A new year! What happens now then?

Its time to take a few looks back, and a big look forward

It’s coming to the end of January and already Christmas and New Year seems like a distant memory. The frost has been trying its best to invite itself into all of our lives over the last week here in Northumberland. It’s a cold but beautiful sight and the mornings are now being filled with magical winter skies above my little hometown of Bedlington each morning and evening.

The morning cold soon shocks you wide awake and the little early morning walks on the school runs with my little ones, wrapped up in scarves, gloves, hats and hoods, paints beautiful pictures on the Journey.

2019 is well and truly into motion now and its always about his time of the year I start thinking about the year before and wondering about what the new year will bring. The beginning of a year is also the perfect opportunity for reflection on one’s life So why not get it down in my little blog! Not all of it as I don’t want you to get too bored along the way, but slipping little pieces into my little home of ramblings here.

2018 was a great year, filled with both ups and downs of life to balance things out. My life isn’t all as rosy and wonderful as people sometimes perceive it to be and neither would I have it that way. Balance is the key for me as the light wouldn’t be as bright without a little darkness along the way. A big ray of light for 2018 and one of my biggest life events coming to the end of the year was, of course, asking my beautiful partner in everything, Maria (or Curly as you may know her) to marry me. She said Yes by the way hahha phewwwwwww, So I already have an amazing year of planning, excitement and hopefully a fantastic wedding day marrying my little curly soul mate. Its a massively important part of life for Curly and it has been a great journey with her getting to this stage of in our little humble lives.

If you haven’t already managed to watch the sneaky video I filmed of the proposal then you can check it out below!

Amazing Adventures Always

My musical life has been as fun and as interesting as ever. I get to travel a lot and meet so many great people on my adventures with all the musical projects I’m involved in. There was a lot of new music created and also released throughout the year and there is a whole lot more to come in 2019. I’ve managed to play some amazing venues across the country and been involved in some amazing events. Recording and producing some of the brilliant, local musicians in the Shagnut Studio is always great fun for me too and its a very rewarding and exciting part of my life.

Sure, sometimes a musicians life can be very tiring physically and mentally and some parts of the music industry and gigging life can be completely and utterly bonkers but… I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love creating, writing, recording and performing! Music definitely has been and always will be a part of my little path through life forever.


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”

So what am I looking forward to and what do I plan on working on through the year ahead, 2019?

Of course, our wedding will be one hell of a day and that will be a big priority this year. We don’t have a date set as yet but hopefully, that will come along soon and we are hoping to Marry this year.

Then as always, and as I mentioned earlier, music is always my little buddy who chugs along through life with me. No matter what is happening, its always there to get me through whether it be good, bad, happy or sad times. There’s a song in there somewhere hahaa!

So naturally, 2019 will be filled with more music. I have a great little new musical branch off in life coming in 2019 which I’m really, really excited about but il let you know about that in another blog once everything falls into place and I know it’s all working out. I also have lots of new original music coming out this year with all my projects and musical ventures. My solo Shagpile material, We Steal Flyers, the band Growing Robots and of course with my lovely wife to be Curly and our little Rings True project.

I’m also looking forward to getting more involved in local events that are coming up this year and hosting more music nights for other musicians to be a part of like The River Bank Sessions in Morpeth, Northumberland. I started this night with the support and help of The Riverside Lodge at the end of 2018 and had the amazing Johnny Dickinson give it a good kickstart in life. Hopefully, the night will go from strength to strength throughout this year and will turn into a great little home of live music and musicians.

My YouTube channel is another place in which I want to put in some more time, effort and life into building and creating more. I slowly started falling out with it over the last few years as they have gone through so many changes, which in turn have caused problems in the music category within youtube and the support for musicians just isn’t there like it was. But, things change and I’ve decided to try and put some more time into it again and push more music in there. I see so many people sharing and still watching a lot of my music and videos through that platform. This is why my new little ‘Stripped & Out There’ series has been born this week. I will write about this in the next blog post and explain a lot more about it and where it has come from though.

I guess I should stop here and continue in the next post as my butt and hands have gone numb and I’m pretty sure your eyes are getting tired reading all of this. Part 2 will be along soon enough…

Thank you if you took the time to read through my ramblings and I would like to personally wish you a happy, healthy, prosperous and positive year ahead with lots of Amazing Adventures Always!

Jason

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New single ‘Northern Skies’

NEW RELEASE!

My new single ‘Northern Skies’ is available on all platforms including Spotify, iTunes, Amazon and Deezer.

northern skies artwork

Out Now!

SPOTIFY LINK : https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/5w0WF8WEco6GnO5TTsuQnC

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!

 

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