Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Boots & Blue Jeans"

Boo Ray "Boots and Blue Jeans" Official Video from Boo Ray on Vimeo.

Shoot man, it took me a year of three day visits to figure out there was more than Broadway when I first started coming to Nashville in '07. I thought that's all there was. Like a lot of things, I was wrong and just didn't know. These few years later I've moved to Nashville so my girlfriend could join the Nashville Rollergirls. She made the team and is a star skater. I hustled up a little songwriting deal so I could tag along. Man, I couldn't be happier about being in Nashville. The Roller Derby season's rockin', it's the second night of a fine blackberry winter, and I've got a new record on my hands.

Guess it'd be good to start with the "Boots & Blue Jeans" video and jump back after that... My great friend Michael out in Santa Maria, California is a Los Angeles born guitar slingin', gun totin', vegetable farming redneck of a high degree. I was searching for a sort of smokey guitar sound and Michael has this point-to- point hand-wired "Craigar" guitar amp. He sent it to me to record with, said I might ought to put some tubes in it. My friend Price was just getting on a roll in Nashville with P3 Amplifiers so I asked if he'd mind crankin' up the "Craigar" with me when it got here. We did and Price liked it and he sent me over to meet Kye, his business partner in P3. Kye put some tubes in it for me, did a little VooDoo to it and sent me on my way. I'm leaving out the actual profound impression these guys made on me in order to continue the thread here, but the amp is perfect for me.

Here's a picture with the Craigar 17 Watt head in the natural wood cabinet and Sol Philcox on P3 Amplifiers Sonic Action.

On the other side of me that night Aaron "Woody" Wood from Asheville, NC was on a P3 Amplifiers "High Guy" rig. That was a tough night. They both a couple outright badass guitar slingers. 

A couple of weeks later Price called me and said they were shooting a music video and needed a guy to play the part of the seedy manager of the singer in the video. I guess they'd gotten a kick out of me and figured it wouldn't be too bad a stretch for me. I mean, Price does have an extraordinarily great eye, maybe he's on to something here. 

So, we do the video and it's real well organized and nothing but a blast. Rayland Baxter brought that old cream puff Valiant of his over for the car scene. He was wearing pajama pants and looked like he had on his kid brothers shirt turned inside out and been walking around barefoot in a cow field. He dropped the car off and split. Stoic & funny as hell, Rayland plays & sings cool too. Poni Silver played the lead and she was cool and we had a good hang. Daniel Henry was Directing. He was a whirl wind, real deal creative mad man. And the camera man, Matt Statterfield is a hot shot too. A week or so later Price asked me to come look at the video. It was incredible. I liked it right away. First off, "Be Connected" is a killer song. Second, the location house is incredible. It's one of Price's designs and is absolutely and thoroughly top notch in every single detail.  And third, that was a real cool looking group of characters he assembled for the shoot. Rock & Rollers, Belles, Artists, Trouble Makers, Dandies, misfits a bunch of East Nashville Hipster chics, Sol Philcox and me. What a blast. If I remember right it might of taken Sol a day or so to make his way home from this shindig.

P3 Amplifiers "Be Connected" from Daniel Henry on Vimeo.

Like i said, i'll get in to this some more later, but I'm trying to get around to the "Boots & Blue Jeans" video here. I was called in to play another part in the next video they did for Palmyra Delran and it was also a  complete blast and total success. Palmyra's song went #1 on Little Steven's Juke Box.  She's great. I dig the hell out of Palmyra.

Palmyra Delran "You're My Brian Jones" from Price Harrison on Vimeo.

Can't tell this story with out talking about Olathe Boot Company. My Dad wore Olathe's, real high quality work and riding boots, the preferred boot of top cowboys, horsemen,  troubadours and prospectors since 1879. 

Olathe Boots have always been part of my life. When I was a kid and watched my Dad (pictured above) put on his Olathe Buckaroo Boots, I knew he was doing something important and that those boots were among his most prized possessions. I learned early that after many resoles, it was a bitter sweet day when a pair of Olathes was retired and replaced with a brand new pair. Only a pair of Olathe's can replace a pair of Olathes. 

As a long time Troubadour with a ranch hand history and raised by a California Cowboy, I've been in Olathe Boots since my foot was big enough to wear a 7. They didn't used to make stock kids boots like they do now. 

Being a full-time troubadour my Olathes keep me comfortable when I take the stage and make a good impression when I'm signing autographs and meeting fans. My Olathe Boots are as important to me as my old Gibson Flat Top Guitar. I sure am proud to be an official Olathe Boot Company Endorser. 

Olathe Ad in The Direct Buzz Magazine

    see the Olathe Sponsored Americana Radio Chart on page 33

Here's the pair Doom, wore in the video.  

Yeah, I'm crazy about this girl.

Dani's the smartest, orneriest, hot lightning bolt of love. She's the love of my life. "Dani Doom" is her derby name, and when she skates out on the track the fans go "!!!!!DOOOOOOOM!!!!!" in a big drop D rumble... It drives me out of my mind, i loose my composure and become a crazed Roller Derby Fan. I know right... I think it's my favorite thing in the danged world. She's so cool. When her new book breaks big and she's rollin' in dough or I get a string of big cuts once Allison Krauss & Brad Paisley get back together to record "Partners in Crime" we're gonna get out on a spread and have American Bulldogs and I'll get back to calf roping. Her novel's great, I read a little when she fell asleep the other night.  

We gave "Trappers Cabin" from The Law Band these Tall Top Black Olathe's in the Video 

 and Artist James A. Willis the Tall Top Turquoise Buckaroos as seen in the video 

Here's my Rough Side Out Jerry Reed "The Snow Man" Olathe's

These are my Harry Crews "I can show you better-n-I can tell ya" Olathe's 

And these are my bread & butter Buckaroo's. They stand me up out of a mess, hook me on to a stool or by God stomp ass when needed. I like the U Toe and the 2 1/4" S Heel- 14" deep scallop top. Bronc riders wear 'em like that to tuck they're jeans in 'em & tape off the top, and they have a spur rest.  Hands wear 'Em with chinks. Olathe Boot Company is deep cowboy culture. 
Fester Hagood's Tuesday Night Confessional at Nowhere Bar in Athens Georgia is an absolute gas. There's a group of South Georgia boys up in Athens; Ty Manning, Scotty Nicholson, Fester Hagood, Paul Lee, all great players & songwriters.                                                                     

I'm real proud to be working with Steven Kahla raising some money for The Cowboy Crisis Fund with The Working Ranch Cowboy Association and The National Cow Horse Association. We made some custom Doom Ray Leather Guitar Straps for them and will be playing some benefit shows for them this year:

This pair of Olathe's I've had since '98. Best I can figure, no less than 7 resoles on these. I still wear 'em for something important. This stuff runs deep with me and I care about it. The world will be a better place with more people wearing Olathe Boots.  

So, a couple months later I pretty much had my new record in the can. I'd gotten to be good friends with Price and we'd been talking about doing a video for one of my songs. "Boots & Blue Jeans" was the song we picked and Price and I got busy hunting a location. A couple days later he said "You gotta come see this joint."

We went down to Johnny's Tavern and I fell in love with the place soon as I walked in the door and met Lisa. It was like going home. I grew up in the exact same honky tonk except it was in Walhalla South Carolina and it was called Burrelle's Place. It's a dry county where I grew up in Western North Carolina and the closest place to party was Burrelle's. Lisa & I made fast firends and Price scheduled a day to shoot. 


I called my buddy Fester  (pictured here w/ Law Band and me & Doom) 

who wrote the song with me, asked him if he could make it up to Nashville for the shoot. He said "Hell Yeah!" and brought some characters with him, The Law Band who look real stylish in the video. Fester and I are both friends with Laney Strickland and Laney introduced us to Bobby Keel. Bobby wrote "Whisky on Ice Women on Fire" and "Little Time Off for Bad Behavior". Laney couldn't make it but said to holler at Bobby for sure. Bobby got everybody riled up at the shoot and made the scene for us. I called my coonass buddy Will Rambeaux too. Will's had cuts with Ronnie Milsap, Jo Dee Messian, Faith Hill, Blake Shelton... So we brought a few bad asses with us to the shoot at Johnny's. 

When we got there to Johnny's it was a full house and everybody'd been listening to the song and was real cranked up about it. Lisa introduced me around and everybody was cool as hell and she said Tater & Pooter were in rare form. Pooter's my friend who flaps his leather jacket like some strange phoenix rising off the bar room floor. Tater's my buddy who whirls that lass around and then presses his finger to his lips "shhh". Richard told me Pooter's certified loco, got paper work to prove it, Pooter's a licensed high steel worker.  

Without incriminating myself or anybody else all I can say is that the video is a pretty accurate portrayal of the evening, minus a few felonies here and there. We did a couple performance takes first. At the end of the second take I was having so much danged fun, I threw my hand up in the air and said "To all my friends! Drinks for everyone!" It was an involuntary reaction. I couldn't have stopped it anymore than I could have stopped a rouge monster sneeze. Man, they drank 337 dollars worth of beer in about twenty minutes. When Fester did the damned "Worm" it brought the house down. Everybody had a blast, nobody got cut or shot, another total success. That's how the "Boots & Blue Jeans Video went down.

In the world of production, It's one thing for sure; ain't any of it works very well without a top notch song. Weather it's moody or rockin' or kitschy or whatever it is your doing. A great big part of this production is the incredible guitar playing and producing of my great friend Sol Philcox. He's a blast to work with and a danged card too. Sol was out of town for the shoot but we'll get him in the next one.

 The nature of this entire thing is real collaborative. Everybody says their piece the way they want to. It's way bigger than just me. I'd sent a few guitar/vocal tracks to my great friend Stephen Ferrone, to see what he thought. He sent 'em back to me a few days later with his drum tracks recorded by mega hit producer Eric "ET" Thorngren. When we pulled the sessions up and listened to 'em, we were blown away. They were perfect. The feel and impact and the sounds are big as a trucking company, or a "Jet Plane", as Tom Petty says . "Boots and Blue Jeans", "Twang", "Six Weeks in a Motel" and "Broken Wings" which Stephen and I'd written in Los Angeles '08, were the four songs I picked as the area we were mining. Ferrone and Sol Philcox make a pair of Englishman on this Redneck Rock & Roll Record. 

Bruce Bouton on Pedal Steel is nothing short amazing and a total blast and Jimmie Lee Sloas on Bass and in business with Ferrone in that Trucking Company venture is heavier than  a tandem rig haulin' bootleg Lone Star Beer down to Alabama. 

Everybody got all the way down on this new record. Danny Silvestri, Marlon Patton, Jason Gonzalez, Chris Casselo, Paul Lee, Kenny Head, AJ Adams... Wait 'till You hear Jodi James on "Partners in Crime". If You're not crazy about Jodi then you & me, we've got a problem.

These life changing friendships, collaborators, co-writers, players and amazing characters are really what all this is about for me. My great friends are the best thing about me. Reckon I'm just lucky & fortunate these cats like to  play my songs.  

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