Frank Howard Orchestra — Supplement

—  Basement Ballads  —


Some months ago, while digitizing my collection of Frank Howard Orchestra tunes, I came across a series of private home and studio recordings that date similarly from the 70’s - 80’s era. As an aside, I thought it insightful (perhaps) to share with you, here, some behind-the-scenes projects involving not only myself, but other band members as well.

The first eleven tunes on the playlist (below) are ‘unplugged’ selections — featuring only vocals and acoustic guitar — each recorded in my basement on October 5, 1984. Sadly, the original cassette suffered significant deterioration before a digital copy was secured, making sound quality less than ideal. (Trivia: While recording, I revised my singing technique to overcome persistent laryngitis contracted some weeks before, after using cough syrup.)

The next tune in line, “A Separate Peace” (song #12), is my own composition, written in 1974 for a Grade 10 English assignment (based on a novel by the same name); and later, fully orchestrated in MIDI format. Like its namesake, this tune portrays the innocence of adolescence amid the prospect of war. (Strangely, I’ve never recorded the lyricized rendition.)

Ocean Sojourn” is also a personal composition, from 1975, conveying the sentiment of fleeting romance on a moonlit tropical beach. (In youth, I held insatiable fascination for the sea.) Though presented earlier in the playlist in its original lyricized context (song #9), I’ve included a recent instrumental version here, scored entirely in MIDI format.

In the Spring of 1980, five regulars from the Frank Howard Orchestra (Lance Jeffrey, Brian Coughlan, Kathy Spafford, her brother Gord, and myself) got together with producer Ken Harnden (another Club Cedars regular) in his recording studio to cut some demos — “Dependin’ On You” and “No One Else”. Again, my original cassette has long-since deteriorated; though, I believe these recordings adequately reveal the rare opportunity we certainly enjoyed.

Hope you enjoy these selections too ...

  —  Glen Edwards


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