Yup, it’s been kind of quiet here, mostly due to my actually living my life off line the past couple of weeks!
A few weeks back, I let slip that I was heading into the recording studio to start on a new recording project. Followers of my facebook and twitter feeds have seen action shots of yours truly, which provided visual confirmation of a fun and creative time had by myself in the recording studio. In the course of the days spent working on my studio tan I had the pleasure of recording:
- Acoustic guitars
- Electric guitars
- 12 string guitar
- Hammertone Octave 12 Guitar (thanks George)
- Bass guitars
- Upright bass
- Prophet 5 Synth
- Wurlitzer electric piano
- Lead vocals
- Backing vocals
- Spoken word
- Drums and percussion
Yup it was a fun and varied week of making noise. Expect TWO (yup count ‘em, 2) major recording projects from me over the next few months. The first being another CD of more Balderdash and Humbug holiday insanity entitled “The 55 Days of Christmas”, the second being “table for one.”
“55 Days of Christmas” will be released in September/October and there will be a holiday release party complete with Christmas baked goodies, specialty holiday coffees and an early visit from Santa to share your Christmas wishes and get a picture taken. I have a few other surprises up my sleeve for the release party, so watch here, my twitter feed and the Balderdash and Humbug facebook page for more information!
‘table for one.” is scheduled for release in early 2013, depending on how recording goes. Direction has changed a bit through the generosity of DB leading to new inspiration into how the songs should be presented. It’s going to be a little more organic in presentation than my prior posting had indicated, which is good in my opinion…but it’s still gonna be different than anything else I’ve done in the past, so watch out!
While in North Carolina, I had the pleasure of attending a concert by bluegrass/jazz guitarist Tony Rice. His show was incredibly inspirational, particularly with the addition of Rob Ickes on dobro, who blew me away with his virtuosic abilities on his instrument.
After returning home from North Carolina, I had two whirlwind days back at the orifice, cleaning up the mess of almost two weeks off. Then on Friday, I welcomed a guest into my home for the weekend.
Trip Wamsley is a solo bassist, whom I have been watching on YouTube and listening to on Bandcamp for the past few years, he has truly impressed me with his abilities on bass guitar and as a musician performing beautiful lyrical music. Recently we have been connecting via twitter, which has led to discussions of our shared loves of music, Rush and coffee.
(hmmm…bassists and coffee: Tony Levin, Steve Lawson, Trip Wamsley and me – interesting discussion and interview idea there)
In January, I contacted Trip on the possibility of hosting him for a house concert and he agreed to this. We scheduled last Saturday as the date for the concert and preparations began accordingly. He arrived, rather frazzled after a harrowing immigration experience, on Friday night and I proceeded to show him about Hamilton, taking in a couple of cafes and James St. North., ending up on the front porch of a friend for drinks and a fun conversation ranging from music to politics to personal hygiene products (hey I said it was fun!)
On Saturday George Furlanetto of F Bass, local manufacturer of incredible bass guitars and other instruments, invited Trip for a factory tour where we got to test some of his instruments and the amplifiers he is distributing. It was a lovely time and I definitely plan on ordering a bass as soon as I can swing the financial end of it. Between planned upcoming CD releases and medical expenses, I hope this can be sooner than later, but I am truly in love with those F Basses!
After a tour of the F Bass factory, we went for a quick coffee at Cannon Coffee Co and then an early Indian dinner at Himalaya, heading home to set up for the house concert. I assisted Trip with the setup as much as I could and awaited the guests. We had a fair, albeit small, turnout – I guess solo bassists aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they were appreciative of his talents. He played for two hours and also demonstrated how F Bass’ products sound as George brought a lovely sample for him to play as can be seen here.
We then spent the rest of the evening talking, music, basses and the music industry in general. It was a pleasant evening and I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to an incredible bassist and an incredible luthier – George even checked out one of my basses and offered to tweak it to his standards – really nice of him to do so!
The next day after we attended church, Trip wanted to go to Toronto, so I took him in and gave him a Whirlwind tour of downtown, including the Beach and also taking him to the Ontario Legislature where the album cover of Rush’s “Moving Pictures” was photographed. Trip lost his mind when he saw that! We drove home after a long day and he crashed for the evening as he had a long day of driving ahead of him.
I would like to say that as a performer, Trip is skilled and has wonderful music, he is also incredibly funny and had the audience in the palm of his hand for the two hours he entertained us. He is also a wonderful house guest and I look forward in getting to know him better in the future.
Now I’m back to work and it’s time for a rest!