Behind the Music: “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”

Last week, the Simple Cavemen offered the first sample of the band’s self-titled debut album, which will be celebrated at a CD release show at 8 p.m. April 14 at Stardust Video & Coffee.

That first taste of the album actually is the closing track.

Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” the lone cover song, is what band members came to call the album’s “hillbilly hootenanny hoedown finale.”

It was producer Timmy Kelliher, lord of the manor at the Hippie House studio, who suggested a cover song and a Dylan nod seemed like the perfect gesture. (Our secret hope is that Bob might walk into Stardust at our gig, so we can personally give him the $18 we owe for recording it.)

The recording of the song pretty much represented the way the band approached the album. It was a combination of playing together live and adding a few things, mostly the former.

On the Dylan song, the main track was recorded with singer-guitarist Roscoe Gray, bassist Steve Jackson and drummer MacGyver in the studio together, without a click track — or even groupies. That’s the producer telling us to “go ahead,” and MacGyver counting off the band.

And that’s a spot-on first-take vocal by Roscoe.

Later, Jimmie Carl added the banjo, steel, accordion, harmonica and some singing in the chorus. That’s the producer again, on the ukulele solo and those cool, repetitive melodic figures underneath the harmonica break and the final verse. Timmy calls that his “Edge” thing, a reference to the guitarist in U2, another popular band.

Oh, Timmy also mixed the song, which was no easy task — as anyone who has ever tried to blend a banjo, uke and accordion already knows.

Actually, U2 might be more popular than the Cavemen, but we don’t think they have as much fun.

(Stay tuned for another song sample later this week, along with the story behind it.)

 

 

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