Playing guitar on Solace by Held By Trees
About a half year ago I got an email from a gentle Englishman called David Joseph. I didn’t know him at the time.
He said he loved my album Deep Cycles and asked me if I wanted to participate on his music project Held By Trees. He was in the process of producing an “in the spirit” of Talk Talk album called Solace. With participations of musicians that played on the last two Talk Talk albums Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock and on the Mark Hollis solo album.
As you may know I’m a huge Talk Talk fan so I said yes before he could finish his sentence.He sent me a soundscape of waves hitting the beach and asked me to play something over it in the key of C#. That was it. No further instructions. Total freedom. Just like Talk Talk had on their last albums. Later that night I sat down, let the rhythm and the vibe of the waves sink in and started playing random stuff. I ended up with a melancholic chord progression that fitted my mood at the time.
I sent the file over and waited for a response… that didn’t come for a month or three. By that time I had almost forgotten about the whole project and thought I just hadn’t made the cut. Which didn’t surprising me considering all the famous artists that were playing on the record.
But then I got an email from David saying that he included my guitarpart in a song called Wave Upon Wave, together with parts of blues guitar legend Eric Bibb, bass player Simon Edwards and pianist Peter Moon. It sounded so soulful, delicate and coherent I could not believe all the parts were played in isolation without knowing what the others had played.
Another reason that the songs sounded sooo good was that they were mixed by the legendary Phill Brown who engineered/mixed Spirit of Eden, Laughing Stock and the soloalbum of Mark Hollis.
On April 22nd Solace was released an later that week it entered the UK Indie charts at #12. An incredible achievement for an independent release.
I can’t tell you how honoured and proud I feel to be a part of this beautiful project. Thanks David for asking me. You are a beautiful person and a very talented musician and producer.
You can order the album here https://mellotone.net/products/held-by-trees-pre-order
I hope you enjoy it.