Charismatic front man, Doc Neeson (The Angels, Red Phoenix) releases ‘Walking In The Rain’, his first studio recording in nearly 7 years.
Originally recorded by Flash and the Pan, Doc’s recording was produced by ARIA Award winningproducer Brendan Gallagher (Karma County, Jimmy Little ‘Messenger’) late last year at Albert Studios prior to Doc hitting the road with the RocKwiz Salutes Vanda And Young shows which toured the country last November.
When discussions began between RocKwiz producers and Alberts about the iconic Australian songs and suitable performers, the idea of teaming Doc’s mellifluous voice and the speak-style of ‘Walking In the Rain’ was ignited. Penned and performed by Harry Vanda and George Young for their progressive project Flash and the Pan in 1978 and then covered by Grace Jones in 1981, this latest interpretation required a distinctive vocalist and presence to reinterpret this seemingly simple song to make it their own.
Of course no one could look past the legend Doc Neeson.
“The strength of the song written by George & Harry is dreamlike or trancelike in mood. The lyrics are a stream of consciousness which so masterfully creates a subconscious state of mind. One of the biggest challenges was to get in that state of mind to sing the song,” said Neeson.
Teaming up with Neeson is music all rounder Brendan Gallagher. In a career spanning over thirty years, he has produced over twenty albums, including Jimmy Little’s classic Messenger (1999) and Karma County’s Into The Land Of Promise (2000).
“The song is so elegantly, deceptively simple. The motif moves through three chromatically rising and falling notes underpinned by three book-ended chords, then a classic 7, 5 chord turnaround for the chorus. The bass holds the song together. From there it’s all about the vocal. That’s where Doc comes in. Doc has gravitas the equal of the song’s majesty, “said Gallagher.
Along with Neeson’s vocal delivery, Gallagher had a few ideas in the back of his mind that he introduced to the recording of the song.
“I’d thought of using a sample from Jonathan Zwartz’s Shimmer, the first track from his 2013 album The Remembering & Forgetting Of The Air, as the basis of a song. It gives ‘Walking In The Rain’ its meandering intent, its momentum. Blues veteran ‘Continental’ Robert Susz’s (The Dynamic Hepnotics) windy city harmonica is the lace on the curtain.”
Doc Neeson ‘Walking In The Rain’ available now (Alberts/SMA)
***Doc Neeson’s live performance on RocKwiz salutes Vanda and Young will be televised Monday March 24th (SBS ONE) at 9.30pm and Saturday March 29th (SBS2) at 8.30pm.