"Lyrics of Another Kind " - In conversation with Steve Hackett, and a track-by-track look at his recent "Blues With A Feeling" album. Interview by Alan Hewitt.

Well... something a little different this time, folks. During my most recent conversation with Steve, he gave me some of his thoughts on some of the individual tracks on the "Blues With A Feeling" album, and so I have decided to combine these thoughts with a reprint of the album's lyrics which were omitted from the CD booklet. I hope you find it interesting, take it away, Steve...

"Born In Chicago"... I had only heard one version of this when I decided to do it... It's a very aggressive song; not politically correct. It's about getting your rocks off and violence. It owes as much to Al Capone as it does to Sonny Boy Williams, and Chicago style Blues is the style of Blues that appeals to me most - the urbanised angst driven almost amphetamine driven style.

The next track was "The Stumble" and the first time I heard that was at Eel Pie Island when Peter Green was playing lead guitar with John Mayall, and he had stepped into Clapton's shoes which he actually found very difficult, as I found out later. To my friends and I he seemed as good as Clapton. One night at Eel Pie Island, it was the opening song of the set and I was wondering... "what is he doing to get that double note bit?", which is very hard to play, let me tell you! There is a version of that on an album called "A Hard Road" by John Mayall. I think the reason I did that one was that it was unusual as a Blues because instead of starting in a Blues E it actually starts in A which is a little bit different - a kind of a variation. It's a great Blues shuffle.

"Blues With A Feeling", I took the influence from the Paul Butterfield version of the track with wonderful harmonica playing from Paul Warley. I did what all Blues players do; you take a certain amount of what the master plays on and then embellish on it and sometimes you get variations on solos, sometimes you get the notes played that were never written, but were considered by players, that you really couldn't better. The other Blues song covered was "So Many Roads" by Otis Rush. Otis Rush is still out there doing it. It was the sadness of that song: I know all the songs are variations on "I can't find my baby" but to me it really sounded like when I first heard the original... it sounded almost funereal in pace, almost like a New Orleans funeral procession put to music. The guitar style on it was influenced by Peter Green - there's that thing that happens when you start playing very fast and the notes start to blur and you get that effect that I saw so many times at Eel Pie Island, which is watching a band where the guitarist will start to crank up on a slow Blues. It used to absolutely thrill me when somebody could pull this off, and I liken the experience to facing a wall of knives...

Many thanks to Steve and Billy Budis for their continued encouragement and generosity, and also for providing the lyrics via our American comrade: Bill Brink. I hope you find it interesting - AH.

Love Of Another Kind (Hackett)

The joint was jumping all the time
Something running through my mind
There was a pretty face on the floor
I stood there wondering if I could score

She said...

Too many people knocking on my door
When I answer they still want more
You look different from the other guys
A love of another kind

I walked her home, we talked all night
I never noticed the morning light
Maybe I changed, I can't quite say
I had to see her for another day

She said...

Too many people knocking on my door
When I answer they still want more
You look different from the other guys
A love of another kind

Now I see that girl all the time
Just to know she is mine
Can't you see that I'm a changed man
I see that girl whenever I can

She said...

Too many people knocking on my door
When I answer they still want more
You look different from the other guys
A love of another kind

Tombstone Roller (Hackett)

Eagle lands on my tombstone
Six feet under, Iím dead and gone
Said, someone dancing on your grave
Shake off the dust and live again

A hundred ways that a man can die
He come back if he really try
Said, sunlight on the waterís edge
Shake off the dust and live again

A new-born babe with an old manís face
Sleep all night and he cry all day
Blue-eyed boy how still he lay
Shake off the dust and live again

Love Of Another Kind (Marshall)

So many roads
So many trains to ride
So many roads
So many trains to ride
Iím gonna find my baby
Before Iíll be satisfied

I was standing at my window
When I heard that whistle blow
Standing at my window
When I heard that whistle blow
Well it sung like a straight line
But it was below

It was a mean old fireman
And a cruel old engineer
It was a mean old fireman
And a cruel old engineer
That took my baby
And left me standing here

Big Dallas Sky (Hackett/Sinclair/Colbeck/Degenhardt)

In all those deserted farms I searched for you
In the driving rain most nights feeling like a ghost
Moving unseen and through every street of dreams
Then I saw you one day laughing under that big Dallas sky

After you went away I thought Iíd never see your face again
Ships that pass in the night
Thought Iíd make my way up north, go get a steady job
Work with my hands if the occasion called

But the West Texas wind
Kept calling me back
Through China-town and up the East River
To that big Dallas sky

I knew Iíd find you in a bar some place
Pretending you never knew the stranger at the door
But the other customers were wise to that game
I knew youíd come running sooner or later

But not because of my sweet longing arms
And not because of the way I held you that night
But because of that big Dallas sky

Way Down South (Hackett)

Dreaming of the rose
I left behind
Staring at these four walls
Itís time to hitch a ride

Youíll find me way down south
Youíll find me way down south
Youíll find me

The cityís like a ghost town
They can all go to hell
One thought thatís with me
To see that Southern belle

You'll find me way down south
You'll find me way down south
You'll find me

Blue in the morning
My empty bed
Thatís why Iím going
Where angels fear to tread

You'll find me way down south
You'll find me way down south
You'll find me

Blues With A Feeling (Jacobs)

Blues with a feeling, thatís what I have today
Blues with a feeling, thatís what I have today
Iím gonna find my woman if it takes all night and day

What a lonesome feeling when youíre by yourself
What a lonesome feeling when youíre by yourself
When the one that youíre loving has run off with someone else

You know I love you baby
Tell you the reason why
Gone and left me, baby
Left me here to cry

Blues with a feeling, thatís what I have today
I will find my woman if it takes all night and day

What a lonesome feeling when you're by yourself
What a lonesome feeling when you're by yourself
When the one that you're loving has run off with someone else

You know I love you baby
Tell you the reason why
Gone and left me, baby
Left me here to cry

Blues with a feeling, thatís what I have today
I will find my woman if it takes all night and day

Solid Ground (Hackett/Colbeck/Sinclair/Degenhardt)

I see damage in your eyes
Are you taking me for a ride
Runs so deep, cuts so wide
An open wound deep inside

Put my feet on solid ground
Put my feet on solid ground

Feels like an earthquake cominí
When you give me all your loviní
Fall of the city when it comes
Hits me like a million tons

Put my feet on solid ground

You ask me to come back and then
Donít hold back and donít pretend
Gimme, gimme, gimme pain
Do it once and do it again

Put my feet on solid ground

Born In Chicago (Gravenites)

Well, I was born in Chicago back in 19 and 41
I was born in Chicago back in 19 and 41
Well, my father told me
Son, you had better get a gun!

Well, my first friend went down when I was 17 years old
Well, my first friend went down when I was 17 years old
Well, thereís one thing you can say Ďbout that, boy
He got gold

My second friend went down when I was 21 years old
Well, my second friend went down when I was 21 years old
Thereís one thing you can say Ďbout that, boy
He got bread

Well, the bluesís all right when thereís someone left to play the game
Well, the bluesís all right when thereís someone left to play the game
All my friends are going
And things just donít seem the same

No, things just donít seem the same, babe

All lyrics reproduced by kind permission.