Happy New Year everybody - Thank you so much for coming out and supporting me and the Hounds and the Ready last year. I picked up a pretty sweet axe from Santa and have some plans cooking for some amazing music this year.
I hope you get everything you wish for this coming year and decade - It's like a whole new set of rules this time every year. It's a wide open, huge big blank page - so, congratulations in advance for chasing down those dreams! Please come up and say hi at the next show you make it out to. I'm expecting new recordings all around this year, so feel free to badger me for those, too.
Don't be too disappointed that we don't have robot maids, personal jet packs, or holiday condo's on the moon - I promise it'll be this decade though!
It's been a while since I've been under the old gray sky - I'll be hanging out at The John Hewitt in Belfast on the 17th and 24th of November... Maybe playing a few tunes and most certainly drinking some fine German bier! I might even get a chance to stop off in London to see my good friend Joan Coffey open for Thea Gilmore.
A while back, Immortal Recordings Ireland - The label that Leslie was on back in Belfast - called to say that they were going to put a compilation CD together called Time To Be Proud to celebrate 30 years of Good Vibrations - A punk label formed in 1977 by Terry Hooley, a one eyed record shop owner, to recognise the great punk bands coming out of Northern Ireland at that time.
The idea was that each band involved - Including past and present bands of the Immortal label - would record a track from the Good Vibrations back catalogue and also provide one original and they wanted Leslie to take part.
There were a lot of great tunes available to choose from and originally Leslie wanted to do The Cops Are Comin' by The Outcasts, but it had already been chosen and so the next one to jump up for attention was Belfast Telegraph (One of the main local newspapers in Northern Ireland) by Shock Treatment
For the original Leslie chose What You Close Your Eyes For, one of the tunes that he wrote to perform with The Damn Few.
With MJ at the helm, without being distracted by having to drum, it took two days to record everything up at The Space. Jason Wahl played bass and provided engineering and lyric expertise, Mike Hinton from indie jerk rockers, Jack Ruby provided drums, Mollie Clancy sang backing vocals, Annie Newman from The Damn Few played fiddle and Ogre Peterson played harmonica. The following people spent time advising, smoking, laughing and yelling - Tommy The Touch, Stacy Revards, Dan Laubech, and half of Orange Blank
Anyway, it's all done now with the tweaking and the twitchings...
...there's been worse!
So, go. Listen. Be Free.
Sorry, but it's only streaming for now - You can always get it on the CD
I just picked up the new album, Struggles And Lulls today by my good friend Joan Coffey. If any of you have ever missed her when she's been here in Minneapolis playing for us you could always read back at some of the posts I've put up here about her. The new CD has left me a bit speechless and I'm not sure I could even really talk to you about it here, other than to tell you that you can get it at CD Baby or through her web site (www.joancoffey.com). She has been such an inspiration to me in the past both as a friend and as an artist, but this time the inspiration has left me at a loss as to how I feel about my own work. I'm not going to cry and winge about it, because I already did that by myself in the car on the way to a practice/hanging out session with Jay at the space tonight, but I'm hoping that in the coming months I can get a much clearer picture of what I want and where I'd like to be and this CD might just help. I also don't quite know what you should expect of me during my own imminent struggles and lulls, but I'll wipe my stupid face and tell you that you should really pick Struggles And Lulls up both for helping support astoundingly good independent artists and because she'll open up a spot in your heart that you can then possibly fill with whatever it is you truly desire. www.cdbaby.com/joancoffey - www.joancoffey.com
OK, so... Wednesday was my first ever trip to Duluth. I went up there to perform as part of Beaners birthday week. When I got there I realised that it was actually a singer/songwriter competition. I played my part and in the process saw some excellent acts. I met some great people and you know, the drive really wasn't that bad. I was glad to be out on my own, even if I was a little lonely and dog tired. When the judges came back the announced the 3rd, 2nd and 1st place winners. 3rd place went ot one of the acts I didn't see, but 2nd place went to someone that certainly had a few others that I thought were better - not in the least Andy Elwell. At this point I thought his name was going to be called, but instead was an individual that went by the name of Tico 3. Now I didn't really think too much of it, as I guessed maybe people like Andy Elwell and Lance Bensn didn't really need to prizes to develop. suddenly there was a kerfuffle up at the stage and the judges were a little upset. The votes had been counted back to front and they had to take the prizes off these three poor, embarrassed individuals. After a short while they re-announced the prizes and I won! I felt a little taken aback as I considered there to be at least 5 other people more worthy, but there you have it. It makes me pretty excited to go back there on the 20th, even if I'm still cringing at the thought of having been in a competition and snatching the main prize away from someone that thought they had won. It'll make for a good story down the pub!
last night (Tuesday) I spent a long time down at the space practicing for tonights show and for the festival on Saturday. It's been a long time since I've been able to put that amount of hours in. It's good. I used to always get a little spurt of creativity before a big show or a tour and usually would come up with 2 - 3 songs (Not all of which stay), so I was interested to see that I wrote a new track that I'll be airing at the gig. It was one of those ones that just pops out of no where - "I Followed You, Didn't I?"
Hope to see you at the show tonight.
I've been finding the time to graft recently. Finding the time to set up tours and shows - God! I've even found the time to make some posters. You have to put that time in everyday - I've been telling myself that even that spare five minutes makes a difference in the whole picture. This isn't washing dishes at your local eatery, but you've got to put in the hours as if it was a job - it IS your job, man! I'm excited for the shows coming up - the 318 Cafe next week is going to be one sweaty rocking joint!