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

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If Tanglewood would… I would!

7th April 2016

I received some great news from Mark at Dennis Todd Music shop in Bedlington last week. Tanglewood Guitars were to be filming a new series of videos for their website and homepage. They were to drop in-store to film a local songwriter in a local Tanglewood dealer. The dealer was Dennis Todd’s in Bedlington,  my home town and I managed to be the lucky artist who was going to get to perform in the store.WoooHoooooo!!

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Mark from Dennis Todd Music Store in Bedlington

Dennis Todd’s music shop has been around since I was a little wee wipper snapper. I used to stop off in the store growing up and gawk at all the lovely guitars and instruments in the shop. My father used to take me up there too as a little one when he was picking up strings and bits n pieces for guitars he was giving a new lease of life too. Mark Whiteman used to work in the store and has since taken over the shop from Dennis but kept the original name and local friendly shine it always had.

On Thursday , Elliot from Tanglewood was turning up at 11am and I had to get my butt down there to perform an original song and a cover version of a song using two different Tanglewood guitar models. He was going to be filming and recording the audio and putting it all together in a nice little package for the world to see on the Tanglewood homepage and YouTube.

I woke up not feeling too grand unfortunately and was all stuffed up with the first signs of this nasty cold coming along on Thursday morning but I managed to pull together and get down there to get started. Elliot was already setting up when I arrived and getting things ready so I had time to sneak a strong coffee in from Mark while we sorted things out in the shop. Mark had some lights brought down and sat one behind the corner of the seat in the corner and another smaller LED to give a little fill light.

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Ready to start on the first take with Elliot

We were pretty much ready to go when the Curly one tipped up to sit in the corner in silence while we got cracking. We had a couple of large microphones set up in front of me and I had to give the songs a few takes though for each song to hopefully capture some different angles and cut scenes to be all synced up and hopefully look lurrrvely when its all done. By the time I got through the first take of the first song my backside felt like it was on fire from the lamp which was heating me up like an oven. Mark also realised there was an expensive Tanglewood sitting right in front of the light so that was moved quickly to another location in the shop. Peowwww!!

I got to use one of the new dreadnought sized Crossroad series Tanglewood for the first song which was an original song of mine called “English Tea” and will be available on the all new ‘We Steal Flyers‘ album ‘Applecart’ which is out on the 6th May 2016. For such an affordable guitar it sounded and performed really well and I started to get a little attached to it by the end of the takes.

The second song was a cover and I chose to play a version of the Cheers TV series theme song and I played a lovely TW40 OAN on this song. It had a a great big bright sound and was perfect for the more finger-style version of the song I was playing. By the time I got through the takes of the cover I was well and truly sweating with the muckle light behind me, that was trying to turn me into mush like the wicked witch of the North (East) . Ha Ha.

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After the session with Mark & Elliot

After the session was done we managed to get packed up and had a little wander around a few places in Bedlington and got a few shots of the local points of interest. We popped into a few shops around the way and then back to the shop.

All in all it took around 4 hours and it was a great and different day with a few great people and hopefully the videos will arrive soon. With the amazing help of Mark from Dennis Todd’s and Elliot from Tanglewood UK the job was done and I managed to relax in the garden with a little fire with my little ones and Curly-top until way after dark. Another amazing adventure complete!!

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Time to chill in the garden with the lovelys!

Thank you for stopping by my little humble home of life and music as always and look out for the new videos coming soon!

Jason – Amazing Adventures Always