“Thanks to the internet a stranger, Daniel Orlick, rode into my virtual town when he found my midnightdread.com website two years ago. He told me he spent a couple days there looking around and listening before sending me an email telling me I was unknowingly part of this new musical movement in England he was involved with called C-Dub. He sent me several instrumental dub tracks with permission to put vocals over and within a week I was improving over them at the Gibson Park Bandshell summer DJ’s of Relativity series. I spent that winter in Great Falls writing more material, preparing for our debut, which was booked for the following July 4th’s World One Festival in Northern California. Steve Powell from GF accompanied me on that trip where we linked up with several top bay area musicians featuring Jimmy Foot from REGGAE JACKSON and THE RHYTH-O-MATICS (who also arranged & composed tracks inadvertently for the project and is another happenstance ghost town pioneer), as well as Duane Van Dieman of Warner Brothers’ recording artists THE TAZMANIAN DEVILS (now known as TAZ), and a five other great players including Marc Wendt of LUMINATION, Worldbeat DJ Tom Threlkel, and Harry Duncan, musical expert and DJ for his immortal long-running formerly TREASURES UNTOLD, now IN THE SOUL KITCHEN WITH HARRY D radio show.
GHOST TOWN SOUND is conceived as a group that performs live yet also includes a strong DJ/VJ and dance element with dubplate rhythms on turntables plus projected moving images for ambiance and emphasis. The GF debut will concentrate on the live set slightly expanded from what I did at World One with about a dozen or so selections. Local legend Dan Lewis, formerly of COLD HARD CASH, plays drums, bass and keyboards. Steve Powell adds vocals, guitar, congas, juice harp, and many other unusual sounds. Doug Sternberg of Montana’s legendary reggae outfit JAH PROVIDE plays bass. Malachi Abdali supplies sufi-like dancing and congas. I do the vocals and play percussion, guitar and turntables. Other top flight musicians contribute as well. GHOST TOWN SOUND adds wide-eyed cowboy optimism to Indian spirituality and democratic traditions, grounding them with the heartbeat and social analysis of rastas. The lyrics are often about Otahkoo, its history, Montana, the modern west and all kinds of ghost towns.
We give unending thanks to Daniel Orlick for helping spark the good vibes and allowing the use of his creative riddim tracks on some of our songs,”
Daniel Orlick’s web presence:
edited excerpts from Daniel Orlick’s THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO GHOST TOWN, Collector’s Edition booklet, used with permission, all rights reserved:
The Hitchhikers Guide to Ghost Town, by Daniel Orlick
How The West Was Dubbed
The culture of Ghost Town began when a group of disgruntled musicians and DJ’s who were unwilling to play the ruthless L.A. music industry game started their own events in abandoned ghost towns throughout California and the West. At one of these events, a genre of music was stumbled upon, and it has spawned its own breed of loyal followers.
The birth of ghost town and c-dub musical genres can be traced back to a small group of reggae and dub lovers living in Los Angeles in the autumn of 2002. It all started when singer/song writer Daniel Orlick and vinyl enthusiast Isaiah Michaels, realizing the lack of places in the city where reggae and dub could be heard, decided to host a few nights of the genres utilizing Michaels’ turntables and extensive collection of reggae and dub records, naming the night “How The West Was Dubbed!” Being as Orlick was an acoustic singer/song writer whose style was along the lines of a folk/reggae hybrid with very danceable rhythms, the two decided it would be a good idea to intermingle a few acoustic songs throughout the DJ set. A few small venues in the area warmed to the idea, and within a few months, these nights were becoming something with a very good potential for profit.
It was at this time that venue owners, realizing the commercial potential at hand, began to demand large amounts of money for the use of their venue, which have resulted in a much higher admission fee. After attempting to come to an agreement with a few other venue owners who might have been a bit more understanding on the financial side of things, the duo quickly became disillusioned with the L.A. music scene’s inherent greed and apathy and decided to call it quits. This would have been the end if not for a chance meeting between a couple reggae lovers in attendance at what would be the final L.A. show.
Sebastian de la Raza and Solomon Stone, as they referred to themselves away from home, were a couple of Native American musicians traveling around the West when they happened to be passing through Los Angeles. Sebastian, of the Navajo tribe, and Solomon, of the Hopi tribe, having been close friends since childhood, decided to visit some abandoned ghost towns of the West in an attempt to make some sense out of the White man’s inherent tendency to descend upon untouched landscapes, take what he decides is valuable, and abandon it as though it never existed. The two were also musicians, a drum and bass section who based their style upon the reggae they had listened to growing up on their respective reservations. As they spoke about the experiences of their trip, the idea arose of a group of reggae lovers driving out to an abandoned ghost town along with camping supplies, a mobile sound system, and a weekend’s worth of reggae and dub records, and carrying on their “How The West Was Dubbed!” event events away from the greed and insanity of the big city….
Michaels, who now took on the name “DJ Six Shooter”, provided the entertainment via his own homemade sound system which he named the “Double Barrel Hi-Fi”…
The emergence of the Ghost Town and C-dub musical genres
Most great artistic advances seem to happen by chance, and so can it be said with the birth of the musical genres of “ghost town” and its “c-dub” counterpart. The beginning can be traced back to one of the first ghost town gatherings. SixShooter was in the middle of a classic King Tubby record when he realized the song was about to end. Having no record on the adjacent turntable, he quickly reached for the nearest record, which just so happened to be Johnny Cash. Not sure of how the audience of reggae lovers would react, but with no time to waste, he lined up the needle on the first track and there it was, Cash’s timeless classic “I Walk The Line”. Fortunately, the chilled tempo was so close to that of the previous King Tubby record that the transiton seemed natural, to which the crowd demonstrated their approval with roars of applause…
…Orlick recorded over a hundred self-produced demos in his new UK home project studio. Some of these recordings were compiled on a CD entitled “Calling Out To Boredom Nation” which was sold at various UK gigs in 2005… he went back out to the American West to meet up with the Native boys who now referred to themselves as “The Band with No Name”, and together began to lay down the ghost town sound in Sebastian and Solomon’s new recording studio. The recordings of these sessions were so numerous that they were compiled onto three separate bootleg albums entitled “A Fistful of Freedom” and “Planet of the Slaves”, which took a more singer/songwriter approach to the sound, and the final album “How the West was Dubbed!” which focused more on the dub, dj and instrumental side of the ghost town sound, or as it had now come to be referred to as, C*DUB… These bootlegs, now referred to as “The Freedom Trilogy”, quickly found there way back to Isaiah Michaels and his loyal crowd of fellow ghost towners who were still holding regular gatherings out west. At present , it is still not known whether or not these recordings will be arranged for professional release in the UK or America, but various rumors had been spread by Ghost Town Records and Orlick himself that they would be released sometime…”
How the West was Dubbed!, by Daniel Orlick
Lasso Lingo is the language of Ghost Town, started as a means of promoting ‘illegal’ gatherings in the deserts of California and at random abandoned ghost towns of the West without raising the attention of the powers that be and others who may have developed a vested interest in the night. What started off as mere code talk has grown into a language of its own, with many terms now being used in everyday speak by followers of the Ghost Town movement.
A quick edited sampling:
double barrel – two turntables used by a c-dub sound system
caliber – the size or rpm speed of the record, for example a 12 inch will be referred to as 12 caliber and a 45 rpm will be referred to as a 45 caliber
jailbreak – a release of a new record or artist
johnny wayne – a clueless person who makes a totally lame attempt to be part of the ghost town and c-dub movement, but just doesn’t get it, this person may mean well, but may just be a total lame-o
back in the saddle – out for a skate, but please note that by saying skate, we are referring to skateboards
bandit – a greedy sleazebag, such as a corporate fat cat with a three piece suit, who tries to exploit c-dub and ghost town artists and associations after they attain a modest level of success
sickshooter – a guy who’s always running his mouth, especially one who seems to always have negative things to say
pistol – microphone
round 1, round 2 – corresponding sides of a record, side one is referred to as round one and vice versa
gold rush – when an artist or song from the ghost town and c-dub genres goes big time and everyone tries to jump on the bandwagon and pretend they supported him all along
stampede – a real thumpin’ dance floor at a c-dub gathering, for example “Every time I fire this 45, it’s a real stampede out there!”
c-dub – short for country fried dub or C n’ Dubya, it is the name given to the dub and DJ side of the ghost town movement, where DJs and selectors strip down ghost town music to its drum and bass essential, then flavor it with echo and reverb drenched western guitar, DJ vocals, foot stompin’ and a whole range of other-worldly sounds
jericho – to “bring the walls down” with a musical sound, for example “When us ghost town rockers take over that club tonight, we’re sure gonna jericho it right to the ground!”