung on a lot of recordings had never done anything like it before.
"Recording that way gave the record an authenticity of its own and it sounds different to all the other music around that is more highly produced.
"It also took the fear away -- I had a record that sounded unlike any other I was able to have faith in the music. On this record I let every one of my influences into the room including gospel and girl band music from the 50s and 60s and Fats Domino along with some Jamaican music.
"Maybe it wouldn't stand up in court as being reggae but it certainly does have that rhythm on the guitar.
"We have more backing vocals in place on more of the songs and my guitar playing is a little spicier now I have had the chance to play the songs for an audience."
At Byron Theatre, 69 Jonson St, Byron Bay, on Sunday, February 15 from 7.30pm.
Tickets from 6685 6807 or www.byroncentre.com.au.