COPPER DOGS RECORD ALBUM IN MALTINGS AT BALVENIE DISTILLERY – AND SET TO LAUNCH LP AT BALVENIE CASTLE – Scotch Whisky News

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COPPER DOGS RECORD ALBUM IN MALTINGS AT BALVENIE DISTILLERY – AND SET TO LAUNCH LP AT BALVENIE CASTLE 

Whisky distillery’s floor maltings building plays host to unique recording session 

Forget abandoned theatres, churches and grain silos, Copper Dogs have raised the bar of unusual locations for recording an album.  The four self-confessed whisky fanatics recorded their debut album on the traditional floor maltings of The Balvenie Distillery, in Dufftown, Speyside.  

The album is entitled The Balvenie Maltings Sessions and it will be launched at a gig in the ruins of Balvenie Castle, Dufftown on Friday 2nd May. 

The low-ceilinged, cavernous space – normally used for germinating barley to make single malt Scotch whisky – provided unique acoustics for the recording, which was completed over a three-day period in June 2013.  The quartet likened it to having a fifth member of the band with certain sounds and frequencies bouncing off the walls and coming back in unpredictable and exciting ways.  Songs were transposed into certain keys that were better suited to the stone environment.  (Many of the stones that built the maltings originally came from Balvenie Castle and workers claim a very old ghost came with them and haunts the site.)  

Copper Dogs, named after the copper tubes known as ‘dipping dogs’ that distillery workers used to store down their trouser legs and dip into casks to ‘liberate’ some whisky, comprises of Sam Simmons (The Balvenie) on guitar and vocals, Cat Spencer (Maverick Drinks) on lead vocals, Rob Allanson (Grant’s Whisky) on bass and Simon Roser (Simply Whisky) on drums.  The album also features guest appearances from various leading whisky industry figures including Dave Broom (vocals), Brian Kinsman (bagpipes), Neil Ridley (organ) and Dr Nicholas Morgan (guitar). 

Inspired by their number one passion for whisky and the whisky-making process, their songs are mostly ‘blends’ or ‘mash-ups’ of songs from across the years. The first two sides of the album are reincarnations of Motown hits and the last two sides are reworked classics spanning the last five decades.  The songs are crafted with a very particular Copper Dogs twist. 

Track list:

Side one: Sea of Love – Be My Baby – Where Did Our Love Go? – Can’t Help Myself – My Girl – Bring it on Home Side two: Locomotion – Do You Twist Me? – Dancing in the Street – You Keep Doves Cryin’ On Side three: Power of Love – The Weight – Dancing in the Dark – No Fat Bottom Surprises Side four: Ordinary Operator – Long Way to the Top – Heartbreaker – It Takes Two 

Commenting on the album recording location, Sam Simmons said: “While it may seem odd to recording purists, The Balvenie Distillery maltings allowed us to capture all the ambient  reverb which naturally occurs in this kind of environment. What makes the album really special is not only this reverb, but the hum of the distillery in the background between the tracks – it adds loads of character to the finished product and brings some humanity to an age of technology and auto-tuning.” 

Challenging the likes of other strange recording locations, such as Kiss’ Rock and Roll in an abandoned theatre, Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions in a church and Great Lake Swimmers’s self-titled album in a derelict grain silo, Copper Dogs have put its album among the work of an eclectic set of artists.  The tough task of recording, mixing and mastering the complexities of such an album fell to Steve Parker. 

The album will be available on vinyl only and is limited to just 500 special copies.  Details of how music fans can secure one of the limited edition LPs are available via www.thebalvenie.com/copperdogs 

To celebrate the launch of the album, Copper Dogs are performing the album live at a spectacular gig held in the ruined Balvenie Castle, Dufftown, on Friday 2nd May at 8.30pm. 

Tickets for the gig are priced are £10 and available from www.spiritofspeyside.com 

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