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!
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.
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.
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 ♥♥♥
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.
Thanks to the Denmark Bulletin for the great article last week to promote my gofundme campaign. My gofundme campaign is shaping up nicely and my producer/engineer will be arriving in a couple of weeks. We will be setting up the studio and I have a bunch of great musicians coming on board to put down tracks for a whole bunch of new songs. I will also be putting 4 tracks from my EP on the album which will be re mixed and re mastered. There’s going to be 2 covers as well but I’ll keep you all in suspense on that one.
My Sydney tour is coming up very soon too! It’s only a month or so away so I will update you on that very soon and give some dates and venues.
After a very relaxing festive season I am now ready to rip into the New Year!
All my energy is now focused on my music; that is performing, song writing and recording. I’m also organising another Sydney tour which I will keep you posted on. However, first I need to share my gofundme campaign and make a very special request. I have a whole bunch of new songs and they are ready for recording which will start on February 15th. I believe recording is the most important part of being a musician/songwriter because it’s a way record your art and creates a platform to share your work. All that aside it’s an incredibly exciting and rewarding thing to do and I have to say it’s the most exciting thing I have ever done. So if you would like a pre release copy of my album and you would like to support me as an artist that would be fantastic. It’s only $20 for the album which will be released in June. Here is the link to my gofundme page and I will keep you updated on the progress throughout the next few months. Any donations over $20 also gets a copy of my “Break of the Day Album”. All donations will be gratefully received and not only that but you become a part of the journey from beginning right to the very end product. Thanks everyone!!