Well I thought a few performances would sort me out and they have! Friday's gig at St Mary's Church in Bideford went enormously well despite occurring straight after a busy day at work (no time for a shower) and having no time for a soundcheck due to a choir rehearsing.... *I'm saying nothing* :P Marcos did a lovely job on the sound and really made my 'Dragonfly' soar through to the rafters. That was a pretty cool moment actually, one I hadn't had in a while, where I was singing and you could have heard a pin drop... er had I not been singing :P It was a great evening in aid of Edukid and it was nice to see some old colleagues from Great Torrington School, though I apologise if I didn't approach anyone. I really am quite blind in dim lighting and I was a little unsure so I didn't really fancy walking up to a stranger and going, "Remember me? oh it's not you...."
Anyway so that was the first performance of the weekend that brought me a little bit back from the dead, so to speak, and then Sunday I had a free afternoon (this is rare!) so I headed over to the local open mic and knocked out three tunes with the local jammers. I have to say 'Bullseye' sounds very good with Sax and Cajon and it was bloody lovely to just feel like myself again and enjoy being in the moment of a song rather than panicking about who I've got to impress or whether or not I'm going to forget the lyrics. I just went for it regardless and it felt good. The lovely Saxophonist said he'd never taken to folk before but really enjoyed playing on my tracks, he said it was as if a sea mist came down and we were all in a misty moment together haha what a great description.
So I'm back, my voice is still returning and gaining strength after a 2-1/2 week cold/flu/chest infection thingy I caught over Easter and I'm feeling inspired to write good lyrics again :) yay! Also I should tell you I have decided to buy the Dulcimer I've been adoring and taking for granted all this time. You see in the last week I did actually buy another off of ebay in preparation for my set at Ireby festival, but when it came I realised the fretting was different - apparently there is such a thing as a 'strumstick' fretting and I have learnt and written on traditional - so that was a turn off and it also became immediately obvious that there was a huge difference in sound. The new one was light and tinny and clearly made of spruce whereas my little diamond in the rough is dark and, I know now, made of model-maker's mahogany. How wonderful that I should write all these dark songs on a rare, hand-made mahogany dulcimer haha It has a much warmer tone than any other dulcimer I have played and it hit me like a slippery fish I should just ask the lovely John if I could buy it and then attempt to spruce - if you forgive the pun - it up at Brook Guitars in time for festival season. So that's the plan!
Album wise I am still waiting to hear back about dates for recording, which as you can understand is like sitting on a bed of nails and being told to lie down and relax. I'm sure I'll hear something in May as my producer has two weeks free then but 'til then it'll be the bed of nails for me and hopefully I'll get some demo recordings done this week.
Onwards and upwards either way! Thank you all for your continued support as always.
Alrighty well it's been a couple weeks since my last blog entry because in all honesty although there's been lots going on and everyone around me is swelling with new dates and activities, I have felt quite lost. Okay okay so that's not really any news to you, anyone who's ever heard any of my songs is probably going, 'well yeah...' but just lately me and my music have been a little distant. It's a bit like one of us called the other one ugly and now rather than talk it through with each other we're just trying to ignore one another. I suppose it has something to do with my mic stand being left in the car and me being too absent minded to remember to actually empty the car after a gig - perhaps my music feels like I'm taking it for granted? Either way it's definitely like another person in my life and we've definitely not been talking.
So that brings us to this week and I've been writing lyrics like mad - all angry and unworthy - and what music has come has been completely mismatched, a gentle and delicate backdrop to some appalling skeleton of a song. Clearly the musical turmoil continues HOWEVER the impending gig at St Mary's this Friday has at least given the two of us something to talk about and we have been rehearsing and things are brightening up again. I think sometimes that when musicians are trying to get on a bit more and do those 'less-is-more' dates you end up a bit detached from what you were doing in the first place. In the beginning it was open mics every Tuesday at the Old Smithy Inn and complete submergence in a ocean of sound, devoid of all labels of genre. These days I find I'm having less time for that as I'm scraping around trying to make a living and everyone seems so hung up on whether or not something is folk or not. Maybe I should just come out and admit my love for punk and Sinead O'Connor and confess that I used to train my voice to Celine Dion but maybe more importantly maybe I should go and lose myself in sound this weekend...
Catch you on the wave length!
Well it's fair to say I'm knackered! Today was a bit of a special day for me personally as I started a new "day job." Duties today included looking at a pretty wedding marquee (feeling slightly jelly), relocating a cat from the comfort of books to the outside before my manager hit the roof and suggesting someone call the police about a stranger... Not the average day but definitely an interesting one! Retail could be just what I've been looking for...
Let's talk about Friday though 'cause we sure travelled some ground in one night and pushed new frontiers! Okay maybe not so much the second but it was still a bit of a challenge, you see Friday night I supported Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman at the Folk House - two thoroughly lovely people with a presence that reminds me a little of June Carter and Mr Cash. I should mention I've met these two before and here's where you start to chuckle...
I think we've all done this or certainly all penniless musicians looking for the way forward but hey this was my version of it. I was working as a volunteer steward at the Queen's Theatre at the time, trying to gain some work experience - officially - but really just checking out the folk scene the only way I could afford. So there I was and there they were enchanting everybody in the gallery with their Tom Waits covers and tales about their travels. I was pretty inspired - first time I'd seen a folk act cover a song that wasn't traiditional - and I wanted to share some of my music with them. I can't even explain that compulsion but as I said I think it's something all musicians go through, maybe we're just all a bunch of magnets. So there I was in uniform but I'd had no way of keeping my CD on my person to hand to them as staff belongings were locked in a safe whilst we were working so I handed Kathryn the only musical means I had - a USB key with about three tracks from Spilling the Beans on it. Unmixed, unmastered, pure raw Rose and it wasn't even a very good USB key at that! She was terribly sweet and encouraging though and even commented at one point on my gold glitter pumps which I suppose was a green light for "continue-to-be-yourself" for me and I thought a lot of them for that. Cringingly they remember this meeting and welcomed me at 6pm with "I remember you!" but hey we've all got to start somewhere even if it is doughy eyed...
So I realise now is the part where I'm meant to talk about me and my set, even my super-awesome dress - I'm having a love affair with ASOS lately - but honestly I was just in the moment enjoying their set and scribbling down lyric ideas so it's hard really to reflect on what I did. I can tell you I played some brand new material which went down well - even Sean gave it the thumbs up - and I did a cover of Bryan Adams' Back to you which also got the seal of approval. Things took on a rosy glow after that as the music mellowed and our eyes grew tight but hey we got home safe (2am) and it was worth it.
So there you have it, Ro's shenanigans for the week :)