Walking By Myself
Release date: 23 July 2019
Recorded by Mick Clarke at Rockfold Studio, Surrey, England
My new version of the Jimmy Rogers standard - hope you enjoy it.
I first recorded "Walking By Myself" on my second solo album "Rock Me" in, about, 1984. I had a great line up including Lou Martin and Wilgar Campbell, both ex Rory Gallagher Band, and we rocked through a version down at the old Elephant Studio in Wapping, East London, with Chris Mansbridge at the controls. At that time I'd only ever heard versions by Savoy Brown (that was the first) then Paul Butterfield and Johnny Winter. I don't think I'd even heard the original.
But it was obviously such a great song - it had to be done. And it turned out to be a popular stage number also. Over the years it was subsequently recorded many more times, notably by Gary Moore, who did the kind of version that I'd tried to do back in 1984. I eventually got to hear the original, (what a harp solo)! and then, even better, got to play two dates opening for Jimmy Rogers himself - both great nights. So I got to tell Jimmy that I'd recorded some of his songs. His comment: "Hope I'm getting paid"! Quite right too - fortunately I was able to assure him that he was, as everything had been done properly through the record company.
I dropped the song from the set list a long while ago, but at a recent club date I thought I'd give it another go. I'd always played it in the key of D, for my vocal, but I didn't fancy that. I thought I'd move it up a bit to E, so I could get a nice low down far end of the neck sound to the chords. I quickly found out that there was a good reason for the D.. I just couldn't reach the high notes in E. So it tried it high, I tried it low, I tried it sideways - whatever I tried it was rubbish!
But still the song went down really well with the audience, so it started me thinking. OK, it has to be in D, so what's the best way of approaching that for a 3 piece line-up? After a bit I hit on the idea of tuning the guitar down to a D shape - something I might do for playing slide but not normally for regular guitar. After some fumbling about I started to get the hang of it. So then the idea occurred to me - why not record it? Maybe a single.. after all the song has been done to death.. it's not really album material, but a one-off single? Why the hell not?
So here it is - bashed out almost spontaneously on my Matsumoko factory Satellite solid body, and set to a Chicago double shuffle. I've tried to keep this version sparse and real - I hope Jimmy would approve and I hope you enjoy it.
Copyright Mick Clarke 2019|
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