Bakelite Radio is Joe's latest project featuring Joe Creighton (bass since Volume III), Ed Bates (drums), Claude Carranza (guitar) and, originally, Nicky Bomba and Simon ??.
"Bakelite Radio represents the kind of music I was listening to as a young boy digging the wealth and richness of the blues. Several of these songs were just lying about looking for a little sunlight. The idea was not to dissect every little move, just keep the spirit intact and be sympathetic to the double bass. Ed, Claude, Nicky, Simon and I would instinctively pick up what was needed. We recorded 20 tracks for the Bakelite sessions in 6 x 4hr blocks at Woodstock Studios, Melbourne between Nov and Dec 2002."
I can't believe 8 months have passed and I'm doing a post mortem on yet another Bakelite Radio disc. The one is called Volume III. For the record, there was never another disc meant for this line up. I caused so much grief calling the first disc Bakelite Radio Volume II, well I figured this one just had to be Vollume III.
So here I am. Tuesday 26 June - they say an idea is only a canvass till you make it a commitment. All I know is, making music is good for my soul... this is my drug of choice. Now then here it is, 16 songs fresh and ready to go. Some songs were in the same style as Bakelite Radio Volume II; the same principle seemed to apply - it had to have its own passage to come into being. While I'm plugged into this computer let me 'fess up about some of the songs that made it fun to finish this disc:
Midnight Run: Hard love desperate to wash away. Ninety Eight Degrees: A little sinister. Aloof and detached. Get Hip: Bad choice of girlfriends in one life, so get up and get hip. Brother Moses & Sister Mary: A vagabond hard luck love story rugged and ragged. Homework: This is the first John Less Hooker recording I can remember playing live. Funky little one chord groove. Blue Car: Nice little metaphor. Everyone knows how this goes, at least one time in their life. Mystery Ship: Letting go of all that's good and bad. You Belong To Me: Waiting for one's love to return. Right On In The Darkness: A Curtis Mayfield Song, without a doubt he is my all time favourite singer - right on Curtis, right on.
And so on...
... and bla bla bla
"The collection of songs started out with the Allen Toussaint's Yes We Can along with songs from Nick (Smith) and I, 12 months later and we are ready to go with Volume IV.
Since Volume III, Joe Creighton has taken over in the bass department. There had been a shift creeping into the live performances, there's a more soulful sound because of Joe. We have more choices in this direction.
Otis Redding, Sam Cook, Curtis Mayfield, Eddie Hitton, Allen Toussaint and Ray Charles were always on the top of my record collection. Most of these songs are from my youth apart from the ones that Nick and I penned. There are so many great artists still doing big things and so many great songs need another spin, that's how I see Bakelite Radio working some borrowed songs, some new."
Bakelite Radio have charted a strange path in the making of their CDs. The story began in late '99 during their first studio sessions. The tracks were sounding great but a shift in direction arose. The band did more demo's, recorded some of those originals and completed the disc. It didn't seem right to call the release anything but Volume II.
Moving forward nearly nine years to Volume IV sessions and an odd thing happened. Bakelite Radio had moved back to the feel of the '99 sessions. These tracks reminded the guys of that starting point years before. Old demo's were dusted off, other tracks tweaked and, combining the sounds from Volume IV sessions felt right.
Bakelite Radio Volume I, where it all began.