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Behind the Song: Crazy World

Crazy World is the oldest song on the album.

I started writing it over two years ago while on holiday in Cape Town. I remember the vast, crazy contrast while I was there: the immense opulence of Camps Bay versus the in-your-face drags of Khayelitsha. I remember how foreign both ways of life were to me. I pondered over it for weeks. In the end, Continue reading Behind the Song: Crazy World

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Behind the Song: Hide Away

It’s not often that I get to just sit and play guitar, but on this particular Saturday afternoon, I was strumming the chords that would become this song when Tam walked into the room and started singing spontaneously.

I remember we’d both been pretty busy and it was nice to just be at home, with no agenda for the day. Tam walked in, heard the chords and said, Continue reading Behind the Song: Hide Away

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Behind the Song: Wide Open World

It was inevitable that the engineer who mastered the album – Brent Quintin – would pick out the E9 chord at the beginning of Wide Open World.

“Hey Earle, what does this sound like?” he asks his fellow Sesalos engineer.

“Welcome to the real world!” Earle bursts out, reciting the John Mayer classic. Continue reading Behind the Song: Wide Open World

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Behind the Song: More Beautiful Tonight

I’ve long been a fan of Eric Clapton.

Now I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong. This is not a lyrical derivative of Wonderful Tonight, although I sometimes wonder if those kind of songs just lie dormant in our sub-conscience and make their way to the surface in subtle ways. As the band tells me, everything we listen to influences the music we create, some of it is just more dominant.

In actual fact, it was the Continue reading Behind the Song: More Beautiful Tonight

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Behind the Song: Loving Every Day

This song was the first one penned for the new album, about four years ago. It was one of those songs which very quickly had a structure, but developed slowly lyrically… so much so that it was only completed last year.

So for those who don’t know, my beautiful wife Tamlyn Mary is the inspiration behind this tune. Without boring you with too many details, Tam and I met at a time when I was fairly rogue. Continue reading Behind the Song: Loving Every Day

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Behind the Song: Leave It Behind

This was a song which was birthed out of the music. The songwriting process is a strange one, because there’s never any true way of knowing when and where inspiration will come from. I’ve resolved to follow Bob Dylan’s advice and make a conscientious effort to hang around the ink well.

When I penned this song, it came out of a Continue reading Behind the Song: Leave It Behind

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Behind the Song: Alive

On The Edge, Ryan Calder Band

There really is nothing like the sounds of Africa… particularly African rhythm: that lilted 4/4 which most of us wit ous know through the likes of Johnny Clegg.

Yes, he was a big musical influence on this song…¬†rhythmically¬†it was Spirit of the Great Heart and musically it was also Scatterlings of Africa. I thought we only just started to Continue reading Behind the Song: Alive

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Behind the song: Feels Like Home

RCB at the House of Grace, Cape Town.

My good mate Brad and I were sitting on the patio outside at my in-laws’ farm near Albert Falls, jamming and fiddling around on our acoustic guitars. It was one of those real lazy afternoons, where kids and adults were all over the place doing their own thing in the afternoon winter sunshine. Continue reading Behind the song: Feels Like Home