This early original is a paean to the live fast–die young lifestyle, which seems like a swell idea when one is 23, idolizes Gram Parsons and Hank Williams, and enjoys the robust constitution of youth. Singing about burning the candle at both ends seemed right and romantic back then, even as musicians like Parsons, who died of hard living in 1973, continued to helpfully offer object lessons in why it isn’t such a good idea.

Submitted to my bandmates in April or May of 1977, “Let the Singer” was the one original song that the Curley Howard Band ever played. Formed that year, CHB was a hard-rehearsing, hard-drinking, hardly-ever performing foursome that tried to blend country music, Sixties hits, California dreams and British pub rock.

CHB had a short life but a long tail. CHB begat the Mirrors, which begat the Fashion Jungle, which begat the Cowlix, which begat the Boarders, which begat Howling Turbines, which begat my current band, Day for Night. Ergo, a musical lineage spanning 45 years and counting.

Here, “Let the Singer” is performed by the Mirrors — that is, three-quarters of CHB: drummer Ken Reynolds, bassist-guitarist Mike Piscopo and me. It was recorded on the Sony two-track at Jim’s Night Club, 144 Middle St., Portland, Maine, March 3, 1979, early in the Mirrors’ run. I had a cheap piezo pickup plastered onto my Silvertone acoustic with putty, hence the distinctive guitar timbre. (Personnel notes: The fourth member of CHB was Andrew Ingalls. The Mirrors’ fourth member was singer Chris Hanson, not heard here, and multi-instrumentalist Jim Sullivan joined the Mirrors soon after this gig.)

Hear it below! Buy it on Bandcamp! (“Let the Singer” copyright © 2010 by Douglas L. Hubley. All rights reserved.)



The Mirrors, 1980, clockwise from left: Jim Sullivan, Ken Reynolds, Christine Hanson, D. Hubley, Mike Piscopo. (Photo by Minolta self-timer)


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