Tag Archives: 16 Ohms Studio

Album #2: Update #2.

The studio sessions for the new album are four days split in two, with the first done and the second about to be.  During the first we got a lot of ground covered – me and Tommy Duffin playing, James Duffin recording – with much in the way of mad percussion stuff (stomping, clapping, bottle-top tambourine, boom-chicka-boom guitar, bongos, actual drums) and different guitar tones (acoustic recorded as electric, flamenco guitar, proper electric).   Tunes recorded so far include a slide-stomper with a hint of skiffle, an old school woozy gospel(ish) thing, a couple of solo slide/vocal numbers and a flamenco-tinged polka.  A few minor problems cropped up – not least that it turns out flamenco guitars are supposed to buzz a bit (who knew?) but mine started buzzing really quite a lot.  Also, my vocals were rough – I mean really, really rough.

Session number two is now upon us.  Full electric band stuff will dominate.  In between these two sessions I’ve been rewriting lyrics, doing some test edits and and going over the vocal parts.  A couple of tunes have been dropped altogether.  Oddly, the build-up to these sessions was horrendously stressful but now that things are well underway, even with the occasional setback, stress levels are dropping.  There’ll be additional recording and mixing next week (busy live schedule permitting) and it should be mastered the week after.  Phew.

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Cave Full Of Woman Bones

So the new EP’s out (Hard Times: Volume 1 – available HERE) and reactions so far have been very positive indeed.  Check out the first review, from LOUD HORIZON.

I have much in the way of ‘proper’ blogging to be doing over the next wee while, but in the meantime here’s the brand new video for the EP’s closing track, Cave Full Of Woman Bones.


Truth, Lies and Hard Times: Coming Attractions …

Following on from my last post, I seem to have found myself with a lot of projects on the go.  First up will be a new EP, Hard Times: Volume One, the first in a series of three.  Consisting of 5-6 tracks of down and dirty alt.blues/roots, it will be recorded at 16 Ohm studios, Glasgow, in early October for a November release.  The remaining volumes will be released on an as-and-when basis over 2013-2014.  The next major release for me after Hard Times: Volume One will be my second full-length album, to be recorded in April 2013, again at 16 Ohm, for a May release.

Dog Moon Howl should be on course for our first album recording and release in the middle of next year as well.  I’m already developing a scheduling headache as I type this …

I’ve been working sporadically on yet another project, something a bit prog under the working title of The Lies Behind The Truth – this grew out of some loose recordings made a few years ago, but now feels as if it could be something a bit more substantial.  However, common sense dictates that I leave the bulk of the work until later in 2013.  In the meantime there might be an EP release of those earlier demo tracks – watch this space.

Looks like I’ll also soon be playing some guitar for Scædunengan.  I did a bit of recording last year for the demo track Birdsong (check it out here) – hopefully after nigh-on a year of having my lead chops beaten back into shape playing with Dog Moon Howl, I’ll be able to come up with something more cohesive (not that I wasn’t happy with what I played then – I just feel more ‘in my stride’ as a lead player now).

All this leaves is live work, of course.  I have some dates waiting to be confirmed both solo and with Dog Moon Howl, and hope to see out this year with as much live work as possible (the rest of the year having had more than its fair share of spanners in the works).  Check the gig guides on craighughes.net and dogmoonhowl.com for dates as we have them.  Joining me for some ‘solo’ shows later in the year will be Dog Moon Howl’s very own Ally Tennick on percussion, which promises to be fun – and which keeps things nice and cyclical as Ally will also be supplying drums/percussion for the Hard Times Volume One EP.


A new video from Dog Moon Howl. Finally.

I spent eight hours on Wednesday editing together a montage video for the Dog Moon Howl track Your New King but Virgin Media’s broadband service has been almost comically abysmal leading to six abandoned YouTube upload attempts.  Rock’n’roll: the real glamour industry.  Come to think of it, this tune was a bugger to record as well.

Anyway, I finally got the damnable thing up today.  Here it is:


Strip-lit Hell

So … Dog Moon Howl‘s debut recording, Strip-Lit Hell, will be available to buy from May 1st.  The 5-track demo E.P., recorded and produced by Tommy Duffin at 16ohm will be available at gigs and from the Dog Moon Howl Bandcamp store.

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I’ll be blogging a bit more on the band very soon, but in the meantime, here’s the video for a cut from the E.P., Overlong.


Videos, EPs and that.

I’ve been trying to edit the Graveyard Full Of Blues mini-tour mini-documentary into shape, but the software’s been acting up all day, so I’ll give it a rest for the time being.  Hopefully it’ll be on the YouTubes and Vimeos and such-like sometime this week, iMovie permitting.

Preparations are well underway now for the Dog Moon Howl E.P., which we’ll be recording next month at 16 Ohm.  Bit of a band-meeting going on next week to go over the likes of release dates and so on.  Check the videos below out to get an idea of what we’re about.  The first, ‘Lost’, is from an early rehearsal (October last year) @ 16 Ohm, the second ‘Blues Like A Hammer’ is from our first gig (Glasgow, November 2011).

 

 

 


“Ten Fires”

In early 2010, Jim Dead asked if I’d be interested in playing on his next album.  I’ve played a few gigs with Jim over the past couple of years, having booked him for That Devil Music – I’d been struck by his quirky, dark alt-country songs and liked his first album, Go Tell The Congregation.  In short, I was flattered and said yes.  Later, when he asked if I’d be interested in producing (as he’d been impressed by the production on my album Pissed Off, Bitter And Willing To Share, bless him),  I knew I would ideally want to co-produce with Tommy Duffin, who had co-produced Pissed Off with me, and suggested using Tommy’s studio, 16 Ohm for the sessions (that’s the new-and-improved version of the studio we recorded Pissed Off in).  Tommy would also play drums, as he had on my album.  It all suited Jim and so that was us sorted.

Jim, Tommy and I drew up a bit of a battle plan over some light refreshments, roped Tommy’s brother/studio co-owner James in on bass and after a single rehearsal, braved the ice and sub-zero temperatures of winter 2010 to make a bloody good record.  It’s called “Ten Fires” and will be available from June 2nd.

A quick word about production/co-production: Tommy is the technical eyes-and-ears.  He knows his studio – the room and the kit – and knows his way around the software.    Occasionally I’ll make a really great suggestion about microphone placement or some-such, and Tommy will have the good grace to pretend not to have already thought of it.  Ultimately, it’s my job to stand in the corner of the control room drinking generic Red Bull and shouting “More bass!  More bass!” – it all seems to work out in the end.

The plan was for the album to be roughly half-and-half acoustic/electric tunes, which is more or less how it worked out.  This suited me perfectly, allowing me to spend quality time with the electric guitar, something I’ve not had much scope for recently.  In fact, I play acoustic on only one track – a little bit of slide on My Heavy Heart, My Aching Bones and do a bit of almost-harmony backing vocal on another.  Tommy gets in touch with his inner Dylan with a spot of moothy on Hotel.  The rest of the acoustic tracks are solo performances from Jim (although I, er, play the radio on one …), with the remainder of the album performed as a band, with a real live-in-the-studio vibe that owes a lot to Neil Young & Crazyhorse or Hindu Love Gods, that sort of thing.  It was fun being part of a session band and although Jim was happy for us to weigh in with ideas and didn’t shy away from our various tendencies towards heavier sounds, I think we all tried to reign it in and to keep a mental image of the ‘hard americana’ concept in play.

June 2nd also marks the album launch at The 13th Note, Glasgow, where, after a solo set of my own stuff, I’ll be joining Tommy and James to back Jim as The Doubters.  That threatens to be fun.  Come along – pay your fiver at the door and you’ll get a copy of “Ten Fires” as part-and-parcel.  Which is something of a bargain, because listening back to the album, it really is the tits.

"Ten Fires" cover