Videos

It’s time for an update

I thought it was time for an update on what’s been happening the past few months. As soon as I got back from Kalgoorlie I started getting ready for a House Concert which is the first one that I have booked through House Concerts Australia.

It was at Arcadia Wines in Kendenup which is only an hour or so away from Denmark.  Gaye and John are a lovely couple and they have only had the cellar door open for the past 18 months and they are doing really well. They have award winning wines and I would personally recommend the aged Riesling. Gaye and John are lovers of live music and they are really passionate about having regular live music events which is awesome. All the tickets were sold and we all had a great night. The photo isn’t brilliant but it’s just evidence that I was there lol!

Then a couple of weeks later I took a trip up to the big smoke for a couple of gigs.  One in York which is about an hour east of Perth where I played at the Settlers House York, which is a beautiful old heritage building. York is the the first inland town Settled in WA.  We had a few drinks at the end of the night and I heard a few good ghost stories which was a bit unnerving.

On Sunday I played at Jackadders Music Club. I had a really warm welcome from Carmel and Ron and we had a lovely afternoon. It was great to hear the audience sing along to my original songs and the whole gig was recorded which was fantastic.

Next was one of my regular gigs at the Earl of Spencer in Albany. Peter Caron joined me on guitar and I love playing with Peter because we have a lot of fun and he adds lots of fancy guitar work to my songs, and the covers, that we do.  I usually do an even mix of originals and covers when I do pub gigs which is pretty cruisey and generally good fun.  Peter set up the video so we got some great footage of us playing too.

 

Then last but not least I did another house concert but this time in Manjimup at a beautiful historic building called Dingup House Bed and Breakfast which is managed by Chris and John.  Dingup House is one of the first houses built on the original town site of Manjimup until they moved the town a few kms down the road. Chris and John do a fantastic job there and we had a wonderful intimate evening with soup and song.  The photo isn’t the best but it just gives you an idea of the set up there.  Half the guests stayed the night and the rooms are all beautifully presented with heritage style beds and lovely patchwork bed covers. I would highly recommend a stay there if you’re travelling through that neck of the woods.

 

WHAT’S NEXT

My son has gone to New York for a school trip so my husband and I have decided to go for a little holiday across to Augusta and Margaret River and I’m going to play at the Goodfellas i cafe in Margaret River while we’re there. I know what you’re thinking….can’t she just have one weekend without playing music…and the answer is most definitely not….lol! It just so happens our friends own Goodfellas and I just love playing there.

Then the following week I’ll be doing a double gig with Peter Caron which means we will be at the Albany Boatshed Markets in the Morning and at The Earl of Spencer in the evening.  I’m really looking forward to doing a house concert in Northam in October.  I’m also busy planning another Eastern States tour for Jan/Feb or next year which is very time consuming and fun at the same time.  I’ve also been busy writing songs for recording next year.  That’s it for now folks!  Stay warm and dry in this crazy weather if you live on this side of the planet and down this far below the equator.

 

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

 

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.

 

“Coffee my Dear”

This is a video I put together for a song I wrote in 2014.  The song is called Coffee my Dear but it isn’t actually anything to do with coffee really.  I was watching the news one day and there were reports of people starving in African countries and talk about climate change causing heavy rain in India which caused severe landslides.  I felt helpless as I always did when I used to watch TV and see these tragic stories and situations.   So I started writing a song and after writing the verses I put it away for 6 months or so and then one day I was at my local coffee shop Mrs Jones and I heard these two older ladies complaining about their coffee and it brought me to the thinking about the things that we take for granted.  It’s not that I have a problem with complaining about things, I mean I do it to but on this particular day I was feeling sensitive and frustrated with these two ladies and felt the need to express my concerns in a way that was not too confrontational.  So I put my thoughts into words and that’s where the chorus came from “How do you take your coffee my dear, would that be straight frothy or clear?”. So in essence the song expresses my concerns about climate change and the stark reality of how we can get caught up in the finer details of day to day living.