Sunday, 25 November 2012

Back In The Studio

It's Saturday afternoon, I'm gettingover a lousy cold. My eyes are heavy, my thoat hurts and I can't stop coughing. Luckily I'm not the one who has to sing today.

Win arrived for his backing vocal session and just had time to discuss hairstyles with Pete in the studio before we started.

Then it was into the booth for Win
and what an amazing job he did on two of the songs. The Friend You Need and The River Is Wide.
End of the session and engineer Pete and I listen to the rough mix of  the chorus from The Friend You Need

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Backing Singers Are Back

Those busy backing vocalists have been missing from my studio for some time now. With just five more tracks for backing vocals to be laid down on and the mixing will begin.

Here's Josie. I trapped her in the vocal booth one night and the results of her backing harmonies were magical. Even better than they would have been if she'd come here of her own accord. But she was tired and hungry and knew that the only way out of that booth was to sing for her life!

But seriously though. Thanks Josie for your hard work. Win is in on Saturday and the songs are taking shape.

I'll add some clips of rough mixes as we go along.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Brentford Festival September 2011

Probably not the best in the world, nor the biggest but certainly the closest to where I live – The Brentford Festival opened its gates on the wettest and windiest days we’d seen in weeks. 

I had a wonderful plan that included recording everything that led up to that day so that I could show it as a video diary. It was to include rehearsals leading up to the festival and, of course, the live performance itself.  But the rain put paid to that and it was impossible to set up the camcorder. The show did go on when the rain slowed.

Let’s stop talking about the weather now. I’ve attached all the relevant photos to this recording of my interview at Hayes FM and hopefully you’ll get the general idea.

Needless to say, I was surrounded by some fantastic musicians. The gig was acoustic and included Manuel Salamanca on percussion and Pete Clark on acoustic guitar. My back up singers were Josie Bannis and Winston Ward who will also be appearing on my second album which is being recorded this autumn for release in the new year.

Stick around for more details about the recording of the album coming soon…

Where Have I Been?

I know when I started this blog I intended to be dilligent, keep it up to date, keep it informative, interesting, fun, post pictures and videos and all kinds of fancy stuff. Well I must admit I've done none of the above. I return to my blog to find it is as lonely as ever. No comments, no followers no nothing, not even moi - la blogger. Shocking.

I have to admit I have had a few diversions from music. It's not to say that I've abandoned my second album, it's just that so many other things have happened. For one thing, I've been trying to complete my first novel. It's almost there and I'm going to try for a publishing deal. I know - about as likely as a recording deal , right? Yes you most certainly are.

So why is it that I've chosen to do two of the most difficult jobs around - ever. (Well probably not ever, I'm sure getting a book deal and getting known for your music was easier once). But I fear that I am destined to be just another struggling artist.

One thing is for sure, if I want to get my book published or if I want people to buy my CD, then the product must be the best it can be. I know that. And that's what I've been working on. Getting this album to be the best in can be has taken a lot longer than I thought it would. People keep asking me 'when is the album going to be released?' And all I can say is 'soon.' I hope they don't get fed up, lose interest. 

I've certainly not lost interest in my artistic pursuits. I'm still pursuing. I'm still teaching singing and doing the occasional covers gig. I've got a gig coming up soon. I feel a bit rusty - have to brush up on some jazz and soul covers but I'm sure I'll get by.

One thing is for certain. I've always been here, in mind and in spirit - musician, writer, teacher and escape artist (oh I never mentioned that one), wife, mother, sister, friend. Trying to keep it all together and trying to finish the DREADED SECOND ALBUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 16 January 2012

To Gig Or Not To Gig For Free

I have a strict rule about it this and I always insist my semi-pro and amateur musician friends charge something for performing.  That way I'm hoping venues will appreciate the work that goes in to putting on a performance. I'm also against doing auditions for gigs too. Surely a Youtube clip should suffice. I know some musicians send out highly produced demos that are not representative of their actual live sound, let's say, but there are a lot of us who work to perfect our live performances. Those people going out half rehearsed, half prepared and half baked are giving us hard working musicians a bad name. 

But I'm going off on a tangent, a bit of a personal moan. I wanted to make a point about whether it is ever appropriate to perform for free. I know I have done it in the past but where does it really get you?  Possible leads, a follow up paid gig? Actually, in my fourteen years as professional musician I can honestly say it's gotten me nowhere.

Unless you are helping out a friend - don't play for free. We work hard (a lot of us) and have trained for years and it's about time we got respect for our art and stop being told to get a "proper" job. Even those of us who are not famous are hard workers. Let's celebrate our creativity and get paid for it - we're worth it!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

First Gig Of The Year

Well here we are again - another year, another truck load of opportunities. But last year, I learned I have to grab them as they go by on the tray of opportunities quite fast. The people carrying the tray don't always hang about for you to make a choice.

So - with the new album well underway for a release quite soon - I must do more to get myself noticed. As yet, I'm the only follower of this blog (so I could say anything really) I need to make some changes. Right? Right!

First off - more gigs. Didn't perform nearly enough last year and have to change that this year. So started with a cosy little acoustic, lunchtime gig. Here is one of my songs called "Alright By Me". Love this song - might become the title track for the album - who knows.  Listen and comment and do come back again to see how my mission to take 2012 by storm this year is working out!