The Rising Souls frontman and truly one of the best singers to ever grace our studio (and that includes Michael Jackson remember) Dave Archibald lets us know about 5 tracks that shaped who he is as a singer today. We are talking gritty rock with the soul of Mr. Hathaway.
1: “Giving up” – Donny Hathaway
Sometimes you hear a song that properly effects you emotionally and for me ‘Giving Up’ is that song. A vocal masterpiece and in my opinion, it’s the greatest vocal performance ever. When you read about Donny’s life story and his tragic death this song really takes on a whole new meaning.
As a vocalist myself I look up to Donny Hathaway as the greatest that has ever lived and this track is a standout song that I will never get sick of listening to. The dynamics and how it builds is just phenomenal. This is a genius at work and the soul that shines through his effortless vocal is inspiring.
2: “Good Times Bad Times” – Led Zeppelin
This is the first Zep song I heard and I was absolutely mesmerized with John Bonham’s groove. I had never heard drumming quite like it. At that time I was a drummer myself and I spent ages trying to nail that kick drum part that he plays in this. I practiced so hard to get it but eventually, I was forced to give up and buy double bass drum pedals to do it! I listened to this song so many times but I will never be sick of hearing it.
‘Good times bad times’ is a feel-good song and it still blows me away every time I listen to it. There aren’t many bands in history that have what Led Zeppelin had. Every single musician in that band was world class and they gelled so well together. Soaring vocals from the coolest frontman with the backing of arguably the best rock band in history. Rock n roll at its finest and whenever I’m asked about Led Zeppelin this is the song that I instantly think of.
3: “Mr Big” – Free
When I was a kid and out and about with my dad in the car we would always have music playing. I remember hearing Paul Rodgers voice for the first time and thinking..how can anyone be that good?! ‘Mr Big’ was one of those tracks I heard and instantly loved. Phenomenal soulful vocals, amazing bass playing, tight drumming, and epic guitar work.
What I love about this track and most of Free’s songs is the space that they leave. I have really taken on board that less is more and I always remind myself that you don’t need to chuck too many things at a song for it to become a great track. ‘Mr Big’ is the soundtrack to my childhood and Free are the absolute kings of Soul Rock.
4: “Once I was loved” – Melody Gardot
I came across this track when it was released in 2015 on the ‘Currency of a man’ album. I was instantly hooked. This is one of the most beautiful songs I had ever heard. Melody Gardot is a very unique singer and she sings with pure raw passion. This song gets me every time and although it’s very emotional I find it uplifting.
The way this song has been written and put together was a complete eye-opener for me. It has so much space and it really lets the vocal shine over the stunning music. This is a very special song to me and regardless of what mood I’m in or what I’m doing it always gets my full attention.
05: “Statesboro Blues” – Taj Mahal
This song is probably the most life-changing song of all for me. I spent most of my early teens drumming and that was my passion. I used to get home from school and rattle round the drum kit for hours. There was one day I came home and I had ‘Statesboro blues’ in my head. My dad used to sing this song in his band and me and him had went to see Taj Mahal together in Edinburgh. So I got in from school and made sure no one was in the house and started to sing the song. At this stage, I hadn’t ever had any desire to sing and I was purely focused on the drums but when I started to sing the track I was shocked that I could actually hold a note.
This was a huge turning point for me and the more I sang the more I loved singing. This song completely changed my goal in music and from that day on I knew what I wanted to do. I soon gave up the drums and dedicated all my time to singing.