So, it turns out that I am absolutely useless at keeping a once monthly blog. It was going so well. Drat.
I have, however, been rather busy since my last update. So hopefully this post will be quite interesting. Where to begin...
The October/November Robbie Boyd UK tour was a lot of fun. Thanks to anyone that came along to see us! Here's a snap from my favourite gig of the tour, the Jazz Cafe in London...
Photo by Michael Brydon Photography
Thank you also to the good people at Gibson guitars, who kindly gave me this stunning ES-175 for the tour. Here I am auditioning it at Gibson UK HQ in Soho, with a lovely backdrop of several instruments that I cannot afford, but would like to. Especially that doublecut Les Paul Jr in TV Yellow. Those things are absolutely nice.
Also in October, I was asked by the wonderful Miss Hayley Tucker to track the electric guitars and lapsteel for her debut release, coming early 2014. It was a very enjoyable couple of days in the ever brilliant setting of Far Heath Studios. Hayley's got some great tunes, its going to be a fantastic record and I'm very much looking forward to hearing the final mix when it's done. As is the way in Far Heath, a lot of emphasis was put into the perfect capture of sound at source level going into the desk - here's a couple of shots of the rig I used...
Judging by the SG Jr being on the stand, it'd be safe to assume that this was taken just before we started tracking Hayley's song 'Billie Holiday'. It's a fun tune that kind of sounds like The Rolling Stones and the B52's went to an office party and got slammed on cocktails. It'll make more sense when you hear the track!
My Egnater Tweaker 15 and Zilla 2x12 actually took care of all the tracking - we tried running the Blackstar Artisan combo in stereo with it to get some panorama on delays and tremolos, but alas, the amp's voices just didn't compliment each other too well.
Here's a shot that better details the mic placement on the cabs - this is the same setup that I used for my ReWork EP. It just seems to really work for my rig.
From left to right -
On the Blackstar... (not used in the end)
On the Zilla...
SM57, Royer R-122v, AKG C414
I can't recall exactly what the room mics were, but there's definitely another Royer R-122v in the top left of the shot which may have been used, but I have a feeling it may actually have been one of Angus Wallace's (Far Heath chief engineer) vintage Neumanns. Couldn't tell you what model. I'm still learning about mics. It's a long, arduous process. But it makes me happy.
I'm also very happy to let you all know that Paul Bell's album 'Small Town Boy' is now available, and it's a really great listen. I tracked electric guitars and lapsteel on this not too long ago. You can preview and buy the entire album at http://store.paulbellmusic.com/.
If you do decide to have a listen - be sure to check out the credits and liner notes (scroll down past the tunes on the store page...) and have a look at the musician credits. It's actually quite frightening how many instruments Matt and Dan Weeks play on this album. Also taking into account that they produced the album as well, it seems appropriate to have them sectioned and studied by the government. They're clearly onto something, and its not fair on the rest of us musicians to have to try and compete alongside such ludicrous talent. All jokes aside though, check out their production company, WeeksWeeksWeeks. They're doing some really exciting stuff with some fantastic artists, and you'll definitely want to have a browse.
YOU SHOULD ALL COME TO THIS GIG.
It's going to be a bit of a showcase gig for us, and we're fresh out of the studio after recording two new tunes, 'Pleasure Island' and 'If I Call' both of which are going to be featured in the gritty indie film 'Pleasure Island' - (the name refers to a beach amusement park).
Check out my EP on YouTube!
I'm trying to generate some more buzz around my YouTube channel as I'm aiming to use it a lot more in the coming months (tunes, studio outtakes, potentially some gear reviews and tutorials? Feel free to send me some ideas!). I've *finally* put my ReWork EP up on my channel, so if you like what you hear, please share! Have a listen below..
I believe that's all for now. I've got some exciting studio ventures with artists that I've not yet had the pleasure of working with coming up in the not-so-distant future that I'm looking forward to sharing with you all, so do keep an eye out for my next update!
Thanks for reading if you made it this far!