It’s been an incredibly busy year in so many ways and It’s very difficult to know exactly where to start!
But here goes... Early this year I sadly parted company with my wonderful band and friends who unfortunately had so many other things to deal with both professionally and personally that they could no longer commit to playing with me any longer.
However, after a great deal of trial and error, and a variety of gigs and concerts with different line ups of great musicians, I now have exactly the right people and it’s a very exciting time for us. Its back to being like a family again and that is very important to me.
The 14 amazing tracks (I am biased) that make up the new album “Cross Country” were finally finished this year also. I was blessed to be able to go a beautiful quiet, peaceful house by the sea in Elie, Fife, Scotland and once again was further blessed with lyrics, melodies and ideas to finish the thumbnail sketches that I already had. I would like to personally thank Mr Ian Watson and everyone at The Elie Trust, for all that he has done for me. God bless you.
“If you like the Eagles and Bruce Springsteen, you are going to love this album.”
So, having written the songs, I then wanted to start recording them and once again God blessed me. I had the privilege and pleasure of working with Graeme Duffin (of Wet Wet Wet and Ashton Lane fame) once again. Graeme had engineered and played on my very first solo album “Cold and Roofless” almost 15 years ago, and he is an outstanding, producer, engineer and musician.
Graeme then helped me craft the raw material (although it was pretty darned good raw material!) into the songs that they now are. I can’t thank him enough for his patience, kindness and amazing ear for detail, not to mention his wonderful playing. As we speak, the album has now been mixed, mastered and is off for printing. It will be available for download from 1st January 2018....Happy New Year!....and in CD form, from around the 10th January 2018.
This year was another first for me, performing as a solo artist and as a duo, and that has been a very different but uplifting experience for me. The sound is of course completely different, very stripped down and exposed. But the songs are good enough to stand alone and speak for themselves. It has been a real learning curve for me, but it also taught me that if a song is not good enough to be played and sung solo, then no amount of smoke and mirrors will make it sound any better.
I am going to be actively looking to play at as many events as possible and in particular Alternative Country Music festivals, so to any of you event/festival organisers out there, please get in touch if I haven’t already spoken to you.
Rehearsals with the new band will start early January and we look forward to playing for you sometime soon after that. We will also be doing a regular series of YouTube videos and I’ll keep you posted when they are posted !
In the meantime, I wish you a very Happy, Peaceful Christmas and New Year!