Performed by Ned Sublette. Recorded at Piety Street, New Orleans, July 2010. Produced by Ned Sublette, Peter Gordon, and Mark Bingham. Engineered by Mark Bingham and Wesley Fontenot. Mixed by Mark Bingham.
Complete lyrics included in the CD booklet.
From the album's liner notes:
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THE BAND IS THE HAND
We’ve come all this way together.
I acquired my guitar in Madrid when I was eighteen, on a musical trip that was the grandest adventure of my young life. I was one of a group of guitar students who had the opportunity to visit Andrés Segovia at his home on the peninsula called La Herradura (the Horseshoe) near Granada. He gave a master class to the more advanced students as I watched, and since some of us needed better instruments, he called ahead to José Ramírez in Madrid to let him know we were coming.
Three days and some hasty transatlantic fundraising later, I had a guitar like I’d never dreamed of having.
The guitar cost me $410, a number burned into my brain. It was a good deal, but even so, that was a lot of damn money to me in 1969, more than a round-trip ticket on a 707 from New York to Barcelona. By now it’s worked out to a little less than ten dollars a year.
The guitar lives under the bed, except when I take it out to play, which I do every night I can. Its sound is my sound. It’s gotten some scratches over the years, and it’s a little cracked and a little warped – just like me. But it’s the only guitar I want to play.
I always say, you’re never alone with a guitar. I promised my guitar that someday we’d do an album, just the two of us. Instruments aren’t people, but spirits do speak through them, never more for me than when I’m singing with my guitar. I also promised myself that someday I’d make an album in New Orleans, where spirits definitely speak. I complied with both promises.
This is what I’ve been doing on stage the last few years: I sit down in a chair with my guitar and I play these and other songs, like this. As you can hear, this album was made without any sweetening – no overdubs I can’t do live, no guests.
I wanted this album to sound like when I’m singing in my kitchen at night. But it sounds even better than that. It’s a dream come true for me. Thanks to the people who helped make it happen.
-- Ned Sublette