I'VE GOT PLANS; Hardin Davis (vocals and guitar); "I'm My Own Grandpaw," "Cowpoke," "When You're Old and Gray," "Golden Bird," "The Lord Chancellor's Song," six others; Recorded at ATI and Degn Studios; produced by Hardin Davis.All singers have a bias. Some have a sentimental bias, or a poetic bias. Others like music with a heady social agenda.
Hardin Davis has a comic bias.
Davis, a Salt Lake City singer/musician, was getting such positive response to the humorous tunes he was performing around town, he let some old friends talk him into cutting an album.
Lucky for us. "I've Got Plans" brims with both talent and intelligence. It's one of those albums where each track was hand-picked by the performer, an archaic notion done in years ago by the recording industry.
And for a mom and pop production, the album's pretty darn good.
Over half of the songs here are jaunty novelty numbers, delivered by Davis in a full-throated baritone backed by catchy guitar work. Some of the songs are classics ("I'm My Own Grandpaw," the Alonzo and Oscar tune, and "When You're Old and Gray," Tom Lehrer's leering little nugget of black comedy). Others - such as "I Wish I'd Been Born in Borneo" - are rib-ticklers that haven't been heard since the turn of the century.
We even get "Everyone Says `I Love You' " from the Marx Brothers movie "Horse Feathers."
Seeded among all these madcap melodies are three or four sturdy ballads. "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" and "Down From Where I Was Dreaming" - a song written by Hardin's brother Paul and Steve Piro - are haunting cuts that Davis splices in among the looney tunes.
In the end, the music's top-notch, but one of the most enjoyable parts of the release has to be the linear notes. Davis offers light and witty capsule reports on each song and a clever little essay on how the project blossomed. What's more, the list of performers here reads like a Who's Who of local acoustic music.
"I've Got Plans" is one of those albums nobody plays just once. You might even run a needle through the thing just trying to memorize the witty lyrics.