August 2022 These hazy, sunny, warm days of summer have slowed me down. Recording and video production are in the thinking and planning stage. What I am doing is solo gigs. A gratifying number have started to come in for the late Summer and Autumn. I'm featuring the square-neck dobro more prominently in the live shows too. It's something I've been meaning to do, for a while, but lockdown put paid to that! Things are slowly getting back to normal, and I hope to see you at one or more of the gigs. Stop by and say hello!
March 2022 Back in the days of Covid Lockdowns, I attempted to sort out my filing system. Unsuccessfully of course! However, I did rediscover a song I wrote in 1982 and then promptly forgot all about. In the summer of 2021 Ruth and I went to Sussex, to do a location photo and video shoot at some of the places in the song. It turned out better than we expected. So here it is. New recording, and a new vid. Official release via the usual digital media on March 1. https://youtu.be/fpr2oKIaU4I
I don’t have as many solo gigs as I’d like, and I’m working on that. More news later in the year, I hope. To compensate there are a pleasing number of gigs coming in for Reynard Collective, and we’re having a great time doing them. Our gigs are always fun, unpredictable, and not too serious. Do come along and see us.
December 2021 At last, gigs are starting to happen again. Both solo, and band shows with Reynard Collective are starting to come in for next year. The Covid gods allowing of course. Reynard Collective is turning out to be a wonderful project. I get to sing and play dobro and mandolin with four other first class writers and musicians.
One of my most popular songs "The Wreck of The Association" is being released as a single on January 1. It's an old, old song, which for some reason has never been recorded before. More recordings to come in 2022.
October 2021 My main news is that I’m releasing a new 11 track, solo guitar instrumental album on 1 November. Called Ammonite. It will be available from all the usual digital channels, and from Bandcamp on 14 October.. There will be a few CD’s available too, from me at gigs. This album has been a long time coming. I tried a different method of composing for some of the pieces. I wrote them largely away from the guitar, and although they turned out pretty well in the end, and I found the writing process straightforward, when I came to play them, I found out that I couldn’t! After spending a few days writing, I then had to spend a few months working out how to play the damn things! In complete contrast, 3 of the tracks were complete improvisations, and I couldn’t play them again if I tried. I’m hoping you can’t tell which ones they are! Here's a link to a vid of one of the tracks, Loreena. https://youtu.be/HIHn7i52ScU
As I hinted back in April, we've been making progress with Reynard Collective. A few musician friends have got together to form an alliance to help promote our music. Members are myself, Phil Riley, Mick Mangan, Kenny Wilson, and Dave Taylor. We’ve been busily helping each other to increase our digital and social media presence, and have now turned our attention to live music. After performing at a couple of low key events, we had our first major gig at one of our favorite local venues, The Musician, in Leicester. We put together a not too serious show highlighting our songwriting; performing solo, in duo’s and trios, finishing the show with a full band. We were pleased with the response, and a number of folks asked if we are doing it again. We certainly are! Details are on the Gigs page.
April 2021 I’m releasing a new single on April 1. Available from all the usual digital channels. It’s a co-write with my wife Ruth. The song tells how Bewick's swans fly 4000 miles from the far north of Russia every autumn, to spend the winter in the Severn valley in the UK. Ruth has produced a lovely video to go with it too. https://youtu.be/Ar4HSkqawWA If you’re a YouTube kind of person maybe you could subscribe to my channel . Chris Chambers - YouTube
I’ve also nearly finished work on an instrumental album due for release in the summer. Eight tracks are mixed and mastered, two are ready to record, and the final two are baffling me. Although I’ve written them, I’ve not yet worked out how to play them!
Another thing occupying me this Spring is The Reynard Collective. A few musician friends have got together to form an alliance to help promote our music. Members are myself, Phil Riley, Mick Mangan, Kenny Wilson, and Dave Taylor. More on this to follow as the year progresses but watch out for events and gigs as things get back to normal. As a taster here’s a Spotify playlist featuring our stuff https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3SYyQsySVfJdoc1nBDhgbA?si=VeynwLiFT6CawGat-qWqIQ It would be great if you could follow us and the playlist on Spotify.
February 2021 New single time, 'All That's Inside of a Man' is out on February 1, via the usual digital channels, with accompanying video on YouTube. https://youtu.be/BA800iL3pEs
I’m pretty excited about the video. It’s a new venture really. I’m miles behind with digital media, and I’ve only now started to appreciate the benefits of YouTube for musicians. I’ve also discovered that Ruth (my wife!) has a talent for video production, and we had great fun making this one. We’re currently hard at work on the follow-up, which is nearly finished, and will be released in the spring. If you’re a YouTube kind of person, please give us some encouragement and subscribe to my channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiQbDFOU5lPePsPemGm5ncQ
That’s all for now, the snowdrops are pushing through, the daffodils won’t be long, and brighter days are ahead.
November 2020 I'm badly missing gigging - it's something I've done since I was 13! The guitars glare at me from their stands, and the car sits in the drive and sulks. However, there's no end to Covid in sight, so I'm keeping busy with writing and recording, and I'm continuing with the creation of video's for Youtube. I'm trying to improve the quality with each release, so software manuals are always open. And baffling. The big event in November will be the release of 'Treasure This Wondrous World' as a digital single, accompanied by a video produced by Phil Riley. The lyrics for the song were written by my wife Ruth. We were both very fond of the BBC series 'Detectorists', and the song elaborates on life from Becky's perspective. The song has been recorded before by The Secret Magpies, and we did a great job, but I wanted a new version that I could promote, as the song has pertinent things to say about our present situation. Released on November 6, via all the usual digital outlets. June 2020 What a spring and summer! The Covid virus has changed everything we do, and how we live. As a musician, I've been able to carry on writing and recording of course, but with no live gigs I feel a little lost. What I have done is realise the potential of Youtube. I'm gradually posting video's of the current songs. New stuff too, and re-acquainting myself with old ones I've been neglecting. Check out my channel, and make my day by subscribing. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiQbDFOU5lPePsPemGm5ncQ I'm also popping up here and there for on-line gigs, the next one is
March 2020 The new album, "Between Two Worlds", come came out on 2nd March. It's a collection of solo guitar instrumental pieces. The tracks are all from the late nineties or early noughties, some came out at the time on obscure, no longer available albums, and some never saw the light of day at all. I was actually going to release a collection of all new pieces this year, but having heard these tracks once again I just had to release them into the world. The new stuff can wait until 2021! And there's enough material for a song album too.
January 2020 I'm mixing and mastering the next album, due for release March 2, 2020. Sounding good so far! It's another collection of solo guitar instrumental compositions.
March 2019 I’ve been threatening to put together a collection of my solo acoustic guitar pieces for some time, and the time has come. I’ve always written instrumental music, and a few pieces have been used for film, TV, advertising, and general AV library purposes, but not much of it has otherwise seen the light of day. What has spurred me on is the massive interest in acoustic guitar instrumental music on digital media. Especially Spotify. This collection, “The Quiet Hour”, is available now on Bandcamp, as a full album, and as individual tracks. You can listen there for free, or purchase downloads.
There will also be a CDR version available at gigs, or through the post.
A few of the tracks have Youtube thingies. Watch them here:- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiQbDFOU5lPePsPemGm5ncQ The collection will also be available as individual singles from the usual digital places - itunes, amazon, spotify, deezer, pandora, apple music, google play, napster, iheart radio, tidal and quite a few others. I have come to realise that the days of the traditional album are almost over. CD sales are falling. It’s many months since I bought a CD myself. All of my listening is digital, and in the form of single songs. Playlists, either provided by others or ones I compile myself are how I now listen to music. CDs in the car though still. With that in mind, I’m drip feeding the tracks to the digital media outlets. It’s a marketing ploy! I can’t believe I know what one is! I believe this approach creates a “buzz”, and increases the number of plays and listeners. We’ll see. Buzz. Buzz. “Melanie”, the first track getting this treatment, will be released on 21 March, and from April 1, additional tracks every few weeks thereafter. I’ve got enough tracks to last until the autumn. And the beauty of this method is that as new compositions crop up, I can just record and release. It could be a never-ending process. Here’s a few track notes:- Longslade Inspired by the work of the Longslade Consort, an Early Music group from Leicester. I played on the same bill as them many years ago, and this composition popped out as a consequence. The Priory, 1540 I've very occasionally performed this live, and whenever I do, I'm asked how I get the chorus effect. I don't. There is no chorus effect. No electrons were harmed in the recording of this piece. It's the tuning, the guitar, and my fingers. Melanie I was trying out the recording potential of a new guitar, and got distracted by this piece which appeared out of nowhere. Written, recorded, mixed and mastered all in one day. Something of a record! Simone New tuning, new sound! I wasn’t really in control of this one. I’ve never been able to play it again. Red Balloon You may be able to guess where the inspiration for this came from, there are a few musical clues, if not, head on over to www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fho1jF3b4A Candlelight In recent years I've been trying to "capture the moment", so I've been recording very quickly, not bothering too much about recording techniques, just using whatever mics and guitar were handy. Didn't always work. In this case it did. Written and recorded in half an hour or so. Not Forgotten I had forgotten all about this, hence the title. Fortunately, I came across it when I was looking for something else. Rescued from the Oblivion of my Filing System. Of a July Evening I think this was written in July. Can't remember much about it! Marillio This was originally meant to be part of a Secret Magpies track (www.thesecretmagpies.com), but it never happened for one reason or another. Sounds good here. Galahad I'd been writing this track for some months - one of those pen and paper, head-scratching jobs, and although I'd got most of the composition, it wasn't pleasing me. Anyway, I'd been out gigging with The Secret Magpies, and it was late at night, probably early in the morning, when I dropped Autumn off at her house. The guitars somehow got mixed up, and I got home with Autumn's Guild, and she found herself with my Martin. The following day I idly picked up the Guild, and WHAM! it all fell into place, and I recorded this version there and then. Serendipity? Chance? The guiding Hand of the Godess? Sunday, Rain It was Sunday, it rained.
I hope you can find something in this collection that you like. Let me know what you think.