My new single is a cover version of Fleetwood Mac’s 1972 song, ‘Dust’, to be released on Record Store Day – 21st April. Written by Danny Kirwan, ‘Dust’ was included on the Bare Trees album – the last to feature the mercurial guitarist. The words are taken from the poem of the same name by Rupert Brooke, although Brooke was, for some reason, uncredited. Danny used the same method on his song, ‘Dragonfly’ (see my Blog post about the song), the year before, using the poet W.H. Davies’s beautiful ‘The Dragonfly’.
Like a lot of Danny’s songs, ‘Dust’ took hold in a deep place in my soul soon after hearing it (this would have been sometime in the early nineties). Bare Trees is my favourite Fleetwood Mac album, no doubt helped by the fact that it contains five of Danny’s wonderful compositions. (It could have been six if his brilliant ‘Trinity’ wasn’t excluded.) I was fortunate enough to purchase a copy of the original Warner/Reprise sheet music book for the album from a music shop in York in the nineties, which contains John McVie’s beautiful cover photography and some lovely artwork. This has always been one of my most treasured books.
I recorded ‘Dust’ at home on my Tascam eight track, setting up the drums in the living room and the guitars in the kitchen. I didn’t want to record using Logic as it didn’t seem natural or pure enough for this song somehow.
I wanted to cover ‘Dust’ for much the same reasons that I covered ‘Dragonfly’ seven or eight years ago – in order to work out the different guitar lines and vocal harmonies that Danny interweaves on the record so cleverly, and which help him to achieve such a haunting effect. I hadn’t noticed before, for instance, that Danny sings a harmony vocal for much of the song – a technique he also employs on ‘Dragonfly’. I couldn’t quite work out some of the lead guitar lines correctly and I am now wondering if Danny isn’t playing a slide – on the introduction, for instance. If he is, he is playing it incredibly delicately and with tremendous feel. There is also a piano on the Fleetwood Mac original, very low in the mix, no doubt played by Christine. I had run out of free tracks on my Tascam, so omitted this.
‘Dust’ is available to pre-order here from Bandcamp but will also be available on Spotify, iTunes etc. on 21st April. Sadly, there will be no 7” vinyl version as I can’t afford to get it pressed up. I do intend to release my next album as a 12” record, however. Entitled ‘The Importance of Being Bernard’, I have written the songs already and will embark on a crowd funding campaign soon to fund the pressing. I will record it at home by myself to keep the costs down. I’ve worked out that it’s going to cost me about £1100 to press 100 copies. 'Dust' will be included on the record.
I made the following promo film for my cover version of 'Dust' from wonderful footage of the band hanging out and playing music at 'Benifold', the house they lived in in Hampshire during the early seventies:
Here are links to a couple of interesting blog pieces I found online about ‘Dust’:
If you haven’t read this Observer piece on Danny by Tim Sommer from 2015, it’s definitely worth ten minutes of your time: http://observer.com/2015/11/for-your-reconsideration-danny-kirwan-the-sad-beautiful-ghost-of-fleetwood-mac/
In the year 2000, my sister and I made a film to accompany the song as part of a longer movie about our childhood home: