Title - Our Back Pages
Artist - Holsapple & Stamey
For those not in the know, Our Back Pages, an album of dBs music re-imagined by the bands Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, features new acoustic versions of some of the duos favorite dBs songs.
Stamey explains: Over the years Peter and I have evolved acoustic versions of a number of our songs from our days together in the dBs.
While working on a duo project in my studio a decade ago we took some time to lay down some of these arrangements which are often quite different from the normal electric presentations.
We are both always more concerned with making new music than with looking back so it stayed in the archives. But it seemed like the time was right, so we finally completed and mixed it all over the last two weeks just for this.
We would like to offer it now as a small contribution a little bit of light in these dark days. Holsapple adds, These stripped-down versions add a credence to our belief that a truly good song can stand up without a lot of bells and whistles.
1. Today Could Be The Day
2. From A Window To A Screen
3. Black And White
5. Molly Says
7. Big Brown Eyes
8. Shes Not Worried
9. Picture Sleeve
10. Depth of Field
11. Nothing Is Wrong
12. Darby Hall (Bonus Track)
13. In Spain (Bonus Track)
Opening on the beautifully harmonized pairing of Today Could Be The Day and From Window To A Screen, they back those up seamlessly with the upbeat strains of Black and White, the reaching ambiance of Dynamite, the gently euphoric Molly Says, and then we get two of my own personal favorites, the 70s-imbibed rhythms of Happenstance and the joyous folk-pop bounce of Big Brown Eyes.
Next up is the laid back Shes Not Worried and the foot-tapping Picture Sleeve, and they are in turn followed by the ambiently orchestrated duo Depth of Field and Nothing Is Wrong, the album now rounding out on the lush notes of the bonus track Darby Hall, this newly expanded album closing on the other bonus track, the quietly forthright warning signals of In Spain.
A few special guests joined Holsapple and Stamey on the sessions: John Teer (Chatham County Line) and Libby Rodenbough (Mipso) both contribute violin and Andy Burton (Little Steven, John Mayer, Cyndi Lauper) plays keys on Nothing Is Wrong with of course Will Rigby (drums) and Gene Holder (bass).
The mastering by Greg Calbi and Steve Fallone at Sterling Sound is a homecoming of sorts as legendary engineer Calbi had previously mastered the pairs influential Mavericks outing as well as Falling Off the Sky, the last dBs album.
For the most part it is Peter and Chris around the campfire at Modern Recording in Chapel Hill, N.C. grabbing whatever was in the room at the time: a toy piano, a ukulele, a banjo, a harmonium, an upright or an old Silvertone bass and of course guitars guitars guitars.
In addition to 1991s Mavericks (RNA Records) Holsapple and Stamey also paired up for 2009s hERE & nOW (Bar/None). For more insight into the genesis of some of these songs see Stameys 2018 songwriting memoir A Spy in the House of Loud: New York Songs and Stories (University of Texas Press).
Also available is A Brand-New Shade of Blue, which is from Chris and is a new audio-and-songbook collection.
Our Back Pages will be available as CD and Digital on June 19th, 2021, a week after the June 12th RSD vinyl release.
Official Purchase Link