Waiting For Flapjack - the soundtrack

Finally recorded something I like! Yay!

It's a pretty low res recording, cos I did it on my Nokia N97, just using the voice recorder, but given that, it's actually pretty good :)

The loop was recorded and I was playing over it, then decided to record it, so I stopped it, hit record and re-triggered the loop. Everything else is as I played it...

Enjoy - this is the sound of waiting. :)

Playing fretted bass for the first time in AGES!

Haven't had some moderate musical successes over the last few days on fretless bass, I thought today I'd have a play with my 6 string fretted bass - it's an awesome instrument, sounding and feeling unlike any bass I've ever played (it is a one-off...) 

I hadn't played it for quite a few months, given that I usually only take one bass to gigs these days and it's the fretless, hence I practice on it too... 

But it was fun to have a play around (despite the bass really needing a set-up). 

Here's a little snippet of what I was playing, recorded to audioboo. 3 loops - the first one a rhythm track, second one some chords, third one gnarly distorted tremolo sound. 

Enjoy :) 

Grace Pettis - The Gypsy's Code

This was a lovely surprise to read this morning - Grace Pettis won the Mountain Stage New Song Contest. Mountain Stage is a pretty big deal in the states, and they have a great track record of finding awesome singer/songwriters. 

I know Grace through her dad, Pierce Pettis - a truly awesome singer/songwriter himself - who has clearly passed on the 'being a ridiculously gifted singer/songwriter' genes to Grace. 

Last time I saw Grace, we were mucking about in a giant Walmart in rural Alabama, trying to buy guns and camouflage gear, just to see if it was possible... that was just after her slightly absent minded dad had nearly shot Evil Harv with some tiny fireworks... a weekend full of WIN! 

Anyway, here's one of her songs - 


more coming soon. Please spread the word about her - she's amazing.  

Rob Ickes - I Can't Make You Love Me

So, stumbling through a few links from a tweet, to a site to a list of artists to one I knew cos I'd seen him live...

..brought me to this page - http://robickes.argoarts.com/ 

And I clicked on the 'play' button for 'I Can't Make You Love Me', and within about a minute had tears in my eyes. 

It's truly outstanding. Listened the the other two tracks, both beautiful. 

Scoured the usual haunts looking for the highest res download I could find (the first link only has 3 tracks, I wanted to whole album). Ended up with Amazon (256k VBR) for about seven quid. Bargain. Bought it, am listening now, it's outstanding. 

I saw Rob Ickes play in 2004 - Evil Harv and I were in Nashville and went to see my friend Dave Pomeroy play with his new trio, which featured Rob on Dobro and Andy Leftwich on mandolin. It was, of course, mind-blowingly brilliant. The other three people in the audience thought so too. Yup, there were 5 people there. For that.

They did an album, under the name 'Three Ring Circle' - go and get that too :) 

Jeff Schmidt - Outre

This album's been out for a few years now, but is one of the few solo bass records that I come back to time and time again to listen to. 

As I've said before, I don't like most solo bass playing. Jeff's a massive exception to that rule. His music is amazing. 

He also did an amazing podcast about the making of the album, and continues to blog smart musical things at beautiful-bass.com

Here's the album, listen, then download it, it's amazing:

http://jeffschmidt.bandcamp.com/album/outre">From Under The Weight of Knowing by Jeff Schmidt http://jeffschmidt.bandcamp.com/album/outre">From Under The Weight of Knowing by Jeff Schmidt

She Makes War - Three...Two...One EP

I heard this months ago, when Laura first put it out. Came back to it today after Laura (AKA She Makes War, AKA @warriorgrrl ) added it to the 'Bandcamp directory for the Stevie-Connected' at solobasssteve.com  - we were listening on the laptop, but it deserved big speakers. So we bought the download (a bargainous £2 ), and are now enjoying the 3rd time through it in a row. Top stuff. 

http://shemakeswar.bandcamp.com/album/three-two-one">Picture Of Us by She Makes War http://shemakeswar.bandcamp.com/album/three-two-one">Picture Of Us by She Makes War

The bass playing I'm most proud of from the last couple of years....

Well, there are two things I'm really proud of. One is the Lawson Dodds Wood album, which isn't on bandcamp.. .yet... 

The other is this track by Miriam Jones. It's called Routine Runaway, it's a heart-meltingly joyous song, and I really love the way the arrangement came out. A lot of it was my idea, arrangement-wise, and I'm grateful that Miriam trusted me when the first time we tried it it sounded like arse... Jez Carr's piano on it is fab too... 

have a listen, then go buy the EP. :) 

http://miriamjones.bandcamp.com/track/routine-runaway">Routine Runaway by Miriam Jones http://miriamjones.bandcamp.com/track/routine-runaway">Routine Runaway by Miriam Jones

Nail - Galvanized. Awesome Fusion Goodness

OK, so this is my third post here about Nail/Neil Alexander. I know, I'm sounding a bit obsessive. But he's awesome. They are awesome. 

And this, dear friends, is the magic of the internets - Neil doesn't need to be 'famous' to validate how great he is. He doesn't need adverts, he just needs to let people hear it, and take it from there. 

The music reminds me of the best of what Herbie Hancock did in his electric phase, but with a whole load more cinematic textural stuff going on. Everything that was great about when fusion was a really exciting thing in the 70s, without any of the stuff that made it awful for most of the 80s and early 90s. 

Neil's still finishing off his BandCamp page, but here's the Nail album, Galvanized, for your listening pleasure. If you like it, grab the download. 

I'm a fan!

http://nailmusic.bandcamp.com/album/galvanized">Rain Road by Neil Alexander & NAIL http://nailmusic.bandcamp.com/album/galvanized">Rain Road by Neil Alexander & NAIL

Miriam Jones gig

Went to see Miriam Jones play last night. Quite often, if she's playing, I'm on bass. I'm equally happy just getting to listen to her and Jez play her awesome songs without my low frequency support. 

Wonderful stuff. Here's here last EP, which I played on: