A Salty Captain [Brooker / Reid]

Rick Royston [USA]

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Rick Royston, guitar and vocal, not necessarily in that order

RR: As the 'B' side of Homburg, Good Captain Clack would have been the fourth Procol song I'd heard. I've always thought of it as an under-appreciated gem, with a melody somewhat at odds with the lyrics. I remember being struck at the time by the last, unexpected, minor chord, which brought out the poignancy of the lyrics of what was otherwise a mostly rowdy singalong. When I was approached to submit a recording, the song came to mind, and somehow the idea of a medley or cross-arrangement with A Salty Dog (the lyrics of which share the same metre) fell into place.

I found that the best way to deal with the middle eight of Good Captain Clack was to ignore it altogether, mainly for metrical reasons (although the lyrics alone would justify it, lacking as they do the wistful tone and overall resonance of the verse). I also omitted the middle verse of A Salty Dog to keep the arrangement moving.

Curiously, despite the key changes, the track ends up exactly where it started.

(click photo to see Captain Royston in full)

Guitar: Alvarez Yairi WY-1
Recorded with great care by Mark Zampino at LedgeVU Media using direct input from Rick's guitar, as well as a Shure SM-81 mic positioned near the sound hole, and an AKG 414 for the vocal (hyper-cardioid pattern). The AKG 414 and Shure SM-81 visited a Presonus MP-20 preamp en route to the TASCAM M-2600 MK II mixing desk, which directly fed (no bussing) a MACKIE MDR/24 digital multitrack recorder.
Signal processing was reverb from an URSA MAJOR digital reverb and a kiss of delay from a LINE 6 EchoPro.
The song was mixed through a TC Electronic Finalizer Express to an Alesis Masterlink.


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