In the fall of 2008 I was 21 years old and living in Pittsfield, VT, a small town a little north of Killington, population 600. I moved there at the end of the summer with a couple of friends of mine, Chris Bell and Luke Duffy. The three of us rented a converted barn about a mile outside of town in “the middle of nowhere.” We were total strangers to our surroundings, both geographically and culturally.
I was writing a lot of music and developing a repertoire of new songs. Although I was not performing regularly, I was taking my songwriting seriously. One November evening after work I was sitting in the living room strumming through some songs, when Luke appeared with a microphone. Luke was a musician like myself, and an incredible talent. He set up the mic on a stand in front of me and ran a cable to his bedroom upstairs, where he hit the record button and left me to it. I played through a handful of my newest songs for about 45 minutes, and that was it.
Fast forward almost 10 years, and a lot has changed. Last June, Luke was killed in a motorcycle accident. Words are insufficient to describe the great loss his family and friends have suffered. I loved him. He was a beautiful person. He was one of the truest friends anyone could hope for. He was rare and special. I still cannot believe the reality of his loss and have been grappling with it in my own way. So I began going through the recordings we had made together over the years, many of which we recorded while living together in Vermont. I found the above mentioned recording and decided to release it.
The sound quality that Luke achieved from one microphone set up in our living room is impressive. The recording captures a memorable period in both our lives. It also documents a body of my work that otherwise may have been forgotten (thank you, Luke!). Of the dozen songs we recorded that night, I only ever ended up releasing one on an album; so this recording consists of almost entirely unreleased material.
In addition to the living room session, I included some other recordings from Pittsfield of moments with Luke that I think should be heard. They are from jam sessions the three of us roommates used to have together. I think they provide a glimpse of how great Luke was.
“Yeah!” is a snippet of a jam that reached an interesting climax and development. You can hear Luke yell out in excitement as the music takes its interesting turn. He always brought joy to any situation and never hesitated to show it.
“Pep Talk” is literally just that. I admittedly was hard on myself in those days (not much has changed) and Luke had little tolerance for negativity. So he gave me a pep talk during a lull in the music making. 10 years later, I still get encouraged by listening to it!
“Luke Guitar Solo” is also just that, but notably you will hear a bass line that he played on the spot as well! Using a loop pedal he was able to get the bass line to play on repeat, and in the midst of the jam session he switched to guitar to take a solo. He was always good at wizardry like that.
“Last Two Minutes” is the final 2 minutes of a 2 hour jam session. I think it is a beautiful snapshot of our time together in Pittsfield.
To Luke Duffy :)
released December 22, 2017
Rather than pay for the album, please make a donation to Wolf Connection on behalf of Luke Hemingway Duffy here:
Wolf Connection is a wolf sanctuary in Acton, California that provides programming for at-risk youth in the Los Angeles area. Luke had a passion for animals and applauded the Wolf Connection's work. A sponsorship has been made in his name.
All songs written and performed by Tim Haufe with the exception of "Yeah", "Pep Talk", "Luke Guitar Solo", and "Last Two Minutes", written by Tim Haufe, Luke Duffy, and Chris Bell.
All recordings engineered by Luke Duffy
Mixed and mastered by Tim Haufe
Solo session recorded on November 17, 2008 in the living room of the D.A.M.N. Barn in Pittsfield, VT
Jam sessions were recorded throughout the fall and winter of 2008-09.
Cover art photographer unknown. Photograph entitled, "Bird's Eye View of Pittsfield", circa 1910, public domain
“Tim has all the qualities one looks for in a live performance: He is in tune with the elasticity of the crowd. I could feel myself being drawn closer and closer to the music as the song went on.” -Daniel Dissinger, InStereoPress