Happy new year to everybody.

Just a post to say that I’ll probably be mothballing my WordPress and Twitter accounts for a short while. I’ve finally got to the point where I’ve started remixing and re-recording Earth Balm music and I’ve begun with the track Enchantment. Usually, I work on several tracks at the same time but currently I’m limiting myself to one piece of music as I get to grips with mastering Logic Pro X. Hopefully, I’ll be kept busy and out of mischief and have a good reason not to be wasting money as Logic Pro X seems to have everything I ever really needed already contained in its DAW walls. I’m loving the flexibility and sheer range of choice with the Drum Track.

I shall of course be checking my favourite blog posters’ post from time to time but would like to apologise in advance if I don’t appear to be responding regularly.

Please, wish me luck.

Early screen shot of the work below…

enchantment mixing
Logic Pro X “Enchantment” project picture.

Groanbox Boys

My mate John (see previous post) sent me a link to a Youtube video by the Groanbox Boys. they are an interesting mix of Folk, Bluegrass and African banjo / accordion / percussion.

Here’s a link to their “Mountpleasant Rooftop (at Dusk):

And “Red Hook Revival”:

More Straight Eight

Fantastic late 70s / early 80s band Straight Eight have now made several videos available on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCclBNmu2smI_vib_7NzhWAw. Included is a video compilation from Dingwalls in 1980 which features snippets of many of the band’s great songs.

Here the (current) full list:


Straight Eight

I’ve spent the day sorting through magazines and books that I no longer want or need to take to Oxfam tomorrow. I thought I’d also sort through my small minidisk collection to delete music and give the disks away for re-use. Then I found my Straight Eight  “No Noise from Here” disk. I’d forgotten just how good the album (and their following two albums) were. I’ve also lost my BBC Radio “Live in Concert” disk.

Here’s some information from their MySpace page (which I think may now be deleted): 

“Formed in early 1976, the band after gigging the uk pub rock circuit soon went on to being discovered and signed by Pete Townshend of WHO fame. He released the first album ‘No Noise From Here’ on his EEL PIE records label. Subsequently the band got picked up by Transatlantic Records (UK) and RCA in the States. Releasing ‘Shuffle’N’Cut and then their 3rd album ‘Straight To The Heart’ in 1982. Unfortunately just as the band were due to begin a World Tour supporting The Who, drummer keith Moon died and the rest is history. Lineup was Rick Cassman, Boot Kingsman, Steve Cherry and Rod Berriedale-Johnson.”

I managed to get in touch with frontman and main songwriter Rick Cassman a few years ago. He was talking about a compilation CD but it has never materialised. That is a pity!

Photograph of the Straight Eight "Modern Times" 45 single. Copyright Eel Pie records.
Photograph of the Straight Eight “Modern Times” 45 single. Copyright Eel Pie records.
Photograph of Straight Eight's "No Noise from Here" vinyl album. Copyright Eel Pie Records.
Photograph of Straight Eight’s “No Noise from Here” vinyl album. Copyright Eel Pie Records.


Edit from June 18th, 2014.

Further to the comment by Rick Cassman today here’s a rough mix from the Bandcamp page:

I’m happy the band is back together and I will certainly be buying a copy of the album.

Cheers Rick and good luck!!

Radio 3 for the Classical Music newbie

It is probably quite obvious to visitors that I have only just begun listening (with great enthusiasm) to “Classical Music”. Like most people in the “western world”, classical music has been a sonic wallpaper to my life – it is hard to escape as it is there across TV and radio adverts and film scores and TV programmes!

However, I’m now an official Classical Music fan.

I’ve been listening to radio 3 from the BBC and Classic FM avidly over the last few weeks and the resources available for free (and legally) there are incredible. I’d always thought that a performance of an orchestral piece was the same as any other of the same piece, after all, they’re all following the same musical score! However, the CD review – building a library  feature on Radio 3 demonstrates how far off the mark I am. I listened to the Mozart Coronation Mass broadcast several times this morning and I was amazed at the variations from one recorded version to another. I also learned about the difference between wedge and staccato on a musical score (yes, I am that musically ignorant) :).

All of this is of course obvious to anybody who knows anything about classical music or perhaps music in general but I don’t and it has been and will continue to be a great learning experience.

The reason I mention this is because it is having a profound effect on my arrangement of music for the guitar.

I began an arrangement of a tune I got from a Corrs album – “Lough Erin Shore” a few years ago. I later learned that the tune had been given words and titled “Gleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair” by Francie Mooney when I saw his daughter Mairead (of Altan) performing it on Transatlantic Sessions (series 4, episode 2, I think). I thought the arrangement was finished but now I have returned to the tune and revised it considerably adding melodies in different registers, variations on the tune and changing bass patterns and harmonies / pedal tones.

All things that a good finger style guitar player should do, you might argue. But remember, I’m nothing but a reformed rock and blues guitarist!


Photograph of Mairead ni Mhaonaigh. Copyright the BBC.
Photograph of Mairead ni Mhaonaigh. Copyright the BBC.
Photograph of Mairead and Francie Mooney. Source: Wikipedia.
Photograph of Mairead and Francie Mooney. Source: Wikipedia.
Photograph of the Corrs. Source: Wikipedia.
Photograph of the Corrs. Source: Wikipedia.