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Spencer Bohren: vocal, lap steel, baritone lap steel
Ray Bonneville: guitar, harmonica
André Bohren: drums, piano bass
Marc Paradis: cello
You Can’t Live Here by Ray Bonneville, Stonefly Music/SOCAN
All donations help Spencer.
When I heard my long time good friend Spencer was sick I really didn't know what to do. I desperately wanted to do something to be of help. I thought about him and his fine integrity over time, his wonderful artistry and his generous way with all people. I thought about his beautiful wife Marilyn and the four great people the two of them brought into the world, all the while traveling and doing what he loves to do. Three or four days had gone by when I found myself with a guitar and this song coming out very quickly. I wanted Spencer to have a way to talk to the cancer directly, to confront it and tell it to get out of his body and move along.
Following a loose debut performance of You Can’t Live Here at the Frog Pond in Silver Hill, Alabama, it was clear that the song needed to be recorded, and quickly.
Ray struck first, recording guitar, harmonica, and a guide vocal at Austin’s King Electric Studio in late March. A few days later, Spencer and I arrived at NOLA Recording Studios in New Orleans and spent the day tracking lap steel, vocals, piano bass, and drums before bringing in Marc Paradis to record cello.
Lyrically, the song is one-sided conversation directed to the cancer, but there is also a musical storyline that was created, wherein Ray’s raspy harmonica represents almost a snakelike cancer and Spencer’s lap steel responds with cautious yet steady pushback, while the cello’s haunting sound stands as a reminder of the seriousness of the situation.
While it is not exactly an uplifting song, it sets a very heavy and cool vibe which aptly represents both artists, and is a true collaboration between Ray and Spencer.
-André Bohren, producer