Native’s First Album – Remastered!!

Native's self-titled first album as it appeared in 1994, with everyone's sigs!!

Native’s self-titled first album as it appeared in 1994, with everyone’s sigs!

This is how the world first experienced Native – Karl Ottersberg‘s art displayed in all its beautiful sepia-toned wonderfulness.

Now we can say why there has been a dearth of Native posting activity recently. We’ve been working on this!

Karl spent a week on a completely new version of the cover – and we love it!!

Native94-2015reduxCoverThumb400

I, Dave Thomas – troubadour and linguist, along with Jonathan Vergara – who has handled a lot of Dave’s Beatitudes releases, as well as my country band – The Blue Lick Victory Club – have rescued a project that is perhaps the most important one we ever embarked upon! Working diligently at Jonathan’s Pancake Studios.

So check it out at our Bandcamp site, which is now the exclusive place to get our music. We love Bandcamp because it allows you to download our music in almost any format you wish (mp3, FLAC, ALAC, AAC, or Ogg Vorbis), perfect for audiophiles and those who like to keep a big playlist on their phones alike.

Exclusively with a purchase of this release you will also have the option to download all of the accompanying cd packaging images you would get if you bought a physical copy in print quality, as well as some bonus images and artwork from both editions, lovingly collated by by our stalwart, long-time friend and associate – CraftLass (who has her own fine catalogue of music)!

With that, we are taking a few weeks off for an early summer vacation. But, we’ll be back with more Nativology posts, some general irreverence, and a word or three on where we go from here as we excavate our archive ever further.

But, for now, let’s take this moment to exult in the sweet afterglow of finally getting this one right!! As the great Stan Lee would say – Excelsior!!

Until then, enjoy our first album as it was always meant to be heard! And, by the way, we like the title…

Native

Cornbread Wednesday

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One Way Or Another… This Darkness Has Got To Give

Last week, we served up a rare live track from a multi-track tape of an undated Native show at Wetlands.

We see no reason why we shouldn’t continue on with another stupendous Catherine Russell performance from the same night.

Native was not prone to do a lot of other folk’s material, but this tune just seems like it was made for us to play and for Catherine to sing. And, since the Grateful Dead hardly ever performed it in their shows, we can safely say that this is (in all humility) one of the best versions you’ll ever come across.

So, enjoy!

I (Dave) am off like a prom-dress, for a couple of weeks, to play some shows with my family band – The Blue Lick Victory Club – in Louisville, KY. As much fun as this blog is to do each week, I do sometimes have to pry myself away from the Davecave, see some sunshine & do some pickin’ & grinnin’.

So hang tight — we’ll pick up where we left off when we resume in July. There’s lots of Wyckoff-era Native rare goodies left in the vault that we will be exhuming for your listening pleasure.

Thanks to everyone who follows us, and who have made this blog so much fun to prepare. You are the reason we do this, and we love you!

See you soon!

New Speedway Boogie (Wetlands 1997)

Cornbread Wednesday

Catherine Russell wants some action (and Native’s got it!)

20140604-015659-7019782.jpgThere are a lot of great singers in this talent-filled world, but one thing we all agreed on in Native, was that Catherine Russell was our favorite singer. Catherine had briefly been in a band with Dave and Mike, before the Native epoch began in 1992 a.d. Dave had seen her singing with a cover band in Greenwich Village, and was wowed by her powerful voice, and marveled at how such a big sound could emanate from such a petite lady. But, it was her performance on several Meters tunes that sent him scurrying to curry favour, convinced she was destined for the big time. And, besides… Meters tunes. (The Meters are a constant factor in the Native chronology, but Dave & Mike were already playing quite a lot of their material.) She agreed against all better judgement to come down to The Radon Room, Dave’s studio on Mott Street, and meet this motley assemblage called The Illbillies (aside from Dave & Mike, there was Craig Robison, Sean Pace, and Grant). Catherine played with the band for a few weeks, and we have some pretty great tapes in the vault from this time-period. But sadly, she then decided that although she liked us all personally, we were indeed quite motley, not just in appearance, but in our playing. We just weren’t tight. But, she encouraged us to keep going, and we did. The Illbillies would burn through two more singers before calling it a day without ever playing one gig. Chastened by the gigless end to that band’s journey, Mike & Dave intrepidly trudged onward, recording a demo of a song that had been a stalwart entry at every Illbilly rehearsal – Dave’s Something Worth Remembering (as heard on Nativology Vol. 1). And with that, history was written in lighting! In the coming years, Native got tight, and Catherine returned for the occasional guest spot in our shows, and they were all a highlight. Believe it, when she sings, it’s magic time! Our favorite singer – Her Royal Majesty – a true Lady of Soul – the ever-amazing Catherine Russell.

Action (Wetlands 1997)

Cornbread Wednesday

The Year Of The Cat

Catherine RusselI first saw Catherine Russell in a small West Village club singing Meters songs in 1989. I was gaga over The Meters and instantly in love with her voice and commanding stage presence. I managed to talk her into joining a motley crew I had assembled at The Radon Room Studio on Mott Street for some sessions. We wrote some tunes and it sounded great, at least to my ears.

For Catherine, it was a bit of a trial dealing with the motley-ness of the crew and though she like everyone a lot she moved on with her career, and I went on to form other still-motley crews. But Catherine and I remained good friends afterward, and she was gracious enough to score me tickets to Grateful Dead shows which I did not have the money for. We had lots of fun.

Eventually, Native (still a motley bunch) was formed and Catherine started appearing with us every now and then. The recording you are about to hear is from a cassette recorded early in the evening of March 6, 1993. Later that evening, Native played Nightingale Bar and Catherine joined us to play it for the peoples.

I Don’t Care No More

Looking back, if I’d known that Catherine was singing with the likes of Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Al Green, etc., if I’d known her father was Louis Armstrong’s arranger—well, I probably would have been too scared to ever invite her down to a sub-level studio beneath Little Italy to play with such a motley crew.

Cat is on tour now, check out her webpage www.catherinerussell.net and give her a shout. She’s one of the greats, and we were damned lucky, and honored to have her join us on so many wonderful occasions.Cornbread Wednesday