posted December 7, 2012Tweet
Songwriters Blake Ian, Larry Hess aka “Calotype” and Lee Diamond took their mutual love for Mike Nesmith to a new level of fandom recently with their new release of songs covering the 60's pop star. “Some of Nesmith's Blues” features fourteen tracks ranging in genres and artist collaborations. The motivation to put out the tribute came from the fact that Nesmith is touring with the surviving Monkees again for the first time in ages along with what the label mates recognize to be his largely unnoticed body of work.
“Michael Nesmith deserves to be appreciated the way Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, or Bob Dylan are. His body of work is enormous and still undiscovered by many. He's always been the man behind great movements in music history and culture to the point of being a 'renaissance man' but he's behind the scenes fame-wise,” comments Diamond.
Diamond spearheaded this project just a few months ago. “Some of Nesmith's Blues” focuses on songs that Nesmith wrote, not just Monkees songs he sang. He posted submission requests all over the internet asking up and coming bands who love Nesmith's music to participate. Diamond actually got more submissions from Nesmith's solo work than from his Monkees years. The talent pool became so wide that he will be issuing a second volume sometime next year.
“I didn't want the songs to sound like his versions but the artists' own renditions. I also wanted to hear different artists' interpretations of his songs. For example, Calotype made an electro version of "Don't Call On Me." No one's done that before,” Diamond continues.
Blake Ian also plays a ukelele version of Nesmith's greatest hit "Different Drum" and Jo Elless makes a magnificent cover of "Grand Ennui" with a entire horn section. Casella and Jake Incao, also 27 artists, contributed a song a piece. Casella performs “Sunny Girlfriend” and Incao does his own version of “Sweet Young Thing.” Diamond consciously chose a broad variety of genres when putting the compilation together and ultimately decided to to release the compilation purely as tribute to Nesmith by posting it online as streaming content for the world to enjoy.