The first images you think of when you hear Dave Loveland’s music are the peaceful vibes of the breezy guitar instrumental music from way back in the 1960s. Those sounds will surely remind listeners of the innocence of American groups like The Ventures and the iconic Duane Eddy and, from over in England, The Shadows. In fact, back in the 1960s, Dave Loveland was a member of several instrumental guitar bands in his native England. Leaving England and emigrating to Australia in 1976, Dave carved out a career as a musician and music teacher in the land Downunder.
Dave’s long awaited solo album, Dangerous Rhythm is a superb return to form and a very easy on the ears set of guitar instrumentals that will surely inspire the listener with an array of electric guitar influences like Hank Marvin of the Shadows and country jazz guitar legend Chet Atkins to name a couple greats from the golden era of the guitar. Drawing on his repertoire of 400 originals, Dave selected a dozen Loveland classics for Dangerous Rhythm. Highlights abound with killer tracks like “Peruvian Strut”, “I Never Thought This”, “Blue Horizon” as well as the fantastic lead-off title track “Dangerous Rhythm”.
Released on CD in 2022, Dangerous Rhythm is an elegant and breezy sounding showcase for Dave Loveland’s memorable instrumental compositions and his dazzling guitar style. On the album, Dave also receives some fleet-fingered assistance from his two sons Toby Loveland (acoustic rhythm guitar and acoustic solos) and Barney Loveland (bass). Music fans tuned into the Australian influence on the contemporary global instrumental pop-rock genre will totally bask in the glow of Dave Loveland’s Dangerous Rhythm. Contact Dave Loveland.
mwe3.com presents a new interview with
mwe3: Can you tell us were you’re from originally and how and when you ended up living in Australia? How would you compare growing up in England with life in Australia? Lots of great guitarists in the land down under. Where in Australia are you? I know Hank Marvin lives there too right?
Dave Loveland: I spent my teenage years in Dartford, Kent. I lived opposite Mick Jagger and we played together as kids but have not seen him in many years. I played guitar and bass guitar in and around London and toured France and Sweden, even playing at a hotel in Kiruna, Sweden - 200 kilometers north of the arctic circle where the Laplanders live. I recorded many BBC radio music programs with The Frank Stafford piano trio and did various recording sessions.
In 1976 my wife and I emigrated to Brisbane, Australia. My wife was from Brisbane so it was fairly easy getting established in Australia, I was teaching and playing gigs almost immediately. I am so very fortunate to have come to Australia as I have never looked back, it's a great country to live and work in. Hank Marvin lives in Perth where he has a Manouche band and his recording studio.
mwe3: Did you study music when you were younger and when did you start on guitar? How many guitars do you have these days, what make of guitars are on your album and what strings and amps do you like to play?
Dave Loveland: I only found the guitar at age 15 and to begin with taught myself with the help of Bert Weedon's guitar tutor ''Play In A Day'', a somewhat optimistic title, and playing along with records. There was very little guitar music available at that time, so thank you The Shadows, Duane Eddy and Judd Proctor for getting published some single sheet music. I loved Barney Kessel's LP's but had no idea of the chords used or the style, so a huge thank you to Mickey Baker for writing his Jazz Guitar Book 1 and 2 which were total eye openers at the time.
Later on I studied music theory and classical guitar and passed several exams. Guitars used on the Dangerous Rhythm CD are a 1980's Squire Stratocaster made in Japan, a custom shop hot pink Jaguar, a Fender USA Telecaster, a vintage Chet Atkins Gretsch, an Eric Clapton signature Martin acoustic and a Fender reissue Jazz bass.
I use D'Addario 095 strings on my electrics and 0.10 to 0.47 D'Addario phosphor bronze on acoustics. My amps are a trusty old Roland JC 77 and a reissue Fender Deluxe Amp. All the recordings were done playing through a Korg A3 effects unit into the mixing desk. The Martin acoustic was recorded using a valve microphone.
mwe3: Before you left for Australia you performed with then future Shadows bassist Alan Jones in the Homegrown Rhythm & Blues band. What are some of your musical memories of those days? Do you still keep in touch with Alan Jones? Alan played bass guitar on my favorite Shadows album Life In The Jungle, from 1982.
Dave Loveland: Alan and I played in The Homegrown Rhythm & Blues band along with drummer Bobby Dodsworth, now a well-known jazz and big band drummer in Great Britain, and various rhythm guitarists and an organist plus singer/ harmonica player Arthur. As well as plenty of blues gigs and weddings we played warm up band for The Animals several times. We always played "House Of The Rising Sun" just before they came on stage which at the time they had stopped playing, so they had to play it in their set.
One time whilst we were packing up, Alan Price the Animals organist was playing some great jazz on a grand piano and Alan Jones who had a very dry sense of humor went up to him and said "I think we can use you in our band" to which Alan Price took no notice at all but kept playing. Obviously no sense of humor.
When The Shadows played at Twin Towns, on the Gold Coast the first time in the 1980's, Alan and I had lunch together, I had not seen him since the 1960's, it was a great reunion. I met the Shadows and they all signed the cover of their first LP which I took to the concert. I still have it, a treasured possession. At the end of the concert Alan gave my son Barney the pick he used during the concert. I might add this was the first live concert my boys went to. Alan giving Barney his pick started him playing bass guitar - probably seeing Alan playing a great bass solo in “Nivram” might well have influenced him also!
Alan and I played “Nivram” with the Homegrown Rhythm and Blues band, I played both guitar parts at once. I lost touch with Alan until recently when we exchanged letters and I was able to tell Alan that because he gave Barney his pick, Barney is now a very accomplished bass guitarist and double bass player in Melbourne, Australia. He plays bass in the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) bands and plays many gigs in Melbourne. I have just learnt that Alan is coming for a holiday in June 2024 and is coming to the Gold Coast. I am hoping that he will come up to Brisbane and record a couple of tracks with my sons and me in my studio.
mwe3: Growing up in the UK in the 1960s must have been great. Who were some of your favorite guitarists, bands and albums from decades past?
Dave Loveland: Back then my favorites were Hank Marvin and The Shadows, Duane Eddy, The Ventures, Joe Brown, Judd Proctor, Chet Atkins and my very favorite, Les Paul and a whole lot of British instrumental bands. A few years ago before he sadly passed away, Phil Emmanuel, Tommy Emmanuel's brother, very kindly came along to a "Brisbane Shadows Club" meeting and played with some of the members. During an interview with the club secretary he said what a shame that today’s young guitarists are not able to hear and be influenced by those guitarists we listened to in the late 1950's and early 60's, with all the solid melodic melodies. Much of today’s music is sadly lacking in melodic content.
After I had been learning the guitar for a few weeks my father bought home some LP's that had water damaged covers, they just happened to be LP's of Barney Kessel, Jim Hall, Charlie Byrd and other American jazz guitarists. My eyes were opened, I was in love with jazz guitar from that moment on. As for favorite albums, The Shadows first album with “Nivram” on it, The Ventures Walk Don't Run album, Duane Eddy Especially For You, Barney Kessel Easy Like Vol 1, Jim Hall Good Friday Blues, Les Paul and Mary Ford Time To Dream, Chet Atkins Teensville and Wes Montgomery Tequila. I still have all these albums.
mwe3: Is Dangerous Rhythm your first solo album? What inspired you to record the album? I learned that you have a repertoire of over 400 instrumentals that you have composed, so how did you bring that number to an even dozen on your album?
Dave Loveland: Although recording bands and projects since the late 1960's, this is my first solo album. Having taught guitar and bass guitar for many years, I wrote original guitar arrangements for my school guitar ensembles and often recorded the pieces for students to practice with. Some of the CD tunes come from those recordings, others came about from me recording backing tracks to use on stage. Once I had decided to produce a solo album, I just added the lead parts and some acoustic rhythm and solos from my son Toby. I now have around 500 instrumentals in Finale music writing program.
mwe3: What was the process in recording the tracks on Dangerous Rhythm? Also tell us something else about recording with your sons, Toby and Barney. What instruments did they add to the album and was anyone else involved in the album, who did the album artwork and liner notes about your early history?
Dave Loveland: I have my own studio which includes a Helios mixing desk (10CC, Ginger Baker and the Rolling Stones’ mobile studio were Helios desks), a Tascam 16 track, 1 inch tape deck and many auxiliary effects units. On most tracks I start by recording a drum track, then bass guitar, then rhythm guitar and finally the lead guitar parts. As I had to record acoustic guitar with a pickup, I had my son Toby replace some of the rhythm parts using my Eric Clapton signature Martin recorded with a valve microphone. The same for his solos.
The tune "Blue Horizon" was recorded when my son Barney was in Brisbane, some years ago, with him on bass guitar, Toby on rhythm guitar and a live drummer. The great art work was produced by a longtime friend Julian, of Julian Whittaker Design. He is currently doing the art work for a CD I am producing of old tracks of "The Friendship League" a band I was in from 1969 to 1974. Record companies in London were very interested in the band but, sadly and frustratingly, nothing ever eventuated. A radio DJ, Hampus Gunnarsson in London, recently picked up an EP record we put out ourselves back in early 1970. So I thought it was time to try again.
mwe3: The lead-off track on Dangerous Rhythm is the title track. It has a Shadows influence on it yet it also has a trace of Latin-influenced fusion too. Are there multiple guitars including acoustic guitar? Even the electric guitar sounds overdriven and overdubbed especially when it’s played loud. What sound effects / pedals are you using on that track?
Dave Loveland: I composed the first A minor to A major part of the tune during a break in guitar lessons at a school, the rest followed on at home. The tune was written for students to play in a combined school guitar orchestra of some 50 players. My son Toby and I ran a guitar festival each year combining the different schools we were teaching in. My son Toby did the drum track and I did the rest with my Fender Squire Japanese Strat, Fender Jazz bass and Gibson acoustic. I often record several rhythm tracks. The lead part is recorded separately from the harmony part with the Korg A3 effects unit.
mwe3: Speaking of the Latin influence on Dangerous Rhythm, on “Mexican Trip” it’s very clear. Does the song have a kind of early 1960s melody? Another track with overdubbed guitars, the song has a kinder, gentler sound to it.
Dave Loveland: I started with the idea of a Latin American piece with simple chords. As for the melody it comes from playing around on the fingerboard whilst thinking of the chord sequence. If I hear something I like I write it down. I don't think about whether it is from a particular era, it is purely what comes out of my mind and fingers at the time. After the drums and bass were recorded, my son Toby recorded one rhythm guitar track and his solo and I played the lead melody.
mwe3: “Blue Sands” has a kind of Australia music influence on it. There’s also a twangy sitar-guitar sound in between the other guitar sounds.
Dave Loveland: This was a more complicated arrangement with seven parts in total for a guitar ensemble. I started with the bass line thinking of desert sands in the East and with Arabian type discordant sounds in the melody. I used my Sitar guitar for the sitar sounding solo which I felt was in keeping with the mood of the piece.
mwe3: “Peruvian Strut” is one of your best melodic arrangements. Have you been to Peru? I haven’t but I know they must have a musical culture. Is that song Shadows inspired? It’s very languid yet very melodic but it doesn’t sound very Latin. It's surely on of your best tracks.
Dave Loveland: I write so many tunes that my biggest problem is finding titles for them. In many cases the title of the tune comes last but hopefully evokes something of the sound of the piece. I felt that this tune had a South American feel to it, hence the title. I have not been to Peru or anywhere in South America but have always loved their rhythms and melodies. None of my tunes are really inspired by The Shadows or other instrumental groups other than I grew up listening to those groups and I guess it rubbed off on me.
mwe3: “I Never Thought This” has a kind of Duane Eddy vibe, played on the silver strings. Maybe a Mark Knopfler edge to it or maybe, you’re just a total original in your own right but to my ears it also evokes the early 1960s to a tee.
Dave Loveland: This has a very definite history. I was staying with friends in the country and at night I was looking out the window at the beautiful Australian country side with a thousand twinkling stars, so much clearer away from the city, and thinking how incredible my journey in music had been, finally bringing me to Australia and the view from the window. The next day I wrote "I Never Thought This".
Dave Loveland: “Blue Horizon” goes back quite a few years and was recorded with my sons and a drummer friend along with 15 other tunes all in one day. The session was quite memorable as in between recording, my son Barney was organizing to fly to America the next day to join one of the American Boat Lines ships to take the place of a bass player who had to urgently return to Melbourne to a sick family member. I used my reissue gold top Les Paul with P90 pickups.
Tommy Emmanuel has lived in America for some years now. I remember talking to Tommy and Phil after The Shadows concert in the late 1980's. They were great fans and sat in the front row. Tommy told me that he had gone as far as he could go in Australia and was headed for America, a wise move as look at where is now. I used to watch him and his brother Phil playing at a local pub back in the 1980's. All the local guitar players, including a young Keith Urban, sat in chairs around the small stage picking up ideas and licks, we all knew we were watching two giants of the guitar.
mwe3: Do you call it “Hopping Around” because you borrow from different genres? I hear a Hawaiian sound on that track, like a visit to some of the islands of the South Pacific.
Dave Loveland: Unfortunately, none of those reasons, but let’s imagine it was because they would be much more romantic! Again it came from my usual fiddling about on the fingerboard. I find that using different guitars often stimulates a new melody, especially when I buy a new one.
mwe3: Track 8 on Dangerous Rhythm, “Rain In The Hills” has its own video, where did you film that? It has a definite Sandals / Duane Eddy vibe. You feature your custom Strat guitar on that track. Tell us about your guitar as seen in the video. It’s a very haunting song indeed, with the melody most played on the lower notes? Where was the video filmed and is that the only featured video from the album?
Dave Loveland: The vibes for this tune came from watching the rain bucket down on distant hills during one of our big wet seasons. I was staying with the same friends up country, mentioned previously. Although the video shows me playing my Fender Master Built hybrid, I used a Japanese Ventures signature Stratocaster with Lace Sensor pickups and the Eric Clapton mid boost. Craig Ritter, a good friend, filmed the video on his 50 acre forest property in Maleny, Queensland.
mwe3: Track 9, “Remembering Bazza” is upbeat, much different from “Rain In The Hills”. It almost has a kind of country music twang on it.
Dave Loveland: This has a very interesting story to it. A dear friend of mine Barry, Bazza to his mates, that I had played many country gigs with was in hospital in a coma. He had instructed his brother that if this happened they should let him go. I was in Townsville staying with friends and at 5pm on Saturday I decided to write a tune for him. Bazza was a bit of a lad and a real Aussie guy, so the tune was written with his character in mind. When I returned home to Brisbane I found out that they had let Bazza go at 5pm on the Saturday just as I was writing "Remembering Bazza". Some things in life are a bit more than coincidental.
mwe3: Tell us something about “Moving Clouds”. It’s a very peaceful track. There’s also some acoustic guitar parts too and a nice guitar break after the one minute mark. That track is a good showcase for you and your son Toby on acoustic.
Dave Loveland: "Moving Clouds " is another of my fiddling around melodies. Toby played the acoustic rhythm and some really great solos, as in the rest of the CD the solos were all first takes. Toby is a very fine musician and plays many instruments, he plays in the pit band for most of the musicals at QPAC, the main concert hall here in Brisbane and teaches at Tafe during the day. The DNA continues to my grandson Archie, who at 11 years of age can play anything and does professional gigs. It's a real bugger when your son plays better than you then your grandson as well!
Dave Loveland: "Cool Groove" was written for the "Guitar Festival" combined ensembles mentioned before. It is a question and answer piece, if you listen on headphones you can clearly hear the question in one ear and the answer in the other. When the tune was played at the Guitar Festival, one section of the guitarists played the question on the left side and right side players the answer, it was a lot of fun. As it was written for a guitar ensemble there are melody harmony parts.
mwe3: Dangerous Rhythm ends on a kind of prog-rock guitar instrumental called “Changing”. The guitars are more overdriven on this track. Does the track reflect another side of your guitar instrumental sound? Do you like this heavier side to your music or is variety the spice of life, at least musically!
Dave Loveland: I started with the drum pattern then the arpeggio guitar part, next came the melody which began as improvisation but finally morphed into a solid melody and a dedicated solo, the bass came last. The whole tune was recorded on a 4 track Roland mini recorder, it's amazing what can be done on these. I don't play a lot of distortion guitar, recording or on stage, it's not really my thing. I leave that to my grandson Archie. It should be noted that my son Barney did the mastering of all the numbers on the CD in his studio in Melbourne and a great job he did making everything sound really alive.
mwe3: Tell us about some of the other songs in your repertoire that you haven’t recorded yet. Will you release another instrumental guitar album in the coming months?
Dave Loveland: I already have made a list of possible tunes for a second CD. I play through new tunes with my student Lucas Fisher, whom I have taught for over 15 years and now teaches my grandson Archie, and if I and my student think the tune is a winner I make a note of it, building up the list of ‘possibles’. When I get round to recording them is anybody’s guess. On the next CD, as well as my son I will get my grandson Archie to play a couple of solos - should be interesting!
mwe3: What are some of your future plans?
Dave Loveland: As I still really enjoy playing live, recording and composing, my only plan is to keep doing it as long as the fingers keep going and most importantly the brain connects with the fingers.