Then & Now 4 - Recording Sessions
The only problem is
Sugar monkey and the nut pig
03/10/20 - Then & Now 4 - Session 1: 4-song EP - Back in the recording studio
- The final part of my four-volume series, each opening with a song from my EP, 'Dangerous Moonlight'. We laid down the guitar and vocal for a new song, 'The only problem is'. With all this crazy Covid stuff, it gives me a lot of pleasure to record my music and Kevin and does a great job helping me get the best out of the songs.
7/11/20 - Something different: The Heathfield tower crane has gone from my skyline. It took them two days to dismantle it. Here's the main action in 2-minutes, complete with my original music score: Music to watch cranes go bye.
Videos for Then & Now 3|
30/10/20 - The door -
A story song - what is behind the door?
20/10/20 - Stranger -
Things keep getting stranger. A reflective song for today about tomorrow.
Then & Now 3 - Recording Sessions
Inside of you
01/10/20 - Then & Now 3 - Officially Released - available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and digipak CD:
See Albums for all the details.
17/09/20 - Then & Now 3:
Kevin has mixed & mastered the finished EP, sent the files over and produced two master copies on CD. I will get a limited production run on CD. The official release date will be 1/10/20.
09/09/20 - Then & Now 3 - Session 5: with Heather
- Final session - Heather recorded a flute part for 'Unwanted fruit' and did some cool backing vocal for 'The door'. I then did a couple of vocal tweaks to complete my parts. Since my last session, Simon has sent over a couple of beautiful sax parts for 'Inside of you' and 'The door'. Kevin will now mix and master the finished EP. We've gone for a more relaxed and acoustic feel on these recordings and I really like the mellow sound and vibe.
07/08/20 - Then & Now 3 - Session 4:
- recorded guitar part and the lead vocal for 'Unwanted fruit'. I have completed my basic guitar & vocal parts for all 4-songs and now need to look at what extra instrumentation is needed to complete the recordings.
27/07/20 - Then & Now 3 - Session 3:
- recorded guitar part and the lead vocal for 'The door'.
21/07/20 - Then & Now 3 - Session 2:
- recorded guitar part and the lead vocal for 'Stranger'.
13/07/20 - Then & Now 3 - Session 1: 4-song EP - Back in the recording studio
- A bit rusty at first, but soon back in the flow and enjoying the studio experience. Laid down guitar parts and the lead vocal for 'Inside of you'.
25/06/20 - Then & Now 3 - After 3-months of lockdown and making all my music at home, it's time to get back into the studio. I have the four songs ready and will start recording on 13/07/20.
09/06/20 - Dangerous moonlight
A very simple video - I just want the lyric to tell the story. I wrote most of the words whilst bobbing about in the Bay of Naples back in July 2016.
01/06/20 - Stranger
I came up with the idea for a new song whilst trying to decide whether to keep or bin an old pair of boots. Not sure, but maybe it’s just about life since coronavirus took over the world. Hopefully, I’ll get back in the studio sometime and it will feature on 'Then & Now 3'.
31/05/20 - Tell me
the video from my EP, Then & Now 2
Day 70 self-isolating: My latest video featuring my lockdown chum, Emu. He’s now starred in 7 of my music videos and he’s pretty proud of his diverse performances. For his latest role he has stayed in the shadows.
27/05/20 - Lockdown
- double-sided single
Available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and Tick Tok.
One of the many changes brought about by the Coronavirus lockdown was the curtailing of live music and the closing of recording studios. I normally do all my recordings in a professional studio, where I have the luxury of a talented engineer, who does all the leg work, contributes to the creative process and helps get the best out of me and my songs.
During Lockdown I've written two songs expressing my views on this strange new world and recorded them on my iPhone using GarageBand. This was quite fiddly, with just the phone screen available for all the editing work. Simon Farmer produced two fab saxophone parts and sent them over. I mixed the finished recordings and forwarded them to Kevin Jones, who kindly mastered them ready for release.
Coronavirus was written the day before lockdown, after a crazy trip to the shops in a vain attempt to get supplies, including toilet paper. Video
My old normality was written after a full 6-weeks in lockdown and is a more considered song about what I had, what I'd lost and what I wanted back. Video
20/05/20 - Coronavirus the video
Day 60 self-isolating: Another hot one! Here’s my latest video outing with Emu and friends! I wrote this song during the first week of lockdown and have just recorded it, using GarageBand on my iPhone. Thanks to Simon for the cool sax part and Kevin for mastering it. Stay safe and keep cool. x
11/05/20 - View from a window
from my album, View from a window
Day 50 self-isolating: The big 50 and it’s bloody cold & windy. What to do? I know, let’s make another film with Emu and Panyan! I recorded ‘View from a window’ 6-years ago with Kevin Jones, but it seemed an ideal song for today. Stay safe and here’s to the next 50 days looking out from my window. x
04/05/20 - My old normality the video
I shot this video with Emu for my song about lockdown. The music was recorded on my iPhone using GarageBand. Simon also used GB to do his sax part, which is really cool and I'm pretty chuffed with the whole thing. I wanted to capture the essence of this new world in a song. I've now spent 6-weeks in lockdown, some of which has been great and well, there's the other bit and all the uncertainty about tomorrow! Give me back, my old normality. Stay safe and listen to the saxophone. x
28/04/20 - Cry - Danny McEvoy
I met Danny on the local live music scene some years back and along with performing, he used to produce a piece of art each evening featuring all the performers. He’s recorded a cover of my song, 'Cry' for his You Tubes site, which I really enjoyed listening to. It’s kind of cool hearing someone else’s interpretation of one of my songs - it gave me a buzz.
19/04/20 - What's in a life
the video from my album, Journey Part 1
Day 28 self-isolating - my lucky number! I spent the whole day making this film with Emu and some props. Lots of practical and technical problems, but I’m pleased I got there. Warning: the song contains the word ‘sex’ and a naughty swear word, both are essential to tell the story! Do give it a view and feed the emu. x
11/04/20 - Little red car
the video from my EP, Then & Now 2
Day 20 self-isolating and it was time for another film featuring me & Emu. Method acting required, beard off, just a dark tash left to create that 1970’s racing car driver look. After a search of cupboards and dark places, some suitable props were sourced and then we shot it all in one take. Exhausting, but fun. What next for emu? Keep watching. x
01/04/20 - Born grumpy
the video from my EP, Then & Now 2
With the coronavirus lockdown in full swing, I found myself at home in glorious isolation. Looking round the house for inspiration, I found my old emu, who’s been with me for about 50 years. After some tough negotiations, he agreed to star in the video for 'Born grumpy' - I get a cameo role, along with a few random props. Kevin has done a brilliant job with the music - I hope you enjoy it.
March 2020: Live music came to crunching halt with the coronavirus restrictions. Since then, I have produced a few live performances (just me and my guitar) for You Tube. I will probably add some more songs from my red chair, as it's pretty quiet here on my own.
Then & Now 2 - Recording Sessions
Little red car
06/04/20 - Then & Now 2 - Officially Released - available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and digipak CD:
See Albums for all the details.
29/03/20 - Then & Now 2:
Kevin has mixed & mastered the finished EP, sent the files over and produced two master copies on CD. I will get a limited (50) production run on CD, as I still like the idea of having a physical copy.
17/03/20 - Then & Now 2 - Session 7: with Simon
- Final session - Simon was in to do some alto sax on Born grumpy. I then reviewed each song with Kevin and he will crack on with mixing and mastering. I'm very pleased with what we've got and am really excited and looking forward to hearing the finished songs.
03/03/20 - Then & Now 2 - Session 6: with Heather
- John had sent over various electric guitar parts for 'Tell me' and Kevin had done a lot of work, cleaning them up and fitting them in. We made decisions about which bits to use and one guitar solo is actually now played backwards (studio magic) and by the end of the session, it was working and sounding great. Heather was in to do her BV on 'Little red car' and we did some final detailing on 'Born grumpy', which now just needs a sax part from Simon to complete the recordings.
13/02/20 - Then & Now 2 - Session 5:
Kevin had been busy, adding backing vocals to 'Little red car' along with drums & bass to 'Tell me'. They're sounding great. Having finished the lyric for 'Born grumpy', we sorted the song and then recorded the finished vocal. My parts are now complete and it's about getting Heather, Simon and John to add their final parts and it'll be over to Kevin for mixing and mastering.
05/02/20 - Then & Now 2 - Session 4: with Simon
- Simon was in and did a fabulous soprano sax solo for 'Dangerous moonlight' and then added some top alto on 'Little red car', which gives it a real cool feel. Kevin had dropped it from E to Eb (clever what you can do on the old computer) to aid Simon and I really liked the sound, so we will keep it in Eb - not easy for live work on the guitar though! We then turned our attention to my new song, 'Tell me' and completed the guitar and did the vocal. A really enjoyable and productive session.
24/01/20 - Then & Now 2 - Session 3:
A two-hour session (normally 4): Kevin had done some great work on 'Dangerous moonlight' and 'Little red car'. We started recording the guitar parts for 'Tell me' and added a guide vocal to hold it together.
16/01/20 - Then & Now 2 - Session 2:
Reviewed 'Dangerous moonlight', which is sounding good and decided it needs a sax solo in the middle. Laid down guitar and vocal for 'Little red car', the second of my revisits. I have two new songs ('Tell me' & 'Born grumpy'), on the drawing board, which are not quite complete - so we looked at music styles and rhythm ideas. Productive session.
08/01/20 - Then & Now 2 - Session 1: 4-song EP - Back in the recording studio
- I'd really enjoyed making Then & Now with Kevin. Revisiting two of my older songs and writing two new ones is a healthy amount of work and an interesting challenge - I was very satisfied and proud of the finished EP. I therefore decided to repeat the process and make, 'Then & Now 2'. We spent the first session laying down the acoustic guitar and vocals for, 'Dangerous moonlight', a song that had originaly featured on my Dangerous Moonlight EP, with vocals by Dave Moore.
03/02/20 - Chocolate
from my EP, Then & Now.
Using a recipe from a very old cook book and with Heather providing the hands and bespoke finger nails we made the perfect chocolate mousse. Watch to the very end for a blooper!
01/01/20 - Looking back & looking forward:
2019 was a productive and enjoyable year, culminating with the release of my 4-song EP, Then & Now in December, along with the production of a video for the opening song, Cry. I also completed my mission to play a live version of all (102) of my songs during the year. In 2020, I want to make some more videos featuring my songs and record another EP, 'Then & Now 2'. Lots of plans - Happy New Year.x
2020 Diary: 2020 - 2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012