Label: Ducktail Records - DT 502 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: Canada • Genre: Rock • Style: Rockabilly, Instrumental
Hank Davis and I went to high school together. InHank went to Manny's-- right across the street from Terminal on 48th St. He bought an Ampeg amp and a Carry On - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Live At Fillmore East Vol. 2 Stratocaster. We were somewhat aware of each other, but never really talked. I guess it waswhen Hank said he wanted me to hear some great records.
He came to my house with a few 45s. Those were commercial shit! There I was listening to old 78s from the Library of Congress So he played me the records. As I thought, they were commercial shit. There was one I thought was interesting. I was later to find out it wasn't Cash, but Luther Perkins. Oh well. Hank left with his records. We saw each other at school, but never talked about music. He had a band, "Hank and the Electras," which played at the school dances, but I never heard them because I never went to the dances.
Fast forward about five years. I was hanging out with a bunch of Bluegrass folk at Columbia University. I met Bob Gurland, one of the Columbia musicians who hosted a "country music" show on the Columbia radio station. He told me that he had inherited the show from Hank Davis, who graduated a few years before. THAT was what Hank was into! How interesting! Fast forward another seven years. I was playing pedal steel with a New Jersey country band on the weekends. I started thinking about country music and my mind wandered to Hank.
Where was he? And then I dreamed about him, for five nights in a row. He was never doing anything-- just standing there watching whatever was going on in the dream. I had to find him. It took three days. Columbia University had no record of him-- only because I asked for Henry Davis, never thinking his name was really "Hank.
I was able to speak to the Principal who remembered me. He said they had received a letter from Hank about a year earlier. He found it in the files. Hank was in Guelph, Ontario teaching at the University there. So that summer I got together with Hank.
We played at the house, and then rented a studio Rollin’ And Tumblin’ - Howell Devine - Jumps, Boogies & Wobbles a few hours and laid down tracks for about four songs he had written.
He still had the Strat. Those records he brought over back in were all early Sun records of Elvis. Little did I know. We got together almost every summer over the next few years, and recorded a whole passel of music. And while we were doing it, Raunch Radley raised his ethereal head. Because of Hank's amazing collection of early Sun records and other early rock and roll sides, he had become known among collectors of such stuff.
A small record company in Holland, Redita Records, were re-releasing a lot of old stuff including out-takes of the early Sun stuff. Let's try it again! Redita had contacted Hank about getting some material that was missing from their archives. On one of the tapes Hank sent over, he included a few cuts from the 45s he did with his band when they were playing Down In The Drunktank - Raunch Radley - Alive Since 55 dances at Columbia University.
Redita was most impressed. Here was REAL, non-commercial rock and roll. The genuine article. The outcome was a whole record called "I'm Hank Davis," consisting of the work he had recorded in the early s, and re-released as "New York Country Rock" Redita When I came up to visit Hank in he had a devious plan.
Raunch, as Hank Tschitschibum - Trude Herr - Motive him, was a legendary figure in the bar scene around West Memphis, Arkansas. He made some 45s, all collectors items by now. Getting to see him these days was well nigh impossible because of his heavy drinking and unpredictable behavior. But he was a major musical influence for many young musicians in the area.
And with that intro, Hank and I sat down for a few days and recorded a number of tunes as "Raunch Radley. Redita replied, saying it was obviously a put-on, but the music was exceptional, so why not? They pressed copies of "Guitar City" Redita It got favorable reviews in some of the Stage Select - Hideaki Kobayashi - Initial D Arcade Stage - Sega Original Tracks rock and roll and blues mags.
It had 14 songs, 13 of them composed by "A. Radley" "A" was for Arthul! Nimbus "N. Of course, it was all just Hank I guess we somehow, in an alternate reality, met the elusive Raunch and sat in. Maybe it was a real treat. Sure wish I could remember. Some of my most interesting playing About two years later we cut "Alive since 55" another collection of Raunch tunes including two from a rare "live performance" at Daisy's legendary "Puke and Holler Tavern.
A few tracks of that, merged to one, gave Down In The Drunktank - Raunch Radley - Alive Since 55 the bar background. Raunch even played saxophone on one cut and zither on another, thanks to Ken Bloom.
Over the years Hank and I recorded a number of his original songs, some of which appeared Down In The Drunktank - Raunch Radley - Alive Since 55 his solo records, "Crazy Living" and " Stompin' at the Dead Moose. Between June and June Hank and I recorded a number of steel guitar instrumentals.
We sat in his living room, plugged into his 4-track machine. I was plugged into the "echo" channel for reverb. Hank had his Strat plugged straight in to another channel. We listened to it through the living room stereo speakers. We were sitting there at about 1 a. After a few tries and a few takes, I said, "That is one great Down In The Drunktank - Raunch Radley - Alive Since 55 Our efforts came together with the release in September of "Cloud Dancing" an album of 16 steel instrumentals.
The material on it was right off the top of our heads, and has a spontaneity that I've never gotten elsewhere. Somehow, Hank and I created music that was greater than I could do myself. The true definition of a synergistic relationship. It was no longer just country music.
Mass Hypnosis - Children Of Bodom - Something Wild there were traces of blues, jazz, early rock, even Cajun music thrown in. Sometimes the music was weird, sometimes it was very pretty. Hank built a small 4-track studio in his home so that he and Winnie could record to their heart's content at all hours.
They hung out; they ate, drank, and played. Nothing complicated, just good simple honest music by two old time friends. When Hank started to compile the music we did from his reel-to-reel tapes onto CD, he filled four CDs with the music we created between and
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