THE KELLAWAY SAGA (continued from 'Songs of Middle Earth')
Alf thought he saw the end of the road in 2003. Three months of illness officially ended with the penning of the title track. He and the Kellaways may have Been Away, but now they were back. The album was long in gestation, mainly because it was rudely interrupted by the Ring-Bearers' sojourn into Middle Earth. By the time Songs of Middle Earth was mixed and laid to rest, Alf’s Back Pocket satellite wun-mike studio was fully functioning and 90% of Been Away was done there. Alf took over the engineering and midi duties and Deano turned the hand to electric guitar and bass, in addition to his normal stringed suite of instruments, harmonies on tap and various percussive contributions. Alf produced in broad and then with John as the layers went on. Ken provided some guitar, some mixes and as-ever generous help to an engineering and production novice. The songs generally signalled a return to the acoustic roots of the now veteran Kellaways. And to complete the loop, the songs have now been remastered by Ken to great effect.
The album proved to be the Kellaways’ last, but the 9 albums cannot be documented without acknowledging the generosity, vision and extraordinary talents of Mr. Ken Stephenson. A top-class musician, songwriter, engineer, producer, singer and most importantly, person. Throw in a master of technology: from programming drums when no one else was thinking much about that, to the currently magnificent Back Pocket Records studio. Ken has been at the forefront of all that the words ‘home studio’ mean to music.
And Deano, despite having jobs that were not late-night friendly, showed astonishing belief in these songs over 20 years. Accomplished player, pitch perfect and effortless harmonist: in the early days Deano was the difference between just words with melodies and actually workable songs. With no Deano, the Kellaways would never have got off the ground in the first place, nor as high as they did, however high that was.
released June 1, 2006
Alf Davies: vocals, engineering, percussion, sundry midi stuff
John Dean: 6 and 12 string Maton acoustic guitars, mandolin, bass, bohdran, electric guitar, backing vocals and eggs
Ken Stephenson: lap steel, electric guitars, bass, percussion
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