Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein | Dark of Heartness

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Folk: Folk-Rock Blues: Jazzy Blues Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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Dark of Heartness

by Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein

A junkyard soul journey through loves many twists and turns, touching on it's many facets, faces and failures featuring raw, emotional performances mixed with magical songwriting and searching lyrical flourishes.
Genre: Folk: Folk-Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Big Bass Drum
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
4:01 album only
2. Lie to Me
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
3:26 album only
3. Catfish
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
3:17 album only
4. Crazy (The Way You Drive Me)
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
6:06 album only
5. Blood in the Water
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
2:56 album only
6. Roll Another, Johanna
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
3:33 album only
7. Bambo's Blues
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
0:51 album only
8. A Love That Hurts When It Hits
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
3:52 album only
9. Love, Approximately
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
3:47 album only
10. Ain't No Moonshine When She's Gone
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
4:23 album only
11. Big Bass Drum (Reprise)
Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein
1:20 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Like all albums, this one began with a thought and that thought formed into a song which became Big Bass Drum. As we were at the time living in Ireland I decided to make a demo of it there. Availing of Dave and Claire's (of ODI fame) kind offer, we ventured down to their Wexford studio in Bastardstown. There we played on their lovley piano and mucked around and tweaked the song a litttle (Dave suggest the first half-chorus that I now think is genius).We also ate a lot of cheese! Once finished the song begged a question...''Where to put this shuffling, bluesy, raw lament for lost love and a dying town?"
Re-relocating to Bulgaria the song kept asking. I played it live both with the band and solo and then things started to coalesce. I began to write some songs that would sit next to Big Bass Drum. Exploring the idea of junkyard Waitsian blues and pondering the nature of a love that would ''find your trail and drag you back here...'' I realised that I had a theme for the album. ''Love is a many splendoured thing'' but it's also full of twisted, kaleidoscopic variations and bizarre juxtapositions. The songs came thick and fast once I knew where to look 'Ain't No Moonshine When She's Gone' had started life as an uptempo bluegrass flavoured parody of the Bill Withers classic when I was curious if anyone had ever written a song with that title. They had not, but now, they have. It took on a new life when I delved into some classic country ideas and found that Chris had just the feel needed for it.
'Blood In The Water' had been a riff I had annoyed Curly with for way too many years. The lyrics I had been crafting finally resonated and I saw how it too now had a place beside Big Bass Drum. Looking backwards I dug up 2 songs that I had recorded for the Jamie Mc Donald & The Number Nein eponymous album. At the time they didnt gel quite right and I pulled them from the album. 'A Love That Hurts When It Hits' and 'Crazy (The Way You Drive Me)' had the neccesary contorted positions on love to fit the bill and so we began rehearsing and re-imagining them in the rehearsal space and live.
Now we had a fine collection of songs but of course a few more were needed. 'Love, Approximately' brought a lightness to proceedings, a poppy air that belied its reluctant to die love. This song really kicked it all up a notch and features one of my favourite found lyrics- 'I know you believe you understand what you think I siad, I'm not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant...'. Another old song was revamped and another new one was also added to bring the total to 9. 'Lie To Me' had never made it to an album though an early version is featured on ' The Black August Sessions'. while 'Roll Another, Johanna' was brand new having been written in Ireland in a song writing frenzy that spawned 40 songs in 2 months. As a rule I had used 9 songs on both previous band albums and although this one would break that habit I still wanted that number to bring to the studio. 'Catfish' would become a firm favourite of the band and despite only featuring myself and Ilko (on synths and keys instead of his usual drum duties), it also broke some new ground in experimenting while being possibly the straightest of the twisted love songs on the album.
Somebody said to me ' Make the album you want to make, not the album you think people want to hear' and I took that to heart and referred back to it whenever I came to a crossroads. This small epithet led to me not only dragging Damo over from Ireland ( this time for sax duties instead of the rhythm section powerhouse roll he fullfilled on 'Maladies Of Country And Soul') but also I called up Rodri in Spain and asked him to add his electric guitar prowess to the songs. The Number Nein for this album was not only as international as ever, featuring Irish, Spanish, Bulgarian and Texan members but also had two ladies contributing their mellifluous vocals to round out the sound (It's predecessor was lucky enough to have Susie Donnelly to sing and brighter sing on i.). Ekaterina Nenkova made 'Roll Another, Johanna' into a hymn like duet with her beautiful harmonies while Billyana brought a lightness and depth to my own vocals while broadening the feeling and emotion on 'Big Bass Drum' , 'Ain't No Moonshine' and the now sublime 'Crazy.'
Two sax players who shared the spotlight not only with grace but also a hell of a lot of laughs (pair of brassholes), a drummer who played synths and keys, a bass player who played out of his skin despite or maybe because of recently losing his appendix, the electric guitar wizard who completely caught the vibe of the sessions eventhough he was a few thousand kilometres away in Spain and of course the ladies who sang their souls out and the engineers who pulled it all together and followed me down the rabbit hole of insanity, muses and inspirations...these are the people who made it happen!
Dark Of Heartness is a raw, expansive journey through love and its less explored countries all brought to life with the fantastic musicianship and commitment of The Number Nein and for that I am grateful and blessed in equal endless measure.



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