Dave Berry is a Kapiti-based guitar builder and repairman with a long history in the Wellington Music business. He has just released his unique bamboo-bodied semi-acoustic electric – the Model 1. Dave is happily obsessed with developing the use of sustainable materials in guitar manufacture and is about to investigate the use of bio-composites made from harakeke. Here are five albums he’s loving right now…
1 – Craig Terris, Bleat Your Heart Out: Brian Wilson doesn’t lose it, bikes around to Mike Love’s house and kicks him in the nuts. That probably doesn’t do justice to BYHO though, a piece of work of almost breathtaking depth and scope. Craig has been a session player for many in Wellington and now steps up to the plate with the sort of record that some artists might spend their whole lives trying to make.
2 – Danny Kortchmar – Kootch: Kortchmar’s work with singer-songwriters such as David Crosby, Carole King, Graham Nash, Carly Simon and James Taylor helped define the signature sound of the singer-songwriter era of the 1970s. Kortchmar plays guitar, bass and drums on this hidden gem from 1973, and is supported by heavyweights like William Smith, Craig Doerge and Jim Horn. Mastered by the great Bernie Grundman, Kootch is nine tracks of the sweetest funkiest sounds from this era, and in many ways surpasses the work of his more popular contemporaries.
3 – Phoenix Foundation, Buffalo: I was a late starter with the PF’s recorded output, despite having loved them when they played at the Valve Bar during my tenure there. My limited attention span means I rarely listen to whole albums, but I was sucked into the journey by the PF’s seductive songwriting and eclectic delivery. This is the sort of music that could only come from Wellington.
4 – About The Deadlines, About The Deadlines: A side project from various Black Seeds and Fly My Pretties associates, ABT is a dangerous, edgy-sounding montage of surf and psychedelia that sounds like its under immense pressure and could explode and maim at any minute. Lee Prebble’s production captures the majestic nastiness perfectly on this digital-only release.
5 – The Grays, Ro Sham Bo: The Grays were a short-lived rock band comprising singer/songwriters/multi-instrumentalists Jon Brion, Jason Falkner, Buddy Judge, and Dan McCarroll. This slab of early ’90s LA powe-pop caused a sensation in the industry with immediate ‘next Beatles’ comparisons. The horror of this label, plus the pressure of trying to accommodate four very talented artists in one musical vehicle caused a rapid implosion, leaving only this sublime album. There isn’t even a video. I got my copy on E-bay – track it down if you can.