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Joe Baxter
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Joined: 06 Sep 2017, 10:22


Postby Joe Baxter » 23 Sep 2017, 20:20

Last night there was a documentary on BBC4 about Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris and the Trio albums they made together. I can recommend it, it's fascinating. I had always intended buying the first one but never got around to it, I'm an arsehole. The combination of their voices is spine tingling. I already thought of Emmy's harmony singing to be right up there with The Everly's, and Trio's is, until I get more listens, probably better.

Interestingly, the program paid lip service to Herb Pederson, who arranged the harmonies. I became aware of Herb when he was mentioned by Dale Britain (Big Sciota on Mojo) who thought that Herb might be the best in the world, and he has a point. Incidentally, Dale's Homecoming is a wonderful album. Just yesterday, I was listening to some Proclaimers' stuff, and once again, was blown away by the harmony, so I was already warmed up for Trio's.I came across Herb again when I started listening, courtesy of John Jorgenson, to The Desert Rose Band. Stunning harmonies there, and again from Herb in Jorgenson's Bluegrass Band.

Going back to the first ever Old Grey Whistle Test, Heads Hands And Feet were on it and I bought their eponymous debut next morning. Pat Donaldson and Jerry Donahue, who along with the guys in HH&F had been the house band at Advision Studios, were actually on HH&F's first album which was shelved when they left to join Sandy Denny in Fotheringay. Albert Lee (Who played on Trio's first album - possibly the second, I don't know, was also asked but declined. ANYWAY, Donahue arranged the backing vocals for HH&F's "Midnight Choir" i.e. anyone who was gigging in London on a studio night. I was blown away by this, but never really knew how good it was until I assembled my current hi fi 4 or 5 years ago. As an aside, I hate ;) to pish on you hipsters' parade, but vinyl just can't do justice to this stuff. Get a hold of the HH&F albums and listen to the backing vocals ;) , stunning stuff, just stunning.
Another graduate of the Joe Meek/HH&F school of harmony is Chas Hodges, long one of my heroes. As well as being a session bass player, a player of guitar, banjo, fiddle and piano, is a fabulous harmonist - check out the harmonies on Chas & Dave's stuff - intricate phrasing which sounds throwaway which in my book equals genius.

So! Let's be having your fave harmony clips and stories.

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Re: Harmony

Postby Hugh » 23 Sep 2017, 20:34

I'm a big fan of the first Trio album although I'm not sure that I knew that Albert Lee played on it. Love To Know Him Is To Love Him and Telling Me Lies particularly.

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The Slider
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Re: Harmony

Postby The Slider » 23 Sep 2017, 20:44

The T.Rex Complete Mp3 set now available in the usual place, should you want one.

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big sciota
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Re: Harmony

Postby big sciota » 24 Sep 2017, 02:48

Same name here. Don't post much though. Thanks for the plug Joe.

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Alpine Numpty
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Re: Harmony

Postby Neige » 24 Sep 2017, 10:46

Agree about Trio - I had both albums on CD but recently stumbled upon this 3CD set for next to nothing on a closing sale. It adds a disc of "Unreleased and Alternate Takes", along with the two Trio tracks from EH albums - Even Cowgirls Get The Blues and their spine-tingling version of Mr Sandman:


Many moments of pure bliss there.

The epitome of perfect harmonies to me are Kate & Anna McGarrigle, for example here (where they are joined by Linda):

It doesn't get much better than the "it's only love" bit after the 2 minute mark.
Thumpety-thump beats plinkety-plonk every time. - Rayge

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Re: Harmony

Postby LeBaron » 14 Oct 2017, 15:21

People who know me won't be surprised when I post this and declare it ALPHA AND OMEGA.

Quaco wrote:Are you fucking high?

take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.