May 14, 2015

From The Vaults: Lachy Doley

One of the things I absolutely love about working at WOAS-FM is finding golden nuggets.  No, I have that backwards:  I absolutely love when a golden nugget finds us.  We get promotional CDs and information from bands and artists all the time.  We make it a point to play the music they send us and we do enjoy all of it.   When something catches our ear, we investigate those artists a bit further.   We find that some CDs give us what we assume is the same feeling that a prospector gets when they find a gold nugget (or as I self-corrected above, the feeling they would get if the gold nugget found them!).   The latest golden nugget to knock on our door came by e-mail stating simply ‘Hi Ken – I’m Lachy Doley from Sydney, Australia. Just getting in contact because my new album CONVICTION is coming out on MAY 30 and I wanted to send you the title track. Really hope you enjoy it and maybe give it a spin or 2 on your show’.

Lachlan (Lachy) Doley’s e-mail contained the magical phrase ‘Hammond B-3 player’ so I was instantly interested in what he had to say.  His bio states he has played with many artists I am familiar with and Lachy mentioned in subsequent e-mails that he is also a fan of Ron Levy (and the Wild Kingdom – a permanent fixture on the WOAS program list) and the Vanilla Fudge (and their superlative keyboard player Mark Stein).  The bio also mentions that Glenn Hughes (Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Country Communion) has recruited him to play on a Jon Lord tribute CD (Deep Purple’s late but innovative Hammond B-3 player) and that he will also be appearing on Joe Bonamassa’s next studio album.  Clearly, Lachy (sounds like ‘Lock-e’) (and I am glad I asked because I kept gravitating to ‘Lucky’ or ‘Latchy’ and neither sounds as cool as ‘Lock-e) has music industry cred galore but like many good things that take a little longer to reach us at the north end of US 45, he has been flying under our radar.  At least until he made contact with us in May of 2015.  This qualifies Lachy Doley as a prime example of a golden nugget finding us and as long-time lovers of the Hammond organ sound, we are glad that he did.

Naturally, I started looking for as much ‘Lachy Doley Band’ information as I could find online and the clips from his recent ‘Live at 303’ DVD are outstanding   In particular his band rocks on  their  version of Steve Winwood’s (and Spencer Davis Group’s)  Gimme Some Lovin(www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlOBZE_i0NA).   A sneak peak download of the title track of his new CD Conviction indicates that covers aside, he is also a gifted songwriter, player, and singer.  I am counting the days until we can get a copy of the full CD to share with our listeners.

Most of the clips I have seen include a bassist and drummer (Lachy says they are ‘Jan Bangma on Bass and Byron Goodwin on drums. Awesome guys and great players!’).  They are a solid rhythm section and on the ‘Live at 303’ DVD, they are joined by a second keyboard player named  Sam Cope who also knows his way around the white and blacks.  In the world of facially contorted, sometimes pouty, guitar players, it is refreshing to see the huge smile plastered all over Lachy’s face as they tear through their set.  I know Steve Martin came up with the comic bit about ‘nobody can frown while playing a banjo’ (and I subsequently hijacked the saying in reference to playing the drums), but Doley makes a good case for adding ‘Hammond organ’ to the ‘no frowning’ list.  He gets really animated when playing his ‘whammy clav’.  Picture a guitar whammy bar nearly three feet long attached at a 45 degree angle to the top of a clavinet.   Now amplify the movements a guitarist makes using said whammy bar by a factor of 25 and you may get an pretty good mental picture of what a ‘whammy clav’ brings to Lachy’s playing.

During my internet research,  I was zoning out listening to some tracks when I clicked on one absent mindedly and got what sounded like Lachy Doley, only this time he was fronting a full soul review replete with female singers.  A double take later and I discovered I had stumbled upon Lachy’s brother Clayton Doley who also tears it up on the keys.  When I tried to stir a little sibling rivalry by inquiring ‘who is better’, Lachy came back with “Thanks for the message mate.  I’m better of course hahahahahahaha – I reckon we are both pretty different in style even though we both play the organ and keys.”  I also dug up some clips from another one of my favorite Hammond players, Dutch phenom Carlo de Wjis (D’Wys and the Voices of Soul) to share with our new buddy down under.  While D’Wys has a slightly jazzier style than Doley, he relies on a pack of vocalists (The Voices of Soul), bass and sometimes guitar in his live performances.  Doley adds his own soulful voice to his band and that pulls his arrangements more to the ‘rock and soul’ side of the ledger.  The Lachy Doley Band pulls off a very full band sound without a guitar player or the occassional second keys player.

With our summer hiatus looming, I may not get to share much of Lachy Doley’s music with you until mid-August when we gear up for the Porcupine Mountain Music Festival.  Lacking a rich uncle to lean on, we may have to start a Kickstarter campaign to get Lachy here for a gig.  We really haven’t had a Hammond organ wizard at PMMF as far as I can remember.  I already told him that if he is ever in the neighborhood, we is welcome to drop by.  As far fetched as this sounds, it is the same reasoning we started with before we got Measured Chaos (from Detroit), Rusty Wright Band (from Flint) and Trees (from Los Angeles) here to perform:  if you wish it, it could happen.   Barring a personal visit, we will just have to pepper the airwaves with golden music from our latest golden nugget.  Tune in to WOAS-FM 88.5 and see what I mean or catch our audio and video stream at www.woas-fm.org!   Maybe the next big musical export from Australia will be Lachy Doley and if he is, it will be like having an entire pot of gold delivered to us without chasing the rainbow’s end.

Updates –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7hnfNh7glI  You will find an audio track of Highway Star from ‘Remachined’ featuring Lachy on keys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1VcpoYqA-I  Great example of the whammy clav in action on Use Me – yes, a blusified version of the Bill Withers tune