Farmer Dave Speaks of Love, Heartbreak, and Utopia

October 13, 2020
Marty Halpern

Multi-instrumentalist and shaman to the California music scene Farmer Dave Scher has released a four-song EP titled “Speak of Love,” his first solo release since 2009’s “Flash Forward to the Good Times.” While Farmer Dave is legendary both musically and artistically, his main output has been as part of bands such as Beachwood Sparks, The Skiffle Players, and Kurt Vile and the Violators. This offering affords Farmer Dave the luxury of an unfiltered platform to get his message out.

Scher begins, “The EP is called “Speak of Love” and the songs have to do with a certain journey in that regard. Viewing love from a couple of different angles, as if you were holding it up like a crystal. It was an intentional four song journey and it was a different approach.

“This little EP has its own message and mission. “Speak of Love” is something for this time and place. For people to see I’m not trying to be all that and a bag of chips. I’m following my heart and saying what I believe is happening.”

While part of the EP covers a breakup in Farmer Dave’s past, there is also significant attention paid to the theme of pitching in and doing our share to maximize the greatness and potential of the earth we live on. A topic to tread lightly for some musicians, but a lifestyle for Famer Dave.

Farmer Dave Scher | photo: Alan Forbes
Farmer Dave Scher | photo: Alan Forbes

“The ingenuity and power of the human spirit is ultimately more than adequate for the challenges in front of us,” Scher states. “Just being right means someone else has to be wrong… there’s just so far that’s going to take us right now.

“We need to look at the big picture and treat everyone with the dignity and respect. That’s going to lead to a big shift. There are billions of people who want peace and to let their neighbors have the same.”

The EP title track “Speak of Love” has a funky beat underneath Scher, who offers almost spoken word musings such as “Love brings harmony to the hearts of every woman, child and man. So, speak of love and be of love and together we will reach our greatest potential, our highest heights.” For Farmer Dave, it’s a call to find the purest message and focus on the ties that bind us.

“When you’re in the neighborhood, with your families, you and I are on the phone, it makes you feel like a lot of this can start at the local level. And that’s why I said in the song… From the ground up, a movement builds. But it’s got to be for everybody,” he quips.

“It’s the idea that the sun doesn’t shine on some people. Everybody gets a chance. That’s the only type of love that’s going to change everything. That’s what I’m singing about here and that’s what I think the world needs for everybody.”

“Ocean Eyes” is the breakup song on the EP which, according to Farmer Dave, was written in parts over the course of a couple of years. The ending of the song not presenting itself until the relationship was completely over.

“I went through a break up as described in the song. More honestly, the ending of the song wasn’t ready for a while. I had the first verses because that’s what happened in the relationship, and went through a transformative routine where by the end, I realized we weren’t meant to be,” Scher states. “But you set me free, which she did.”

“It’s like the song builds musically into this frenzied kind of dance. I pictured a California caballero finale, where the dancing sombrero men are celebrating the defeat that is inherent in the break up. You’re showing the lady that you’re grateful for her, and you still have your pride.”

The mystical journey continues in “Endangered Species.” With a spoken word style, the song focuses on preserving the earth so everyone can pursue their interests. Farmer Dave adds, the more we come together, the better the chance of finding our individual happiness.

“If we all can say thumbs up to a cute cat around the world within seconds these days, I’m sure we can make new accords for the benefit of all. That’s thinking as a species, we’ve got the wherewithal and the means to be a global entity celebrating all the differences of coming together when we need to. We need to do things that are ultimately in everyone’s best interest and the planet’s.”

“Rivers of Love” wraps up the EP on a happy note with a groovy 60s throwback sound – exactly what Farmer Dave was going for. “I picture almost like the song “Touch Me” by The Doors…I wanted to make a song that clocks in quickly and has more of a classic feel to enjoy in itself.”

Whether it’s individually or part of a group, Farmer Dave Scher’s message and way of life are unwavering. He doesn’t preach or have the hubris to think only his ideas will work, and offers one parting shot for everyone to absorb.

“Every one of us is a special and unique being in the grand divine cosmic dance. We’re able now, as a species, to awaken to our own beauty, radiance, and magnificence. These problems we find are just the first opportunities to move forward and find a new way to live together.”

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