Last year was busy, busy. Lots of music, lots of day time work, lots of travel. I am still looking for a new band though, still wanting to do more music. I was really chuffed when Dougie MacLean approved my singing of his amazing song Caledonia in a music video mum made. It is full of photos and clips of people on indy rallies. And already this year is going to start with a bang with a few Burns Nights and a rally performance all in January. Looking forward to make much more music. And looking forward to music projects and hopefully finding a band! :)
On the 15th of December 2013 I hosted my first ever music evening and made my debut as a jazz performer. I was so nervous beforehand because I had had quite a few problems getting it all organised what with two consecutive pianists being double-booked, and not having a clue about lead sheets etc.
Talk about being thrown in at the deep end! I normally work as a member of a band and we rehearse together and decide what songs performed how as a band. Or I am told what to sing, listen to the music I have to fit into and do my bit. Other than that I generally just jam with other musicians where everyone does what they do in the true spirit of just doing it together. Meaning that working like this, where I have to lead instead of being "just" one of five on stage, was totally new to me. I quite like calling the shots but I still have to work on my confidence.
But I had the most amazing help from the lovely Liz Dicks who made me lead sheets to use for the songs I picked (and as I am not a jazz singer these were not standards, sorry to my audience) and my three pianists (Campbell, Tom and Alan) who were awesome in every way, and of course Kevin, my drummer for the night, who believed I could do this. Nick on sax rounded everything off nicely. :)
On the night it was fine- I think I managed to pull it off reasonably well, judging from the feedback I had. Certainly did wonders for my confidence too!
Besides my thanks to Liz Dicks, without whom I'd have been totally lost, I again want to thank the band for being there for me with such immense skill and a special thanks to my guests, some of whom had come all the way from Germany to be there.
Another special thanks goes to Mr Bill Flucker, heckler extraordinaire (he was actually the one who cheered the loudest for my whole set- magic!). I had arranged to have my set videoed, and one of the edited videos is available on my YouTube channel. It is Out Here On My Own by Irene Cara from Fame. It features Alan Anderson on piano and myself on vocals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFbn5NaVXKU
I go back to my folk blues roots, happy that I tried something totally different. Next gig is likely to be more Scottish folk orientated and there is Burns Night in 2014. Looking forward to it as it is always a good night for me.
Merry Christmas and a blessed new year when it comes!
The Prestonfield season ended last month and my evenings are my own once more. And now I am looking to join a band or create one as I miss performing. A lot.
I have been to a few open mics and was even an extra in a sci fi short film which was something way different for me. Makes me realise that I am a singer, not an actor.
I am starting burlesque classes this month and am looking forward to enhancing my performance skills with this new-found anti-shyness. LOL!
And on 15th December I am hosting the Jazz Club in the city's Whighams Wine Cellar. Should be interesting to do some jazz along with my blues. Really in love with Frank Sinatra's swing just now so might do a number of his.
And I am still looking to record my next few tracks, maybe ten tracks for a "small" album? Big Yellow Taxi and Me & Bobby McGee among them. What's Up obviously. My new favourite song just now. :)
I am open to collaborations so if you have any ideas or want a singer for your band- get in touch! :D
Last night I performed at The Voodoo Rooms probably for the last time this season as now Taste of Scotland goes back into action. Rehearsals are going great and I really enjoy seeing everyone again. We've got some new material and makes for interesting times. :)
I am still looking for my own band to perform with as there are so many songs I would love to sing if I could.
I am also looking to seriously begin writing and composing my own material with a view to getting Richard to record and produce for me again. That on top of the tracks already in the works to be recorded, LOL!
Happy New Year everyone! It has been pretty exciting to do my album and to be involved in the Voodoo Room jam sessions and gigging about Edinburgh in 2012 and the radio plays.
It started with Hazel Quinn's really cool local radio station show where she played a couple of the tracks from the album and interviewed me. It was nerve-wrecking but was the best introduction to radio ever. Hazel is still the best inspiration. :) Best of British the online radio show (http://www.bestofbritishunsigned.com) with some seriously good music presented by the super nice Matt Graveling was next. He played Jamie Come Try Me. Then there was the community radio station in the US who got my CD through my number one fan Arron and gave me some airtime. There is IRFT Celtic Radio and then there was Kenny Hutchison of Forth Two who got my album via Grant Stott (thank you Grant) and who played Glencoe. I missed it though. :P
And now I am looking to do more of that stuff in 2013.
First thing will be the Robert Burns gigs I am doing later in January which will be fun because I realised I really love folk music and working with Richard.
Then I am planning to record a few more tracks by great women musicians from Joni Mitchell to Janis Joplin. All done very live and stripped back with an acoustic feel because that is what I like. I am not sure yet if it will be another album or more of an EP. Will have to see as it depends on Richard being free to produce again.
Then there is Doc Rodent. :)
And I want to start a band to do random stuff, more R&B, folky stuff.
I am also looking for a day job in Edinburgh so if you know of anything decent let me know maybe?
So the 2012 season is over and I even auditioned for The Voice in Glasgow (didn't get far- LOL!) and am now looking for a new musical experience.
Having recorded The Gathering, my debut live Scottish album I am now looking at the music by the likes of Janis Joplin and Nerina Pallot (still love her to bits) and then there is my love for a jazz brass section.
Of course I have now started taking bookings for Burns Night 2013 on the strength of it and am actually really enjoying working with folk music. :P Oh, and I still have a couple of dates available if anyone is interested?
Who knows what 2013 will bring but I am certainly looking forward to it.
Now that The Gathering is out and the season is in full swing I am getting very little time to think about anything but work. Which is fine as it is singing! I am singing mostly six nights a week at Prestonfield and on the 17th of August 2012 I sang on the Ross Theatre stage to a select crowd, the lunch gang on the benches above and weirdly the people on Princes Street. It is something else when your audience is so far away and so much higher than you, going about their daily business and stopping to listen and clapping. I really appreciate everyone who took the time to listen and clap and wish me well. It made the rather dricht day (I seem to pick really weird weather days for my open air gigs...) worthwhile!! 3 to everyone who came/listened/cheered!
I was supposed to get the disks today, a day later than planned and then I got a message from Josh from The Graysmiths to say that he'd received my disks and wondered if I had his.
It went totally mad for a few hours while Josh and mum tried to find out what was going on and when it would be resolved.
Poor Josh needed his today as well as some of them are to head to the US tomorrow and I could do with selling mine tonight but hey- it could be worse.
In the meantime the album is for sale online as of today, at CD Baby for now but soon also on iTunes and Amazon. It is all going to work out fine and I am looking forward to seeing it for real.
Then the video for Loch Lomond and then the tour. :D
Today, 21st of July 2012, my debut album The Gathering was queued at the printer with the pressing paid for (thank you dad!) and the artwork (thank you mum) signed off. The recording (thank you so much to Richard Dunn) sounds pretty good (according to those who have listened to snippets) and it will be lovely, the year of Creative Scotland, the Diamond Jubilee and other wondrous things.
It feels amazing to have come so far in quite a short time as these things go. And for the team to have pulled it off with such style given we had no budget for this- it is fantastic and everyone should be so proud.
I love my team: Richard Dunn, mum, dad, Marc Marnie (photographer), Denis (fellow musician) and Brian (who gave us access to his recording studio). Without any one of these people the whole thing would have folded. They make me happy to be doing this. It was fun. Now, what's next? :P
Love and peas,
Hey everyone, just been recovering from the YouTube inactive users purge and lost over a hundred subscribers. The funny thing is that I would have had a few thousand more because I used to anyway remove closed accounts so kept it real but now? Wow- I will need to look at really promoting the channel as I think the videos are much better than the recordings. Something about seeing music performed, I think?
On here, ReverbNation, I have suddenly had over 60 new fans in about one day and that is awesome. Of course I went and listened to each and everyone of my fans (and fanned back) carefully and found something on every channel which made my weekend (between gigs, busy me! LOL!) a bit more special.
I am definitely going to be dragging Doc Rodent back into the studio because we need to re/record our stuff and do some originals too. Not sure when but it wont be this side of Summer what with The Gathering taking priority.
I am keeping the very live sound of Richard's guitar and my vocals but we need a recording booth to improve on the quality. The artwork is done, the pressing is organised and now just to make that audio shine! So exciting because Summer is here and the sun is insanely shining even here in Leith (yeah, I really DO live in Leith so am not just ripping off The Proclaimers) and support for the album is good. Looking at crowd-sourcing the final costs and putting everyone's name on the album- PEOPLE POWER!
3 from me.