"Random Harvest"Random Harvest is a collection of cover tunes.
A change from my last CD
"Welcome To Tranzotica"
which is an Ambient collection of original songs.
The new CD "Random Harvest" is a guitar driven, gusty vocal, all out good time Rock album.
Pamela Davis: Vocals, Background
Pamela's latest release, Random Harvest, is a diverse collection of pop-song covers, from great artists such as The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, Green Day, and Elvis Presley. Pamela stayed true to the original recordings, but added her own unique musical stamp to each song. While the entire album is a joy to listen to, there are also some moments that are truly magical. One such moment, for my ears, is her performance of How Can I Be Sure - a song I hadn't cared for until I heard her version.
The album begins with a spark, Too Much Talk by Paul Revere &The Raiders, which sets the tone for the album's strong start. The arrangement of songs continues with hit after hit, nicely organized and with a pleasant surprise around each corner. Whether or not you are impacted in the same way, you'll surely find Random Harvest has something special for every listener.
I had a chance to speak with Pamela Davis regarding her new album, and here is that interview:
What inspired you to record and produce a cover album?
With the success of Welcome To Tranzotica, I felt I could chill-out and have some fun with my next project, Random Harvest.
Was there a theme or any special criteria you used to select which songs to cover?
The idea behind Harvest was to have fun with it, and get back to recording more of a rock band format.
You are known to play all of the instruments on your albums, is that true for this one as well?
Yes, I did play all the instruments except on
a few songs where I invited my students to join in with me. I asked mostly my vocal
students to sing backgrounds, which gave the background vocals a better texture. I also
have two students on acoustic guitar, and one student on keyboards on one song "Sloop
John B". That song felt like it should have a bunch of people on it having fun with
You're also known to use a wide spectrum of instruments outside of the typical drums, bass, and guitar. What can you tell me about the instruments you used on this album?
This album was more about blending different electric and acoustic guitars together to achieve a conscious blend of sounds. This is also my first recording session, where I used software synth sounds, plus ten microphones to record the drums. The only unusual instruments for this project were ukulele, banjolele, and a Jerry Jones sitar guitar.
Do you have any favorite recordings off the album?
My favorite is "How Can I Be Sure". I'm quite proud of my vocal on that, plus the arrangement gave me a chance to stretch out, with accordion, banjolele, and the string parts. Too Much Talk was pure fun to record, especially the drums, and fuzz guitars. On the original version Joe Correro Jr kicked the hell out of his drum kit, and he certainly put me to the test. "In My Own Time" the Bee Gees song has a great bass part, originally played by the late great Maurice Gibb. The list could go on and on. "Come Home" was fun doing the vocals and the sound effect "ssshhh". A Little In Love by Cliff Richard was a fun one to do too. All around, I enjoyed pulling out my sitar guitar on that one, plus the drumbeat, and the range on the vocal, which made me work hard. On Kind Of Hush my made-up guitar solo mimics the sound of the mid-1960's and I enjoyed the organ solos on Time Of The season.
Which song gave you the most trouble? (i.e. capturing the feel correctly, learning the original music, getting the recording the way you wanted it, etc)
Only one song gave me trouble, which is not on the album: Needles and Pins. I just did not get the feel the way I wanted on it. It kinda funny because I'd performed that song live and know it by heart. The rest of the songs took me about 4-5 days to record and came very quickly.
Did you have a particular audience in mind when you selected the songs for the album?
People who know my work. People from my era of music. People who are into classic rock. People, people, people...(as she laughs).
What is the significance of the title, Random Harvest?
There were no specific songs picked out beforehand. Each song was picked at the last minute, out of randomness. Also one of my favorite movies is titled Random Harvest from the 1940's and naturally I put two and two together, and had a title for the album.
How long did it take you to record the album, and where was it recorded?
The project started in mid June of 2009 and went full blast until November. At the last minute I decided to record "A Hazy Shade Of Winter which was done in mid December. The album was recorded in my recording Studio "Pamela Davis Music Studios" located in Jupiter FL.
Tell me about any fond memories you have making this album.
My fond memories are the early days when I first started this project. "Temptation Eyes", "Day After Day", "Be My Baby", How Can I Be Sure", and "Summer In The City". These were the early stages of the project, deciding which guitar sounds best with each song. Deciphering the drum track on "Temptation Eyes", was an eye opener as it showed a lot of thought gone into a great groove. "Day After Day" was an education in itself with the arrangement, and deciphering how George Harrison got that sound on his lead guitar part, and of course performing it. "Be My Baby" was fun to work on with all the backing vocals. While recording it I imagined myself with a beehive do and fake eye lashes ala' Amy Winehouse singing it with my doppelgangers. "Summer In The City" was fun to work on, but I really enjoyed adding in the cities sound effects. Adding to the noise pollution of the city, I found that annoying backup sound on trucks, which I had a chuckle over putting in. The other flip of the coin was we started the photo shoot in the early days of the session and it was fun standing there having the pictures done. There were so many lights that it would get hot, After awhile we'd stop to look at the pictures, and I'd change my outfit.