So what’s been happening in the musical world of Mark Cole since July? Needless to say I’ve loved every second of it! Here’s an update.
It has been a busy six months (yes, my usual excuse for not posting here for an age) and started with the release of two new albums, firstly the live Sons of the Delta acoustic duo album Red Hot at Peppers which we launched, appropriately, at the wonderful Peppers Cafe, twelve months after it was recorded there as part of the Gloucester Rhythm & Blues Festival. As usual the place was packed – standing room only – and as always we thoroughly enjoyed the gig not least thanks to Dan’s awesome BBQ food. The new Jigantics album Seconds Out was launched the following night at the magnificent Convent in
Woodchester. It was a magical night and the perfect venue to launch a new album. If you missed it you can still see the whole concert here at The Convent’s YouTube channel, as they broadcast the event live and now have it in their archives.
Following the launches there were plenty of festival and club gigs with both the Jigantics and Sons of the Delta including some in France and the Netherlands. It’s always good to get across the channel and spread the word to new enthusiastic audiences. We’re very lucky to see some beautiful places that most tourists would not get to see. Long may it continue!
I also played a bunch of gigs with the fantastic Damon T including a handful of festivals. The format works really well, with us performing on each others songs and I really like the challenge of coming up with harp or guitar parts to compliment Damon’s unique hypnotic style. I’m looking forwards to performing with Damon again this year and I’m working on a solo EP of some of my songs to sell at those gigs and, of course, online.
It has also been a busy time in the studio, completing five songs for the Brothers and Sons first EP, appropriately called Volume 1. In case you missed the news, Brothers and Sons is an ongoing project involving myself and the Myers Brothers, Mike and Stevie, from Ottawa, Canada. We first met in Clarksdale, Mississippi, back in 2005 and since then have visted each others homes, performed together and appeared as guests on each others albums. We thought it would be fun to record new songs whenever we meet up and then complete them back at home and release the best of the recordings on a digital EP. Volume 1, recorded in Clarksdale, is released next week, just days before I fly to Ottawa to catch up with them and experience the Canadian winter. Yes, there will be skating and snow walking, and of course there will be performing and recording. So as Volume 1 is released we will be starting on Volume 2. It’ll be interesting to see how the drastically different environment makes its mark on the songs.
So what else does the year ahead have to offer? The Jigantics have just started to record some new material with it’s new line up. Only one gig performed with the ‘new boy’ Graham Mizen at the time of writing but it was a great night and we had nothing but praise from the audience for the new songs and the new band member. Really looking forwards to the many other gigs we already have in the diary for the rest of the year. Once again it looks like I will get plenty of miles under my belt in the persuit of making great music. Looking at the schedule so far I’ll be all over the UK and heading back to Canada, France, the Netherlands and also Portugal. And that’s just going on the bookings confirmed so far. No doubt it’ll be quite a while til I post another update – excuse made in advance this time…