Ollabelle Talk About Selected Tracks From Neon Blue Bird
"One More Time" (written by Glenn Patscha)
“I really like this song, which Glenn based on a story he heard on [NPR show] ‘This American Life’ about a man who went from town to town reinventing himself, starting new families and becoming an entire new entity.” (Fiona McBain)
“I feel like this song is such a great pairing of compelling storyline and melody. We love George Jones in this band and this song really captures our take on that honky–tonk feel of his classic stuff.” (Tony Leone)
“Dirt Floor” (written by Chris Whitley, arranged by Glenn Patscha)
“A few years back, I was working on a Lizz Wright record with producer Craig Street and he had suggested that she cut the song. Lizz was thinking that it was too dark for that particular album.
“But when we were rehearsing for that record, ‘Dirt Floor’ simply clobbered me. I didn't think that just trying to mimic [Chris Whitley] was enough: I wanted to rearrange the song so that it would be very personal for us.
“Whenever I would play it, I kept on hearing this guitar riff whenever I would drop–D tune the guitar. I almost don't feel responsible for this riff or this arrangement: It showed up and I played it. I hope that Chris would’ve liked our version. It is truly an honest attempt to honor him.” (Glenn Patscha)
“Brotherly Love” (written by Byron Isaacs)
“I love this song, just because it’s such a badass tune and has such a great drive and pas¬sion in it!” (Amy Helm)
“Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes” (written by Taj Mahal, arranged by Tony Leone)
“Around the time we started this record, I hosted a tribute night to one of my favorite musicians, Taj Mahal. Some friends of mine played this tune and it stuck with me. While we were recording up in Athens it just came to me one morning. At that point there weren’t any tunes I was singing lead on.
“So I woke up, figured out the chords, showed it to Byron, got Amy to play drums and we cut it in, I think, two or three takes. The only difference was that we brought the key down and I cut the phrasing in half on the bridge. Let’s just say I was moving a little slower that morning than I was the night before!” (Tony Leone)
“When I Remember to Forget” (written by Fiona McBain)
“This is an old song of Fiona’s and it brings me back to a time when we all first met [in 2001]. Things were just getting going for Ollabelle and there was a certain electricity that was happening from the newness of it all. We didn't even have a name! Plus, it’s just such a beautiful tune and I love the arrangement with the saxophones [played by Amy Helm’s husband Jay Collins]. Fiona’s performance is gorgeous.” (Tony Leone)
“Swanee River” (“Old Folks At Home”) (written by Stephen Foster, arranged by Glenn Patscha)
“‘Swanee River’ is a song that everyone has planted in their subconscious – I wanted to turn it upside down. Originally, it was written from the perspective of a slave who’s left the plantation and is longing for the people and the place that he left behind. Or so I’d been told.
“I wanted to deconstruct ‘Swanee River’ so that it was written in the voice of that same person. In my mind, however, the people and the place that person is missing are the ones he’s only ever heard about as legend. It’s a dream of a true home, a longing for true freedom.” (Glenn Patscha)
“If pressed, I'd have to say ‘Swanee River’ is my favorite track on this record. It just really moves me in a way I cannot describe. Glenn’s vocal is so warm and fragile, it just kills me.” (Byron Isaacs)