Randy Bachman Sets George Harrison Tribute: Hear

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Singer-songwriter-musician Randy Bachman, of Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive fame, has announced the release of By George—By Bachman, a testimonial to George Harrison. Available March 16 via Universal Music, the album is preceded by the release of “Here Comes the Sun,” available as a free download along with the launch of the album’s pre-order.

Said Bachman about the album, “On Jukebox, the covers album I did with Burton Cummings back in 2007, I took ‘I’m Happy Just to Dance With You,’ which wasn’t written by George but written for him to sing, and put a whole new groove on it. People already knew the lyrics so I put it into a new musical context and it worked. For this album I figured I would take George’s songs and give them new grooves. I wanted the tempos and arrangements to be different but still recognizable by the lyrics. I took the major keys and turned them into minors. It was a whole new interpretation of a familiar song. I was quite excited about the prospect of re-imagining George Harrison’s songs.”

Listen to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” released on Feb. 16

Bachman began work on the project in March 2017, enlisting his band of nearly a decade: Marc LaFrance as co-producer/drummer, Mick Dalla-Vee on bass and keys and Brent Knudsen for additional guitars. Bachman and his band, according to a press release, “developed a process for creating demos for such time-tested material, reflecting the spirit of the source within their fresh approaches. Over weeks of back-and-forth, the songs took shape and indeed some of the demo recordings made it to the finished record.”

Here’s Bachman’s re-working of “Here Comes the Sun” from the album

Pre-order By George—By Bachman here.

Listen to Bachman and Burton Cummings’ 2007 cover “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You”

Related: Revisiting the Guess Who’s American Woman album

Randy Bachman

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” the album’s lead radio single, was one of the tracks that came together very quickly. “Bachman and his band took a tougher-flavored edge to the track, adding hard-driving drums, thumping bass, raging guitars, and lots of vocals, and later sent the song to well-known blues guitarist, Walter Trout, who added in some screaming guitar solos,” says the release.

In May 2017, recording began at Armoury Studios in Vancouver. The band lived with those first recordings for some months before returning to the studio in September to finish the album, this time at Calgary’s Studio Bell.

By George—By Bachman opens and closes with “Between Two Mountains,” a Bachman original written to tie the various elements together which comprise the album’s concept. In this song, Harrison’s position amidst the musical giants of Lennon and McCartney is acknowledged. “George’s light shone through what could have been a shadow between such mountainous forces as John and Paul,” says Bachman. “Love is forever, and George made certain that paramount sentiment endured throughout his work and life. His music and his example mean the world to me, and I hope I have honored that in a way that will resonate with people who, like me, are his fans and admirers.”

In addition, he says, “Throughout the album, I put in little signature licks that are associated with George’s songs, like the slide part from ‘My Sweet Lord’ or the opening chord from ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ for the fans to notice. Kind of like Easter Eggs.”

Tickets for Randy Bachman’s tour are available here and here.

Bachman kicked off celebrations of By George—By Bachman with a concert at the B.B. King Blues Club in New York City on Feb. 24, a day from what would have been George Harrison’s 75th birthday. The band then turns to Canada for a month of concerts, with more dates to be announced for spring and summer. For the complete list of confirmed 2018 tour dates, visit RandyBachman.com.

Watch Bachman and his band perform “Give Me Love” at B.B. King’s on Feb. 24

By George—By Bachman Track List

“Between Two Mountains”
“If I Needed Someone”
“You Like Me Too Much”
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
“Handle with Care”
“I Need You”
“Think for Yourself”
“Here Comes the Sun”
“Don’t Bother Me”
“Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”
“Between Two Mountains (Reprise)”

Watch Bachman perform “Takin’ Care of Business” at the Feb. 24 concert

Randy Bachman Tour Dates

3/2 — Huntsville, ON, Canada, Legacy Theatre – Deerhurst Resort
3/3 — Ottawa, ON, Canada, National Arts Centre – Southam Hall
3/5 — Sarnia, ON, Canada, Imperial Theatre
3/6 — Sarnia, ON, Canada, Imperial Theatre
3/7 — Peterborough, ON, Canada, Showplace Performance Centre
3/8 — Kitchener, ON, Canada, Centre in the Square
3/9 — Brampton, ON, Canada, Rose Theatre
3/13 — Victoria, BC, Canada, The Royal Theatre
3/15 — Nanaimo, BC, Canada, The Port Theatre
3/16 — Coquitlam, BC, Canada, Molson Canadian Theatre – Hard Rock Casino Vancouver
3/17 — Cranbrook, BC, Canada, Key City Theatre
3/19 — Calgary, AB, Canada, Bella Concert Hall – Mount Royal University
3/21 — Sherwood Park, AB, Canada, Festival Place
3/23 — Winnipeg, MB, Canada, Club Regent Event Centre
3/24 — Winnipeg, MB, Canada, Club Regent Event Centre
3/26 — Prince Albert, SK, Canada, E. A. Rawlinson Centre for the Arts
3/27 — Regina, SK, Canada, Casino Regina Showroom
4/28 — Visalia, CA, Visalia Fox Theatre
8/10 — Kelowna, BC, Canada, Rock the Lake – Waterfront Park
8/12 — Windsor, ON, Canada, Rock the Plaza – Windsor Plaza

Watch Randy Bachman explain how the Beatles came up with “that chord” in “A Hard Day’s Night”


Best Classic Bands Staff

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