Dezzie D and the Stingrays are just about to drop another new release, full of danceable and interesting swing and jump blues tunes. But how did that happen?
Congrats on your second release. The “followup” seems to be the hardest for artists to be satisfied with, while debut releases have been years in the gestation.
Are these originals or reinterpretations of classics? Was there a theme or common ideas running through the songs?
The process of selecting songs to make the cut for our second album was surprisingly easy.. I think we all wanted to produce an album with great grooves and different rhythms. Our 2 original tunes stay true to the old-school sounds of the era of Americana Rhythm and Blues. ‘I Blame You’ sticks with the theme of love lost because of misunderstanding between couples. Of blaming one another for lost love. With a really danceable latin feel. Written by Butch Bellert. ‘Come Dance With Me’, an original of mine, pokes a bit of fun at myself. Everyone knows how much I love to dance. Whenever I am singing, I am dancing. And if I am out seeing any one of my favourite bands, I am dancing and really enjoying myself, normally with my girlfriends and not boyfriends… this is just a fun take of the joyous feelings you get when you are out and about dancing with your friends. Something we haven’t been able to do for way too long.
How did the songs come together?
We chose our favourite tunes from our tried and tested setlist and added a couple of original tunes. We were lucky to have so much material to choose from as it has been 3 years since we have ventured back into the studio. We have been playing these songs week in and week out at venues over the past 7 years so we just picked our favourite tunes that weren’t included on our first cd, Cranked.
Who played in the recording?
Our core band played on all the tracks:
- Dezzie Done, Vocals.
- Alan ‘Butch’ Bellert, Rhythm and Lead Guitar and Vox.
- Jason Chandler, Bass.
- Greg Baikaloff, Drums, Percussion and Vox.
- Dan Ford, Tenor Saxophone.
Dan wrote the horn charts for the cd. I really love the impact of the horns and his skilful ear when choosing lines for each instrument to play. We also invited both Matt Luff, Baritone and Clint Allen, Trumpet to feature on many of the tunes. They make such an impact to the songs with their regular inclusion to the Stingrayz in the larger 7 piece ‘Fever 7’z’ format. They Rocked It.
Where and how was it recorded and was it a difficult process?
We searched for places to record, but during the height of the covid restrictions our opportunity to do this in a timely manner was taken away. We found a private recording space and asked our producer to see if it was a viable room to lay bedding tracks and record. The process took the best part of 2 and a half days laying bedding tracks with vocal guide and rhythm guitar, then recording horns and solos. The last part of Sunday recording vocals and lead guitar and by the end of the process we were all spent especially, Butch and our wonderful producer, Mark Smith of Real Productions. Mark made our recording space a makeshift studio humping all that was needed to make the process run as smoothly as possible in recording our second offering. Adding another 15 or so hours to the mixing and mastering at different times and intervals. We finally had our finished tracks for Scorched after several weeks.
What was your thinking with the finished product as far as presentation and visual design?
I was fairly certain that I wanted the album to be named after one of the tracks on the cd.
After careful deliberation we all chose ‘Scorched’ which is the opening track of the album. This songs describes being scorched by a lovers cheating ways. Loosing at love to another woman and yes he is long gone…. Off with his new love after promising to love you forever.. sound familiar????
We wanted to get the right photos to showcase the band and after using the artistic talents of Dean Saffron for the last 2 photo shoots we have had, we definitely knew he would capture what was needed for the cover shot of the album and other branding shots. We had some really wonderful pics to choose from and had a fun day doing it. Once this process was finished we sent the photos, bio and info with our specs to Ben Clark Design who designed the cd sleeve and cd artwork.
You have the CD launches coming up soon, choosing a venue and dates. How did that come together?
We have been fortunate enough to secure 3 venues to help us launch our cd. We have the Royal Mail at Goodna hosting our launch 12th December, 2020, 4.00-7.00pm. We are travelling out to the country to Warwick Town Hall 13th December, 2020, 2.00-4.30pm. We have our city Launch at the Brisbane Jazz Club 9th January, 2021 7.00-10.30pm. We were hoping to secure north and south coasts but this just was posing to be too difficult with time running out.. so hopefully next year we can travel north and south and take our Rhythm and Blues Showcase to those areas to share our cd with them.
Second offering to the public now done. What’s next?
Continuing to be inspired by playing great old school tunes live and with such wonderful musicians. I always feel spoilt taking the stage with these talented people and all round nice guys. Looking forward to taking our brand to the new audiences and sharing our love for music with local, and international music lovers. Get back to playing live weekly gigs in great venues with good people. We miss them, our music family. Hope to see you all soon.
Dezzie D and The Stingrays will be playing at
Royal Mail at Goodna hosting our launch 12th December, 2020, 4.00-7.00pm.
Warwick Town Hall 13th December, 2020, 2.00-4.30pm.
Brisbane Jazz Club 9th January, 2021 7.00-10.30pm.