From The Desk Of Pete Astor: “Magician And Assistant” (That Sway)

Pete Astor has been a staple of the British indie scene since the early ’80s, fronting a diverse number of outfits including the Loft, the Weather Prophets, the Wisdom Of Harry and Ellis Island Sound. He launched a solo career in 1990, as well, and is also a senior lecturer in music at the University of Westminster. Astor’s latest release is One For The Ghost (Tapete). He’ll be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week, writing about the origins of these songs and how they relate to the LP’s theme of past and future, complete with illustrations he created with Susanne Ballhausen.

At some point in the recording of the album, I realised that the groove of the song had settled into a similar the place that I loved in the Grateful Dead—on Bertha from the early ’70s or something off American Beauty.

And, again, it’s that U.K. take on country music—melodically a bit different from Hank Williams, more like the Beatles—that groove, but a long way from the fields and the farm.

Some Grateful Dead-style grooves: