John Wesley Harding Online-Only CD

 

First volume of solo
acoustic demos of tunes culled from his back catalog. Second volume due later
this year.

 

By Blurt Staff

 

The ever-prolific John Wesley Harding has a new goodie that
you can only get at his JohnWesleyHarding.com website. Titled John Wesley Harding Sings to a Small Guitar
Vol. 1
, it contains 14 previously unreleased tracks, all originals, that
cover 15 years’ worth of his career. It’s just him and his acoustic guitar (“with
occasional harmonica blast,” we are told), on demos of tunes that found their
way onto such albums as Awake, The Name
Above the Title
and the recent Who
Was Changed & Who Was Dead.

 

Folks who order the CD (which includes a poster that has a
complete song-by-song list of every demo session JWH ever committed to tape)
will get a download code shortly after placing the order so they can start
listening right away. According to JWH, “There are no other ways to buy the
record, and no other formats in which to buy it, though a digital only version
of the album will later be available through iTunes.”

 

Meanwhile, you can hear a couple of samples now if you need
convincing:

 

Go to www.johnwesleyharding.com to hear “The Dark Waltz”, or go to www.myspace.com/wesleystace for “Funny Old New World.”

 

Full tracklisting is below, followed by an explanatory note
that JWH helpful provided us. He indicates that a Vol. 2 is in the works for
later this year.

 

Track Listing:

 

1. History In The Remaking (from JWH’s New Deal demo)

2. Funny Old New World (from Confessions of St. Ace demo)

3. The Dark Waltz (from JWH’s New Deal demo)

4. Be With Him (from Adam’s Apple demo)

5. Circles (from Why We Fight demo)

6. The True Story of Buddy The Kid (from Awake demo)

7. Good For the Ratings (from The Name Above The Title demo)

8. The Splendid Life (from Who Was Changed & Who Was Dead
demo)

9. I See You (from Why We Fight demo)

10 Its Never Too Late (from JWH’s New Deal demo)

11. The Undercard (from Awake demo)

12. Dear Lawyer (from Who Was Changed & Who Was Dead
demo)

13. Rock’n’Roll Code (from Adam’s Apple demo) 

14. Write What You Know (from Confessions of St. Ace demo)

 

 

Throughout my career,
I’ve chosen, for whatever reason, to make my demos in epic sessions often
lasting three or four hours, thirty or so songs at a time. Each one of these
demos, though it is only me and an acoustic guitar, gets a name that ends up as
the first working title of the forthcoming album: from Love Songs In The Face
of Social Adversity (1988) to Dilettante’s Inferno (2006.) It’s the unedited,
alternative history of my albums, and, since I’ve never owned any equipment
that could remotely be described as a “home studio”, it always takes
place in someone else’s studio.

 

“JWH Sings To A
Small Guitar” Vols I and II contain the best of these otherwise unreleased
songs from the many sessions – none have been released, most have never even
been played live. Often these songs were forgotten because I had written too
many by the time I next made a record; sometimes because they didn’t suit the
style of the album I wanted to make. Some get passed from one demo tape to the
next, changing titles on the way. Some, including many you know, never got
recorded as demos at all because they popped up at the wrong time. 

 

You’ll find a
 complete sessionography of these tapes on a poster. You’ll notice that
some of the tapes are in alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order: I recorded
them this way to stop me putting all my favourites at the top. Equal
opportunities for all songs! Also, it’s interesting to realize things I
couldn’t have told you (and to wonder why those things were): like the fact
that 50/50 Split could easily have been on “Here Comes The Groom”, or
that When You Smile could have been on “JWH’s New Deal”, let alone
“Awake” and “Confessions”, before it was finally rewritten
to become the closing track on “Adam’s Apple”, or that Byron Road was
finally renamed Narrow Road after five years and three recordings. Why?

 

I am making my next
demo of new songs next month, recording my next record of band new songs in
November, and releasing Vol II of “JWH Sings To A Small Guitar”
before the year is out.

 

In the
meanwhile… 

best wishes from

JWH

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply