PRAIRIE TO SOHO
1. CAJUN STOMP
3. OLD JED CLARK
4. FARTHER AWAY
5. DOWN DOWN DOWN
6. STRANGER PLEASE
7. WALKIN' WRECK
2. JOHN CAMPBELL - PIONEER
3. MEMORY TAKE ME BACK
5. CHINA LADY
6. HIGHWAY 354
7. HILLMAN EXPRESS
BEHIND THE COVERS
|This album was a transitional
and trans-Atlantic venture - hence the name Prairie to Soho on side
one. Some of the songs were written while Barry was still with the group.
As a result much of the material was written to feature his fiddle. The
songs from the first sessions were recorded at Winnipeg's Century 21 Studios
and to these we added four songs recorded in London's Gooseberry Studios
at the end of our first tour of England. On this tour Sue-On and I were
joined by bandmate, Kevin Pahl on keys and our longtime friend, Alan Jones,
who had made the first contact with the UK agents who hired us for the
tour. Alan joined us on organ in the clubs which had a Hammond on stage.
Front Cover: We posed for these photos wearing the patched chamois leather outfits we bought in London and had worn for much of our tour of clubs in the North East. We had recently imported grass-thatch wallpaper from Asia to cover our dining room walls and it was a remnant from this on which we pasted our photos -- laid out in the shape of an "H", and framed with stray pieces of bamboo-like grass. The centre photo featured our new Ovation acoustic guitar. Sue-On created the Indian-style beaded jewelry that we both wore.
Back Cover: Since we had written all of the songs on the album, we displayed the lyrics on the cover. The Hillman Express locomotive logo is an old woodcut we had come across. Again we used a filmstrip to feature some of our recent candid shots. The railway caboose and handcar photos were taken at Minnedosa's riverside park.
The strip also features promo
shots with outgoing band member, Barry Forman and incoming member, Kevin
Pahl. There are two shots taken on the Thames at London - Westminster and
London Bridges - with Tower Bridge and the Tower of London in the background.
Our Great Pyrenees dog, Mya, had just presented us with a litter of 12
puppies, so of course, Sue-On had to get one of the pups into the act.
She is holding her favourite, Beau, who soon after was bitten to death
by a some sort of marauding carnivore that invaded our grounds. The shot
of the two of us by the Yamaha grand piano was taken in our new basement
|Songs were written with Fender Malibu acoustic guitar, wherever I could track down the always-busy Sue-On to act as a sounding board: kitchen, backstage, van, on the road, bedroom, garden, etc.||Many songs written on our new Yamaha Grand Piano in our new music rehearsal and recording studio at Maple Grove and a few were even written while supervising high school study hall.|
|Eclectic mix of songs - covers and originals||An all original, self-written concept album of 15 songs: Prairie to Soho and autobiographical Prairie Saga|
|All songs recorded in Winnipeg studios. High-priced, state of the art design and equipment.||Four songs recorded in London, England studio. Under the streets of Soho in a converted coal cellar. Clients included Sex Pistols and Hot Chocolate. Later in Newcastle and Durham.|
|Canadian recording engineers: Colin Bennet formerly with RCMP Musical Ride troupe. John Hildebrand: Century 21 founder, Calgary Stampede production, etc.||Move to using British engineers. John Smith who had worked on Beatles White Album (he has a credit on it) and Mark Lusardi of London's Gooseberry Studios.|
|Little reliance on studio session players - along with Larry Clark we did all instruments: Sue-On on drums, Barry on bass and fiddle, and Bill on rhythm and lead guitars.||Gradual move to more session people and reliance on Kevin's keyboards and session drums: Mark LaFrance, Gord Osland, Lloyd Ryan. Osland had been in LA the day before he worked with us, on a Burton Cummings session... but demanding producer replaced him with a favourite studio drummer Keltner?|
|Many songs emphasized Barry's fiddle and country feel.||More reliance on incoming member, Kevin Pahl and pop sounds as Barry was leaving the group to spend more time with family and business.|
|Fender Telecaster and Malibu acoustic main guitars||Move to new Fender Thinline Tele and Ovation Legend acoustic|
|All creative energies went into producing Hillman albums||Called on to write, play and produce for Alan Jones' Free Spirit sessions. We started to provide drums & guitars for two of Barry's solo fiddle albums. Work on soundtracks & commercials.|
|The night before we left on our first England tour we had played Sault St.Marie, Ontario - actually we had played across three provinces in three days before we flew to England. We then drove to Middlesbrough where we played that night.||We spent the last night of the tour in London. On the next night we were back in Manitoba where we played an outdoor dance in the rain and mud - on an Indian Reservation near Rossburn.|
Read the entire chapter:
TO THE HILLMAN MUSICAL ODYSSEY.
ALBUM NO. 7
BACK: ALBUM NO. 6
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