A very belated happy new year to you all! What a slacker I’ve been – last November was my last update. Since then I’ve reached the grand old age of fifty (yes, I know, hard to believe given my youthful exuberance and good looks) and also celebrated thirty years of being in the music business. Christmas and Easter have been and gone and although much beer was drunk over the festive season I managed to avoid the other brown devil that is chocolate.
It’s been a strange start to the year in terms of gigs. A trip to the USA with Sons of the Delta to play at this year’s Juke Joint Festival in Clarksdale was cancelled due to a clash of commitments for some of the guys, a mini-tour of Spain was put on ice due to the major recession over there and here booking gigs has been harder work for the same reason, apart from our favourite regular venues who know a good thing when they see it and continue to re-book us.
What do musicians do when they are not gigging as much? No, the answer is not ‘starve’ thankfully (not yet anyway!). They write songs and record, so it’s good that both the Sons of the Delta and the Jigantics are both working on new albums. Because of the different styles of music in each band, the approach to the recording process is a little different. For the Jigantics it will be our debut album so everyone in the band is keen to make it as representative as possible. That means it needs to highlight the strengths of the band – especially the great arrangements and lovely harmonies. In light of recent changes to arrangements some of the tracks currently recorded will be remixed, others may be re-recorded and a few newer songs in the set will be recorded for the first time. So although things are well on the way, it may be a few months yet until the album is finished. The Sons of the Delta album will be our third and will have a mixture of duo and band numbers, representing both aspects of the Sons. The first two albums were pretty much all original numbers and although album three will still have plenty of great originals we are planning to record some of our audience’s favourite covers. I’m finishing some demos of the new originals so that I can distribute them to the rest of the band prior to us putting in some hard work on learning them. Then it will be off to the studio to spend a solid weekend recording the band songs – none of this ‘we were in the studio for two months’ malarkey! The duo numbers are less demanding of everyone’s time and so Rick and I will work on and record those on a rolling basis.
I’m looking forward to the summer now – recording, various festival slots for both the Sons of the Delta and the Jigantics and my great friends the Myers Brothers are coming over from Ottawa late July to play at the Upton Blues festival, the Gloucester Blues Festival and several other dates. Can’t wait! I will try to keep you updated a bit more regularly…