Indian River

One thing I’ll always have a soft spot for is good old Southern rock. Growing up in Kentucky, I sometimes thought that Southern rock was the only rock there was. Classic-rock radio programming, after all, is a regional affair, and in Louisville, the Allman Brothers and Skynyrd were the big bad dogs on the block. Southern rock is all about attitude. Relaxing, being wild, and being proud — those are the big ingredients. Sometimes, according to the lyrics, they all happen on the same day.

So with this week’s track, “Indian River“, I’m taking it way back to those thick, humid days. This song is dedicated to my high-school band, Mayhem Maybe. We played lots of Allman Brothers covers, as well as some Black Crowes, the Band, stuff like that. We had original songs too, but they were in a style that strongly reflected those influences. I played the Mayhem Maybe album recently for Peter (the drummer of Baby Teeth), and he said it reminded him of Pearl Jam meeting the Grateful Dead. That’s about right.

Even though I set out to make a pure Southern rocker, I’m listening to it now and detecting some other influences. There’s a lot of Allen Toussaint in the piano chord voicings, but that’s cool because New Orleans is part of the South. The drum sound is my attempt to do a Dave Fridmann/Flaming Lips kind of thing, but that’s cool because Oklahoma is close enough.

The bass part is my tribute to some excellent bass playing that I saw last weekend at Schubas, courtesy of the Paul Green School of Rock. The kids in this program were teenagers (and younger), performing a tribute to Southern rock and roots. And they were absolutely incredible, completely blowing away my expectations of what such a band would sound like. Particular props go to the bassist, Genna, who was cool as ice and kept the whole band together, even when the drummer’s tempo would vary wildly. She inspired me to lay down something solid. (With the help of a little MIDI quantizing, bien sĂ»r!)

Rock on, rockers.

10 Responses to “Indian River”
  1. Emilie says:

    I’m smiling so hard my face hurts.

  2. TIGHTNESS, I totally agree about the Toussaint piano and Fridmann percussion production.

    Wait, did Andy Pratt really comment on that last entry?

  3. Abraham says:

    emilie: when you’re smiling, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you!

    p m s: YES! I know that, in internet-world, it would be easy to pull something like that as a prank, but, having hung out with the man a couple times, I can assure you that that was indeed andy pratt, the genuine article.

  4. The Bubble King says:

    I knew it! When Lara told us all to make sure to listen to this one, I just knew there would be a little surprise!

    There was a period a couple years ago where I seemed to listen to nothing except Skynyrd, Pure Prairie League, and other staples of the classic rock station. After I did that “Boosh Kebab Sasquatch” tune (which I think is on that CD I made you?) and “SharkinAlton” which was a theme for a movie of the same name, my friend Scott got all excited and suggested we start a “hoosier rock band.”

    This song is pretty good and authentic to the genre! Now just get some of that triple lead guitar for 8 minutes at the end, and you have yourself a show-stopper!

  5. The Bubble King says:

    Weird, when I started leaving my comment, Emilie was the only one above me. Once it posted, there was this whole mess of Abraham Pancakes too.

  6. Bridgid says:

    It’s a real shame I’m listening to this at work ’cause I’d sure like to rock it out right about now. Well done.

  7. KatiaSilver says:

    Ahhhh. There is nothing more beautiful than this.
    I love it.

  8. Abraham says:

    thanks for the excitement everyone! I am delighted that this recording touched a nerve.

    b b king: I agree about the need for the triple-lead. I was really wishing while making this recording that I was like a totally bitching slide guitarist. alas.

    bridgid: tight.

    kat sil: good point — jesus is also a frequently referenced character in southern rock.

  9. The Bubble King says:

    Once in Alabama, I requested Gimme Three Steps from a bar/cover band. They totally wailed it. Then I probably had more jello shots or something. I thought I might wait and see if a new song pops up here at the midnight hour, but now I’m sleepy.

    Oh, there are pictures on line of me dancing at the show, but the website isn’t working!

  10. Abraham says:

    I hope that website starts functioning again soon…. I would love to see the great B B King himself dancing to Gimme Three Steps.

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