Laments for Henry Davis

In March 2017, Pepperhead Studios was taken over by the Henry Davis team to produce Laments for Henry Davis. Barry J Davis, lyricist and singer came to me with a self-described concept album that sounded perfect for my live recording approach, and interest in sonic experimentation.

What’s the subject matter? Without revealing too much, if you take experience from working as a blackjack dealer and toss it in a blender with the story of the Molly Maguires, add to taste some honeybees, reflections on family, and what’s important in life… then you might be close to a recipe for this alt-rock project.

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Barry’s cousin, John Henry (guitar) came up from Florida in early March to put down basic tracks. Barry needed a bass player, but rather than split my attention between producing/engineering and performing, I suggested we get Kurt Smith.

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Kurt had already been playing with Dave Eisenhower (drums) in his group Shades of Charon, so it wasn’t long before we had a rhythm section that was locked in to Barry’s vision. Dave is a top, in-demand drummer in our area, so I was excited to learn he was on board. We worked together on my last solo project, Chaos Rise Up.

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Supporting players (so far) include multi-instrumentalist Terry Wright, who did some work with our studio on the one-off track Wolves & Women in 2015. Terry has been a fixture of the Susquehanna Valley music scene for decades, known for his long association with the popular variety band Covert Action.

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After basic tracks, we worked throughout March and early April to create rough mixes, add overdubs, and refine our approach. Barry has some big plans for this project, including a full stage show (with costumes) that will tour the NE and Central PA later this year. Tentative release timeline is Fall 2017.

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(Photos by Scott Canouse)