Les Hatley takes the listener of Second Chair on a tour of moods from tender to torrid. Nothing on the album was written for the sake of writing. Nothing was written to manufacture a feeling. There is a story behind every instrumental as well as the one vocal offering. Stories….real stories…gave birth to everything the listener hears on this album.
For You – About gratefulness for many years of unconditional commitment.
Angels or Demons – Sometimes it is not easy to tell whether something is from an angel …or a demon.
Faster - What started as a guitar exercise became a tune someone near and dear enjoyed.
In The Morning - It is easy to mistake lust for love at night … but in the morning you know if it is love.
Red Rose – There are times when a feeling becomes a picture in your mind that you cannot fully explain.
Ruler – The last few measures of this piece provide a clue to its meaning.
The Mandolin – This is about pain and forgiveness.
The White Light – If you see the White Light, and live, you might not be able to describe the experience with words, and maybe only vaguely with music.
Scratchy – Originally recorded (and written) by Travis Wammack, this instrumental, and his playing, greatly influenced Les.
(I Love That) Lived-In-Face – If you are fortunate you have, or will have, someone in your life that has lived a full and meaningful life, a life you can see in their face.
Little Dancers – Certain little ones started dancing to this, literally, before they were born.
These musical stories were recorded at the Human Factor studio in Virginia and produced by the widely acclaimed Blake Althen. Blake played bass on all tracks, added some background guitar on many tracks and played a strum stick on Faster. Billy Bowman co-wrote and sang In The Morning. Billy and Les had wanted to record together for many years, and this was the perfect opportunity. Ron Goad did the nearly impossible by adding drums to Faster after it had been recorded. Faster changes tempo numerous times and was originally recorded without even a click track. Seven tracks primarily feature acoustic instruments and five feature electric guitars. Tender to torrid ….
About Les Hatley
Les has been in love with playing music for most of his life. His playing has ranged from R&B to contemporary gospel to contemporary folk to rock to blues. The Washington Area Music Association has honored him with Wammie nominations for his work with his beloved contemporary gospel group called Seneca, for his work as a contemporary folk instrumentalist and as a member of Murray, Crump & Hatley.
He has been fortunate to play venues ranging from local bars to the White House. He has shared stages with local heroes to acts ranging from Steppenwolf to the Coasters.
For many years Les’s recordings have been made either as a member of a group or to simply add some guitar to someone else’s CD. Second Chair is his first solo effort. Nothing on this album can be readily classified by any particular genre … the album reflects a lifetime of many influences. The music comes from writing and playing directly from his own heart rather than playing what somebody else wrote.