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.