Good, good Levin!

Well, it’s Wednesday, and I smell cornbread, so there must be some Native music coming your way! As Marlon Brando said in Last Tango In Paris, “Pass me the butter.”

We’ve been looking through the Native Tape Archive, buried deep in the southwestern mountains of Moldavia, for quite some time. And, we’ve covered a lot of ground, for the archives are replete with sumptuous piles of incredible unreleased songs, and a variety of other rarities.

I, your humble archivist and curator – davenative, have had a ball poring through all the recordings this wonderful band left in its’ wake. We had our own recording studio, and we gathered there diligently at least twice a week for the entire duration of our decade of decadent existence – so, there is a lot to ponder, assess, and reassess.

As the band drummer, I’m in a unique position to know of the many riches to be mined in these cavernous vaults.

This week’s spelunking has lead us to an outtake from our second studio album. As I go through the session tapes, I’m rediscovering some deep cuts that feature a different mix, and I must say it’s a revelatory experience, to say the least. With the passage of time, I now have the luxury of stepping back and enjoy something in a way that I couldn’t before – as Producer, I was too enmired in the chromadots, as it were, to see the big picture.

Case in point – I’m blown away by how we built something new atop the now-established Native stylistic platform.

We never lost our ability to try something new, and expand the our horizons. We were exploring the jungle of our own habitat.

We had great writers, fantastic singers, a wonderful front-man in Mat Hutt, a powerful rhythm section, and a procession of unique and demented keyboard players.

But, even with all that, we had a particular ace up our sleeve – Michael Jaimes.

I’ve always felt that Mike was a world-class guitarist, easily in the same league as any of the giants of rock, (and a damn sight better than some – sorry, Slash) and it’s just a shame that to this day, he remains unrecognized as such, except by a small, but passionate coterie of fans.

Mike was my best friend, but I must admit that I was also a fan. Going through the tapes is always a mixed blessing because of that – as much as I love uncovering, and sharing all these performances, it’s a bit tough to hear Mike’s never-ending quest for guitar immortality over and over, week after week. He was just so good – so endlessly inventive. I’ve played with a lot of guitarists, and admired so many others over the years, but no one – NO ONE — can match that certain something that Mike always brought to the party.

Today’s tune features keyboard dynamo Pete Levin, who came to Brass Giraffe Studios one hot Saturday in July 1997, and laid down this smoking track in one take.

As amazing as that is, equally amazing is the sympathetic support Mike offers in his highly intuitive call and response, and as he and Mat harmonize their guitars in sterling, funky, melodic riffing.

(And, lest we forget, Chris Wyckoff throws in some tasty organ-flavored atmostphere, as he transitioned into the permanent keyboard spot for the next three years!)

This track appeared in a different mix on our Exhale On Spring Street long player, which can be obtained for a pittance on our Bandcamp site, iTunes, AmazonMP3, and Gabby Hayes.org.

We do recognize, of course, in our mercenary little hearts, that…

Love Should Be Free (Alt. Mix)

Cornbread Wednesday

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