Most of Paint was recorded between April and October 1994 at Green Dolphin Studios (Patrick Dalgety). Tracks recorded before that at Homestead Studios (Mudd Wallace) are Paint, The Light, Rainbows and Rhythm of Your Soul.
The album has been remastered by Steven Gallagher for digital release.
2 Second Heart Blues
3 The Cornerstone
4 Bridges To Your Heart
5 A Tale From History (The Shooting)
6 The Light
7 Ready For This
9 Rhythm of Your Soul
10 Don’t Dig Too Deep
11 Keep Sunny
12 Sleep Walking
14 Beach of Stone
15 Sweet Scenario
16 Like a Song
All songs written by © David Ballantine, with lyrics on tracks 4,7 and 10 by Garvin Crawford.
Recorded at Homestead Studios and Green Dolphin Studios, Ireland
Steven Gallagher - guitars
Keith McVeigh - keyboards, guitar, bass guitar
Ceara Gallagher - backing vocals
Neil Martin - cello
Tom McFarland - percussion
David Ballantine - vocals, guitars, bass guitar
Cover art - Graeme Forster
Paint began with recording sessions at Homestead Studios in Randalstown. Some time later and over a five-month period the album was finally completed at Green Dolphin Studios, Belfast in October 1994.
With the late Mudd Wallace at the desk over two enjoyable and occasionally fraught weekends, four tracks were put down. I can’t remember now in which order, but I do recall that every time someone went out for a pint of milk, something special occurred back in the studio. When this became a pattern, and things started to flag, a milk run would be sanctioned.
Keith McVeigh and Steven Gallagher worked tirelessly to get things sounding sweet with keyboards and guitars, particularly on Rainbows. Steven’s acoustic guitar work on the title track has been much admired. Ceara Grehan (now Gallagher), despite being only 19 at the time, was the most mature person in the studio, recording her backing vocals for The Light, Rainbows and Paint with grace and good judgment; an indication of the successful stage career that would follow.
A budding young sound engineer, Alastair McMillan, helped out at the desk. He has since worked with The Stones, Van Morrison and many others.
(It should be obvious by now that I’m trying to name-drop my way into some sort of respectability).
Rhythm of Your Soul was accomplished with just me on vocal/guitar in one take. Someone had gone out for milk.
Green Dolphin Sessions
During April 1994 I went in and recorded about 25 songs just to test the water and see what might fly. Many of them quickly fell by the wayside, leaving work to do on the remaining material where I was greatly helped by Keith McVeigh, as musician and wise counsel. Keith’s almost spookily brilliant bass guitar on Second Heart Blues and Sleep Walking has attracted favourable comment over the years. Inspired by his efforts I played bass on Bridges To Your Heart, Ready For This, Don’t Dig Too Deep and Telephone.
Patrick Dalgety engineered all the sessions. While we sat one evening over a cup of tea, trying to figure out how to make Sweet Scenario even madder than it already was, Patrick suggested running the existing guitar backwards in places, plus the sound of breaking glass, backwards of course.
During the summer I contracted Scarlet Fever. On resumption Neil Martin, the distinguished composer and musician, came in and added some wonderfully inventive cello to A Tale from History and Beach of Stone.
I shouldn’t forget to mention Keith McVeigh’s sublime Strat solo on Sleep Walking, and the exceptional work of Tom McFarland who in just one day put down percussion parts to seven tracks.
In 2016 my great friend Steven Gallagher returned to the project, this time to remaster the album. A thousand thanks to him and all who contributed.
DB, June 2017