Home' Rhythms Magazine : Rhythms March-April 2019 Contents floor of the studio, exactly like doing
it live. Then we had another session to
finish the vocals. Mark played the guys
‘A Little Ray of Sunshine’, like ‘this is
the song Caddie’s best known for’ and
they said ‘let’s do that’. So we recorded
that as an afterthought. The drummer,
Tommy Harden, even said, ‘I don’t think
it needs the whole band, it should just
be steel and acoustic guitar and your
voice’. We cut it in one take, just like
It’s a smooth and melodic recording
but there’s a lot of grit and grime in
the delivery. Was that deliberate?
I think it’s just because the players
weren’t pure Nashville session players,
they’ve played with so many great
people. They’re not the same country
session players who’ve played on
everything and play it perfect and slick. One of the clever things
Mark did was steer the composition of the band and thus the music
away from the central line. This is gritty Americana, getting that
basic down to earth feeling. It has that edginess to it, everyone dug
in. It has the same feeling I get when I listen to guys like John Hiatt
and John Prine.
Is there any one song that captured Brian Cadd the songwriter?
Gee! They represent different periods along the same line. The song
that I most enjoy playing live is ‘Slow Walk’ which I co-wrote with
John Beland in the Flying Burritos.
That’s such a fun song to do, and that’s
how it works for the audience. We did
a warm up show in Gundagai recently
and by the end of ‘Slow Walk’ the
audience were singing the chorus even
though they had never heard it before.
I also really like one of the new songs I
wrote, ‘Just Because She Can’.
Between those two songs I like ‘In a
I’m so glad you like that one. It
wouldn’t seem to be an obvious one.
I’m really happy with that song and
how it was recorded. I co-wrote that
one with one of my oldest friends in
Nashville, Austin Roberts. He’s retired
now but when I met him in 1991 he’d
had 35 top 10 country singles. I felt like
I was meeting God but he’s the most
down to earth, rustic fellow. We always had a lot of fun together.
We wrote that song recently and it was one of the first songs Mark
picked. We’re definitely doing that one live.
What or where is Silver City? Is it an ideal, a metaphor or an actual
Hah! It’s probably all of the above. For the original version, I just
dreamt it up, Silver City, it was just out of a carnival or something.
Then when I got to Broken Hill on tour I got off the plane and there’s
a red carpet and the mayor gave me a key to the city. I didn’t know it
but Broken Hill is known as ‘Silver City’.
Fast forward to about three years ago and I’m living in Santa Fe,
New Mexico, and I got to go to the original Silver City which was
one the great Wild West towns. It was most famous for Billy the Kid.
They’ve preserved a lot of the Western gunfighter feel. It’s like you
go back 150 years when you walk down the streets. So, I’ve stood
in the main streets of Silver City in Australia and Silver City in New
Mexico. And when we came to the debate about what to call the
album everyone voted for Silver City. Then some smart alec said,
‘well, you only have to look at you with all that silver hair!’ Haha.
For this national tour, you’ve set a punishing schedule ... are you
up for it?
Yep. If I had known I’d still be doing this at 72 I might have taken
better care of myself. But the audience and the adrenaline get you
through. Halfway through the first song and I’m 28 again. It can be
exhausting but you don’t notice that because it’s so much fun and
the audience react to that. I’ll be doing the hits, I wouldn’t feel right
without doing ...‘Sunshine’ or ‘Ginger Man’ or ‘Don’t You Know It’s
Magic.’ And we’ll be doing a big slab of the new songs from the
Silver City is our now through Ambition
chatter and laughter in the background. At 72, the
renowned singer songwriter is one of the veterans of
the Australian music scene, still touring and recording. He’s also a
dedicated family man. Just before launching into a national tour he’s
on the Gold Coast visiting his daughter and grandchild.
Caddie’s on the line to talk about his brilliant new album, Silver City,
which may well be the most distinctive recording of his long-storied
career. It’s a real statement of intent. He came to prominence in the
1960s with The Groop and Axiom before pursuing a highly successful
and prominent solo career in the ‘70s. He moved to the US to pursue
his song writing, then joining country rock / bluegrass / Americana
pioneers The Flying Burrito Bros in the 1990s.
For his current tour, Caddie’s still got his old Bootleg Family Band
muckers Tony Naylor (guitar) and Geoff Cox (drums) in the line-up,
plus younger country rock players. He’ll be doing his hits and many
of the songs from the new album.
The silver haired troubadour recorded the album in Nashville with ex-
pat Aussie producer Mark Moffat, aided and abetted by a stellar cast
of session players led by revered steel guitarist Dan Dugmore (Linda
Ronstadt, James Taylor). He describes it as his “Americana inspired”
album. He outlines the story in his liner notes, describing how he’d
heard The Band’s Music From Big Pink in 1968 in The Easybeats’ flat in
London and how he’s been working towards that ideal ever since.
He writes, “This album is the result of finally arriving where I had
always wanted to be musically”.
Congratulations on the new album. Can you tell us how the album
I lived in Nashville from 1990 to 1996 and I loved it so I kept going
back. Mark Moffat had moved there right around the time I left,
so we maintained our friendship. Recently he said, ‘you know this
Americana thing is not new, you guys helped invent that. I reckon
you should do an album in that style’.
I needed a place to start, so he picked
the songs, assembled the session players
and was really influential all the way. He
said, ‘the first thing we’ll do is take you
away from the piano and you’ll just be the
singer’. That was a very wise thing to do.
As long as I was playing the piano it would
be too easy for the musicians to follow
that, it would be an enormous crutch.
You’ve revisited several songs, ‘Eye of
the Hurricane’ from the Burritos plus
‘Silver City Birthday Celebration Day’
and ‘A Little Ray of Sunshine’ but you
haven’t played around too much with
the arrangements so they slot in nicely.
Yes, they were allowed to, so we got
that right. We recorded 12 songs in two
days. We recorded all the music on the
BRIAN CADD IN SILVER CITY
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