Behind The Record - For The Newly Blue


I was at loose ends.

Having written and recorded three previous albums that were clearly purpose driven... the beat-group styled Rainy Decade, a decidedly jazz flavoured Code Red and the Phoenix-centric Valley Of The Sun... I began this new album staring at a blank canvas with no particular agenda. So I simply started writing tunes and recording them, threw a lot of it away then wrote and recorded others. Two of them, Softly Come September and Russe Roulette, got their starts back in 2010 while on tour with Mark Knopfler. Over the next couple of years, some were hatched in various hotel rooms around the world or studio lounges on breaks during recording sessions. Many came about on the living room couch, guitar in hand, TV on, sound off.

I sat down one evening several months before the completion of this record to quietly listen and assess the stack of recordings I'd made... take a good hard look at exactly what it was all about. Or wasn't. A night of reckoning, something that must be done on the home stretch of any album and a hard pill to swallow if things aren't holding up. You immediately find the weak spots, the hairline cracks, any half-cocked writing and all the gaping holes in your precious record. You can choose to ignore them or you can roll up your sleeves and get back to work. I had more work to do. The album would need another couple of tunes to get it over the finish line. Still, I was pleased that most of the music and the recordings held water.

However, what was really troubling me as I looked over the titles of each song was how downcast they were, even when the music wasn't. I began thinking about re-christening a few things, putting a rosier face on them, but as I listened through again it dawned on me that there was something going on here. This was moody music, even the upbeat tunes left a bittersweet aftertaste. I decided to leave the titles alone, not change a word.

One of the first tunes recorded for this album was Your New Blue World. On that evening of reckoning many months later it suddenly became clear to me. All along this record had been shaping up to be a soundtrack for that new blue world... for the displaced, the disappointed and the disillusioned. For the lost and the lonely. For the newly blue.

Richard Bennett - 2013