Tuesday, February 14, 2017



Dave Schramm has been a part of the Bar/None family since the label's inception. He's recorded with Glenn Morrow's Rage To Live, Bar/None staples likeFreedy Johnston, Kate Jacobs, and Yo La Tengo, and he appears on the first Chris Stamey/Peter Holsapple collaboration, Mavericks. For many years, Dave was the music director of The Radio Free Song Club, in which a wide-ranging collection of artists would record an old-timey radio hootenanny that was broadcast online. Regulars included Kate Jacobs, Amy Allison, Peter Holsapple, Don Piper, Freedy Johnston, Jody Harris, Peter Blegvad, Victoria Williams, and others.

Dave will be appearing at Little City Books (owned by his longtime bandmate and collaborator, Kate Jacobs) in Hoboken on Friday, February 17, at a special "Classic Country" concert. He'll be joined by Hoboken regulars like Tammy Faye Starlight, Gene "D. Plumber" Turonis, the Cucumbers, Amy Allison, Amy Rigby, and others, playing their favorite country songs from the '30's to the '70's.  Tickets are available from littlecitybooks.com

We caught up with Dave to ask him for his favorite Bar/None memories, whether he had a favorite album (we guessed correctly that he'd hate that question,) and to tell us a little about Radio Free Song Club and the "Classic Country" evening.

Dave: I can remember a few things...

While mixing a song on Fakebook, I'm not sure which song, Gene Holder and Georgia were discussing drum sounds. Georgia said something like, "I just don't want it to sound like Snare Drum and his little friends..." That was recorded at the old Water Music across the street from Leo's Grandevous, which I guess is still there? Leo's, not Water. For that matter most of those records were recorded there. Definitely Freedy's record, and Fakebook, and the sessions with Chris and Peter. It had glass brick on one wall of the main recording room. The earliest Yo La Tengo stuff was recorded there, like "River of Water" and I think "Asparagus Song" and then later Fakebook. Though we went off to Boston to record the first album.

For Freedy's Can You Fly session I only played on "Responsible" and then came back later for some EP recordings. That was Graham Maby producing, Freedy wanted some signature lick for the song and I managed to hit on something that worked on the lap steel. It all happened in an instant. Often those are the most satisfying moments, quick happy accidents.
It's likely that my records with Freedy and with Stamey and Holsapple got me the call to work on The Replacements All Shook Down record. Scott Litt was producing that and he had worked with Peter and Chris. A rewarding experience. 

Favorite? I'm afraid you're right. I hate that question. And I hate the whole idea of "favorite". Too restrictive. My favorite music is usually what I'm listening to right at that moment if it's something I love. And I love a lot of different music.

Radio Free Song Club is about to wake up again. Has been on extended hiatus, mostly due to my getting super busy and distracted. But we have one in the can from before that hiatus started. With James Mastro and George Usher and a varied cast of characters. We are hoping to record a show in March. I'll keep you posted.

It was Kate's idea for the country covers show. Her bookshop. It was supposed to be classic country from 1930 to 1970, but the envelope is being pushed a bit. Amy Allison is going to do her father's version of "You Are My Sunshine," but it ain't country. I'm doing a Hank Williams song channeled through Al Green and YLT, and a Townes Van Zandt tune.

And yes, with the presence of myself, Kate, Laura, and Amy and Amy, it will have a bit of a Song Club feel....


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