The idea was to take some tunes that I had and turn them into an album. To that end I asked Richard Evans (engineer/producer/fine musician) to help out. Funds would come from Bowers And Wilkins, the loudspeaker company.
I'd felt I wanted to be mostly in control of proceedings. The people I asked to help put the project together, were and are strong personalities. I realised that the best way forward was to let them do what they do best. Letting go isn't always the most comfortable thing to do and on reflection perhaps I didn't let go enough. Having said that, at that moment the course of action seemed right.
a collection of songs made with the help of:
Ged Lynch on drums, Charlie Jones on bass, and Dean Brodrick on keyboards. Stephen Barber, arranged the strings, the Tosca Strings played them. Madalaine Brodrick, sang on Monster Monster. Rosie Doonan, sang on the end of Down By The River. Peter Hammill, sang some backing vocals on everything except, Reality Slips, Down By The River, and Bittersweet.
Richard Evans, co-produced, and engineered. Greg Freeman also engineered, and Adam Daniels assisted. The recordings were mostly made at Real World and The Labour Exchange.
The strings were recorded at Church House, by David Boyle.
Tchad Blake mixed at Mongrel.
Adam Ayan, mastered at Gateway.
Big thank yous are due to all of the above; Bowers and Wilkins and Real World, for letting me get the whole thing going, and especially, Mike Large, Peter Gabriel, and Rob Bozas.
There are many others who’ve helped along the way including, Dickie Chappell, Josh Portway, Lucia and Dexter Evans, and of course Helga, Nounie, Sam and Matt.
York Tillyer, took the portrait photographs.
Amy Rhodes, took the disc photo.
Nigel Milk, designed the sleeve.
Rivera make the amplifiers and cabinets that I use most of the time.
Dave T, and his team at Judgeday are the management.
The songs are published by Real World Music Limited.
Released by C.A.R.E. Music Group
Bittersweet, is a collection of songs that had been recorded as demos over a couple of years, between other projects.
Real life, family and other work, had made me forget why I started making music. I get a real buzz out of making songs.
The album started as homework and became something else, with the introduction of the different players, who all left their distinctive mark on it.
By Elysa Gardner, USA TODAY, 7/13/10
The guitarist/singer/songwriter leads the charge this week...
Rock and roll meets world music on David Rhodes' If It Could Only Be That Easy, from his Bittersweet album. PICK OF THE WEEK - If It Could Only Be That Easy, David Rhodes Rhodes has performed and collaborated with Peter Gabriel for some 25 years. On this track from Bittersweet, the singer/songwriter/guitarist reveals a graceful intensity — not to mention a flair for weaving finespun world-music textures into muscular rock arrangements.
In today's edition of USA TODAY, Pop Music critic Elysa Gardner selects David Rhodes' acrid track 'If It Could Only Be That Easy' as her MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK (see above). After decades working and performing alongside some of the industry's most respected artists, guitarist/singer/composer Rhodes steps into the spotlight on his solo CD 'Bittersweet' – a dramatic ten-song collection of rock songs with World music undertones, all fueled by his incendiary electric guitar and riveting vocals. U.S. press has begun to embrace his dramatic sound -- other recent or upcoming coverage includes GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE, M MUSIC & MUSICIANS MAGAZINE, PERFORMER MAGAZINE, BOSTON HERALD, MEDLEYVILLE and more.
Rhodes evokes the ethereal delivery of early Genesis and the fearless musicality of early David Bowie on his confident, gimmick-free debut. Listen to a streaming audio sampler, here: http://www.sethcohenpr.com/player/davidrhodes/
The surprise opener was prog-rock cult figure David Rhodes. Playing solo with electric guitar and loops, Rhodes displayed dramatic vocals, inventive soloing and deep but catchy songwriting.
- Interview feature – 6/10 on http://www.medleyville.us/2010/06/sound_over_technique.html
Introduction and interview by Donald Gavron
During the last 30-plus years, guitarist David Rhodes has built himself quite a resume.
He's successfully collaborated with Peter Gabriel, both in the studio and as part of his touring band; helmed a group called Random Hold, which has garnered a cult following; and has worked and recorded with such artists as Paul McCartney, Akira Inoue and Roy Orbison, among others.
Rhodes, who will be touring this summer in support of Bittersweet, recently checked in to talk about his new album, his style and select moments from his career.
Medleyville.us: What prompted you to do a solo album and tour at this time, and was there a certain concept you had in mind for Bittersweet? What sets this apart from your other work?
David Rhodes: "Over time, I've written songs and bits of songs that have never seen the light of day. Gradually I came to feel as though I had a decent collection of material to work with and develop. "There was no real concept behind the songs as a whole, just a desire to have them out in the open. I've always enjoyed singing, but I've spent most of my career playing guitar, which I also enjoy a lot. When you play for other people, your role is always one of supporting what they're doing. Even when they give you great freedom, you're helping them express themselves. So Bittersweet is a body of work where I am lord and master!"
Peter Gabriel took notice of Random Hold and subsequently asked your group to tour with him. What convinced you to accept Gabriel's invitation to join his band?
Rhodes: "PG, and his management and publishing company, came to see us play at the Rock Garden in London. After seeing that, he asked us to work on some demos for his third album. I was then asked to record with him, which I nervously did.
"I was really very new to guitar playing, having spent a few years studying at art school, and not 'guitaring.' Walking into a room of session musicians and enthusiastic production people -- when I didn't consider myself a real player -- was daunting.
"My main interest was, and still is, sound, not technique. I felt out of place, but Peter was supportive and helped me to get through the sessions [but] not without some hiccups along the way. The backing vocals for the record were great fun to record. They were way easier for me.
"It then followed that we supported Peter, on tours of both the U.K. and the U.S. On the tour of the States, [everyone in the band] became weirder and weirder with each other, and by the end we were all a bit grumpy and out of sorts, barely speaking to one another. When we got home, I decided to leave the band. I then spent a considerable time being down, and on reflection probably depressed, and in a dark frame of mind.
"It was after the recording of PG's fourth album that I was invited to tour as part of his band. I suppose the factor that convinced me to accept was that I'd watched the previous incumbent playing some of my parts, and I knew I could do it better."
By your own admission, you don't read music very well and aren't technically savvy, which may come as a surprise to many people. I imagine this provides a sense of freedom to absorb many different possibilities. How has this affected your approach to your music?
Rhodes: "The reading has only been a problem on a couple of occasions. The expedient way around that is to listen to what's going on. Limitations in technique can be viewed as a way of focusing and not getting bogged down in stylistic considerations. If you can't come up with different ways of playing something, you become more absorbed in the sounds you're working with, and how they relate to what's happening. The sound then leads to the part."
There's an interesting story behind how you came to work on Roy Orbison's Mystery Girl album. Can you talk a bit about that?
Rhodes: "At that time, I was working [co-producing] T-Bone [Burnett]'s Talking Animals. I had been home in England and was due back in L.A. to finish off the record. I went to the airport in London, and when I reached the airline desk, the staff informed me that my ticket was for the following day. "I was confused. I normally check these things, as anyone does, but I'd convinced myself that I knew the day I was to travel and had only skimmed the ticket information. Fortunately, there was space on the plane and I was able to leave that day.
"I arrived in L.A. and spoke with T-Bone. We met up for a drink that evening, and he said he was in the middle of mixing an Orbison track that Elvis Costello had written, 'The Comedians.' There was a problem in that the orchestral session had gone well, but that they needed some guitar on the track. T-Bone had apparently asked Ry Cooder, who was working in the studio next door, to have a go, but he'd declined, saying there were too many chords in the tune. So he asked me to try something on it. I played the following day. It was fun."
You've composed for film and television and also created the soundtrack for the Italian animated film La Gabbianella E II Gatto. What was the experience of composing for an animated film like?
Rhodes: "It was a wonderful project to work on. It's a very popular and well-loved children's story in Italy. The extended title of the film translates as, 'The Little Seagull and the Cat Who Taught It to Fly.'
"There are two processes involved in working on animated films. In the first place, the songs are written [and] he animation will then follow the song; simple. The other process is the writing of the score, where the music supports the action. However, it's not like scoring live action film, where you have the moving images to work to.
"With this animation, I had the recorded character voices and a static storyboard to work to. So you have to imagine the action and pace of it, from one tatic image to the next -- often 30 or more seconds apart -- by listening to the dialogue and reading the action from the script. You then create the music to suit what you think is going on. It was one of my first soundtracks, and really quite naive. Maybe that worked in its favor."
Other than the cuts from Bittersweet, what songs are you performing on the tour?
Rhodes: "When I'll be supporting Cyndi Lauper [this summer], I'm not sure how long I'll play for, but there will be definitely one new song in the set, 'Waggle Dance.' This is a song loosely based on my research into keeping bees, which I began to do just over a year ago. I spend a lot of my time reading bee books and an online forum on bees. I then spend a lot of time worrying about my hives.
"There are a couple of other songs that I may try – 'Be Mine' and 'Ship of Fools.' These have been written specifically to take advantage of the guitar system that I am using for live performance. This involves making simple loops of what I'm doing as I'm playing."
What type of guitars are you using onstage?
Rhodes: "My stage setup is incredibly pared down. I've just completed a small tour of Europe, traveling on my own by train, carrying everything with me. I use a Gibson Les Paul Robot, which has a mechanized tuning system built into it. I wrote the album using some different tunings that would be very time consuming to deal with onstage.
"I run the guitar through a laptop, installed with Guitar Rig 4, which is software that does a pretty good job of simulating amps and contains a lot of effects. This then goes straight to the PA. This is a far cry from the half dozen guitars, big pedal board and big Rivera amps and cabinets that I take on Gabriel] outings."
Do you have any musical plans after this tour? Another solo album, perhaps? A Random Hold reunion?
Rhodes: "I've done a handful of shows of the Bittersweet material, working with bass and drums. I've never played in a trio before, and I find it very exciting and great fun. It feels like a very pure form of band music. So maybe that's the way to proceed.
"There are a couple of [Gabriel] shows to play in Australia in November, I think. There is also a soundtrack for an English horror movie to work on, but that will be early next year.
"[Random Hold] will never reunite, as one of our [members], David Ferguson, sadly died last year."
11/June/2010, by Holger Erdmann
Read here the Focus online German review of Bittersweet.
Rhodes has built a storied career of collaborations, most notably a 25- year working relationship with Peter Gabriel, during which he has co-written songs, produced/arranged, and performed in Gabriel's band. Warm references to their musical partnership are evident on 'Bittersweet', particularly in the understated beauty of 'Reality Slips' and on 'One Touch'. Rhodes has also produced and/or performed with other acclaimed artists including Paul McCartney, T-Bone Burnett, Roy Orbison, Tim Finn, The Pretenders, and many others. A full list of credits follows, below.
On 'Bittersweet', Rhodes delivers a vibrant mix of original songs, from the cloudy, wicked guitar groove of 'Just 2 People' to the unsettling, Bowie-infused 'Monster Monster'...from the cinematic 'Down By The River' to the mournful title track – Rhodes has a flair for mixing the light and the dark, the peaceful and the tortured...the bitter and the sweet. Other highlights include the clenched resolve of 'All I Know' and the album's ominous, dense 'If It Could Only Be That Easy', on which Rhodes creates a vista of sound that sweeps the listener down an acrid path. On the soaring, anthemic 'There's a Fine Line,' Rhodes uses multiple time signatures to create a complex, buoyant treatise on the narrow edge between joy and despair.
'Bittersweet' was recorded at Real World Studios in the UK, with Rhodes calling on trusted musician friends to flesh out his vision, among them drummer Ged Lynch, bassist Charlie Jones, keyboard player Dean Brodrick and a cameo from Peter Hammill on backing vocals.
Rhodes is touring the U.S. this summer, opening for Cyndi Lauper on a series of dates, and headlining shows of his own. In his dynamic live performances, which have earned raves following a recent European tour, Rhodes performs solo but creates layer-upon-layer of sound via his electric guitar and vocals. Using Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4 and a Gibson Les Paul Studio Robot to create loops of audio on-stage, Rhodes builds his songs as he goes along. Here's an example of his one-man 'big sound', as he performs 'One Touch', live in Italy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeW0UTxevCk
Jul 30 Glenside, PA Keswick Theatre
Jul 31 Myrtle Beach, SC House Of Blues
Aug 01 Orlando, FL House Of Blues
Aug 03 Miami, FL Adrienne Arsht Center
Aug 04 Clearwater, FL Ruth Eckerd Hall
Aug 06 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Aug 08 New Orleans, LA House Of Blues
Aug 10 Austin, TX Paramount Theatre
Aug 11 Dallas, TX House of Blues
Aug 12 Houston, TX House Of Blues
Aug 15 Tucson, AZ Anselmo Valencia Ampitheatre
Aug 17 Saratoga, CA The Mountain Winery
Aug 18 Napa, CA Uptown Theatre
Aug 21 Las Vegas, NV House Of Blues
Aug 22 San Diego, CA House Of Blues
Aug 27 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
Additional tour dates will be announced soon.
Though perhaps best known for his decades-long professional relationship with Peter Gabriel, guitarist/producer/arranger/composer/singer David Rhodes is also an acclaimed composer of film scores, television scores and music for cutting-edge computer games. With his musical Partner, Richard Evans, Rhodes has also created the soundtracks for documentaries on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. As a sideman/guitarist, Rhodes' credits are extraordinary – Take a look at remarkable body of work, on this site set-up and maintained by fans: www.davidrhodes-archive.org
In 2010 David did a show in Bremen (Germany) to promote his first album Bittersweet which was recorded by Radio Bremen.
With Ged Lynch on drums, Richard Evans on bass.
Follow this link to hear a great liveshow net broadcast with The David Rhodes Band at Bremer Moments on May, 12th 2010. About an hour of playing live to listen to - enjoy!
David Rhodes, der seit 30 Jahren mit Peter Gabriel zusammenarbeitet, trat mit seinem Trio im Moments auf und stellte dort seine erste Solo-CD "Bittersweet" vor. Die Songs bildeten das ganze Panorama der Rockmusik ab und sprachen für sich. Auf Playbacks und Synthesizer wurde verzichtet. read more
Datum/date:Sonntag, 27. Juni 2010
Sendereihe:Nordwest Live | Nordwestradio