Back in the day, when 78 and then 45 rpm vinyl disks were the way new music was made available to fans and radio alike, each would typically include two new songs. Record labels would mark them as the A and B sides, with the track of primary interest being the A side, and the B basically there because the technology allowed two sides, so why not put something there.
On rare occasions, artists and labels would be caught by surprise when a B side took off with fans, and would have to quickly pivot their promotional efforts in a different direction. But as a rule, disk jockeys played the A side and everything went exactly as planned.
Notable exceptions include Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog, which was the B side on his Don’t Be Cruel single, as well as his recording of Blue Moon of Kentucky, which was the flip side of his debut single, That’s All Right. The same happened for The Beach Boys in 1964 when Don’t Worry Baby charted higher than the intended focus track, I Get Around.
It seems that nostalgia for the old ways has struck Rick Faris and Dark Shadow Recording, who have released a two-song single today which they are calling a Dark Shadow Double. Both tracks are to be included on Rick’s next album with the label, The Next Mountain, a new project with a bevy of guest performers.
First up (the A side?) is See You On The Other Side, written by Faris and Rick Lang, which comes in hot and fast. An old time quartet marks the choruses, sung by Rick, Sam Bush, Stephen Mougin, and Jason Carter, with a band consisting of Faris on guitar, Bush on mandolin, Carter on fiddle, Russ Carson on banjo, and Mike Bub on bass.
Rick tells us that having these guys in the studio was enchanting.
“I am beyond thrilled to have some of my heros on these two cuts. Sam Bush has formed the way the mandolin and bluegrass groove is supposed to sound to me. He brings energy and drive that is enhanced by Mike Bub, Jason Carter, Russ Carson and Stephen Mougin. Having these legends and monster pickers on a song I co-wrote with fellow DSR artist Rick Lang was just the icing atop this bluegrass cake!”
Have a listen.
The second track out today is Can’t Build A Bridge To Glory, a Rick Faris/Becky Buller cowrite. This one has more of a funky groove, with Rick on slack key, finger style guitar, accompanied by Laura Orshaw on fiddle and Zak McLamb on bass. Again a quartet number, but this time one made up of Faris, Ronnie Bowman, Eddie Faris, and Dale Perry.
For Rick, singing this one brought back memories from his youth.
“Ronnie Bowman’s singing has been in my ear since age 13 and seeing him at Poppy Mountain, just a couple years later, forever cemented him at the pinnacle of bluegrass cool. Here’s a guy who’s not only an incredible singer but also a world class songwriter, and has been on so many of my formative album collection stalwarts. Dale Perry, also on Ronnie’s records and Lonesome River Band’s early Gospel cuts featuring his demonstrative bass vocals. Brother Eddie Faris perfectly rounded out this amazing vocal trio that is set in the swampy groove laid down by Zak McLamb and Laura Orshaw.”
Check it out.
Both tracks are available today from the popular streaming and download sites. Radio programmers can get both via AirPlay Direct.