Scott McKeon,
The TVD First Date

“There’s something just really soulful about vinyl. The feel, the sound.”

“My first memories of vinyl are going up in the loft in our house when I was a kid and finding these old dusty boxes of records that belonged to my folks. I remember being fascinated by the album cover artwork and the dusty smell of the sleeves and cardboard. Albums like Donald Fagin’s The Night Fly, Stevie Wonder’s Fulfillingness’ First Finale, Frank Sinatra Live at The Sands, Glen Campbell’s By The Time I Get to Phoenix, MJ’s Off The Wall, Quincy Jones’ The Dude…

But when I was growing up, we didn’t actually have a vinyl player so I didn’t get the chance to actually experience listening to them until I got my own record deck. What I’ve always loved about vinyl is that you can see all the musicians’ credits and all the extra bits of artwork—seeing where it was recorded and who played guitar on what song, and seeing certain names keep cropping up, like Larry Carlton, Steve Gadd, and people who would master the albums like Bob Ludwig.

I really started getting into collecting vinyl myself in my twenties, and going back and listening to some of the original blues artists I love and their original vinyl records. Some of my favourite vinyl albums would be BB King Live at the Regal, American Folk Festival of the Blues which features a young Buddy Guy playing with Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon.

I love Let’s Dance by David Bowie, especially because on the vinyl record the song Let’s Dance is the full version so you can hear Stevie Ray Vaughan’s extended solo. I’ve got a signed copy of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Soul to Soul album. On Sinatra Live at the Sands, the band are absolutely kicking off and Quincy’s conducting the Count Basie Orchestra. I also love D’Angelo’s Voodoo, which is just on another level, and Albert King’s Live Wire/Blues Power is just amazing. b’lieve i’m goin down… by Kurt Vile has also been on my player a lot.

The experience of playing a vinyl album is just so much more satisfying because you’re getting the full uncompressed sound. Also, when you play an old original pressing of an album, you’re hearing it as it would’ve been heard back in the day. Once you put an album on, you tend to let it run. When I listen to music on my phone or computer I tend to skip through stuff and not listen to a whole album.

This is why I wanted to get my new album New Morning pressed on vinyl because I wanted people to experience it in the same way that they would an old album from the ’60s and ’70s, and that’s in keeping with the way we recorded the album, where we were all playing together live in the same room.

The way producer Paul Stacey (Tal Wilkenfeld/The Black Crowes) mixed the album has given it that feeling like you’re in the room when you listen to the songs. Plus, it’s just fucking cool to have something of my own on double vinyl gatefold with all the artwork and pictures, it just feels like much more of an experience listening through to these songs with the vinyl in your hands. It gives it a physical weight.

I love going to vintage, second-hand stores and charity shops, just sifting through the blues section and trying to find something that you haven’t heard before, or looking for some rare, unreleased Hendrix stuff—sometimes just buying an album cos the cover looks cool and discovering something new.

It’s a good way of meeting people when you’re on tour—a pretty safe bet is to head to the local record shop, get chatting to the staff in there, find out if there’s any gigs going on and they can tell you where the nearest guitar shop is. The only downside is trying to keep your prized vinyl albums you find flat in your suitcase when you’re on the road…”
Scott McKeon

New Morning, the full-length release from Scott McKeon is in stores now—on double vinyl.

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PHOTO: ROB BLACKHAM

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