Greetings from the white hills of North Devon!
As I type this the second wave of snow this year is whipping its way past my window in a craze of heavy white flakes. I'm having a productive Sunday of planning out my future musical endeavours. I have recently taken the bold step of dropping a day at work, which in my world is financial madness but I felt it was the right thing to do. I was raised with the ethos of life is work; you work and you work and you work for as long as you can because that is how you survive. The trouble with that ethos is you will work yourself to death and at the end of it all you'll realise you didn't do much of what you wanted. I want to get back to doing what I love so this is the first step to achieving that.
You'll notice for example there's a new tab on the website - music tuition! I'm been tutoring for twelve years now - where does the time go! - and now that I have more time it would be lovely to have more students with a variety of instruments to teach. I'm also a lot more active on youtube, trying out tutoring videos and just singing some songs to the camera. I'm hoping to look into wedding singing too as I did one once, many moons ago, and although I probably under charged and froze to death in the process I had a lovely, memorable night. Maybe it's because I'm getting married too and I've been around a tonne of wedding fairs already this year; I realise there's a niché in the market for someone like me to come and play something soft. You can tell I've been thinking for sometime about what I would like to do and it's kind of exploded like some thought bubble. Ultimately I love to sing and perform and it will be wonderful to have more time to share more music with you.
Thank you for your continued patience and support; the comments left under new songs on Soundcloud and videos shared on Facebook often make my day and give me the motivation to keep going xx Look after each other and keep warm!
ps. I'm heading back to the studio this week (hopefully it'll be warmer by Saturday!) and also continuing to rehearse a Johnny Cash Tribute-Duo side project so much more music to come, stay tuned x
I feel like I've spent this year repeating the line, "soon" but now that work has finally begun and we're 2 sessions into recording I can honestly say the new album IS finally coming. I've been working with a lovely bubbly percussionist who is single handedly keeping me motivated with his positive reinforcement. The older I get the more I realise I am actually tinkerbell and require continual clapping to survive... sad 'innit?
It's been quite strange to be back in a studio situation, I've found it weirdly daunting. The past six months have been quite hard for me as I've been suffering with asthma and acid reflux (what bad luck!) so I've been getting used to lots of new medication and, what felt like, a reduced lung capacity so wow was it a shock to be rehearsing again and sustaining notes. I've been climbing the recovery ladder and I'm getting there, more determined than ever to give you an album you'll love. Rest assured... Oo there's so much I want to tell you but I don't want to spoil it or indeed count my chickens before they've hatched. As I said we're two sessions in, looking forward to overdubbing in the 3rd (that's the fun part where we put all the layers on). You might've guessed already but I am all about the layers...
I've been trying to keep you guys a bit more involved in what I'm up to while I feel like I'm in the pits having work done (strange formula one reference there...) so there's lots of videos on my Facebook and I'm getting back to using my youtube channel again. Check 'em out as I'd love to hear if you have any suggestions of songs to do or cover - I have truly missed gigging lately so for the time being my videos are my way of reaching you so hey let me know you're out there! If that's still enough I've managed to clog my Soundcloud account and have spilt on over to clypit.com. I will of course have to delete a few oldies on my Soundcloud and upload some new stuff soon - so hard to do - so enjoy 'em while they're still up.
Thank you for your continued support and in the words of Pink, 'I'm not dead yet' haha
Love your friendly, needy local musician
ps. it was cold in the studio!
The best thing about the summer holidays, for me, is the opportunity to throw myself into my music so this is exactly what I've been trying to do.
I'm not going to lie... I had a weird start to the break which was probably the result of a very hectic term. I felt frazzled and couldn't catch my breath at all. A quick nip to the Drs and they suspect I have asthma which I'll be taking a test for later in the month - asthma! A singer with asthma! I'm so grateful I had a bit of training and my tonsils removed now... I do believe a lot of it has been brought on by stress so I've been back to the yoga mat everyday and have been visiting my piano regularly. Oh my word do I love my piano. I never realised how much I wanted a piano until one fell into my lap - thankfully not literally. I play it everyday, I've even found myself writing new piano tunes at long last! I can't wait to have a gig where there's a piano in the corner that I can play.
So I've been plinking and plonking, yawning and stretching... I also played a set at Lapstock which in spite of the great British weather was jolly good fun. Next time you're struggling to get into the festival mood, maybe the rain is hammering it down or the mud has swallowed your tent, take a leaf out of lapstock and remember to get some glitter plastered on your face. Honestly it makes the world of a difference! I have huge thanks to give to Lapstock because it pulled me out of a funk and gave me the motivation I need to keep going with the new album.
Ah the new album, well it IS happening it's just not happening this month anymore. Summer has slithered into the schedules and annihilated practise times but hey it's all meant to be so I'm pretty sure that we'll have it nailed down by October and hopefully get it released early next year. The strange thing is I was going through my old song folder which was in dire need of an update - it's from college and plastered in emo stickers - and I found some old gems that I'd almost forgotten about. There's a couple I'm now considering trying on the new album or just recording for fun as really this next one is all about FUN. The past couple albums haven't been recorded in the best of circumstances and I want to get back to capturing the light-hearted, feathery acoustics of Spilling the Beans so hopefully come October that's what we'll have! I'm hoping to use the same instrumentation and studio as beans so that's a start! They'll be twins...
I've also been dabbling in making instruments for the school I work at. I could not have done it with out a lot of help from my good friend John Purser who has the skill to turn my vague sketches into reality. I was so excited yesterday to be driving away with a vibraphone (metal xylophone) and a tubular bell frame ready to varnish. It got me quite inspired actually, I might have to borrow them for the album!
I've also been rehearsing my Wilderness Gathering Set with Tim. It's taking a bit of knocking into place but I'm hoping it'll be a good one. Although I was mortified to find last years setlist yesterday as I realised I was repeating myself a bit (I hate to do that) so I might just mix it up a bit. I like to keep it fresh, or as fresh as I can!
So I hope you've enjoyed my waffle and I do hope you had a warm beverage to accompany it 'cause I really can talk for England! Hope to see some of you at Wilderness, 'til then have a great summer and show the rain who's boss!