Daily Song Study

Huckleberry – Sun Falls

In songs on November 4, 2011 at 8:56 am

In 1999, I got a job working at an online record store called w3cd.com. It was operated by Carpe Diem Records boss Allan Restrepo (who had released Little Jack Melody & Cafe Noir records, mentioned here before), and staffed by a hodgepodge of relatively high-profile Dallas musicians who had fallen on hard times with the mergers of many major labels, who had booted them in the process.

One of the best parts of working in any record store was sampling the stock. Periodically someone would wander back into the stacks, grab a disc that looked promsing, and throw it on the stereo. The results were mixed, but occasionally gems were found. One such diamond in the rough was a self-released album by a band from Lawrence, Kansas called Huckleberry. Though no longer in existence even by the time we found their record on the shelf, I was rather taken with them, and still have no idea what became of the members.

While definitely drawing from the dual-vocalist approach of alt-country pioneers Uncle Tupelo, Huckleberry was a bit more pop-oriented, with extremely catchy melodies and gorgeous harmonies. This tune is one of my favorites, partially because of the vocal handoff employed between the verses and chorus. It’s a Beatlesque approach, with the second vocalist starting harmonies on the lead-in to the chorus, then taking the helm for the chorus proper, augmented by harmonies from the verse vocalist midway through. I’ve often considered such an approach, but the right song hasn’t come up for it yet. Still, it’s a great trick.

A slight side-note to this installment:

Often artists will refrain from releasing work on the fear that no one will care. Through discoveries such as this, my stance is that no one can possibly know who will care about something until it is put out into the public sphere for people to discover. An artist may never know who is enjoying their work. But if you are the only one who can write a particular tune, then the world will never get a chance to hear it if it is kept under wraps. Fear is generally a bad reason to do anything, or rather to not do anything.

(dismounts soapbox)

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  1. […] As I’ve mentioned, one of the best parts of working at a record store is sampling the stock. My first record store job was at Sound Warehouse in Fort Worth, and we would take turns picking CDs for the overhead speakers throughout the day. One of the albums that got regular airplay was Ring by a little indie band called The Connells. Oddly, I completely forgot about that record until one day in 2005 when I heard today’s song on an internet radio station, and it was as if I’d just heard it yesterday. […]

  2. […] Earlier I mentioned my time at online retailer w3cd.com, one of the most unique places I’ve ever worked. One reason was because of the phenomenal musicians who comprised the staff. Singer Talley Summerlin was among them. With his brothers and a childhood friend, he had been fronting a band in Arkansas called BE for a decade or so before I met him in ’99 and became a huge fan, going so far as to write a piece on them for the FW Weekly in 2000. […]

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