South Downs Way

South Downs Way Peter Lacey Stephen Kalinich (1)Stevie and I first met in early January 2008 when he was here in Brighton England performing ’The Galactic Symphonies’ with local/international guitar maestro, Richard Durrant. Paul Adsett, Stevie’s friend and promoter, suggested we meet. Paul had all my albums and, knowing the Beach Boys element within them thought we’d have much in common as writers. We met at a pub in Brighton , and soon after I arrived, SJK strolled in and greeted me with a beaming smile. We were off to a good start particularly as within the space of a couple of hours we were already hatching a song!. Quite extraordinary.

Stevie’s schedule was somewhat hectic, however over the few months he was here in England we got our heads together to make an album. Words flow out of Stevie like wine into a golden chalice, and he sent me gallons every day. Intoxicating!.
Apart from this prolificness was his penchant to allow me the freedom to pick and choose those poems/lyrics I liked best. Stevie is practised in the art of collaboration, and knows it requires a good deal of free-range for two people to be creative together. That said, he’d be the first to lasso our steeds in if anything felt instinctively out of place between words and music. Sharp.

By and large Stevie wrote the words and I provided the musical back-drop. We worked closely on what worked and what didn’t. The ease of working with SJK is my essential memory of the sessions; no wonder the Wilson brothers found him charming!.South Downs Way Peter Lacey Stephen Kalinich (5)

Anyway, the upshot of it all was that we had almost an album’s worth of material in the space of three months. Composed, recorded. However it was Paul Adsett who suggested the album’s title, ‘ South Downs Way ‘. At the time we were on a walk on the Downs ; Stevie, Paul, Ashley and a dog named Daphne!. It seemed just right. Here was SJK, a long way from home but obviously very comfortable on the green rolling hills above Brighton .
South Downs way is where we met, and its also the name of the track which runs along crest of the entire 100 miles length of these hills.

So, I went home and penned the title track that same week. Once again Stevie and I met for him to add some recital and sing ‘Catch The View’. We finished off with a mad-cap session which resulted in ‘At The Village Hop’ – the last track on SDW. After all the gravity of much of the album, we threw out the sand-bags and became ballonists adrift!. Laugh?!..

Then he went back to the Golden State to thaw out from the bite of the English winter, said it took him over a month!, but he was soon picking oranges off the trees for breakfast
South Downs Way Peter Lacey Stephen Kalinich (2)Since then we have kept in good contact. I think the album has a lot of significance for us both. Looking to the future there’s a new album on the horizon with some new Lacey/Kalinich creations aboard. We recorded so much material during his stay in Sussex
some of which didn’t fit the theme of SDW. The new album will.

Written by Peter Lacey.

Photos thanks to Paul Adsett and Rob Orvell