monte cristosMonte Nordstrom
RA "ALIVE" SESSIONS - 1981/83


GDR55 - Edmonton - 1981 & 1983
(previously released as 'Voodoo Rage')
 
Produced by Pat Stradeski at CKRA Studios, Edmonton, Alberta.
Assisted by Michael Harney
Mixed by Pat Stradeski & Monte Nordstrom
Re-mix & Analog to Digital Tranfer: Jeremy Sagar, Edmonton 1999
 
1983 Tracks:
1: Sooner or Later 3:43
2: Powers That Be 2:43
3: Is It Too Late? 4:06
4: Through & Through 4:36
5: Cannibal's Luncheon 4:06
6: Forever 3:19
7: Deliberate Intentions 4:25
8: Black Bridge 3:38
9: Panther Dance 3:03
10: Deception 4:39
11: Ride on Rider 2:18
 
1980 Tracks:
12: Wild & Lonely 2:10
13: Time For a Change 5:04
14: Mondo's Theme 1:42
15: Cold Winds Blow Hard 2:11
16: Flampan 3:48

All songs copyright by Monte Nordstrom. Northstream Music/SOCAN
Monte Nordstrom: Vocals, Guitars, (Bass 12-14)
Michael Harney: Drums
Torben Holm Pedersen: Hammond B3 & Grand Piano
Steve Duben: Bass (1-11)
Gord Nicholson: Alto Sax & Flute
Peggy McClarty: Vocals
 
Copyright by Monte Nordstrom, Northstream Music & Groovedigger Records.
 
Graphics & Layout: Barry Newman / Cosmic Debris Musicians Mag (www.cvnet.net/cosmic)
 
This recording was produced by Pat Stradeski, at CKRA FM 96 in Edmonton, in November of 1983. It was broadcast on January 1, 1984; with an interview by Steve Burgess, as a program called "Take One".
 
Mike Harney & Pat Stradeski The studio musicians were organized by Michael Harney who suggested that I enlist Torben Holm Pedersen on keyboards. I knew him from his job at Mothers Music & knew about his great chops from seeing him demo keyboards. Torben made up some scratch charts from the chord / lyric charts & demo tapes that I provided him. The players familiarized themselves with the basic arrangements from these. Torben & I had one rehearsal session at his home prior to the recording date. We discussed what I wanted the band to be able to do, which was play unison freely & improvise solos.
 
Torben brought in his bandmate, Steve Duben on Bass. All of these fellows had done a number of "Take One" programs, backing up various singer/songwriters. Torben also suggested I call Gord Nicholson to play Alto Sax & Flute.
 
I had met Peggy McClarty's manager through a gig at the Sheraton Caravan & I called her to do the back-up vocals. We spoke on the phone a few times about the material. I gave her manager the demo & lyrics a couple of weeks earlier. Peggy & I spent the day before the sessions going over the songs with an acoustic guitar. Peggy was a bit nervous as she hadn't met the band but I told her not to worry.
 
The next day we all arrived in the late morning at the studio. Torben & Mike were first to arrive with their respective kits. Mike had his signature Slingerlands with the "field drum" kick. Torben had his chopped down B3 & Leslie combo. There was a baby grand in the studio. I set up through my vintage Tremolux using my Guild X-50 arch-top & (a pre-Beachboys) Mosrite solid-body 12 string & a Boss stereo chorus pedal.
 
I met Gord there for the first time when he was unpacking his horn. Pat & Mike & I had done a previous session together there in 1981 so we were all more or less acquainted. Peggy arrived & sat in the control booth with Pat who was engineering & producing the session. We rolled tape. The tracks were all recorded "live off the floor" & some vocals were dubbed after. Several of the live vocals were used in the mix. Peggy patiently sat through several hours of recording going over her parts as we did takes & re-takes, so she was warmed up & rehearsed by the time we needed her.
 
We laid down 11 songs & did vocal takes in the one session that lasted over 10 hours. It was like having a baby. I mean like the husband part of having a baby. My daughter (Vanessa) was born 2 weeks prior to these sessions.
 
It was an exhausting experience & due to my own lack of foresight, a bit of a struggle. I had saved some of the harder material for later in the evening when we were getting tired. Also the last 4 songs recorded were all in A.M., so it was pretty draining on all of our chops. It is a credit to all the players that this collection stands up.
 
The next day we mixed the whole shebang. I bought the 8-track mastertapes out the back door. It was recorded on a 2-inch Studer. A couple weeks later I drove in from a gig at the Pick & Lantern in Edson to tape the interview segment with Steve Burgess. The program aired on New Years Day.
 
The Songs: Quite a bit of the material was/is fairly topical. I don't know why I went that way at the time, since that's not a very commercial thing to do, but there are a couple good pop tunes. "Sooner or Later" & "Ride on Rider", for instance. There's also a big ballad, "Forever". I love playing that song. There's that skanky reggae influence in some of the material. The Police were big at this time. The first version of "Deception" appears here. It turned up later as a Beaumonts staple. Peggy said "Through & Through" gave her goose-bumps right from the start of the session.
 
"Black Bridge" was a hold-over that was supposed to be recorded for "Silhouette of Our Insanity" GDR44. A live version of it from "The Midsummer Affair" has been lost to magnetic breakdown. "Is it Too Late?" was demo'd at the end of the Ed deBree sessions too, also back in 1978.
 
The Bonus Tracks from the 1981 session of a program called "RA Alive" were recorded with Pat Stradeski producing & Mike Harney on drums. I played guitars & overdubbed the bass. Michael overdubbed some fancy percussion & did some fabulous editing on "Mondo's Theme". Some solo stuff was included because we had run out of material & time to do overdubs.
 
There was a lot of country material & other solo stuff that is not included here because it doesn't fit the mood & is just too bad. "Flampan" got its name from combining Japan with Flamenco. It's a Lenny Breau-influenced piece & "Cold Winds Blow Hard dates back to 1969. Back when topical songs were commercial.
 
Jeremy is remastering the whole recording from the original 8 track tapes using Protools. 21st Century Schizoid Man!
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