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Watch Randy Bachman Play Some ‘Heavy Blues': Exclusive Video Premiere

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Former Bachman-Turner Overdrive mastermind Randy Bachman will release his latest solo album, Heavy Blues, on April 15. And today we’re pleased to present the video premiere for the title track, which you can watch above.

As Bachman told us during a recent chat, the “heavy” was an important piece of the puzzle when it came to recording the new songs. “Well, it was intentional to try to get the power of the late ‘60s,” he says. “Before that, bands used to have two guitars, bass and drums — you know, the Ventures, the Shadows, the Beatles, the [Rolling] Stones — there was always an extra guitar. To suddenly be missing that guitar and the power of guitar, bass and drums that was Cream, [Jimi] Hendrix, [Led] Zeppelin and the Who, it gave each guy a little bit more space to fill in with licks and rolls, and then you got more out of a three-piece than you did out of a four-piece as far as individuals playing. It sort of created something different.”

The album features a number of guest guitarists playing the guitar solos. On the title track, it’s Peter Frampton, whose playing, Bachman says, “is amazing. He hasn’t played this way since Humble Pie’s Rockin’ The Fillmore in 1970, you know? Because people think of Frampton doing his … crazy [talkbox] thing, which is cool, but he’s really an incredible guitar player.”

Working with producer Kevin Shirley, Bachman laid down the tracks for Heavy Blues live in the studio, just like the old days. “Way back to [the] BTO days,” he says. “When you’re doing it live and you’re producing yourself, you’re kind of running back and forth. You do a track, and you’ve got to put down your guitar and run back and listen to the playback. He’d just be sitting there and he’d stop us halfway through and say, ‘Wait a minute, that’s not fast enough’ and ‘That’s not heavy enough — let’s start over, you’ve got the energy — kick it up a few beats a minute.’ So we counted in faster and we played it live, pretty much without a click track, just doing them. We’d give him two or three takes and he would say, ‘That’s it, we’re done.'”

The energy that was captured working in that way was further amplified by working in the power trio format, and for Bachman, it was a dream that finally had come true. “I kind of always wanted that and just found it by accident,” he reveals. “First, this girl [drummer Dale Anne Brendon] who played like Keith Moon and also like John Bonham. And when I met Anna [Ruddick], the bass player, she was wearing a John Entwistle T-shirt, and I found out she studied John Entwistle, she studied bass at McGill University in Montreal and got a degree in stand-up bass and jazz composition. They studied Jack Bruce and John Entwistle for fun. When I said to them, I don’t want you to play your instruments like normal people, I want you to attack them — like Keith Moon didn’t play drums and neither did John Bonham. They hit them like they were in a bar fight, and they didn’t want the drums to get up. They just pounded their face off.”

Bachman clearly was happy with the recorded results and during our conversation, he issued a challenge to everybody who gets a copy of the new album: “Burn a CD and put it in your car, go out on a nice day with the windows down and don’t get a speeding ticket — because the songs get more and more powerful and faster, you find yourself speeding and singing along and it’s like it’s 1969 again and you’re 18 years of age, driving along, you’ve got your driver’s license and it’s a rock ‘n’ roll summer, and suddenly there’s a red light flashing in your rear mirror and it’s the cops because you’re speeding.”

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