Saturday, February 28, 2015

Personal dispatch #16

This is a dispatch from Cyrus Hutchinson. He recorded a cover of "Beside You." It's spirited and expressive, moody and fitful, feisty and bold, devoid of any vocals, teeming with piano and electric guitar. Here is what Cyrus had to say about his background as well as what went into recording his cover.
I'm from Oakland, California. I started playing piano at 16; I'm 22 now. I think I was about 18 or 19 when we recorded that tune. It was recorded at Ex'pression College in Emeryville, California. I had no plan to go there or record it, but I slept over at my friend Roland's house who played guitar on it. He got involved with the college somehow; he would play/record stuff for the sound engineer/recording producer or students and I ended up going along with him that day. I met the drummer and bassist that same day I think. I showed them the progression for the song and we improvised it in one take. I don't know how long the mixing, etc., took. I think a few students did it that same day with the help of their mentor.

As for why I picked the song ... It was just something I had fresh in my head that day. I love Van and that album. I saw him in San Fran a year or so ago. It was amazing. I have performed live, but it's not something I do often. I play a lot of New Orleans-style blues nowadays (kind of like Dr. John, who also produced and played piano on Van's album A Period of Transition) and would love to play that kind of stuff live. Though it's tough to find people my age who want to play that sort of music.

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