Questions…. always questions

It’s been a good month for getting to talking to some of my favourite musicians. As I have mentioned before I’ve been working hard on an interview project with Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, solo career etc. etc.) We had just about finished this when I mentioned to Richie, it would be nice to get an alternative view on some of the key periods in his life. We came up with the idea of getting Bernie Leadon (Hearts and Flowers, Flying Burrito Brothers, Eagles, Bernie Leadon-Michael Georgiades Band, solo career etc. etc.) to comment on rivalry and admiration between Poco and the early Eagles. I was expecting a few words, enough to mould into a paragraph of the article. Bernie went to town and has written an article of his own about his admiration of Poco. Great stuff!
I’m also hoping for a contribution from Al Perkins who played a particularly important role in developing Richie’s musical and spiritual life.

Next up to the plate is Michael Georgiades who was Bernie’s partner-in-crime in the aforementioned Bernie Leadon-Michael Georgiades band and in the short-lived spin-off, Zoe. I’m going to be speaking to him next Saturday. His album, Natural Progressions, is a particular favourite of mine and interviewing him is the realisation of a long-held ambition.

Looks likely then that the next stage in the on-going project that I have rolling with Mr Leadon will be in August as we talk about his period with Hearts & Flowers.

These articles will appear in Cross Rhythms magazine and Natural Progressions Magazine. The first of these can be located on the web, subscription information on the second can be obtained from me.

Reason to Believe

Music plays a fairly substantial part in my life in all kinds of shapes and forms. I listen to it, I write about it. Amongst the cds on fairly regular rotation over the last few days have been discs by Tom Scott, Danilo Perez, JD Souther, Rubicks and Mark Colby. A fair percentage of jazz mixed in there. All this while doing the final re-writes on my interview project with Richie Furay which has come together really well and about which various editors are proving very enthusiastic.

However, the album which has really been catching my attention today is an obscure disc by a band called Hearts and Flowers who had their moment in the sun in 1967-68 and are best remembered for being the second stopping point for Bernie Leadon. I think this was the second band of his illustrious career. He joined them for their second album “Of Horses, Children and Forgotten Women”. The band couldn’t decide whether they wanted to be The Byrds, early Simon & Garfunkel (think Wednesday Morning Three A.M.) or straight country. Folk-rock, then. Consequently, the albums are eclectic and a lot of fun with great harmonies and bags of energy and youthful enthusiasm. The songs include a cover of the Tim Hardin song I’ve used for the title of this journey entry, and bizarrely a version of “Two Little Boys” which was made famous a few years later here in the UK by wobble-board-playing Australian, Rolf Harris. Eclectic indeed.

Mostly the albums have been making me sit up and listen for all the right reasons but there are a couple of moments which have touched my funny bone. The guitar on the track “Now is the Time for Hearts & Flowers” and the backing vocals on “The View From Ward 3” (both on their first album) put me very much in mind of the vocals and guitar on that other forgotten classic of the ’60s “(Listen to) the Flower People” by the quite wonderful Spinal Tap. It’s hard to keep a straight face. I seem to have that clip from the rockumentary on regular playback in my head.