June 08, 2004

IT ALL ADDS UP

Jeffrey Gaines.jpg

Jeffrey Gaines Live released as DVD Plus

Jeffrey Gaines is quite familiar with the tried-and-true approach most artists take when assembling a concert album.

"They record every night of a whole summer's tour, and later on, they sift through and pick the best nights and compile it all together and make it sound like one show," the singer-songwriter-guitarist says.

Gaines didn't have such a luxury for his first full-length concert set, the CD-DVD Jeffrey Gaines Live, which was released May 25 on Artemis Records, his label home since 2001. According to Gaines, Artemis gave him one shot at "taping a show and capturing what happens." And so, he recorded and filmed his Nov. 6, 2003, gig at Philadelphia's Theater of the Living Arts, where he's performed before and is quite comfortable.

"I played for three-and-a-half hours [and] pretty much did everything," recalls Gaines, who was backed by multi-instrumentalists Matt Thomas and Don Piper. "And then later, I got to decide what I thought worked."

Jeffrey Gaines Live is a DVD Plus -- a single disc with audio on one side and video on the other. According to Artemis, it is the first full-length release in the United States featuring the hybrid format, which was invented by German producer Dieter Dierks, whose studio credits include albums by Accept and Scorpions.

"I heard about [the DVD Plus format], and I [asked if using it could keep the sale price reasonable]," says Gaines. "[I eventually said], 'Do the new technology then -- just as long as you can assure me it's going to work.' Again, making it easier for the fans -- when you're standing there in the megastore deciding which music to take home, I certainly don't want to have anything helping you not buy mine, like a $25 price tag on the sticker. The easier to take it home, the better.

"With the DVD, that was going to have to be an hour, for some reason," adds Gaines. "That's what I was told; that had its limits right off the bat. I gave no argument there. And then it being my first [live album], I think it was more a matter of 'Let me just feel it out.' At the live show, I can play three hours, and everybody there still wants some more songs. But the disc is gonna go out to a lot of different people, and maybe they don't know if they want to hear that much of me yet."

Song selection for the CD, which features 14 tracks, was no easy task, either.

"I definitely let a lot of people have their say on this [album] a lot more than me -- management and a couple of friends," Gaines says. "Every time I think about a record for the consumer, it's hard for me to know what it is they would want. I'm going, 'Here's what I would want,' but I'm not going to be buying it. So, I figured the best way to find out is to let other people's minds tell me which songs were good."

Gaines already has a tentative game plan for the future.

"I think the next thing I want to do is not take an acoustic guitar at all near the studio," says Gaines, whose self-titled debut was released in 1992 on Chrysalis. "Just for kicks, I want to do a straight-up rock record and bridge some gaps between my folkies and my rockies and just pull them all to the rock side. It would be great. I've been carrying the cross of the singer-songwriter and staying true. I wouldn't mind having the shows have a lot more rejoice and fun."

-- By Chris M. Junior

Official Jeffrey Gaines site:
www.jeffreygaines.com

Jeffrey Gaines on tour (schedule subject to change):

June 8: Eagleview Town Square -- Exton, Pa.

June 11: Harry's Roadhouse -- Asbury Park, N.J.

June 26, 27: Tin Angel -- Philadelphia

June 29: Merkin Concert Hall (as part of the New York Guitar Festival) -- New York

Aug. 15: Upper Merion Township park -- King of Prussia, Pa.

Posted by medleyville at June 8, 2004 01:57 PM
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