As I listen to bands like The Dead Weather, and The Raconteurs... I'm always interested in breaking these super groups down into their individual parts, and checking out the original work of the various members to see exactly what it is they bring to the table. In the case of the above mentioned groups I found myself listening to Brenden Benson of The Raconteurs, and The Kills... Allison Mosshart's band.
In doing so, you see what they contribute.
In my own music I've had the privilege of collaborating with a few people over the years, but none more so than Rick Bach.
I am self taught on guitar, bass, and music production in general. My guitar playing is mediocre at best. My recording skills have gotten better with time and experience. Rick plays a mean guitar, and achieves one of the cleanest sounds I've ever heard. He's able to play songs I'd never be able to, or even if I could, would never be able to as well as he can. So, he has on many occasions provided me the music needed for me to lay vocals over. Giving me the chance to cover songs I would otherwise not be able to.
I had the honor of producing an EP for him of some of his original songs years ago. It was an easy job considering how well he plays. It didn't take much to make it sound good. It was what it was... Great.
In 2001 I wrote and recorded a song that to this day has been considered a Tommy Else staple, "Cold & Alone". For years, Rick saw more potential in the song... as did I.
Again, as much as I saw the ability for the song to rock more than it did, I am a slave to my own limited abilities and resources.
Years after the original recording... Rick and I finally got down to re-working the song together. Or should I say, Rick got to work on the song. He put together some more dynamic drums, guitars, and played the bass. I stuck to my acoustic guitar, and vocals.
I think it's interesting to hear what I had originally come up with... and then to hear the same song but with Rick's influence, and abilities applied to it.
This was the original recording I did on my own...
Cold & Alone (demo) by Tommy Else
Now, here is the same song featuring Rick's influence on it...
Cold & Alone by Tommy Else
Much more rockin!
Both versions hold a special place in my heart as it is an important song to me chronicling a dark moment in my life. But, like I said... this goes to show the influence that collaborating with a fellow musician has on a song. I'd still like to record a full band version of the song someday with real drums.
I have always appreciated Rick's enthusiasm in playing with me. We've played live, written, and recorded together, and I am grateful for all that we've created with one another.
He is the man.