Smoke In The Desert

The summer of 1995 was a tumultuous time for Native. We had lost our keyboardist, John Epstein; we’d continued to tour as a five-piece and were not satisfied with our sound minus piano and organ; the album we’d worked so hard to achieve was now over a year old, and although it had garnered some radio play, it had not got us to the big goal of every band (back then) — a record deal; and the strain of constantly being cooped up together in a van was taking it’s toll – we were, for the first time, starting to bicker and get persnickety with each other.

In addition to that, my father, Hal Thomas, passed away, leaving a four-piece Native to struggle through a few torturous gigs without its drummer.

In short — it was the summer of our discontent.

Out of that tumult came some very good things, however — Mat, who had been growing by leaps and bounds as a songwriter and frontman, really took it to the next level; and, John Watts joined us to tickle those ivories that we were missing so badly.

By the early fall, we were recording again and had a new batch of songs featuring the stripped-down sound we had developed over the summer. Today’s song is one of the fruits of those sessions, and it’s a pip, in my opinion.

We’d been doing a lot of shows with a band called The GrasshoppersJason Appleton, Marcos Joachim, Chris Wilford, & Dave Hamburger – and they had a strong influence on us all, but Mat especially was drawn to their tight songs and cogent lyrics. It was a sound not derived as much from the jam band scene we were in as much as it was just pure, classic rock music of the highest order. We thought they were as good as The Beatles.

The affinity between to two bands would extend for years, indeed Mike appears on the cover of their great album, A Night At The Hoppera, and their influence would continue — but it starts right here with this great song from the pen of Mat Hutt.

Smoke In The Desert

Cornbread Wednesday

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One response to “Smoke In The Desert

  1. Liz and others featured their lovely selves in character as well right? -a family affair both musically and more,, ❤ that! – "..a Photograph" …of sorts…

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