Anthony Toner’s eleventh CD is an intimate and personal affair – a collection of ten songs originally recorded by other artists, which for various reasons have been special favourites of his over the years. As the title would suggest, Anthony hopes that Ghost Notes, Vol 1. is the first in a series of these largely acoustic albums, taking songs made famous by everyone from Van Morrison to Jim Reeves and giving them a new coat of paint.
Early reaction to pre-release tracks ‘Young Hearts Run Free’ and ‘She Gives Me Religion’ – originally recorded by Van Morrison and Candi Staton respectively – has been strong, and the remainder of the album features songs by Chrissie Hynde, Rickie Lee Jones and Steve Earle, among others.
‘I grew up listening to my mum and dad’s rock & roll and country & western records,’ says Anthony, ‘and I absorbed a lot of that music before I made my own teenage discoveries of singer-songwriters, hard rock, jazz, New Wave, all of those things… So my musical DNA contains as much Charley Pride and Elvis Presley as The Pretenders and Van Morrison.’
‘These are some of the songs I’ve been singing for years, in soundchecks, backstage before gigs, in hotel rooms and at home in the kitchen… and I just wanted to have the fun of revisiting them and recording them.’
During tour dates last year, Anthony collected suggestions from the audience, for songs they would like to hear given an acoustic arrangement. So there are already additional lists of songs he hopes to apply a similarly stripped-back treatment to in the years ahead.
Listen to ‘She Gives Me Religion’ – BELOW:
The album was recorded mostly at home, using sparse acoustic and electric guitar arrangements, with some piano recorded at Flowerfield Arts Centre and vocals recorded at Clive Culbertson’s studio in Coleraine. As you would expect, Anthony’s peerless acoustic guitar playing is front and centre. Clive is the only other musician involved, mixing the album and adding some beautiful bass and harmony vocals to several of the songs.
There are no immediate plans for live performances in support of the album due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but we hope to confirm dates later this year.
The album is available for download and streaming from all of the usual platforms and for sale via mail order from Anthony’s website: www.anthonytoner.net