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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Happy Summertime fun!

Hey Cornbread Wednesday people!!!

We here at Native Central hope you are doing what we are doing — having fun, and enjoying a little time off. We haven’t even cooked up any cornbread this week!

We hope you enjoyed the visits our drummer, Dave Thomas, made into our vaults. The results, Nativology pts 1 & 2, are amazing, even if we do say so ourselves!!

Dave is working on some music of his own right at this very second, but he will return to scouring the vaults soon.

In the meantime, he is planning a Native live album to be taken from multi-track sources. He’ll have more on that, and other Native goodies he’s planning, in the near future.

Meanwhile, there is great Native music to catch up on at our bandcamp site — just click on the music links in the sidebar and it’s party time!!

To which we proudly say — “Drinky drinky, smokey, smokey!”

Sneaking Through The Alley With Epstein

‘Twas in the 14th century that it came to pass that people began adopting surnames. I remember it well, and it sucked. Now, I had to remember a whole other name; I couldn’t just be ‘Dave’ anymore… no, I had to be ‘Dave Thomas’ — a name I must share with a large percentage of the population. (Go out on any street USA, yell out “Dave Thomas!” and watch twelve people turn around!)

But, I lucked out in Native. Not only were there no other Dave Thomases, there weren’t even any other Daves!

The other guys in the band were not so lucky. We have two Matt’s – Mat Hutt and Matt Lyons. To confuse things further, Mat Hutt only has one ‘t’ in his first name, which makes it real hard to talk to all the other Matt’s in the world when you realize you have to double-t them, possibly reigniting old childhood stuttering traumas. And, as a further aside, Mat was named that way because Hutt has two t’s and there’s only so many to go around. Times were hard in those days and you were only allowed three t’s maximum per name.

Poor John Wood had to bear the agony of sharing his first name with our impish Keyboardist and resident alien (by way of Pluto), John Epstein. There we were, poised for stardom but this name situation could have made it all a cataclysmic failure.

We had a problem, and it wasn’t in Houston.

Our solution was thus: Mat Hutt and Matt Lyons would forevermore be referred to as Mat Hutt and Matt Lyons. Both names, every time. Simples.

John Wood, perhaps in a moment of clairvoyance that there would one day be yet another John in the band, said “Screw it,” and became ‘Woody’, which made things a lot easier.

We were further relieved when John Epstein also dropped his first name. Sometimes folks misspelled it as ‘Jon’, but we were convinced that we’d dodged a bullet, and we called the Pan-like impressario ‘Epstein’ whenever we could.

Sharing no names with anyone, Mike (with easily the most common first name of us all) crossed himself and thanked heaven above when he found there were no other Mike’s in the band. But, then we all just called him ‘Jaimes’ anyway.

Thus, we narrowly avoided the Great Native Naming Confusion-Thing, and there was much rejoicing.

Today, we have an Epstein tune on tap — his rendition of an Allen Toussaint song made famous by Robert Palmer. Recorded January 14, 1994, at the New Music Cafe on the lovely, but smelly, Canal Street — here’s

Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley

Cornbread Wednesday

If you don’t risk anything, you’re gonna risk it all

This is Nativology.

Every Wednesday, Cornbread Wednesday, that is, my band, Native posts an unreleased song from our vast underground archives in the Cave of Dave.

I, the just-mentioned Dave, as Archivist, Historian, Rockologist, and all-round Pain in the Ass, do ascribe to scribe some scribbles about said unreleased songs, in the hope that the listener may have some contextual coherency, greater musical understanding, and less of a need to jump out the window.

Music can do that. Especially good music. And, music that is damn good — well, that might actually make you feel like shutting the window, cracking open a tall, frosty one, and telling Ethel to put on that crazy flannel thing with the straps.

Today’s selection hails from the mighty year of 1995, when men were men, and women were getting sick of it.

Mat Hutt is the main songwriter of this piece, and it comes to you today as an unreleased tune for a fine, very understandable reason. But, it’s one we’ve forgotten. Now, armed with the 20/20 hindsight of our 20/20 foresight, we can see that it was more like 20/20 shortsightedness. We rarely played this wonderful song much, and it never really got its’ day in the sunlight; it was left on the shelf like a can of dried tomatoes.

Mat, our chief songsmith, really delved into transcribing and translating our tacit belief that if we put ourselves out there, on the line, performing all the time; if we were perfectly willing to starve in the process & utterly fearless in the face of the vast Dali-esque plane of existence that is an artist’s life (complete with melting watches and Madonnas made of bees), that we would persevere.

To do otherwise, to waste our talent and bend to conventional wisdom, which says: “Get a job, Jerkface. Music is a nice hobby for special people, of which you are not one.”

But, the problem with conventional wisdom is that it is rarely conventional, and never wise.

Mat got it right. Not just for us, but for anyone with talent who dares to throw themselves out there, Candide-like into the sometimes fulfilling, oftentimes uncaring, always-changing Tilt-a-Whirl world a performer faces each night:

If you don’t risk anything, you’re gonna risk it all.

So, I’m going to sing for you

Even If I Fall

Cornbread Wednesday

A Hot Day in the Studio with John Epstein

In the wintry months of early 1995, Native was in the midst of an extended song-writing period. Our self-titled first album had been out for a year, and it seemed to the band that, as good as it was, the issues we *did* have with it all centered around the fact that we had little control over the aspects of its production. With that in mind, we set about preparing an album we would produce ourselves. And with our ever-growing prowess at songcraft, it was sure to be a far, far better thing we would do than we had done before.

Native was touring quite a lot during this period, as well as enjoying residencies at two NYC clubs — Wetlands on Mondays, and McGovern’s on Wednesdays. With rehearsals on Tuesdays & Thursdays, and longer treks out to the northeast corridor on weekends, we were in our first prime period. We were starting to headline our own shows more & more, and gigs at larger venues like Tramps (opening for the Dixie Dregs) loomed ahead.

In this hothouse period, the band arrived for a session at Marmfington Studio one frosty Thursday wherein John Epstein unveiled his newest song which, in my not-so-humble opinion, ranks easily as his greatest contribution to Native’s catalogue. Considering the freezing New York City winter outside, we were bowled-over by the warmth of both the out-of-context setting (Florida) and the emotions conveyed (love & respect) John so eloquently infused in every measure.

To this day, I find myself amazed at the completeness it had. Usually, the band would work hard to expand on our songs. Mike, especially, was great at coming up with bridges and musical passages. But none of this was needed for this unexpected delight, which went to the top of our shortlist for the projected album due to start in the spring.

Unforeseen events would make that album an impossibility, so now all that exists of this rare song is this demo, recorded live to DAT by John Fitzwater one very, very cold evening.

Hot Day

Cornbread Wednesday