For the album, Burn With A Brighter Flame, released as Andy Parker & The Internationales, Andy teamed up with reggae master Andy Duncan on bass and Chris Bihlmaier on keyboards; Pedro Ortiz on percussion and the wonderful Julie Janet on vocals completed the line-up and they set out to make the album.
“Working in a band again is a whole weight off my mind, I can tell you. Someone else can help with the lifting!” he said at the time. “Since Duncan, Chris and I first played together, in another project a few years previously, we knew we worked well together and we soon quickly amassed a large body of work for the instrumental album. That’s obviously when the hard work starts, though, sifting the ideas to establish the themes and hooks while still trying to give a good performance on the guitar – not just a rendition. Sometimes a tune won’t sit right and when I finally go back to the first ‘outline’ recording, it has so much more swing than where I’ve sat it squarely on the beat. Start again…”
“Being back again with Andy Duncan (also on Tranquille) has been great – we go back from time really, to my early studio days. Him and Chris click together really well and generate so many ideas between them. For the album, Julie Janet generously helped us sort out a few vocal ideas where the sound of a voice just set off the tunes with the right counterpoint. With the addition of the ever wonderful Pedro Ortiz on percussion, whose presence has been invaluable right back to the Coolwater sessions, the album started to find its level.”
Two of the standout tracks are long. All are over 5m, but Skipping Over Damaged Areas clocks in at nearly 9m 30s and Duncan’s Blues strolls off past 11m 30s. Phew! Why so long?
“They took a bit of time to settle!. Actually, they always were long but we shortened them. It’s been an experience trying to develop the longer work, as it has mostly taken a different route from the other tracks. We can approach the palette differently, if you like. They take you on a journey, that’s the idea: an element of soundscape, riding along on a progression…
“We’ve kept that cool, bluesy feel but with a latin groove alongside it – it’s still a mood music, stuff that you listen to when you come home and kick your shoes off, but it repays closer listening. It’s probably not march-about-in-boots music, other people do that better! ‘Stoner’ would be one of the categories I’d put it under, but CDBaby doesn’t have that! Play it Loud, Play it Proud and Play it through something with a bottom end…not crappy computer speakers!”