years after their final Columbia records release, 1968s The
Ark, British invasion pop legends Chad & Jeremy return with
ARK-eology. An 18 cut CD that revisits classic tracks from
their most famous 60s releases including milestone albums The
Ark and Of Cabbages & Kings as well as chart topping
'60s pop classics like Summer Song and Before And
After. For years Chad Stuart has lived in Idaho and from his
home studio comes this fine return to form. Commenting on the CD,
TBO Records owner Bob Heinlein adds, 'This
album isn't just a re-recorded greatest hits. I think it stands alone
as a definitive showcase of the Chad & Jeremy sound and what it
represents from the beginning. For some reason, I think that no matter
how many years it took to finish, that now is the time for it to appear.
It sounds so fresh and alive that it defies time. The best Chad &
Jeremy album ever!' Given
a chance, those under 40 might actually appreciate ARK-eology
as much as early C&J fans from the 60s who are now in their
own 60s! Commenting on returning for this recording with Jeremy
Clyde, Chad adds, It feels good to have my old mate back in
the picture after all these years. Welcome back Jeremy Clyde.
CHAD STUART SPEAKS ABOUT THE NEW CHAD & JEREMY
Q: Why ARK-eology. Why now?
CS: Before we embarked on a new album with new songs, it was important
to set the record straight as far as our catalogue was concerned.
We've had seven albums released over the years and none of this catalogue
is available for down-load. Personally, I'm glad that's the case!
With the possible exception of the last two Columbia albums, the old
recordings don't stand up today. They just don't. They were created
in what Jeremy calls the dark ages of recording, an era when we were
hustled into the studio by our elders and betters and expected to
come up with an album in a ridiculously short space of time with no
leeway to second guess, re-record or question whether or not a particular
track was good enough to be included in the first place. It was a
race against the clock, hardly an ideal way to come up with a hit,
much less a recording that would stand the test of time. ARK-eology
was recorded at home at our own pace. It took a while but so what?
It's here now. We called it ARK-eology because 2008 is the
40th anniversary of the release of our last Columbia album, The
Q: What exactly is ARK-eology? Is it a greatest hits album?
CS. No. Absolutely not. Sure, the hits are on there, but there's actually
eighteen tracks. It's an anthology, a trip down memory lane for anyone
who may have bought some of these albums. There's two or three of
our favorite cuts from each one. It's a sentimental journey in a way,
recorded with a more contemporary mindset. I had the benefit of working
in my own studio with much more sophisticated gear and with no union
engineers and no big clocks on the wall. I feel like a race horse
who can finally run around the pasture at his own pace!
Q: Are the arrangements radically different?
CS: In some cases yes, but we didn't tinker with the hits too much.
Our current philosophy is that less is more. If you respect the song,
you don't need to bury it in all sorts of ear candy. In the early
days, we were in the hands of the system where the arranger would
come in and arrange, the producer would produce, all the players would
play and you just sort of hoped that something halfway decent would
come out of it all. More often than not it was some sort of compromise.
Too many cooks.
Q: But now it's different.
CS: Absolutely. It's just us, warts and all!
Q: Can you describe the process for us?
CS: When it's a Jeremy song, we like to hang out together and basically
play with just two guitars until we've found a nice groove and some
sort of routine. Eventually I'll record him with just guitar and vocal
and a shaker track to keep it all together. Then I'll usually get
him to redo the guitar part and the vocal so we've got more control
over the ingredients. After that, I'll play some lead guitar, do my
vocal part and then add piano or bass and drums if that's what it
needs. Then Jeremy comes back in for more vocal overdubs and percussion.
When it's one of my songs, I tend to build up the tracks first and
get Jeremy to overdub his parts later.
Q: So why are you and Jeremy performing together again after all these
CS: Because we can! No, seriously folks, it's because Jeremy came
back and said he really missed the music. He's not the first actor
to have a musical background, but he's one of the lucky ones in the
sense that he had a bunch of hit records under his belt. Over the
years, I tried to get get all sorts of musical projects going in his
absence, with not much luck. He tried a few over in England with a
similar lack of success. In the end, PBS television started the ball
rolling with the "Pop Rock Reunion" in 2003. Not a very
promising title, but it served to get us back in front of the fans.
Q: Was it an amazing experience for you?
CS. Absolutely. Neither of us was ready for the standing ovation and
the teary eyed reception after "Summer Song."
Q: So did that show open the door for a whole new career?
CS. Yes, it did, but what that career was going to be was a bit of
an open question. Neither one of us wanted to slog around the country
serving up a deja vu experience, but that's exactly what happened
for the first year with the wrong management and the wrong agency.
We dropped them both like a hot brick and spent 2005 searching for
an agent. Stephan Boyd at ICON Performing Arts stepped up to the plate
and we started doing our own two hour show in 2006. Just the two of
us, singing songs, telling stories and doing that "evening with"
thing. All I say to a promoter is give us a grand piano, an oriental
rug and some guitar stands and we'll do the rest!
Q: So how would you describe your show as it is now?
CS: It's hard to put it into one sentence. We started with the premise
that we've grown up, our audience has grown up and we're not about
to cram ourselves into tight leather trousers and pretend that we're
stuck in our late twenties. (Some of our contemporaries are still
doing that, with mixed results!) Our audience has a lot of miles on
the odometer, just as we have. We all have the same problems and challenges.
Jeremy and I are no different than any other entertainers, except
for the fact that we had some hit records back in the day. That's
a bonus, but it it's not enough to give our audience their money's
worth. There's got to be some genuine communication going on. Not
only that, but our chops have improved over the years. Jeremy as an
actor and myself as a music teacher, we've kept up the old skills
and hopefully improved on them.
Q: What's next on the horizon?
CS: Now that we've got the anthology CD out of the way, the next challenge
is an album of new songs. This is an important milesone for us, obviously.
It's long overdue and we both have a backlog of material. It's going
to be quite a challenge deciding what to include and what to banish
to the bottom drawer!
Q: When can we expect that to be released?
CS: Probably the summer of 2009. My plan is an album a year until
I can't do it any more. There are several candidates backed up in
the wings. Songs from the Back Porch, C&J Live at the
Liberty, The Other Side Of Stuart & Clyde, Jeremy's
solo album, my solo album, my children's CD - there's a lot of stuff
waiting to be born. And let's not forget the DVD of our life story.
I'm not sure when that's coming out.
Q: Do you sometimes think that you're perhaps too old for all this?
CS: Never! We're very blessed that we can have another chance. It
keeps you young, or at least thinking young, which is more than half
the battle. Anyway, our audience is growing older with us. We'll all
go together when we go!