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  • The Sound Cafe

A Conversation With Lachy Doley


By Ken Wallis.



Lachy Doley is an amazing musician who can sit down at a keyboard and mesmerize an audience. Not only does he have a new recording out, he’s also recently recorded on Joe Bonamassa’s upcoming album. And, to top it off, Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) has hand-picked him to play keyboards in his band for Waters’ upcoming ‘This is Not a Drill’ US tour.


Ken Wallis interviewed Lachy Doley for the radio show Blues Source International which airs on Blues & Roots Radio Worldwide and The Hawk FM. The following are excerpts from that interview.



Ken Wallis

He's been called the greatest living keyboard player in the world today. He's dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond organ, I like to call him Jerry Lee Lewis on steroids. This guy is amazing, all the way from Australia, Lachy Doley is joining us and all I've got to say about your new album is holy moly Doley, it is great. Thanks for coming on the show !


Lachy Doley

Oh, thanks for having me on again, a pleasure.


Ken Wallis

It's a great album and it's basically a live album. Tell us about the recording of it.


Lachy Doley

Well it all happened really fast actually. I went in to do a session for a great guitar player called Ray Beadle. It was at 301 and there was going to be an audience involved and I thought, oh this sounds interesting. So I did that with Ray and it turned out so great that I thought I would love to do one of these for Lachy Doley. As I kept on thinking about it, I thought I could just make it bigger. Get some horns and some singers, and as many friends as I could muster to be a part of it, and record it all at probably the biggest studio in Sydney, Australia, which is 301, and have this kind of small intimate audience all wearing headphones. It sort of grew from there, and then the fact that the timing of it was so perfect, I was thinking all right when am I going to do this?


I looked in the diary and my birthday was coming up, so I thought perfect; maybe I can do it on my birthday, and just make it the best birthday party I've ever had. That's pretty much what ended up happening and the album was entitled Studios 301 Sessions, because that's where it was recorded.


Ken Wallis

There's a lot of great videos to go with it.


Lachy Doley

That's right yeah. The whole thing was filmed. We had a couple of guys roaming around and a few other stationary ones, and I just wanted to make sure I captured the whole night. I really didn't know what I was going to get out of it. I was thinking maybe we'll get a couple of great songs that'll be worth putting up on YouTube; if we're lucky it might turn out to be an album. It ended up turning out that the whole thing was incredible; the playing from everyone involved was amazing and the fun we all had as well was a big part of it too. We'd all played together in various outfits for years and years, so it all just came together easily and was so much fun. If you watch the full video, you hear all that silly nonsense talking in between. It's pretty funny.


Ken Wallis

It sure looked like it was a lot of fun doing it. Your version of Voodoo Child just blew me away. Was it daunting taking on a Hendrix tune like that?


Lachy Doley

Absolutely yeah, especially on keyboard. This keyboard is a keyboard from the 70s called a clavinet, and it's fully stringed. It actually has pretty much guitar strings inside except it uses the key to hammer the string. This one's been modified with a Bigsby whammy kind of system. It just lets me stretch all the strings and bend them, and when I first got it, I just had heaps of people telling me, oh man it sounds just like guitar, you should do a Hendrix tune, you've got to do a Hendrix tune, and I'm like, oh no I can't do that. That's like sort of sacrilege doing a Hendrix tune on the keyboard, but people kept on asking us and we went into the studio a couple of years back to do a few covers, and I thought oh bugger, let's just have a jam on it in the studio, and sure enough we jammed on it and it actually almost felt like it was made to play in the whammy. It just sort of came out so easily, I was like, oh this is fantastic.


Ken Wallis

And you've also got a Stevie Winwood tune - I'm A Man - that's great too.


Lachy Doley

I love that tune. I love that earlier Spencer Davis stuff. He was so young, but he could sing so incredibly well, and his playing was great. I've been doing Gimme Some Lovin for years and years, but I’ve never done I'm A Man, and I thought maybe this would be a great time to try that tune, especially with the backing singers and the horns. I think that turned out to be a ripper.


Ken Wallis

And your brother joined you on the album.


Lachy Doley

Yeah, that's right. My brother Clayton is an incredible phenomenal keyboard player. He's my original inspiration. When we were growing up we had the piano in the house and we both sort of started getting into the blues, because my mom's boyfriend was kind of a hippie, pot smoking, blues guitar player and got us into all the that great old blues, like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Elmore James. And those great piano players like Pinetop Perkins. Clayton started really getting around it, and I was like, oh man I want to do that too. I was hot on his heels the whole time and we're learning things together. It was great to have him come and play on the album.


Ken Wallis

Another great cut I just gotta mention is The Only Cure For The Blues Is The Blues. I just love that tune.

Lachy Doley

Damn straight. It says it all quite frankly, doesn't it?


Ken Wallis

And the last cut on the album really surprised me. It was recorded in '72 by Johnny Nash, I Can See Clearly Now. How did you get onto that tune?


Lachy Doley

Well, I got that tune because I was doing a couple of odd gigs for someone else last year, and they wanted me to sing a few tunes. I wanted to find a couple of new songs that I haven't done before. I was listening to a bit of Ray Charles and he did a version of I Can See Clearly Now, and I put it on, I went, oh man this is so good. I sort of toyed around with singing it and I thought all right, I'll do that. We did it the next night and I was like I’m gonna do this song forever. That's how I discovered that take on such a great tune and it's such a feel-good version too. It's really uplifting which goes along with the lyrics.


Ken Wallis

Not only is the album Studios 301 Sessions a great album, but I understand you're going to be on another album, by some guy by the name of Joe Bonamassa!


Lachy Doley

[laugh] I'm so honoured to be asked to play on that record. It's a great sounding record. It's strange. Joe's got this huge sort of Australian connection in his band. Ever since he teamed up with Jimmy Barnes to do Stone Cold and Lazy, he did an album with Jimmy's daughter The Betty Davis Album and then Mahalia and another couple of girls from Australia started singing with Joe on the road, and so there's this big sort of Australian connection. And Kevin Shirley then moved to Australia. He’s Joe's long-time producer for the last 12 odd years. So, he called me, and he said I’d love you to play on the album. It was really easy. It was just 10 minutes down the road, and I’d sort of trundle off down there and go play a few tunes and go hang out at the beach and have a couple of coffees. Then I’d do a few more tunes and go get some food. It was all done remotely from Australia. It would have been amazing to be in the room playing with Joe, but I'll take what I can get.


Ken Wallis

Where can our listeners get a hold of your album?


Lachy Doley

The best way is just directly from me. Lachydoley.com or just put Lachy Doley, whatever dodgy spelling you come up with and you'll find me.


Ken Wallis

And you have a special vinyl edition coming out as well.


Lachy Doley

That's right. I only made 400. I think there's less than 50 left now and they're just a beautiful orange vinyl. There's nothing like vinyl. I absolutely love it and it's the third one I've done now, and I just wanted to make it really special, so I got it in a big bold orange colour, which kind of suits the video, and the whole show, because there's a lot of oranges and blues. Visually it's quite nice to look at.


Ken Wallis

I was fortunate enough to catch you in Canada a few years ago at the Kitchener Blues Festival and I was just knocked out by your performance. You've done a lot of touring all over the world. Do you find much of a difference between the audiences?


Lachy Doley

I do. It's pretty obvious as soon as I left Australia. I think Australia can be a tough crowd in some respects. I think Australia is very focused on sport and the arts always seem to be left behind a little bit. As soon as I went over to Europe and to Canada it just felt like it was more of a thing that people appreciated more. It was part of what they did and their whole lifestyle was going out to see music, and they were really interested in music and the arts, and what people did. It's not that they would just see a band that they liked, but they would then want to find out more about the band, and even bands they'd never heard of. They were interested in going to a local pub. They see who's on and let's go check them out and go on YouTube and see what they're all about. I heard that story so many times, what was coming up and they went and checked you out on YouTube, and then decided they had to come. It’s just the enthusiasm for music I find great whenever I go overseas. Not to say anything bad about Australia, but I think it's just a bit of a cultural thing

Ken Wallis

Let's just hope you can get back to Canada soon because I've got to see you perform one more time.


Lachy Doley

I can't wait. There were gigs booked obviously last year and I'm sure I would have been back this year as well, but it'll happen. Definitely, I’ll be there at some point very soon because I just love touring Canada. I think it's three times I’ve been over now, and each time it just gets better and better. The great people and the friendships and the whole blues community as well is such a great thing to be part of. I really hope I’ll be back there as soon as I can.


Ken Wallis

Lachy thank you so much for coming on the show. It's been great talking to you and I can't wait to see you again over here in Canada, or maybe one of these days I'll get down to Australia.


Lachy Doley

That would be amazing Ken. I'll happily show you around.




Website: www.lachydoley.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/LachyDoley

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lachydoley