Mike Rudd’s 1st BASE sees piano accordionist George Butrumlis (Black Sorrows, Zydeco Jump, The Purple Dentists and Raga Dolls) and bassist Jeremy Alsop (Ron Charles Band, Allan Zavod, The David Chesworth Ensemble) joining Spectrum’s main man, Mike Rudd, in an acoustic-skewed reappraisal of his previously all-electric output.
Mike Rudd is best known for writing Spectrum’s 1971 national number one hit single, I’ll Be Gone, (Someday I’ll have money), but he also wrote the majority of the material in the subsequent 20th century albums produced by Spectrum, The Indelible Murtceps, Ariel, Mike Rudd & the Heaters and WHY, which amounts to a considerable legacy.
More recently there have been other projects, including the Mike Rudd & Bill Putt’s Living on a Volcano CD and the Breathing Space series of EPs that saw the re-adoption of the grand old Spectrum monicker bringing us to the present day.
For 1st BASE, Mike has chosen songs from his solo repertoire that respond to being stripped back and reworked and that have a story to tell. Of course, Rudd is inclined to make a fascinating commentary about the songs he’s playing and the bands that originally played them, so there are stories all round. Butrumlis’ lyrical piano accordion in place of Spectrum’s Hammond organ is
not as implausible as it sounds, and Jeremy’s double bass lines are all about restraint and intelligence, and so you can easily imagine the pair’s instrumental combination with Rudd’s nylon-string guitar, blues harp and even recorder playing, is sublime.
George (and occasionally Jeremy’s) vocal harmonies are a bonus and serve to sweeten Rudd’s idiosyncratic vocal style. Rudd’s lyrics are, perhaps for the first time in a band context anyway, clear and understandable, giving even more impact to some of his famously audacious theme.