LISTEN: The Salt Collective Shares “The Pebble In My Hand”

The Peter Holsapple-assisted track appears on the collaborative new album Life, produced by Chris Stamey

The Salt Collective (Image: Propeller Sound Recordings)

The Salt Collective is a Paris-based collaborative music project led by the French trio Salt, comprised of guitarist and songwriter Stéphane Schück, Benoit Lautridou (drums) and Fred Quentin (bass), and their all-star roster of guests.

The names you will find working alongside this talented triad of musicians on the group’s excellent new LP Life read like some kind of college rock fever dream: Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), Matthew Sweet, Juliana Hatfield, Richard Lloyd (Television), Anton Barbeau, Susan Cowsill, Mitch Easter, Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple, Gene Holder and Will Rigby (The dB’s) all turn up on this album, recorded at Fidelitorium (Kernersville, NC), Ferber Studios (Paris), and Modern Recording (Chapel Hill, NC), as well as at artisan studios. The new album was produced by Stamey, who offers his insight into its creation.

“In the midst of chaos, upheaval, and uncertainty, the impulse to make art remains strong,” he proclaims. “Matthew Caws sings of having ‘found asylum [on] this hillside, and in many ways this recording project became a similar place of sanctuary for an extended musical family during a time when we didn’t know what new calamity the next day might bring. Life persists, hope remains. Always, it was helmed and inspired by the ceaseless optimism of Stéphane Schück, who shepherded and cheered each stage of its circuitous evolution.”

The Salt Collective Life, Propeller Sound Recordings 2023

Rock & Roll Globe is honored to premiere the third single from Life, the super catchy “The Pebble In My Hand” featuring Holsapple on guitar and vocals. 

Here’s what Stamey had to tell us about the song:

“The instant I heard the rollicking refrains of what Peter Holsapple and Stéphane Schück had come up with on ‘The Pebble in My Hand,’ I immediately thought of the AM radio days of the Move! 

“Although the Move never charted in the U.S., in the late 60s and early 70s ‘combo corner’ high-school music scene in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, we all loved the British band, whose songs were written by guitarist Roy Wood. They had begun their U.K. career with a series of fast pop singles, many made with young arranger Tony Visconti (T Rex, David Bowie). On songs such as ‘I Can Hear the Grass Grow,’ ‘Flowers in the Rain,’ ‘Wild Tiger Woman,’ ‘(Here We Go Round the) Lemon Tree,’ ‘Night of Fear,’ and ‘Blackberry Way,’ producer Denny Cordell had often taken the ‘leather’ of a hard-hitting Birmingham rock band and added the ‘lace’ of a Visconti violins or woodwinds arrangement (a combination Wood and friend Jeff Lynne embraced some years later when they started ELO). The friction between the electric riffs of the earnest and clever hard-rocking band and the jolly pop strings and winds made heads spin back then, including John Lennon’s, who raved that Wood was ‘brilliant.’

The Salt Collective “The Pebble In My Hand,” Propeller Sound Recordings 2023

“So we booked the Modrec Strings and found our own version of that sound. (And at the end of the session, we couldn’t resist adding a tip of the hat to the ‘A Day in the Life’ glissando as well.) I love how this track keeps walking up the stairs, hitting what seems like a chorus only to climb up higher each time to the ‘sanctuary’ actual chorus. And I love the koan-like idea of suddenly turning around and hearing the sound of . . . a rock. ‘I Can Hear the Grass Grow’ indeed.”

“The Pebble In My Hand” was released today on all streaming services, but you can check out the lyric video, directed by Fred Quentin, below. 


VIDEO: The Salt Collective feat. Peter Holsapple “The Pebble In My Hand”




Ron Hart

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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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