THE dwarf band / KELLAWAY SAGA (continued from 'Nothing To Wear')
Took A Shine saw Alf finally take responsibility for the ‘incidental’ elements of song-writing (you know, the intros, solos and endings) and also saw a swing to more diverse arrangements. The advent of fully structured, demonstrable, 'complete' songs coincided with John taking some time away from the recording process. A core of more rock-oriented songs and quirky ballads was thus assembled, as the dwarf band operated in duo (actually solo) mode. Consequently, the album has rare examples of Ken taking over acoustic duties (as well as all others) on a song or three.
A holidaying Alf then sustained a throat injury, which looked for a time to have cut short an album in the making. But recovery came eventually and, by demoting the key of a few contending songs by a semitone or three, the last tracks made it onto tape. (The key changes proved to be fairly permanent and some would say the world was henceforth mercifully spared Alf’s attempts to soar vocally).
Meanwhile, John returned into play to put some trademark harmonies and Matonesque flourishes across the album. The final sweep of Took A Shine is a range of songs reflecting relationships, travel and life-shaping influences, deriving from a fortunately rich well of experience.
released November 1, 1996
Songs and vocals: Alf Davies
Backing vocals, lead vocals on 'Sufficient Cause', acoustic 6 & 12 string Matons, mandolin: John Dean
Acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, bass, backing vocals, engineering & arrangements, all aspects of production: Ken Stephenson
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