Tag Archives: roots music

All manner of this and that.

Rehearsals with The Crow Bone Chorus have been going very well indeed, with some covers added to the mix. They’re sounding good and fit well with the set. There’s already enough material there to play as long a set as is needed with a varied set list from gig-to-gig. We’ve also started work on a demo which will likely be a YouTube/Soundcloud only kind of a thing.

While there’ll be a self-promoted gig or two announced very soon, we’re also looking for a booker to help us out (particularly with gigs further afield). Although I intend to concentrate my efforts on full band gigs, The Craig Hughes Two will soon be back up to speed for more stripped-back live work. A couple more rehearsals and we should be there.

I’m also having thoughts on a maybe-kinda acoustic-ish project, a solo thing. More on that when I’ve clued myself in!

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Best Laid Part II

Brief update: there will be something of a flurry of Channel Nowhere activity over the next couple of weeks, so you can look forward (or not) to the release of the remastered Pennies On My Eyes on March 11th and a couple of gig announcements for both The Craig Hughes Two and Dog Moon Howl.  Promos will go out for Pennies just prior to the release date and a lyric video for new track No-One Cares If You Die will be up soon on YouTube.

Told you it was brief.


Best laid.

So, 2016 currently looks like this:

My newish album Pennies On My Eyes is due to be released at the end of February.  A completely new “solo” album is planned for the end of year.  Other than that …

The Craig Hughes Two

We kicked off 2016 with a Glasgow gig at The Howlin’ Wolf earlier this month.  We’re looking at recording an EP for release later in the year and hopefully a lot more live work.

Dog Moon Howl

We’re fresh from our first rehearsal of the year which turned into more of a songwriting session.  The new stuff’s sounding promising, lots of AC/DC, Rush and Sabbath nods.  We’re working up some covers as well.  We’re planning on releasing two EPs in 2016, mid-year and end-of-year respectively.

The blogs

Tapes For My Walkman and Tapes For My VCR continue to keep it analogue with a piece on Lemmy, Motörhead and No Sleep ’til Hammersmith HERE and one on Bowie’s Love You Till Tuesday HERE (I hadn’t noticed until just now that both of these “tribute” choices feature the word “till”.  Or that Motörhead had misspelled it) and updates will be more frequent from February onwards.  This here Channel Nowhere blog will also be updated a lot more regularly, largely because of the amount of stuff going on with the label etc.

Other projects

I’ve got my work cut out with the completion of at least one large scale writing project and a documentary thingmy in the planning stages.  There could potentially be a couple of other releases on Channel Nowhere throughout the year.  Watch this space.


Pennies, Dog Moon Howl, Jim Dead and blogs and that.

So, Pennies On My Eyes will now be released at the end of February 2016.  The audio work’s all done but there was just no way to have the whole thing ready to go by the end of November – as originally planned – and there’s not much point in putting this kind of release out mid-December (or January for that matter).  So, February it is.  As ever, watch this space.

In what’s shaping up to be my last live outing of the year, I’m playing with Dog Moon Howl at The 13th Note, Glasgow, this Friday (4th) with Jim Dead & The Doubters in celebration of the release of their new album Pray For Rain.  I’ve heard it (I did the mastering, come to think of it) and do you know, it’s really rather good. Come along on the night and you’ll get a copy of the CD as part of your £5 entry fee.

Meanwhile, the writing practice continues. Tapes For My Walkman has recently been updated with a look at ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres (HERE) and Tapes For My VCR has just been updated with a review of ’90s bikers-and-explosions flick Stone Cold (HERE).  Please do feel free to give them a look.

 


Coming Soon: Pennies On My Eyes

As mentioned last post, much of my time of late has been taken up with the remixing and remastering of new/old album Pennies On My Eyes.  This was originally a mini-album from 5 years ago which was released then as part of the split CD Graveyard Full of Blues with Sleepy Eyes Nelson.

The logic behind the remastering is simply that I was never happy with the original release.  For various reasons, I left the mastering incomplete along with alternate takes and whole songs.  In the meantime, despite its limited release – the CD was sold at gigs and from Europa Music in Stirling; the download was only available via my Bandcamp page (with the two halves of the project split up online, so Sleepy’s excellent Build That Coffin of Mine was available separately via Cheap Wine Records’ Bandcamp) – the albumette picked up its own head of steam, garnering a few good write-ups and an award nomination.  My Side of the Veil became a live favourite while Oily Old Rag gained a new lease of life as the Dog Moon Howl song Tenement Porch Dog.

As with my first release, the demo EP Broke, Lonely and Guilty, Pennies… was recorded at my then home studio, the Channel Nowhere Secret Facility, basically a converted walk-in cupboard.  Everything else I’ve released, under my own name or with Dog Moon Howl has been studio recorded and although there is a pleasing rawness to the original version of Pennies…, it sounds just too rough to me.  I was obsessed with pushing the bass and curbing the top end at that time, and the end result is frankly dull.  So, I’ve gone back in, brightened the sounds up, rescued a few additional tracks and compiled them together as a new, album length piece.

Of course, the original tracks remain lo-fi but hopefully with a touch more in the way of clarity and dynamics.  I’ve added a couple of touches I wanted to try at the time but dropped due to looming deadlines.  The three new tracks are Richter Scale for Heartache, which had already been recorded at the time the split CD was suggested although the mix was never completed, Stone With My Name Carved on It, a single-take moody, distorted solo slide guitar instrumental that I don’t even remember recording and No-one Cares if You Die, a banjo tune that started life as something else entirely.  I matched the rediscovered banjo track with an old unused lyric and Bob was quite suddenly your uncle.

The audio masters for Pennies on My Eyes are being completed this week.  Then it’s the turn of the artwork.  As soon as possible thereafter there’ll be a physical release (CD and, it looks like, tape) with downloads available via Bandcamp and from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify et al via international digital distribution from CD Baby.

Watch this space!


Switchback No More

When I went full-time with this music malarkey, some six years ago now, I released an EP, not much more than a demo, called Broke, Lonely and Guilty.  Much to my surprise, it got a wee bit of attention – a couple of reviews, some local radio airplay and the likes.  This led (after, I believe, a good word being put in by The Dirt) to my being invited on to a local community radio station for my first ever interview/live-on-air session.  The station was Sunny Govan FM and the show was The Switchback, presented by Paul Clarkson.

Picture me, in a black cab, guitar by my side.  “You playing tonight?”  asks the driver.  It’s a night-time session and it’s already dark, the show starting at 10pm.  I’m running late.

“Aye, I’m on the radio,” says I, with no small measure of pride.  The driver is suitably impressed and, armed with the address (which I have written on my hand), he heads confidently Govan-wards.  However, once in the general vicinity, we drive around in circles for what seems like forever.  We are drawn to a couple of porta-cabins.  We pass them a few times, both of us certain that can’t be the place. “There should be some kind of big aerial mast” the driver says, and we duly crane our necks in every direction. Eventually, the driver gets out and asks for directions at one of the cabins.  He comes back to the cab shrugging his shoulders.  “Aye, this is it,” he says. “Just asked the guy – the aerial’s up the high flats.”

And so began the first of several nights I spent at Sunny Govan, which eventually moved to its current comparatively palatial headquarters in an actual building.  There was a greater element of washing mugs and making coffee than I’d entirely expected and Paul was a good guy (there are many good folks in the grass-roots music scenes but a fair few fannies as well) so I was put at ease straight away.  The end result was a relaxed session, the recording of which I released as a limited edition promo EP for the launch night of my first album a year or so later.  I’ve experienced a few other community radio setups since and Paul, despite his propensity for modesty in this regard, has a knack for getting a decent sound from the room using just a single mic – in sharp contrast to some of those others.

The Switchback was a great supporter of the Scottish and international grassroots americana/country/blues/folk scenes.  Pretty much the entire regular live roster of the old That Devil Music night I used to run and very many more all played sessions and received airplay there.  Paul played tracks from, I think, every release I’ve put out over this past five years as well as the work I’ve done with Jim Dead.  Where other early local media support had dried up, The Switchback was one of the main sources of airplay of my most recent album, Losers and Bastards, and it was much appreciated.

Inevitably, geography and real life took their toll and in the spirit of all good things coming to an end, The Switchback aired its last show on May 15th.  It was a good one, with much in the way of anecdotal reminiscence from Mr. Clarkson.  Some kind words about me there too, and an airing for a cool old session version of The TR7s Have All Gone To Heaven.  This post is really just intended as a wee “thank you” to Paul Clarkson whilst wishing him all the best for the future – your efforts on the show were always appreciated man and the grassroots scene will be poorer without your input.

Here’s the link to an MP3 of the final Switchback show – more than worth your time, trust me (I’m a guitarist).


This and that.

Been a while, so here’s an update:

Recorded the Dog Moon Howl album in January at The Boathouse in Alloa, started mixing it and then came down with the mother of all eye infections which was supposed to clear up in a fortnight but went on for over two months, becoming increasingly debilitating due to seriously affecting my vision.  Seems to have left me with some permanent problems in that regard, too.  Oh well.

Anyway, had to cancel gigs and the likes but since then have played a solo set at The Vagabond Social Club in Glasgow and a duo set at Record Store Day in Stirling (@ Europa Music), both of which went down rather well thank you very much.  Finished the mixes on the DMH album, getting the masters completed just now, and starting work on the cover art to boot.  Looking at a June release.

Actively booking for the band, the duo and myself so more live dates to be confirmed soon.  Playing (solo) @ Slouch, Glasgow on Wednesday.  Getting into a whole guitar design/business thing as well, Zentone Guitars, more news as-and-when.

Right, that’s your lot.  Blogging, eh?  Fucking doddle.