Author Archive: dawn

Tour done and dusted (checkout videos below folks)

I’m home and dry now but it wasn’t that way on the East Coast a few weeks ago.  I arrived in Sydney on the receiving end of cyclone Debbie that hit the northern NSW coast and there was plenty of rain to make Newcastle, Sydney and beyond very wet and a bit on the chilly side at times.   Weather aside it didn’t dampen my spirits and once I arrived at the airport and picked up the hire car I was on my way.  I headed straight over to Drummoyne where I stayed with some very good friends for a couple of nights before I headed up to Newcastle with the help of the very lovely lady behind the voice of google maps.  We became good friends and she took me everywhere I needed to go as well as a few places that I didn’t need to go too.  I started my tour at the Sunset Studio where Gleny Rae was there to greet me for my performance.  I had trouble finding the venue because my friend at google maps didn’t know where it was and I guess I could understand her making that mistake when I eventually got there with only 1 hour to spare.  The studio was behind a little coffee shop and one person pizza bar in the most unassuming of places, however, it was a lovely room with beautiful wooden floorboards and a grand piano and curtains all round.  Gleny is one of the movers and shakers of all things musical in Newcastle and she teaches piano at the studio and holds intimate concerts.  A bunch of lovely people showed up and I had a great first gig and I even had a local guitarist come and join me on a song and everyone had a bit of fun singing along too. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get any photos and the very next morning after leaving my air BnB I headed off down the coast to Shell Harbour where I had organised to stay with Mairi Peterson again for my Illawarra Folk Club gig. Mairi is the wonderful lady that I talked about last time and she’s a delight to stay with and very interesting to chat to so it was really good to catch up with her again and talk about all things political and not so political. I got caught up in a huge rain storm on my way to Shell Harbour and I had to pull over for some time to let it pass with a lot of other cars, it was quite dangerous and I didn’t want to take the risk.  Once I got close the Wollongong the sun was shining and I could see the countryside again and I was familiar with the territory.

I had a fantastic night at the Illawarra Folk Club and I got to catch up with some folks that were there last September and a lot of new folks too.  I was the support act for a fantastic Canadian folk band called Les Poules a Colin.  I actually managed to get a photo just to prove that I was there and once again the audience were awesome!  It was lovely to see Russell Hannah again and catch a bit of his wit on stage. The next morning Mairi and I went for coffee in Shell Harbour and Russell and his wife were there with a couple of friends too so we had a chinwag about all of our favourite things political and musical and the like.

Then I headed up the Thirroul to Kathryn White’s home where she very kindly allowed me to stay in her lovely Self Contained cabin in their garden and the next day I got myself organised for a house concert in the main room of the cottage which was lovely.  Once again it was a very intimate all acoustic concert with family and a few friends of Kathryn and Andrew. Thirroul is a lovely spot and I would definitely recommend a drive along that coastline there’s so many lovely spots to check out.  But I had no time for that because I had to get back to Sydney to get myself organised for the next gig which wasn’t until Wednesday but I just wanted to get back to my friends so that I could have a few days rest. It was lovely to see Scott and Nicole again and have a few laughs and tell them about my travels and about the funny and not so funny things that happened especially when the google lady took me to a steel recycling centre in the middle of an industrial estate 1 hour before my gig.  There was another surprise when I got to Sydney and that was that I got to meet my 2nd cousin for the first time since we were kids and I had no idea he had been living in Australia for the past 17 years.  So it was lovely to catch up with him and his partner Anne and they both came to my gig at Sappho Books, Cafe & Bar.  That was a really lovely spot to play, it’s a beautiful bookshop/bar in Glebe and I had very appreciative audience. Paul is a great photographer and he also has a really good camera that could do video’s so he took some videos of me playing which you can see on his youtube page.

Humph Hall was one of the highlights of the tour.  The venue is owned by Wayne and Gial Richmond and it’s an old church that they bought to create a music venue.  Wayne had a dream to do it many years before and when the place became available he went ahead and it is now a music venue and their home.  The church hall is where the music happens and it’s a fully professional set up where Wayne has stage lights, condenser mics (to record the performance) and video cameras set up throughout the performance.  I played a set of songs and a lovely couple by the names of Greg and Lesley played a set and we then did an encore together where we got the whole audience to join in. It was a magic evening and I met a lot of lovely people.  I forgot to mention the most important part of it was that I showed up a whole day early and didn’t realise that the concert was on Saturday night and Wayne was totally ok with me staying 2 nights after much laughter about me showing up early.  I felt that I did my best performance at Humph Hall and to my surprise I have found that I perform at my best to a fully attentive listening audience which I never expected.  I thought I would be more nervous but I find that the pressure makes me concentrate more and I can be really focused and I can really engage with the listeners.

Here’s some of the video’s that Wayne took: Women of War

Perfect Haze

It was you

Then on Sunday I had to get my act together pretty quick to get to the Petersham Bowling Club for my next gig at 4pm. I was really excited about playing here because I was in the same lineup as Moondog and Monuelle Monuelle who are Eamon Dilworth and Henry Manuel.  Moondog is my favourite man of blues and I just love what he does and I was so excited when he said he would come from Canberra to play at the Petersham.  Eamon is a lovely young man I met early this year when some friends came to stay and he was in town too.  He’s a fantastic trumpet player and he plays for an awesome band by the name of Tijuana Cartel.  It was a great night and some friends from Sydney showed up which made it even more special.  All in all I had a fantastic time and lots of adventures and I learnt heaps about how I would do it next time.  I know I said that there were highlight gigs but they all were very special in their very own way and trying to pick a favourite is like trying to choose your favourite kid…impossible….well not for me because I only have one son but I kinda think I know what it would feel like.  On the subject of family it was so lovely to get back home a couple of days later after a flight, air bnb in Perth and then a long coach trip back down to Denmark to be greeted by my husband, Warren and well my son found a bit of time to greet me between games.

 

Humph Hall videos

During my NSW Tour I played at a very special venue called Humph Hall where Wayne Richmond took these videos of some of my performance.

Women of War

Women of war was written to commemorate the women who “held the fort” on the homefront during the 1st and 2nd world wars.  They worked in munitions factories, on the land and took care of the kids and were there to receive the wounded soldiers and this is just to name some of what they did.  Lets honour those ladies and sing for them.

Perfect Haze

Break of the Day

It was you

Then just for fun we all got together at the end and did an encore playing Heavens Door and These Boots were made for Walking

 

NSW Tour March/April 2017 itinerary

This Sunday I will be heading off to Perth for my flight to Sydney.  I’m very excited and am so looking forward to this tour which starts on Wednesday 29th at the Sunset Studio in Mayfield, Newcastle where I will be playing a lovely intimate all acoustic session.  Glenn’s Rae is one of the movers and shakers of musical shenanigans up there in Newcastle and she has been kind enough to book me a spot at her very special venue.  Then on Friday I’ll be taking the highway down to Shellharbour where I will be playing for the Illawarra Folk Club at the the City Diggers Club as the support act for Les Poule a Colin a fantastic Canadian folk band.  On Sunday I will skip back up to Thirroul where I have a house concert booked with a lovely lady by the name of Kathryn White who has invited me to stay at her home so I’m really looking forward to meeting her. I will be staying Drummoyne for a few days and then Wednesday April 5th I have a gig at Sappho Books Cafe and Wine Bar then Thursday I will be popping into Northside Radio to have a chat with John Regan on his show Singer/songwriters then on Friday 7th I will be playing at a lovely old Church that is now a music venue.  Humph Hall is the private home of Wayne and Gail Thompson which has become a sought after venue for performers to perform at so I’m really looking forward to this one too.  Then on Sunday 9th April I will do my last gig of the tour at the Petersham Bowling Club where I will be sharing the stage with my favourite man of blues Jeremy Moondog and a wonderful trumpet player Eamon Dilmon (trumpet player for Tijuana Cartel) and his duo partner Henry Manuell. So if you are around Sydney during the next few weeks or you have family or friends around there please tell to come and say hi to me, I love meeting new people it’s the most exciting part of touring!

Recording update – Part 2

Well at last I’ve come out of the studio and it was such a great 2 weeks. So starting where I finished on my last update we continued to work everyday and all the final tracks were put down. Luke did some wonderful violin work, Toby did some work on my ‘secret track’ and Jezz Moondog did some harmonica, Myles came in to do some vocals and I finished all the vocals. Finally Tony put down all the backing vocal harmonies.

I have taken video snippets of the tracks being done and for all those who aren’t aware of the recording process I’ll give you a bit of a run down of what I know about it. There are a couple of options when you decide to record a song or album. You can either do a live studio recording which is where the whole band set up and it is all recorded live and usually it takes a few takes or it could take heaps of takes. It’s a great way to do it because you can often catch the spirit of the song and the people involved in it but the down side is it can be really difficult to get a take that is perfect and you often get bleeding through the mic’s….so sound from the guitars might come through on the drum mic’s or sound from the vocals might come through on the guitar mic’s so it makes it very difficult to mix evenly.

The more standard form of recording is in the studio one track at a time. So this means putting down a guide track first to a click (metronome). The next stage depends on the producer everyone has their own way of doing it and some would say do drum track first and others would say guitar and so on. We put down the guitar tracks first, then the drums and when Tony did guitar and drums he either used my guide vocal track to get the essence of the melody and song or I just sat and sang it in front of him but of course I could only do that when he was doing the electric guitar and bass not drums and acoustic guitar. The bass and electric guitar are plugged in so we can talk and make noise when recording is happening but when the drums and acoustic guitar are being recorded we have to be super quite because a condenser mic’s is being used.

I thought I was just going to give a simple explanation but it’s got a bit lengthy so if you already know all this sorry ;o) I also have to reiterate that everyone has their own way of doing things so this is just the way we did it and I quite like this process. In the videos you can see that each person is doing their take and they have either very small ear plugs in or headphones. They can hear the guitar and vocals through the headphones so they just play along…..it always sounds a bit funny when you hear the other instruments separately but once it’s mixed it sounds awesome. I didn’t manage to get Jezz on harp unfortunately but I got everyone else.

Here’s Jezz putting down harp track and Myles doing some vocals and Luke putting a violin track down

I have put these on youtube and they are unlisted which means not open to public and only available if you click on the link here. So you should be able to access them.


The next stage of the process is for Toby to edit and mix all the tracks and then they will go for mastering. Claire has already done the artwork and Peter Caron is going to photoshop the album cover which I need to write all the words for.  Then once I get back from my Sydney tour in April I will get them cut and send out a pre release to a bunch of allocated Radio presenters.

The next exciting thing happening is my NSW tour so I’ll give you an update on that very soon.

 

Recording progress

Well it’s been an incredibly busy week. Toby my producer arrived last Wednesday and we set up the studio, I know it’s a bit ‘rock n rol’l calling Toby “MY producer” but he did produce my EP and did such an awesome job that I wanted him to do this album and he actually came down for 10 days and set up home here, so I hope that qualifies ;o).  On Thursday we got straight into putting down all the guide tracks. So that means me playing each new song so that Toby can record them and use them as a guide. But the tricky thing is that I have to play to a click track which is like having a metronome stuck in your ear as you play, so you have to stay on the beat. Well you can only imagine how many takes that took!  We were both feeling quite tired and even a bit overwhelmed at the end of that, there were so many new songs and so much to do. Then Tony King arrived and helped us do a table to map out what needed doing on each song which was very helpful. Sometimes it’s just a case of getting it all out of your head and onto paper to lighten the load.
We worked from 10am to 10pm each day to get as much done as possible. Tony is an incredible musician and fantastic mentor and he has had a huge input into my musical journey. He did a lot of the instrumentation on my EP four years ago and I love working with him because he really knows how I work as a songwriter and musician so it’s wonderful to have his input again.

If you would like to keep in touch with me  and keep up to date with what I’m doing and where I’m touring next please subscribe to my webpage …. just on the right there  ♥♥♥

Recording in the studio from left to right, Me and Toby, Tony and Toby, then Tony on drums, then Peter on electric guitar

Tony and Toby got all the guitar, drum and bass tracks down Friday and Saturday and Sunday morning I put down most of the vocal tracks and then Sunday afternoon Peter Caron (my duo partner) came in and put down some 2nd guitar tracks and a couple of solo’s. I love his work!  Then Tony arrived at 3.30pm on Sunday to put down some slide guitar and some great harmonies over my vocals. We finished at 10pm Sunday and it was such an incredibly productive weekend that we decided to have a break Monday morning.  Then Monday evening we got some more vocals done and today we have been working on a very special song.  Toby and I will be doing all the work for that because it is a thank you song to Tony that I wrote 4 years ago now and I never intended to record it but I think it’s an important one to document.  Recording my songs is one of the most exciting things that I have ever done, it’s an incredible feeling to be with such creative and passionate people and then come out with the end product.

We have a few more days to go yet and tonight a local young man Luke Tulloch will be putting down some violin tracks and my favourite man of blues Jeremy Moondog will be coming to put down some harp.  It just so happens that he is in town this weekend so when he offered to do some harp I almost died….with joy of course!!! Myles Mitchell will be coming to put down some vocals as well which I’m very excited because Myles and I often share gigs and he’s a great local musician and an all round great guy.

From left to right top: Peter and Toby, then me doing vocals. Bottom left: Tony and Toby and Me and Toby