johnny9fingers: (Default)
In Alan's studio.
A young bassist, an ex-pat Yank called Ryan Michael, is in putting down some tracks on which I've played guitar. He is one fantastic player. His band are called Carmelite. He plays a Warwick 'thumb' six string bass Low B to high C.

Really impressed, actually. Bloody clever and musically very gifted and a nice bloke to boot.

Alas, young ladies, I believe he's taken: else he's the sort of chap I'd introduce to a sister or daughter.

Will try to get out of here for 5-5.30 to meet Milady. I'm rather looking forward to this weekend....well I would say that wouldn't I.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
The last two days there have been TV crew in TPA Studios.
G P Taylor (who wrote 'Shadowmancer') has been in interviewing authors for an upcoming Television series.
Really nice bloke. He's about the same age as me (born '61) and amongst other things has been in his time a PR person, a Policeman, and a Vicar. When He was a PR person (late 70's) he used to pop into TPA Studios and he may have been the reason that the TV company decided to do their interviewing therein.
When Mr Taylor was a Vicar his parish was in North Yorkshire. In fact he lived in the next Village to Hackness, where my bridge partner's parents live. Small World. We got on like a house on fire.
Now Steve, God bless his soul, then happened to mention that I'd written a novel a few years ago. So Graham (as I've been instructed to call him) told me the story of how he got started.
He wrote his novel, and then self-published it.
After that small (2500) first edition from Mount Publishing, the book was taken up by Faber whereupon it became a best seller.
So I immediately went on to ABE books to try to find a first (so I could get him to sign it etc) only to find the prices were ridiculous. In fact, the most expensive copy (hand corrected) was some $40,000. I showed this to him and he said: 'Oh, I gave that away.' He then promised each of us a copy as he still had a few left. Which was nice.
Yesterday, when I got in to TPA, during a break in recording, I thanked him for the previous day's advice, and told him I was investigating self-publishing costs. He asked me to hang fire for a bit as he is a director of another publishing house, and there may be no need to self-publish.
Picked chin up off floor etc.
It may come to nothing, never know. Here's hoping.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
It seems my chum Stephen has set up an LJ account [profile] shoarthing . 
He writes well and normally has an opinion or two (or more), but we are not of quite the same political leaning, so some of you chaps might actually like him. (But do be careful - you enrage the old lion at your own peril.)
Lyndon from Songdog is also putting an LJ page together. He's been reading my posts and looking at various of the forums, and is setting it up as I write.
Will have to wait until the Songdog tracks are mastered before I can post one here.
But that's alright, I suppose, as it goes.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Still on the mixes and tweaks for Songdog.
Though yesterday afternoon we had a booking which I wasn't able to post for security reasons.
From 2pm until 7pm we had a booking from someone representing Pete Doherty who begged the time and swore us all to silence.
Of course, Pete didn't manage to rise from his bed of pain or pleasure, and was the perfect Rock 'n' Roll no show. No response from his management, either.
Sometimes this business is like waiting for an encore from Ritchie Blackmore (or according to rumour, for Jimmy Page to buy his round) - you just know it ain't gonna happen.
Poor Pete.
Hope he's alright.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
As the mixes have been getting to a more complete stage (awful construction that - complete shouldn't take a modifier) I've been thinking about the music I'm listening to.
Some of the songs are just beautiful fragments of melody and harmony wrapped about an extraordinarily articulate artist baring his soul. Some are the songwriting equivalent of Haiku. Some are Sonnets, and Some... 
The arrangements are sparse, and in general acoustic. Even in Jacques Brel or Scott Walker I've never heard so melancholy a sound as Dave's Accordian. (As an aside, when a drummer plays keyboards and accordian, you just know this ain't an ordinary band.)
I'm going to ask Pod (Karl) to show me around the mandolin - next on my buying list, or if not next, pretty high up the order.
Some of these are the slowest songs I've ever heard.
It is a melancholy (that word again) album that's strangely uplifting.
Much of it is lyrically quixotic: balancing squalor and humanity; lust, love, and morality.
Steve's doing a damn fine job on these mixes.
There are no explosions, no distortion pedals, no special effects (some nice reverbs). It was just recorded with good mics and pre-amps in a good space with a good vibe (in general - though there was some production friction earlier, but when isn't there?)

This music bleeds humanity, my dears, and I am smit.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
Lyndon has promised a track from the album to for preview, if that's the word. He'll allow me to put it on LJ. When it comes through I'll post it and you can all give me your comments if you want.
I worry that I'm too close to the whole process to judge accurately, but I'm an old cynical studio dog: it really takes something for me to get this enthused.
I have a feeling I'll dine out on this for years to come - It's unreal in its brilliance, passion, and restraint.
johnny9fingers: (Default)

I am listening to the rough mixes of one of the best albums I've heard.
Of the 24 songs Songdog have recorded they'll only have space for 14. This might be a crime against the art of songwriting.
Of course, no-one else will ever listen to it: but this album (when it comes out) should propel these guys into the stratosphere. Comparisons are often odious...nevertheless if you think of the best and most humane albums from songwriters of whom you know, this album (as and when) should be in your top twenty.
Aside of shouting it from the rooftops, I don't know what else to do.
When one stumbles upon great art one has certain duties.
The first is dissemination, and this I must do.

johnny9fingers: (Default)
Ah. There have been some developments.
Steve has agreed to mix the tracks and pass them to Nick (the producer) for approval, in the old fashioned way. Steve's a very good mixing engineer, but now the pressure's on him, poor bunny. A position exposed to a huge amount of scrutiny, and one he didn't expect. I remain confident that he'll get the best from the tracks.
In the middle of all this kerfuffle I had a 'phone call from a New York based company asking if we had any time today for one of their artists. I had to explain that we were booked out for the next week, and couldn't help. I didn't even find out who the artist was. Bright man, Ninefingers.
Oh well.


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