Dave Depper has worked with many bands within his time in the music industry including The Decemberists, Mirah and Musee Mecanique. However, this time he’s gone solo.
Deciding that he wanted to prove he could complete something, he took on the mammoth task of reproducing Paul McCartney’s entire 1971 Ram album.
When I say ‘solo’, I should really emphasise the word. He recorded the whole album by himself with the aid of a few harmonies from Joan Hiller. He played all the instruments and did all the vocals. Not only this but he also recorded it in 31 days from home.
The Ram Project
Now, to some people, this might not seem like much but if you think about how the original album was produced, the size of the task becomes clearer. Paul McCartney hired musicians and recorded it in a top of the range studio. Dave Depper, on the other hand, had himself, some instruments and a small room yet the result is hauntingly similar to the original. Tony Lash, who mastered the record, said: “When I had it playing in the background in my house it was, at times, unnervingly like having the original on.” I couldn’t agree more.
Dave Depper has out done himself on this project. Without trying to replace Paul McCartney, he’s managed to make the record his own without distorting the songs or attempting anything too extravagant.
Staying true to the nature of the songs, Depper has reproduced an album of gold. It’s awe-inspiring to think he has achieved something like this, relying purely on his own skills. He never planned on it being released or even thought he’d get so much attention for doing it but it’s a good thing he has.
While he keeps the musical elements of the songs the same, his vocals do vary slightly from the Beatles star’s. Surprisingly, this is probably the only thing that can be used to distinguish between the two albums. The difference is evident in 3 Legs where, if I’m honest, I prefer Depper’s blues vocals.
Some of the best covers are 3 Legs, Back Seat Of My Car and Monkberry Moon Delight where Dave Depper possibly outshines Paul McCartney, vocals-wise.
Taking on a project like this opens the doors to a lot of criticism yet Depper hasn’t interfered with the original, he has only enhanced it by opening it up to a younger generation. He has taken a great record and simply reproduced it. He hasn’t tried anything smart or even tried to out do McCartney. This is something he should be proud of and is something everyone should pick up and take a listen to.
The Ram Project is set for release on August 22 through City Slang.