Have a cup of English Tea

On Sunday past, I jumped into the virtual world of SecondLife to perform a 1 hour live show at the brilliant Key West Resort music venue and for those of you who don’t know about SecondLife, its kind of hard to explain, but, Its an online avatar-based virtual world and In there people can buy and rent land and build music venues and have live musicians stream into the world at virtual gigs. There is a whole lot more to it than that but if you want to check it out and have yourself a virtual wander around then you can find all the info at secondlife.com

Here I am being a virtual shaggy, jamming out on a virtual Martin guitar in some wonderful virtual sunshine by the coast!

shaggy in sl

Shagpile Spyker in the virtual world of Secondlife

With the help of the lovely Lo Bloch Management I get a few live shows in there and Sunday was one of those. There was a great bunch of people in-world to listen in from people I knew in the past within Secondlife, when I spent a lot more time in there performing live music, to great friends who live not so far away from me in the UK.

Ron Bizzle is one of the first kind of those people, and I met Ron many years ago in-world as he floated around a lot of live gigs in SecondLife, documenting live performers for his YouTube channel. Ron lives way over in St. Louis, Missouri, USA but I had the pleasure of him coming to a couple of my live gigs with Growing Robots & We Steal Flyers in the UK and meeting him in person.

At the show on Sunday, a local friend Alan Cook was also at the gig in-world and Alan comes out to lots of local, live, We Steal Flyers shows around the UK and he requested that I sang an original song I wrote for the latest album ‘English Tea’

The two moments combined and Ron decided to film the song for his channel and out came this little video of me singing the song live in Secondlife. Here is ‘English Tea’ from the We Steal Flyers album ‘Applecart’ . If you would like to hear the studio version head over to Spotify to listen to the album here. As always thanks for checking in if you’re reading this and if you check out Secondlife be sure to say hello in-world.

Have a great and adventurous day!

Amazing Adventures Always

Jason

 

Advertisements

Milestones and Memories

Way back in May 2007 I signed up for my first ever YouTube account. I must have just been a wee sprog with a baldy chin back then! haha.. It seems so long ago! I remember watching a guy called Ortopilot who was from England and seemed like just an ordinary guy throwing covers and originals up there for the world to find and he seemed to get a lot of feedback and along with it advise critique and criticism. Some not so good with online trolls but most of it seemed like a very nice community of music lovers who shared and cared enough to make it all work.

So.. I bought myself an old JVC camcorder and decided to stick songs I was writing, working on and covering up on YouTube. The video platform it is today was very different back then and had a thriving original music scene with a great community feel about it, but it changed a lot when they pushed the music category towards mainstream artists and got rid of the little folk! That said, I still love sharing videos on there to this day and it’s a great little platform for people to listen to music.  I think I will always be posting stuff on there until my hands or head falls off. As long as I can still play the guitar then I’m sure there will still be videos to be made.

Anyhoooo! Way back when I started out on YouTube I always remember setting milestones and targets to reach. 100 Subscribers, then 500 Subscribers, 1000 views on the newest upload and so on.  There was also daily targets and awards to hit like ‘#todays most viewed’ and ‘#this weeks most comments’ which made it really fun and gave you things to keep the interest alive and the community of people working together to help share and check out each other’s new content.

During this time one of my BIG targets for myself and my little home of music was to try and get one of my videos over 100,000 views. This may not sound like a lot but for my own little channel of music I either wrote or listened too and covered I knew it was going to be a huge challenge and as my life in music took different directions, my channel has never really had the attention from myself I intended to give it.

I still love creating videos and posting them and finally after 10 years since I started my little channel, a video I posted in 2012 which was an acoustic cover of  ‘time after time’ by Cyndi Lauper has broken that milestone for me!

At this current point my channel has so far :

4,283 Subscribers – 877,891 views collectively with all my videos together and has 121 videos on there. So the next two milestones look pretty obvious to me! 1 million views across my whole channel and 5000 subscribers 🙂

If you would like to help me with this and you enjoy the music and videos, then please stop by and subscribe to my channel. It would be more than much appreciated and the next time you stop by a video of mine .. drop a comment on there! Say hi, tell me what you think, let me know you stopped in or request a song cover! Anything goes and the more interaction helps my channel out and also gives me the chance to chinwag with you and see who is watching!

Right, I best do a one as its heading into midnight and this screen is making my eyes go wonky but before I go I would just like to say a massive, huge, THANK YOU, if you have ever stopped by a video, bought an album, turned up to a gig, dropped into my Spotify or listened to anything in any way over the many years of my musical life.

Merry Christmas out there! Shaggy!

 

*bleep* you! I won’t do what you tell me!

In April this year, a post went up on Facebook by someone I didn’t know asking if any musicians would be able to record an acoustic cover of ‘Killing in the name of’ by Rage Against the Machine as a commission job for a couple who wished to have the song played during their wedding ceremony as they walk down the aisle.

 

raGE

Rage Against The Machine

 

A lovely friend of mine and music lover Sian saw the post and dropped me into the conversation with a lovely recommendation. I got chatting with the person who was dealing with it all for the couple and sent her a few YouTube videos over to check out my channel and before I knew the plan had been set.

So, my challenge was to cover ‘Killing in the name of’ and do it acoustically and send them the finished song. This week I’ve been getting busy in the Shagnut Studio Shack with it and to be honest it has been not only challenging but great fun as well! I love working like this and especially on something I would probably have never even had thought of either.

We’ve been sending posts back and forward in a group chat and checking out the progress and at the minute it’s pretty much there now. I am gonna add a little more guitar and some harmony in there and I reckon it’s sorted. I posted a snippet in the group yesterday and they are sounding over the moon with it so far so.. good news for me!

The wedding is on the 29th July this year and I’ve also decided to release the cover as a single on the same day of the wedding as a little hi-ho to the lovely couple who got me to work on this project and it will be out on most major platforms online! There will be a little explicit language so, unfortunately, no kiddies can listen in hahah!

Hope you are all well out there and looking forward to hearing the finished song!

Jason – Shagpile Music

#amazingadventuresalways

www.facebook.com/shagpilemusic

 

18664666_10155076133395395_6589585227359112211_n

My new Covers Album is out now and available on Spotify

 

Song a day! – Handyman Blues ‘Under The Covers’

Since I was a little wee wippa’ snapper growing up in my hometown of Bedlington in Northumberland, Billy Bragg and his music has always been around the house. My big brother, Andy, always had his albums on in his bedroom and tracks like St.Swithins Day, The milkman of human kindness and of course New England was drummed into me without me even knowing it. I didn’t have a choice of being a fan, it was simply just implanted along my little life without me even knowing it.

At a really early age when I started to play around with the guitar one of the first music books I ever got was ‘Back to Basics with Billy Bragg’ from my good pal ‘Bambi’ who started teaching me guitar. ‘Bambi’ was a massive Billy Bragg fan and sang and played pretty much any of his tracks at the time. The book he gave me had little sketchy chord charts in to learn the songs and that’s pretty much what happened.Off I went!

After that and many years down the line I recently bought a vinyl copy of ‘Billys’ newest album at the time called ‘Tooth & Nail’ a couple of years back. I absolutely loved it and the track ‘Handyman Blues’ instantly struck a heavy note with me. It was the lyrics… they were all about songwriting, poetry and well kind of not being able to do much else really. It goes on about not fixing things in the house like curtain rails and such but heads into being able to write a song that will tell the world how much ‘I love you’ instead. Its a fantastic little song and I fell in love with it straight away because of the way my musical life and journey sometimes has all these very things. Have a listen and I hope you enjoy it too. This track was recorded with one mic live for a YouTube video which you can also watch if you go searching! Have a great Monday! Shaggy!

https://open.spotify.com/embed?uri=spotify:track:56Iae7xzBNmlA8CqTkyxI1

Song a day! Mad World – Under the Covers

Day 1 – Mad World ‘Under The Covers’ – Track 1
 
I said I would be writing a little insight and sharing a track from my new album ‘Under the Covers Vol.1’ and telling you a little more information about how the cover came about and where it came from. So here is the first one.
 
In January 2013 I uploaded a cover of ‘Sounds of Silence’ to my YouTube channel. The band ‘Disturbed’ did an acoustic cover of the song not so long back and my own cover started getting lots of views and as of writing this its at 56,364 views! I was getting lots of comments and unknown traffic to the channel and I was over the moon!
 
I recieved a comment from a ‘MrBeck322’ saying ‘Love it!!!! Can I use your cover song in a video?’ and of course I replied with a yes but not knowing really what it was going to be used for.
 
The song and my arrangement was used in a Video Trailer for a Theatre Production in Germany called 3165 – Monolog eines Henkers which was all the last executioner of the Third Reich who was Johann Reichart. Here is the trailer!
 
 
I became friends with Peter (MrBeck322) and we talked about working together in the future.
 
Later in July 2016 Peter spoke to me regarding my cover of Mad World on YouTube and asked if I could re-record a version of this song for use in the live theatre production with a different feel. He described the scene to me and would like the song much slower and a darker feel to it.
 
A couple of days later and I had the track put together and off it went to Peter and the production company for the Production.
 
It now performs numerous times each year and this year I may be planning a trip to go and check out the production and meet Peter and his team for the first time and this is the first track on my ‘Under The Covers Vol.1’ Album which has just been released. I hope you like it and enjoyed hearing a little more insight into my musical little world today! Have a wonderful Thursday!

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/1LdHaUPlrrmeNI1FBt5ZOY

Continue reading

Sfarzo Strings Endorsed Artist

Back in March I headed down to the North East Guitar Show in Houghton Le Spring with the little bro’ Stevie to dream and drool over all the guitar and techy stuff that was on offer. Its a canny little day of just checking out all the new equipment that is coming out and of course to see some great second hand, vintage guitars on offer and usually some great guitar players performing live too.

We zoomed down in the car in the sunshine and arrived late morning and had a wander around the show. I also had a few bits ‘n’ pieces for sale on the FretMarks music stall which I wanted to get rid of and kept tripping over around my music filled home which Mark kindly offered to try and sell for me.

mark guitar show

FretMarks Music from Bedlington and the new Tanglewood Models

We had a good look around and dropped in to Marks stall to see how the day was going. The next stall to Marks had a smily chap selling lots of strings and was the Sfarzo UK distributor and after a bit of time chatting with him about gigs, live music and the strings he was promoting and selling, then we got to discussing about artist endorsments. Lee was a jolly chap, full of smiles and was very enthusiastic about the Sfarzo & Nicola brand strings and offered me a couple of different packets to take away and try for free from the Sfarzo family brand!

sfarzo lee and shaggy

Lee from Cheshire Guitars the UK distributor for Sfarzo Strings

After watching a little of the live music and drinking polystyrene cupped coffee we headed back North. Lee had posted a photo of me with the strings over on the Sfarzo Twitter page and a couple of days later I tried out some of the strings on my Tanglewood TSM1 Master Design. The D’addario strings on there were ready for a change after 4 gigs and the new Sfarzo strings gave it a new lease of life ready for the gigs ahead and lots of testing, playing and having fun!

shaggy sfarzo

After speaking back and forward with Lee he kindly agreed to add me as an Endorsed artist and was looking forward to hearing my thoughts on the strings. I got some photographs over to him with the TSM1 and they will be going live on the UK and US Sfarzo websites soon in the artist sections. I also have a nice delivery coming in from the US with lots of strings to keep me going through the many We Steal Flyers and Growing Robots gigs ahead. Playing around 200 live gigs per year means I go through quite an amount of strings as you can imagine.

So far the strings have been fantastic and they have been lasting and sounding a lot better for a lot longer than my D’addario strings I was using before. They have a nice warmth about them and still keep that brightness I need when playing for more gigs before having to change them! Which is a huge…hugeee…. bonus to me!

So.. yeah! Im a happy chappy! I am now officially an Endorsed Artist with Sfarzo Strings and of course Tanglewood Guitar Company and so far it seems like a great family of people across the globe to be in contact with and make plans with. If your a musician and would like to give them a try yourself why not pop into my local music store FretMarks Music in Bedlington who will be stocking them from this week also. You can usually find me in there tinkering around on guitars in the corner a few times a week too so say hello if ya see me.

Enjoy your week and be great!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always

What will you leave behind?

Hey up!! I’ve got a little story for ya! It was around 3 or 4 months ago, when my little half-pint daughters Olivia & Macey we’re hanging out with Daddy indoors on a not so nice day in Northumberland. After a few hours of finding things to do and getting up to mischief around the house it was time for them to head back to Mam’s and she was knocking at the front door before we knew it.

Olivia was feeling a little tired and ready for home but Macey decided she wasn’t going and decided to hide somewhere in the kitchen. After a little game of hide-and-seek Macey decided to stay over with Dad and Maria.

olly-n-macey-after-school-x2

My two amazing daughters (left) Macey & (right) Olivia

We woke up the next morning and Maria headed downstairs early as always, so Macey decided to climb into Daddy’s bed for a bit banter and giggles. We ended up with both of us at the bedroom window watching all the birds in the trees in the garden. She loves watching them all flying in and out and learning about what they’re called and naming them all. She likes the ‘Chaffies’ and has a besty called ‘Crush the Thrush’ hahahha

A few days later I was sitting playing the guitar with Macey and having a little sing song and I was asking her about writing a song and what she would like to write about. She instantly started singing about our morning watching the birds together. ‘In the morning when we wake up and watch the birdssssss….’ was her little line to start with and we started singing different stuff together while I secretly took mental notes of all her little lyrics. It was such a lovely little moment to share with her and the time flew by and before I knew it a lovely little song was pretty much altogether and she was singing away while I played the music. She wanted to get it all finished so she could show Maria when she came in from work and she did. I even set the microphone up for her and she sang her little heart out. Since that moment she just sings it anywhere when I ask her or if I start singing it. She loves giving a little performance! (wonder where she gets that from haha)

20161018_153223-01

Headed to Greggs for some pre-studio nomnom!

So… now we’re a few months down the line and I managed to get the guitars and my vocals recorded in the Shagnut Studio. I picked the little ones up from school yesterday and we walked around in the fresh October winds, up towards home. We stopped off for a little bit food and chinwag in Greggs Bakery on Bedlington Front Street. Macey wanted a cheese pastie and Olly had a sausage roll and we sat and talked about all sorts. I told Macey I had been recording the song and it was ready for her to sing her parts on now and we could do it when we got home if she wanted to. She was really excited about getting to record her song and she said “I’m excited to do it… but I’m also a bit scared”

img_20161018_213533

When I asked her why she was scared she said because she didn’t know if she could do it or sing it right. Macey is only 5 years old by the way!! I assured her she was going to be amazing and that it didn’t matter what happened in there, then we got inside, stuck her headphones on and she had two little practices singing along with it. I hit the record button and tracked two takes of the full song with her singing her little heart out. She was absolutely amazing and she has such a beautiful little voice with a lot of control for such a young girl. She was standing there in her little school outfit while she twiddled with the headphone cable and I didn’t have to tell her a thing. She just sang through it without any problems and then sat on my knee asking about the mixing and what was happening on the screen. A very proud daddy moment and such an amazing part of my week, month, year watching her sing and express her cute little self and loving it!

image-0-02-05-636b41a0ecd0ec650c8aab83ff24e5c28d345065dad2f8eec78d94ffefa4d5b9-v-02

The song is called ‘Maceys Morning’ and has turned into an amazing little moment captured between me and my youngest daughter and will also be on my new solo album. While all this was happening there was so much going through my head about what we can leave behind for others and memories that will still be around once we’ve left this little life behind. So… maybe have a think about what you would like to leave? or… what would be your favourite little moments in life if you could stick them in a box and pass them onto someone before you head off to the land of nevernever! Have a great week.. and be awesome!! Thank you for reading as always!

Jason #AmazingAdventuresAlways

www.facebook.com/shagpilemusic

www.twitter.com/_shagpile

My mission for ‘Music in Hospitals’

RARRRRRRRRRRRR!!! Did I scare ya?? Halloween is approaching fast and I’ve already been out shopping for ridiculous items to cover my little home in! Hahaha. I thought I best drop in and get you up to date with a few things as I seem to have lapsed a little with the #amazingadventuresalways blog. It just means I’ve been busy with a few things which can’t really be a bad thing huh? Anyhoooo …  here we go!!

The big news is my new single which is released really soon! ‘These Boots’ will be released worldwide on the 7th October 2016 and all proceeds from the track are going to the wonderful ‘Music in Hospitals’ charity. I’ve already started raising money for them through my Just Giving page and the support from you lot out there has honestly been absolutely amazing so far!

these-boots-cover-for-blog

Released on the 7th October to all good online retailers

‘Music in Hospitals’ is a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life for adults and children with all kinds of illness and disability through the joy and therapeutic benefits of professionally performed live music in hospitals, hospices, day care centres, special schools and care homes. I was looking for a charity that was a little more music themed as it’s pretty much my whole life and I had a phone call with them early on while the single was all being put together and it was instantly a no-brainer I was speaking to the right people and I had found who I wanted to raise money for.

Tanglewood Guitars are also helping with the cause and have donated a lovely Soprano Ukulele which I have had personalised. The Ukulele will be giving to one of you lovely people who have already made a donation to my Just Giving page. If you have already donated, please make sure you have liked the Tanglewood Facebook page also!

ukulele-for-blog

Win the Tanglewood TU6 by donating to Just Giving

The single has been getting lots or airplay already on Koast, Lionheart, Radio Northumberland and Beach Hut Radio and I nipped up to Lionheart for an interview and to perform it live on the air on Friday with Charles Ellis which was great fun. There is also a nice little write up heading your way for you Chronicle Newspaper readers out there!

So far with all your donations I have broke my second target and we’re now up to £321.00 and the single is not even out into the world yet! Amazing news!!!

I also have a fun video for the track which is all coming together nicely and will be live on YouTube sometime during the week of release and I’d also like to thank everyone who checked in on my live stream on Facebook for my Bathroom Session of ‘These Boots’ live on the throne. The video has had over 2000 views in such a short space of time because of all your sharing efforts and support.

If anyone reading this hasn’t donated and would like too, then please follow the link to Just Giving or you can text ‘PILE99 £5‘ to 70070 and of course you can change the amount to what ever you like. Every little counts and helps towards my fundraising to help ‘Music In Hospitals’ do a fabulous job and you get the chance to win a lovely little one off Ukulele! If you can’t donate then please just share the posts and updates as this is just as important! Thanks again for all your unbelievable help so far!

Jason – #amazingadventuresalways

www.facebook.com/ShagpileMusic

The Sound of Silence

15.7.2016 The Sound of Silence – Johann Reichart the Executioner

In January of 2013, I performed a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sound of Silence’ for my YouTube channel of videos. Sitting in my kitchen and recording it live whilst I practised.

Lately the band ‘Disturbed’ did a cover of the same song and it seemed to send quite a lot of traffic to my video with people commenting and telling me ‘Disturbed brought me here’ and the video is now heading towards 38,000 views…. now the good bit!

sound of silence

A month ago I got a comment on there by ‘MrBeck322’ saying ‘Love it!!!! Can I use your cover song in a video?’ and of course I replied with a yes but not knowing really what it was going to be used for.

A month later and I get an inbox with a nice message from Peter on my Facebook page with a link to a video. The track was used in a brilliant trailer for a theatre play about the last executioner of the Third Reich who was Johann Reichart and I had a look into what it was all about.

Johann killed 3165 people and among them were 250 women with a guillotine. Reichart is from a family of Bavarian executioners. He tried to escape his family tradition tried his hand at many different jobs and kept failing when people found.

When Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party rose to power, the enemy’s and death sentences were piling up so they needed an executioner. Reichart was the most successful in the business by this time and was rising to fame for being the fastest executioner of that time!

He was also know for being concerned for his victims. He never wanted them to suffer so he developed ways to increase the speed and changed technical procedures of the execution to aid this.

After the second world war he was imprisoned by the Americans for his role in the Third Reich but knowing they had a master executioner in custody and lots of Nazis which were waiting to be executed, the Americans decided to use Reichart to rid of his former bosses.

After that he had to go through his denazification haunted by his deeds and he became a depressive, his only son committed suicide and he died lonely and hated.

Here is the brilliant trailer they created for the Theatre production.

After a little bit more communication back and forth over Facebook, we discussed maybe writing some music for future productions and it all seems like a brilliant connection that came from nowhere. One minute your sitting recording a practice session in your kitchen and the next this. Great and unexpected things can come from such simple decisions you make.

I hope you have an amazing adventure filled time ahead and that you enjoyed reading my own latest adventure. Thanks for reading!

Jason

#amazingadventuresalways

A day in morpeth by Olivia Vare

Monday 27th June 2016 in Morpeth

Me , nana , macey and grandad went to feed the ducks on the bridge.Then we went and met daddy he had just got off the bus and then we went to the charity shop to buy some records and Cds

20160627_122955_001

Fish n Chip time!

After that we went to get our lunch at the fish and chip shop I had sausage and chips with tomato sauce macey had fish and chips tomato sauce. after we had our lunch grandad took us to the park but daddy and nana were realy slow and they were still drinking their tee while we were on the round about with grandad pushing us MY HEAD NEARLY CAME OFF. Then I had to get off because I felt sick then when macey finely got off we went and had a boat ride for half an hour.

20160627_135055

it was £4 there were me , daddy and macey in one boat and nana and grandad in the other daddy flicked nana with his oar and nana was soaking wet but we were all laughing me and macey were draging our hands in the water and daddy said that he used to jump off the bridge into the river and swim in the river when he was little but now your not aloud to jump off the bridge . After we got out the boat we came home and I wrote this story on daddys computer for his blog.

20160627_144112

This is me writing todays adventure

By Olivia V

#AMAZINGADVENTURESALWAYS