Here's the Thing...

This is the project I’ve been working on for the last couple of years. More precisely. I should say this is the project I’ve been working on for the last fifty year. 

In the mid 1960s, besides gigging with the local musicians in my home area of Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana, I started my own band. It was a jazz/rock/psychedlic/noise/comedy/magic outfit called the Masters of Deceit. It was greeted by reactions that ranged from apathy to antipathy, with tiny pockets of respect. 

Along the way, I collaborated with a local artist named Davi Det Hompson, who took part in concert events, wrote liner notes and song lyrics. His lyrics were not exactly suitable for my weird little band, as far as I could tell, so I put many of them away, in a box I labelled “art,” promising Davi Det that I would complete them when the time was right. 

Then a lot of that time went by—I moved with my family to Los Angeles, where I became a studio musician and eventually spent forty years touring and recording as the pianist for singer Neil Diamond. Meanwhile, Davi Det and his wife moved to Richmond, VA, where they made their mark in the art world. Then, in 1996, he died suddenly and shockingly, while running. I was crushed by this news, and regretted that we had never pursued our project to completion. 

Early in 2017, Neil Diamond retired from touring for medical reasons, which brought big changes to my life as well as his.  When I was digging through my archves in search of a plan for the future, I came across my big box of “art”—mostly song embryos, and mostly from Davi Det. I realized that (a) I was gifted with a lot of years that were denied to him, and (b) my personal musical direction had evolved to a point that I was more comfortable joining his lyrics to my music, and I really needed to recommit myself to finishing the project. 

I was fortunate to have convinced Daisy Press to do the singing. Her parents were memhers of the Neil Diamond band, and Daisy and I had been close all her life, and our musical preferences were wonderfully simpatico. Recording these pieces with her was more fun than work, and I was repeatedly moved by her performances. 

This is the resulting album, “The Dav Det Songs,” because I’m proud of the way it came out. I’m not sure exactly who is the target audience for it, but it’s just something I felt the need to do. It’s available from as a download or CD, but I’m trying to conjure up an audience for a product that is admittedly obscure, but rewards those who pay close attention. 

If you enjoy it, let me know. In any case, thanks from Davi Det and myself.. 

Tom Hensley

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