Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Getting in Key. Recording with The Blue Yellows; Session 2.

Em had been absent from the 1st recording session with the band for the current record we (The Blue Yellows) are working on, as she was really quite busy with her newborn baby, Heidi! Now, she was ready though, and her keyboard sounds were the main thing yet to be recorded on the tracks we're laying down with our production maestro, Tim Lee.
It all took place in very domestic, relaxed surroundings and went really smoothly. 

Em at the Keys, Tim at mission control.

Em worked quickly, not needing to go over anything too much on keys, pretty impressive really, given how much time she has been out of the band lately. I was there to do some backing vocals with her; she used to work really well together with Hayley when Hayley was in the band and I thought it might help if we were both there to help sort backing vocal harmonies out, in the end, for technical reasons we recorded one at a time on vocals and it wasn't a problem. A really quick, productive session, and two tracks are now sounding really promising. Exciting stuff, we can't than Mr Lee enough for all his hard work!

There wasn't as much waiting around as usual in recording, but I just had time to see some niceness outside.

Recording  doobries.

Monday, August 15, 2016

When is a Garden Party a Festival?

Why not host a gig or (even mini-festival) in your home or garden?

August 14th, 2016
Connor, one of many great performances at the Garden Party event.
In The States, ‘House Concerts’ have become a big thing, but haven’t yet taken off in a big way on this side of the pond, though I know some artists who have managed to put some shortish house-tours together. This is a bit of a surprise really given that ‘staying in is the new going-out’ and that cooking for friends has become such a huge trend.
Sunday’s gig provided fantastic evidence as to why you, yes you should organise one.

Lovely hosts Martin and Elaine booked some of their favourite artists (the usual thing is just to book one artist or band, but M&E got themselves a whole mini-festival), provided the most delicious food and drink, had friends and family around. This has become something of a greatly anticipated annual event, and luckily, once again, the weather was perfect for it (though I was greatful for the shade provided, that could equally have provided rain-cover). 

This event was all about poetry, as well as music. One of my guitar students, Connor Owen was the only person to perform both poetry and music. An excellent performance poet, his newly-honed guitar skills have advanced so quickly that he would’ve still been impressive had he been playing and practicing regularly for a decade. I couldn’t ask for a better advert for my tuition (more details HERE folks, by the way)! Though of course, as with everything, as a teacher I am only really someone who can provide tips, guidance, encouragement, enjoyment in playing (it is playing after all) and facilitate the learning that really takes place within the student’s mind and hands. An event like this is actually quite a demanding prospect for an introverted control-freak such as myself (and as I know many artists are); The ideal really being a highly structured fold-out of events including a knowledge of exactly when soundcheck is, performance start and end times, set-up, running times and so on, so that I can carry out my (mostly internal/psychological) preparations. If any of this was an issue for Connor though, he certainly didn't show it. Very well done indeed!

It was the first performance by the whole band, all 4 of us that is (The BlueYellows), since Em took an extended period off for the birth of little Heidi. A quick rehearsal the day before was enough to give a good performance in a more laid-back acoustic mode, which seemed appropriate for this event, though with recording and gigs coming up this Autumn, we are well and truly back!

If you want to discuss terms for booking the band for a private event, contact us via blueyellows@live.co.uk or myself for a solo gig via jtarplee@hotmail.com

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Rickety Riot

August 12th, 2016

Had a fun gig, as the guitarist and one of the singers with a brand new cover act called 'Rickety Wireless', at The Railway Inn, Alsager. Fun times with Dan Logan and Dayve Dean.

Photo by Dayve Dean.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Recording Update...

(Copied from my facebook page, just so you know)...

Recording update; I've been too busy with all kinds of rehearsals, live shows, teaching guitar, promotion etc... & neglected this lately but have just managed to put in a couple of good 15 hourish days in and think I have now done all the recording for this experimental project. Hurraaahhh! 

It's seems to have come to a natural end in the sense that what is probably going to be the last track on the album is a significant change in direction, musically, though it fits in thematically with the album so far, if that makes sense. I think the last track, as an ending, may also mark a new beginning as I will keep on recording the next, next album, before this one is released.
I'm really pleased with the last couple of tracks I've done and not so fussed as I used to be, about the first couple (though I hope to fall back in love with them soon, especially when I work out how to play some of them, live), another reason, I think, to round this project off.

When will it come out? I don't know is the short answer!

The BlueYellows are also recording. Preparing an album for release; including promoting it, sending off press copies for review, organising launch events and sorting everything for physical copies (if there are going to be any) is a very time consuming and expensive process and I think I will need at least a 6 or more like 8 month gap between the release of the next BYs thing and my solo thing, and I don't even know which one will come first yet.

Next,/in the meantime; lots of live very exciting live stuff, including Autumn shows with The BlueYellows as well as my solo ones. Stay toooooooned.

Well done if you got this far, by the way, just felt like telling someone and there's no one here apart from the friendly sounds of Helen Kay's Chickens (in my headphones)!
See you out there somewhere!

Monday, August 01, 2016

A Big Day.

A Big Day Out sometimes needs a big tent or two.
July 31st, 2016

A return to the grand open spaces of Dorford Hall for another gig there, this time, for the fabulous South Cheshire Big Day Out where I was, once again playing on the Redshift Radio stage. I say the Redshift stage, I should say that commissioned by them as it was a completely different stage set up but I was well looked after again, so all good!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Say 'Cheese'.

July 27th, 2016

My second year performing at The Nantwich Show, on the Redshift Radio stage, thanks guys.
As usual, such a long commute on the train ;)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Attachment Theories T-Shirts!

Available HERE.
You admired the photo, bought the album (didn't you?!), now buy the T-shirts, available on my brand new music glue page HERE

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Brave New Worlds

23rd July 2016

I had the potentially daunting prospect of standing in for the regular front-man in an established band. Psychedelic rockers Brave New World being the band, Chris the regular lead-singer/guitar-slinger being on his honeymoon. So I was brave enough to join The Braves (or rather it seemed so far away when I agreed to it but time soon sped by far too quickly). 
In the end, I had needn't been so nervous, the band are a lovely bunch and, in spite of a few technical issues in the first part of the set, we rocked our proverbial socks off. I know that I certainly was far from my technical best, being severely under-rehearsed for this,  but we certainly made a beautiful noise, and lots of it. It was also really well run by a friendly lot, and the bands were well looked after (which is sadly not always the case at such events).
Great fun!

Addendum, 26/07/2016; A net  £1698.72 raised for Guide Dogs for the blind, top work everyone!

Happy Campers near the front of the stage.
Backstage at Castlewood Rocks...

BNW guitarist Derek tunes up
in the back-stage area.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Different Skies.

June 17th, 2016

I always enjoy sharing a stage with Debbie & Kurt.
So great to have a packed out live music show in a pub featuring all original music. Pubs seem to be the notorious denizens of endless repeats of ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’, ‘Superstitious’ and various other rock hits played over and over again by endless cover bands churning out ‘what the public wants’. Maybe that’s not entirely true though as, as I find so often these days, there does seem to be a strong taste for quality new music, it’s got to be an exciting change to the usual stuff, surely?
So, a packed out crowd then and a support set from me, this being the album launch of a good friend of mine. You really couldn’t meet a more honest, trustworthy, principled guy than Martin. He really has a generosity of spirit which the world could do with a lot more of. Martin Rivers has his great new album out, ‘Different Skies’ and had assembled a special band just for the occasion (though who knows, will we see them again)? The band consisting of members from a range of local groups from various genres including SkeletalDamage, We Are Nomad and Green Bullet. It’s great to see Martin at a new zenith, having had a journey in music which has taken him from punk to prog, folk, singer songwriter shows and duets. A new epiphany seems to have been reached with this wonderfully dark, yet compelling and uplifting album. Do treat yourself and check out THIS LINK.

I am a little late with this blog post for various reasons, and I must now add to this that shortly after this great show, Martin had the sad task of letting his friends know that his partner in crime, musically for a number of years Dan Kelly, had sadly died. Dan was the other half of Rivers and Kelly, a very special duet, who together, had a sound reminiscent of the cozy feeling of putting on a favourite old vinyl classic from a bygone era, fabulously absorbing. Dan was a real gentleman, a gentle man in fact. He was a staunch socialist who lived by his strong principles, a lovely person who everyone who knew him will miss.

Rivers & Kelly. Dan Kelly R.I.P.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Alsager 2016.

July 9th, 2016

The Alsager Music Festival seems to get better year by year, this year I thought would be a major blip in that trend due to some torrential rain earlier on and on-and-off-rain through the day. But, no. The crowds flocked, set up their own seating, tents and awnings to make a full and indeed great weekend of it.

I sadly missed Kit and the Icefish, (do click on the artist names in this post to find out more about them) but heard lots about how good their set was. I enjoyed Katy Galloway's uplifting set before it was my turn, and afterwards Dayve Dean who did a sterling job headlining the the acoustic stage in the mini-amphitheater of the Sunken Garden in the park where it all took place. Thanks to the professionalism of the sound guy Marc from MG Audio Solutions for a great sound as well as all the lovely people who came to stand, or sit on the hay-bales or their own impromptu seating to watch.

Thanks Jane from Kit & the Icefish for this pic.
It was great to bump into lots of familiar faces including Simon from the band. We had some time to enjoy a couple of bands with Dayve and an old friend, Caroline.