This is somewhere between a Blog post and a Noticeboard item. First, the Noticeboard bit. News from Sarah McQuaid:
A bit of sad news: I’ve very reluctantly made the decision to cancel both my 5-week February-March tour in Netherlands/Germany/Denmark and my 3-week April-May Ireland tour. It just feels like too risky a time to undertake any international touring, given the risks of lockdowns, quarantines and so on. That leaves both me and Martin Martin Stansbury Audio – Cacophony Cottage Studio with another 6 months of mostly empty diaries to fill … so this would be a good time to (a) contact Martin about any recording, mixing or mastering projects you might have in mind (see https://www.facebook.com/martinstansburyaudio for info and testimonials) and (b) consider joining me on Patreon, if you haven’t done so already. I’m also available to record backing vocals and guest guitar/piano parts, as well as for score commissions.
I have lots of plans for writing and co-writing new material, working on my songbook project, beefing up my composition and home studio skills, and improving my guitar, piano and percussion chops — but none of that generates any income in the short term, so I’d be very » Continue Reading.
A dignified calling-it-quits from the great man. Here is his Facebook announcement:
It’s been a great 50+ years of being a working entertainer, but I reached the difficult decision that touring and stage shows are no longer possible. I’ve cancelled the upcoming shows, and am not accepting offers for new ones. That’s the short version. For the longer version continue reading… As a folksinger, I never really thought much about getting older. It seemed to me that I could just continue year after year, decade after decade, singing and playing as I had done for most of my life. As the years went by, it got more difficult to keep touring, but I did it, mostly because I’d been doing it my entire life. It was the life I knew and loved.
In 2016 on April 1st, April Fools Day, I got really dizzy in the parking lot of the hotel, and started seeing as though I were looking through a kaleidoscope. That evening the show went on as though nothing had happened. I had no idea I’d just encountered a mini stroke until weeks later, when I was told about it. It didn’t appear to affect » Continue Reading.
Petesy Burns – Outcast, legend, bucket of positive energy, source of earthy wisdom and 70s punk spirit, Motown aficionado and writer of songs, powerhouse drummer, coiled-spring vendor of blistering riffs on guitar and driving bass, a lover of lattés and a teacher of Tai Chi on the beach… a man with a big grin and a beard… an anarchist with humanity.
And now he needs our help.
Anyone who has ever met Petesy Burns will know his many qualities. If you’re feeling down, he’ll take the time to lift your spirits. If you need a band for a charity thing, he’s there.
He’s a very difficult man to pay. If there is something he can do for you, it’s all you can do to get him to take some petrol money, and even then…
I’ve only known Petesy for a couple of years. In late 2018, I was raging against NI government corruption and hubris, and felt the need to make a punk recording to highlight the problem. I wrote ‘Smash the System’ – but who’s interested in a bourgeois nonentity playing old-school punk? I needed some credibility… and I knew someone who knew Petesy. At that time, » Continue Reading.
Some real bargains from a German supplier of musical comestibles. Save £££ and not give your dosh to the tax-dodgers. I draw particular attention to the Rubettes complete for about £15.00.
At 5:00 p.m. today (UK time):
“Join Martin, as he takes us through a personal history of Manchester music, digging deep into his own collection to tell us about and play songs from 1963 up to the last week or so”.
Features 30 November 1989!
At 12 noon a performance of part of Gustav Holst’s “Mars” will take place. 20% of the piece will be played, by freelance musicians conducted by David Hill. This performance will be followed by 2 minutes silence. Only 20% to be played because the government’s latest SEISS grant only offers a maximum of 20% support for freelancers. The event will be Covid-19 safe and adhere strictly to social distancing regulations. It will be reported live as it happens on the Musicians Union Twitter Feed. Later in the day union General Secretary Horace Trubridge will be speaking to the Lords Economic Affairs Committee, which you can watch live on Parliament TV from 4pm. Some AfterWorders may know Horace better for his stint in Darts, when he was known as Horatio Hornblower.
Focus – 50 Years: Anthology 1970-1976
Dutch progrock band Focus has been a household name worldwide for 50 years with hits such as “Hocus Pocus”, “House Of The King”, “Sylvia”, “Tommy” and many others.
In honor of this monumental band, Red Bullet Productions will release a new boxset available from 13th November: Focus – 50 Years: Anthology 1970-1976, consisting of 9 CDs and 2 DVDs with remasters and never before released material, such as the ‘Focus At The Rainbow’ concert film from 1973.
This box set contains the complete work of Focus as released between 1970 and 1976, the years in which the band featured 4 of the most talented musicians originating from the Netherlands during the 70s: guitarist Jan Akkerman, keyboard player Thijs van Leer, bass player Bert Ruiter and drummer Pierre van der Linden.
In the period 1970-1976, Focus was the first continental European rock group to reach a worldwide audience meanwhile touring extensively in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Japan. The band scored two worldwide hitsingles, sold several million albums and was the first Dutch rock group claiming Melody Maker’s Brightest Hope award for 1972. One year later, Focus hit the US Billboard » Continue Reading.
I’ve been listening to a lot of JJ Cale recently, who seems to suit my mood, and started writing songs which, if not like him (no one is like him) caught some of his mood. So I recorded them in a little EP I present here for your pleasure. There’s a cracking guitartastic track with old pal David called Brand New Blues where “licks” are “traded”, and elsewhere Twang Jr makes his recording debut on lead guitar and alto saxophone. It’s bluesy, tuneful, fun and a bit melancholy. My basic mood at the moment.
As the song goes…
“In these troubled times I wanna chose The gentle rocking sound of JJ playing the blues”
Link thingy here:
Folk/blues scenester, performer, club organiser, sometime broadcaster, former ‘Froots’ editor and personality Ian Anderson started a record label in Bristol in 1970. In this new podcast/cyber radio thing, he plays a track from everything the label released – 24 LPs and a few singles. My favourites from the label are Al Jones, Chris Thompson, Wizz Jones and a bit of Dave Evans. To my taste, you probably ‘had to be there’ for a couple of the other acts, but that matters not – hats off to Ian for making it happen in an era when independent labels were relatively rare. He had a decent hit rate, quality wise.
The link contains the pod / radio thing plus a few paragraphs of history on the venture and lots of LP sleeves and adverts.
I must listen to it myself…
Tomorrow (18 September) from 15:00 UK time, on the 50th Anniversary of Jimi’s death, my friend Keith will be presenting a “3 hour celebration of his musical genius”…
Keith is a major fan/afficianado/obsessive. ’tis his tattoo featured above too.
In case you miss it:
One feels sure this will appeal to a number of Afterworders!
Analogue Hashtag’s debut album is inspired and influenced by some classic TV themes, in particular the work of composers like Edwin Astley, Barry Gray, Lalo Schifrin and Ron Grainer. The imaginative listener might just detect a narrative thread running through the album. This might involve an agent during the cold-war period being sent behind the Iron Curtain on an espionage mission. As the plot unfolds, he might be drawn into a tangled web of intrigue before being captured, imprisoned and interrogated. During his interrogation, as the prospect of escape fades to the distance, he might well find himself retreating to a space inside his head in order to avoid giving away any crucial information to the enemy. Any similarity with plots of old TV shows and /or films is deliberate, because the aim of this project is to record theme tunes and incidental music for films and TV shows which exist in a parallel universe (or something). ‘One of our agents is missing’ is available on Spotify, i-tunes and various other sites, but a ‘free’ download (dependent on a small donation to a » Continue Reading.
Just the press release for those interested….
Since her debut album arrived in 1968, Joni Mitchell’s songs have been embraced across generations, inspired multitudes of artists around the world, and earned every conceivable accolade. She is now opening her vault for the first time to create the Joni Mitchell Archives, a new series of boxed set releases that will span the next several years, featuring deep dives into unreleased content from different eras of her storied career. Mitchell has been intimately involved in producing the archive series, lending her vision and personal touch to every element of the project.
The series debuts on October 30 with JONI MITCHELL ARCHIVES VOL. 1: THE EARLY YEARS (1963-1967), which features nearly six hours of unreleased home, live, and radio recordings that flow chronologically to paint a rich portrait of Mitchell’s rapid growth as a performer and songwriter during the period leading up to her debut album. This treasure trove of unheard audio includes 29 original Mitchell compositions that have never been released before with her vocals. The collection will be available as a deluxe 5-CD set as well as digitally.
The collection begins in 1963 with her earliest-known recording » Continue Reading.
Thought some may be interested that Songs From Under The Floorboards will be returning to the airwaves next Thursday (10 September) at 17:00 UK time.
On Saturday 5 September, again at 17:00, I shall be a guest on 2 Fish & An Elephant for a Joy Division and New Order special. If of no interest to anyone else, @fentonsteve will get to hear a number of favourites he mentioned above.
Thank you very much!
A friend of mine, who is on the management team, has asked if I would do a fortnightly show on our local internet community station, GNET Radio…
…At (just before) 5:00 p.m. UK time on 27 August “Songs From Under The Floorboards – independently-minded music from the post-punk period and beyond” will be broadcast across the ether.
I have never done this before, so it could be a bit of a car crash.
If anyone can listen, that would be great, and all bouquets & brickbats would be gratefully received!
I reviewed my favourite 102 songs on a blog during my shielded lockdown, and now converted it to a book.
The Kindle (Ebook) version is now free for the next 4 days on all Amazon sites. I would appreciate any downloads and reviews.
Hopefully there are many Afterword-friendly artists (The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Richard Thompson, Jason Isbell, Kirsty MacColl, Kathleen Edwards, Leonard Cohe, R.E.M., etc) contained.
Dyble Longdon Announce Release of Between A Breath And A Breath
Release date 25th September 2020
9th July 2020: Dyble Longdon is a collaboration between iconic vocalist Judy Dyble (ex Fairport Convention, Trader Horne) and Huge Big Train songwriter and frontman David Longdon. They release their highly anticipated album Between A Breath And A Breath on 25th September. The CD edition is released on English Electric, distributed by RSK, and the gatefold vinyl edition is released on the Plane Groovy label.
You can pre-order the album here: https://burningshed.com/tag/Dyble+Longdon
The album contains seven original compositions with all lyrics by Judy Dyble and music and production by David Longdon. The songs are, at times, haunting and, at others, beautifully fragile. This collaboration with David Longdon is something Judy Dyble has hoped for for some time. “I first heard David sing with Big Big Train at King’s Place in London 2015 and immediately decided that I really wanted to sing with him someday. And here we are with a collaborative album, which I think is wonderful!” she said.
David Longdon added: “Judy asked if I would like to work with her. She sent me some great lyrics which inspired the music » Continue Reading.
The mighty Stonefish recorded three EPs in Belfast in 1995-96, two of which escaped at that time, one of which didn’t before the cauldronesque trio of pur molten rock imploded into a cosmic singularity under the sheer weight of their own superbity.
Apparently, an outdoor show I organised at Clarendon Dock, Belfast in early 1997 was their last hurrah. I found three B&W snaps from it recently – almost the only Stonefish pics from back in the day there are…
At last, Norm, Phil and Bob have had the 12 track monster remastered and (as of today) made available on Spotify, Apple, YouTube, Bandcamp etc. I’ve purchased one already. I commend it to one and all.
A live-streamed concert from The Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston, tonight at 8pm. A link on the page should take you to the stream for when it starts. A link to a Guardian article about it is in the first comment.
Fans of this estimable duo, the Mr and Mrs of country duets, Michael Weston King and Lou Dalgleish, will be eager to catch this second instalment of Country Darkness. This, now clearly an ongoing project, features covers of some of Elvis Costello’s more country oeuvre, and again features the guest fingers of Steve Nieve. Having heard the other 3 songs I can confirm it is better even than Volume 1. And I was quite keen on that.
It gets released on Friday next, 5/6/20.
In 1979, I was the bass player and singer in a new wave band called ‘Impulse’. (40 years ago. Yikes!!)
I got back in touch with the guys recently and the guitarist Richard sent me some songs digitised from the original tape masters as well as a load of photos.
Overcome by a warm feeling of nostalgia, I wrote a song about it. I started with a four bar drum loop lifted from one of the tracks. You can hear the loop right at the beginning. It’s very grainy and there is audible tape hiss :).
I put together a video which contains a montage of some of the photos as well as some FCP trickery.
The guy with the bass that looks like Lurch from the Munsters. Yeah that’s me 🙂
Three of my friends from the local folk club agreed to appear in it doing “backing vocals” (all shot pre-Covid)
I won’t say much about this (because Sarah says lots within), save that I’m a huge admirer of Sarah McQuaid as an artist and as a person. Like a lot of cottage industry musical artists, she’s suffering at the present time, as is her manager/sound engineer / driver / loyal lieutenant Martin Stansbury. Months of touring cancelled, and at a time when a corner (in terms of career/income/debt) was being turned after literally years worth of hard graft.
The online busking thing isn’t for Sarah, for a number of reasons, but she’s come up with an elegant alternative – a project she’s been thinking of doing for a while, and that is eminently doable within the current circumstances. I commend the project to anyone with even £15 to spare who would like to (a) help a decimated musician; (b) contribute to a lovely community project in a small Cornish village. Details in Sarah’s post below.
Hi everyone – hope you are all bearing up under lockdown. I’ve been doing some more home recording – a couple of people had suggested they would like to hear the more reflective pieces gathered together, so that’s what has been keeping me away from the drinks cupboard over the last couple of weeks.
Free, on bandcamp – hope you enjoy it.
This may be of interest to those of a folky bent. The excellent Folk on Foot podcast is streaming a virtual festival on Easter Monday with artist like Bella Hardy, Julie Fowlis, Jon Boden, Martin Simpson and Karine Polwart all performing thirty minute sets form their front rooms. It’s a great line up. They are fundraising as well, and splitting the proceeds equally between the artists and the charity Help Musicians UK.
These performers have all been on the podcast and have been uniformly excellent, so it should be a good one
If you’ve come out to a show or bought a record of mine in the last decade, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Billy Conway Music on the drums: broad, magic smile on his face, the rare balance of delicacy and power framing every note. Sometimes on the full kit, but often enough just a snare, ride, lowboy, and a suitcase with Mardi Gras beads hanging off of the handle. Simplicity itself.
Maybe you know something about Billy’s life. That he was a Minnesota hockey savant, went to Yale on a scholarship, captain of the team. Maybe you know he took his Ivy League degree and taught at-risk kids in inner-city Boston; that he toured the world with Treat Her Right, and rose to fame with Morphine, becoming one of the best known and most respected drummers in American Music. Maybe you know that he’s met everyone from Johnny Cash to Roy Orbison, backed up Bo Diddley, opened for Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos. Maybe you know that after Mark Sandman died on stage during a » Continue Reading.