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 grateful if you could support me on https://www.patreon.com/sarahmcquaid and urge your friends to do likewise. As little as £1, $1 or €1 a month gets you exclusive access to sheet music downloads, patron-only “How to Play …” (DADGAD guitar tutorial) and “Story Behind The Song” videos (I’ll be making the next set of those as soon as I finish the grant application I’m working on at the moment!) and a lovely community of fellow music supporters.
I’m still hoping that my May UK tour and autumn USA and UK tours will happen, so please stay tuned for updates on those and on my ‘St Buryan Sessions’ project — we’re hoping to release the first video in December.
Bow the Blog bit…
I’ve had the pleasure of having Sarah record with me, remotely, before (a Belfast & Cornwall studios collaboration in 2007) and it just so happened that I was ruminating on a singer for another project when I noticed her availability, above, on social media. I’m now thrilled to say that Sarah will be recording/arranging the whole song (a ‘lost song’ by a late writer of note) with her trusty sidekick and studio wizard Martin Stansbury – which will be made freely available this side of Christmas.
It’s somewhat different to hiring an artist for backing vocals, and of course for such an enhanced involvement Sarah had to ‘want’ to do it and have her name associated with it, but it made me think that – in these extremely tough times for professional musicians and artists – there are probably mutually beneficial opportunities for professionals and ‘hobby musicians’ that might not normally be there. If you’re a hobby musician, and you can offer some funds to a professional musician you admire to play/guest on one of your recordings, now is a good time to ask. Chances are, they aren’t that busy, and certainly unlikely to be on the road. I would, of course, particularly recommend Sarah – she’s actively available and will enhance any recording! 😀
I mentioned Jerry Jeff Walker in the thread title. Jerry Jeff left us this week and I recalled that Sarah occasionally plays/played (everything to do with stages is in the past tense now) the song most associated with him, ‘Mr Bojangles’. That seems as good a way as any to doff the cap to him.