Dave Boyles is not one to shy away from experimentation.
On his new release entitled "8 String Demos", the singer/songwriter offers up a collection of songs that are tied together cohesively through the use of a custom 8 string guitar Boyles developed with Chapel Hill N.C. luthier Wes Lambe in 2010.
"I had the guitar for about two months before hitting the road as LMFAO's Musical Director," Boyles
says. After three years of extensive touring with the group which ended in 2013, Dave found himself dedicated to the 8 string exclusively, writing and woodshedding to make up for time away from the instrument.
The hybrid guitar consists of the lower three strings of a bass and the top five strings of a guitar, each feeding separate amplifiers. Developed as a natural progression, this enables Boyles to pay both bass and guitar parts simultaneously.
"I started looping with an acoustic guitar and effects, in which I would emulate the sound of a bass with an octave pedal," Boyles says. "From there, a friend developed a double-neck guitar for me, which consisted of a 4 string bass and a 6 string guitar."
This sonically painted a bigger picture for Boyles, but still presented limitations in that each part had to be played separately. After catching virtuoso Charlie Hunter in 2009, the inventor of the 8 string concept, Boyles finally found his voice. "I was able to decipher the tuning and the separation of the signal, and suddenly it made sense to me." The next day, he found Wes Lambe online and started the design of his guitar.
Boyles release “Bedroom Demos” was picked up by DIAA/Domo records in 2005 and got the attention of Columbia Music Entertainment in Japan. In 2005 CME signed Boyles and released “Thank You” which, combined with the “Bedroom Demos” import, yielded a #1 record at Tower and HMV stores throughout the country.
The record also produced four top ten singles to radio, with two tracks “Sunshine” and “Thank You” reaching the number one position. “Southern Fried” was released on CME in September 2006 with “Home to Stay” debuting at number 21 to radio. “Monophonic” was released in September of 2010 through HEI International in Japan.
Fast forward to 2016, and we find Boyles offering up his own sonic footprint on the instrument. The concept was simple - capture songs as they would be experienced in a live context, in which Boyles features drummer Sheven Morris in an intimate duo setting. "We wanted to showcase the songs stripped down, so we could represent what a listener is going to hear live."
"It ends up being a really fun experience for us. There is a looseness that we bring to our live approach which enables us to improvise in a structured context." Boyles also adds, "If you can tell that I'm playing both guitar and bass, I'm doing it wrong. The instrument is simply a means to serve the song, inspired by the love I have for both bass and guitar - not an end to personal gratification."
"8 String Demos", a collection of Dave Boyles' signature style of Alternative R&B, is as accessible as it is refreshing.