"Seen it All"
53 sec. - 104 Kb.
song : Carol van Dyk, Pascal Deweze
Producer : Pascal Deweze
Year : 2001
Record co. : Palomine
Chitlin' Fooks was an idea that started in the head of Fred Maessen,
former head of the indie record firm Brinkman (a dutch label that housed quite
a bit of Belgian bands, such as Metal Molly, Nemo,
Thou, Evil Superstars
...), now manager of a number of acts (Bettie Serveert, Mauro
...). For it was he who heard in the "twang" of the voices of Pascal
Deweze (Metal Molly, Mitsoobishy
Jacson, Sukilove) and Carol Van Dyk (the singer of dutch band Bettie
Serveert) a kind of "country potential". When these two were singing
in the studio together for the Bettie Serveert album "Palomine", the
idea also caught on in their head. More definite plans to try and record something
together were made during the festival de Nachten in January 2001.
When they both had confessed a "secret love" for old country, they
quickly found a number of covers they could do (Gram Parsons, Jimmie Rodgers,
Gary Walker, Washington Philips). Turned out that both Carol and Pascal had some
songs lying around that didn't quite fit in to the concept of their indierockerbands
Bettie Serveert and Metal Molly, but did fit in totally within the idea of a country-band.
Once they had laid down "concept" of it all, they also quickly came
up with some new songs. All this meant that the first plans for a small EP quickly
took on bigger forms. Pascal told De Standaard that all this took almost no effort:
"We didn't have to invent a genre for this. We accepted all the cliché's
that come with the genre. The two-part vocals, the song structure, the lyrics
and the melodies all came by itself. We just had to follow our hearts."
Other musician that Pascal Deweze involved into the project, were pianist Guy
Van Nueten (The Sands, Daan
...), bass-player Pieter van Buyten (Marjan
Debaene, The Kids, Flip Kowlier
...) and drummer Stoffel Verlackt (Flowers for Breakfast,
El Tattoo del Tigre ...). After one or two try-outs
in the region of Antwerp, the recordings took place in the experimental home-studio
of Guy van Nueten, in which they recorded 12 songs in only 3 days (of which 11
made it onto the album). Some days later, the fifty year old pedal-steel guitarist
Jeff Marinus did some overdubs, and Herbert Lanckhorst (of Das
Pop) added some string arrangements and did a bit of mandolin here and there.
The title-less CD was released in May, and remarkeably enough first in the
United States on the Parasol/Hidden Agenda, so that Pascal and Carol could do
some promo-gigs along the East-Side of the States. The reaction to their "low
countries americana" were almost unanymously positive in that homeland of
the genre. Comparisons with Loretta Lynn, Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris were
often made, and especially the way the vocals of Pascal and Carol worked together
did get quite some praising words. E.g. "Chitlin' Fooks are a self-coined
"quarter past country" band that like the best love songs
sound as dated as they sound timeless. ... The solemn, by-the-numbers covers of
Gram Parsons and Washington Phillips understandably give the album an age-old
sound, but it's the duo's originals that truly make Chitlin' Fooks' sound so stunningly
out of its time. Immersing themselves in old Dolly and Loretta before recording,
van Dyk and Deweze laid down some striking harmonies and classic-sounding country
that immediately recall the '60s duets of Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra."
In Belgium and Holland, the release of the debut CD didn't come until the end
of the summer (late August), when the band could present to a big audience on
the alternative Pukkelpop festival. After that, they took it on a tour of some
30 dates in the low countries.
Whether this Chitlin' Fooks side-project is a "to be continued"-story,
Pascal said "Just as in the past with Mitsoobishy
Jacson for example, this project just takes the time it is supposed to take,
and then everybody returns to their own ways. We'll just see when the time is
right for everybody to do a sequel to it.", but as both Metal Molly and
Bettie Serveert have now taken one or more "sabbatical years" a next
Chitlin' Fooks CD is certainly well within the possibilities.
- Carol Van Dyck (vocals, guitar)
- Pascal Deweze (vocals, guitar)
- Guy Van Nueten (piano, organ)
- Pieter van Buyten (bass)
- Stoffel Verlackt (drums)
Buy CD's of this band at
- Chitlin' Fooks (Palomine Records / PIAS, 2001) Singles :
- Not Enough Tears / Seen it All (Palomine/PIAS, 2001 - promo-only)
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