Working on some promotion work at this time but also getting 'off the bus' as they say. I recently did a gig with some jazz players and it was a real buzz. After singing Autumn Leaves, I was not quite sure the room and everything in it was still there. It was one of those perfect moments that sometimes happens in music. So I'm kind of taking stock. Hmm.
So relaxing in Paris with my friend, Victor. Always great for advice not to mention our singing partnership! For You.
Well this Summer was a fast race around a few festivals and sure there were some really inspired days up there at the Montrose festival and the Dundee Blues Festival. So as a pictoral catch up, here we go. See right column.
The next fundraiser for Amnesty is on February 18th in Paisley Arts Centre. Joy - I have Eddie Beggan and Billy Letford sharing the bill with the band. Jacci Stoyle will be along to raise the profile of Amnesty. All proceeds to Amnesty. It starts at 7.30pm, great sound and I'm sure this will be a great night.
Great gig last night in Sammy's, really warm audience and some sound suggestions for songs. If you can be arsed why not log on here and suggest a song you think the band should cover. Also log on and let me know what you think of the songs on 'Released.' oooo partytime at mine till 4am. Now quiet, quiet with Joni Mitchell in the background there. Hmmm.
The launch night featured the new Scottish writer, Billy Letford, (see him perform here at the CCA at the Discombobulate event.) Billy has performed at Connex, was recently on the Radio cafe and is a writer in our future reading, for sure. He is direct, political and poignant . Singer-songwriter, Eddie Beggan (formerly of the Gems) did some music from his solo stuff. He has a voice you can't forget. Listen to Path. Here it is. John Watson from Amnesty in Edinburgh gave us a short intro to the aims of Amnesty and concentrated our focus to 4 particular case studies of political prisoners of conscience. Let's sign up - get them out, it was indeed a 'Release' night. We did the new songs and then well, had a bit of a wild set just for fun. Thanks to everyone who came along, thanks for buyin the CDs. - Hope you are enjoying the rock blasts and the tender For you. Still trying to get the films sorted out but hopefully they'll be up soon.
So a little repose time to reflect and get to the piano.
Dundee Blues festival Summer 09
Scotia last Saturday
Met some really great people in the Scotia last Saturday, thanks for your advice! The band played so well - I just felt that 'out there' feeling when I was singing, excellent! Back in the Scotia on February 28th, see ya.
Who were the great ones that really got me.
When I think of the singers that have really influenced me? Otis Redding, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Brook Benton, Matt Crilly, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Pat Benatar, Ella Fitzgerald, Neil Young, Ida Cox, Tracey Chapman...it goes on.
A wee rest
October 15th. ooo, spent a busy wee day in Forth Street, had horrific asthma through the night so I was a bit apprehensive about managing to do final vocal tracks and yep, the early takes on Doorway were well below what I wanted but the voice seemed to wake up, get over it - whatever and then we had a better time. Maybe it was the panini break! Back in tomorrow with the Aussie voice of Jose and I'll pick Billy up from The Tramway.
Diary Days 2
So another day in the studio today, picked up Jose and Billy in the Tramway and round we went. I let them hear the songs that I hoped they could write to - it came together quickly and was even better than I'd hoped. Billy Letford is a great writer and his vocal presence is absolute. Jose was doing a couple of versions of texts for over the song, Down South. The 'back to your wives' version won it. Spoke to Ian about adding some pipes onto This Town. Great the way it all starts to grow.
October, 22nd. Picked up Iain, the piper and headed off to Forth Street recording studios. Gall was his usual upbeat self and quickly got down to setting up mic positions for the drones, the chanter and well all the special things for this very temperamental and ancient instrument. Tuning to what was there was difficult and Iain slipped and turned the drones here and there to make them behave. We ended up with a poignant C with grace notes as the musical finale to This Town but then, oh well, we couldn't resist a 'whirly tune' before Billy's poem. Home now with the sound still thrumming in my ears - really looking forward to the mix. Thanks Iain. Go for it Gall.
Mixing, mixing and more - getting tired now with the whole running from work to the studio, checking levels. It would be so good to be able to focus instead of dividing my 'lives' up. But it also brings real joy to see it - nearing completion. Tonight, the first complete 'Released' collection. Midnight and after a good few plays, I still need to get it back to Gal for a few wee tweaks. Intend to finish with 6 tracks so more of an EP? Now for sleep.