The long-awaited tenth CD from David LaMotte, Change, offers thirteen previously undrecorded songs and a new approach to production. The idea sprang out of a conversation David had with his part-time manager, Kari Estrin, who asked him what kind of band he would take on the road if he could take a trio with him all the time. Without hesitation, David answered that he would take a strong percussionist and a versatile cellist. Kari followed up with 'Why not make a record like that?' At first, David resisted the idea, not wanting to limit himself to those aural colors, but the more he considered the versatility of the instruments involved - voice, acoustic guitar, percussion and cello - the more attractive the challenge became. David contacted his old friend and favorite cellist, Stephanie Winters (currently on tour with Richie Havens), to see if she would be available for the project, and percussionist Derek Murphy (whom he had seen on tour with Willy Porter), and both signed on enthusiastically. Chris Rosser, who produced David's children's record, S.S. Bathtub, and co-produced David's last record, Spin, agreed to take the producer's chair, and the team was in place. The production concept on this record is markedly different from any other David has done, and not only because of the strict interpretation of what instruments could be used. The way David and Chris approached the project was to work through the songs and plan out how they would produce the song if they were using broader production (keyboards, electric guitars, etc.), then go back through that production plan and figure out how to get those sounds and textures from the instruments at hand. The result is that along with the emotive single-line and orchestral cello parts, harmony vocals and shimmering acoustic guitar that you might expect, there are cello leads where electric guitars might go, pads of voices instead of keyboards, funky bass lines on cello, etc. David used several acoustic guitar sounds, including a resonator guitar for one instrumental piece, a classical guitar, a couple of Taylor steel strings and even 'organic interference,' i.e. weaving plastic and paper through the guitar strings to alter the sound. Then came the guest vocalists, including a local gospel choir, Tish Hinojosa, the Dreamsicles (Tom Prasada-Rao & Cary Cooper), Holly Figueroa, Tom Kimmel, Beth Wood, Chris Rosser and John Gorka. The end result is that though there are only four colors on the aural palette, the album is sonically lush and rich, and even occasionally funky. And then there are the songs. It will be interesting to see what the critics and the audiences make of the new record. David says this record makes him feel like all the others were just rehearsals. David has been playing some of them in public for a year or two, and others have yet to cross the stage. Among the ones he has been playing, Your Smile, which he wrote for the Special Olympics, is in high demand, as is Keep the Change, a song about aging that David plays with a piece of credit card stuck in the strings to alter the string timbre. There are two cover songs, Mi Luna, a song in Spanish by Nicaraguan songwriter Salvador Cardenal Barquero and featuring Spanish guitar by Juan Benevides and harmony vocals by Tish Hinojosa, and a percussion-driven track written by Sting and recorded by the Police, Walking In Your Footsteps, featuring David on percussion and a gospel choir supporting the choruses.
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