songs : Chris Whitley
Produced : Chris Whitley
Year : 1986
Record co. : Antler
The story of A Noh Rodeo began in 1984 when guitarist-singer Chris
Whitley (born in Texas, raised in NY, started out in music by playing with Marc
Miller of Ambitious Lover, Arto Lindsay of the Lounge Lizards and Michael Beinhorn
of Material) was given a ticket to Belgium to do a few gigs over here. On his
meanderings in bars & clubs in and around Ghent, he met Hélène
Gevaert, whom he took with him to New York.
6 months later, the two of them returned to Belgium and started a band with Hélène's
brother Alan (a basplayer who had worked already with Kuruki,
Luc Bral, Roland & Kevin Ayers). The three of came
up with the name "Noh Rodeo" and started as a trio of guitar, percussion
and vocals. A bit later Dominique Persanne & William Seeuws were added to
the group on synth & percussion.
While Chris Whitley was doing all kinds of stuff in the Belgian
scene at the time (playing with 2 Belgen, Nacht
Und Nebel, Alan Fawn ...), they started looking for a record company for their
band, while building something of a live-reputation in and around Ghent. Since
they "wanted to become a commercial band", they signed with Antler and
released a first maxi in 1986, in a production by 2 Belgen's Rember De Smet "Love
Made". The band itself was not so pleased with the (over-)production of the
record ("it took much too long : six months! the end-result was totally
different from the initial demo-version. The groove that was in the song initially
has been completely lost" - they said in Mad in Belgium 3).
Immediately after, the band started recording what eventually
became a mini-LP with six new songs, released the same year as "Cool 'n Groovy"
on Antler Records. This time, the production was done by Chris Whitley himself,
aided by Herwig Duchateau (see Scooter, The
Machines ...). Although the quality of the work presented here was much better
(a cool mix of R&B with funk, ending up as a sort of mix between Japan &
Level 42 & the elements that would later be Whitley's solo music), the album
failed to make a big impact of any kind.
Chris Whitley went back to his solo career after A Noh Rodeo failed.
His breakthrough came in 1990, when he recorded the classic album "Living
With The Law" with Daniel Lanois & Malcolm Burn and went on from there
to become a somewhat eccentric bluesrocking singer-songwriter. He still is spotted
in Belgium on occasions (for instance : he played with dirk
Blanchart on Mindsurfin', introduced Zita Swoon
to producer Malcolm Burn, his daughter Trixie jumps on stage when he performs
in Ghent and is a "resident-DJ" at the SMAK-café in Ghent at
the age of 12 ...).
Alan Gevaert also continued in music, resurfacing from time to time (e.g. with
Twee Belgen, Arno's project
"Charles & The White Trash European Blues Connection).
Band members :
- Chris Whitley (vocals, guitar, drumcomputer)
- Alan Gevaert (bass, drumcomputer, backing vocals)
- Hélène Gevaert (backing vocals, percussion)
- Dominique Persanne (keyboards)
- Luis - assbender - Marquez (sax)
- William Seeuws (percussion)
- Love Made (Maxi, CNR, 1986)
- Cool 'n Groovy (MLP, Antler, 1986)
- Insane / The subterranian (single, Antler, 1986)
Buy CD's of this artist
Albums of Chris Whitley :
- Living With The Law (Sony, 1991)
- Din of Ecstacy (Sony, 1995)
- Terra Incongita (Sony, 1997)
- Dirt Floor (Messenger / Ulftone, 1998)
- Live At Martyr's (Messenger / Ulftone, 1999)
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