Eileen Blues

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Yesterday I was literally digging through a pile of old boxes looking for something and I found a cassette tape I thought was long ago lost. It is a recording of my old friend Ronnie Hayward and me in my garage/shop/studio at our old house.

We recorded a version of his song Eileen Blues, which I obviously had no idea what the real title spelling was. He brought over a small Sony reel to reel tape recorder that he got in a pawn shop for $10, his 1930’s Kay upright bass and a Rock and Roll attitude. I had an office attached to my shop where I built guitars and repaired them. We recorded the song in the office and ran a cord out to the garage where the amplifier was and put a microphone in front of it.

This is the amp in the recording:

As far as I can tell, it’s a Kalamazoo amplifier from the 1930’s. Kalamazoo was Gibson’s budget line of instruments for the overburdened working man. I plugged my Nechville Meteor electric banjo into it and cranked it.

It really rocked. Who knew bass and banjo could be so much better than anything else on the planet? Ronnie really sings it great, in a very gutshot, hurtin’, drowning in sorrow and debt and flat beer kind of way. I love that about him.

When I found the tape, I recorded it through my wonderful Revox B 215 cassette deck. The Revox B 215 is considered one of the finest decks ever made. It is a beautiful machine that would have set you back $2300 in 1982! You could have bought a lot of leg warmers for that amount of money back then.
I recorded that through a Digi 003 and a Focusrite Octopre into the old Mac computer/time suck.

Here is the song from 2001 featuring Ronnie Hayward and me live off the floor.

Eileen Blues


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