Everyone’s a kid in a thunderstorm

Native‘s on-going recording project, overseen by the redoubtable John Fitzwater was proceeding apace throughout the early months of 1995. By this time, the band were a gigging machine. There was no need to tour, the entire northeast lay before us in verdant symmetry: easily reached from our New York City vantage-point. The entire upper east coast was a corridor down whtich we strode with great alacrity; dashing to a gig in, say, Amherst, and back again to our beds and futons in the self-built cubicles of The Loft, conveniently located in the garment-district environs of midtown Manhattan.

We had made an home for ourselves that was all about developing as a band. We could rise in the afternoon and already be at rehearsal, since it would take place in an adjoining studio — the infamous Marmfington Farm. By combining our forces, instead of having separate apartments, we’d found a way to do nothing but what we wanted to do — play music all the time. Granted, Mike and John Epstein lived elsewhere, but the idea and principle of total focus on music was in place…. and working.

We were playing three and four nights a week on a regular basis — Paul Ducharme, , our manager, made sure of that. Then, rehearsal/writing/recording took place on two days of that selfsame week. We were like clockwork angels in our productivity.

In that context, we offer this snapshot — a demo made in the heady days of yore.

This is another of Mat & Woody‘s collaborations, although they would probably give each other most of the credit. My Cherokee roots are evoked in the recurrent tom-tom pattern in the intro. Mike came up with a typically beautiful guitar-driven theme, and later — a textbook example of how to play a solo; the citing of the theme followed by a stunning flight of light-fingered fancy. I dare any guitarist on the planet to match it.

And then there is the wonderfully-evolving collaboration of Hutt & Wood. More and more, they were approaching the vocals as a duet, like all great duos they held the curves of the melody like race-car drivers in Ferraris at Le Mans.

Add in Matt Lyons‘ signature basslines and the solid support from Mr. Epstein and you have another classic Native tune that somehow defied making an appearance on any of our albums.

Inspired by a particularly violent storm that seemed centered over The Loft, and beginning with an observation on our totally scared reactions in its duration, here is

Thunderstorm v. 1


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