News Archive 2012
Looking Back, Looking Forward, Dec. 31st, 2012
Highlights of the year? Let's see...The Holland tour in May... Recording my fourth album in late September... Road trip to Los Angeles with producer Adam Bailie in October... The three-day SAC songwriting camp in November... Getting airplay all over the world on over 130 stations from Australia to Norway for my third album, "Wrapped Up In the Blues", released in 2011... And getting the band sounding tighter through ongoing rehearsals and gigging. It's a real pleasure working with Tony Kerr (bass), Jake Pippus (drums), and more recently Aynsley Leonard on backing vocals.
This is the cover for the new album folks. "Howl At The Moon" is getting officially launched on Feb. 1st. You can email me to order a copy now. CDs are $10. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twelve tracks of blues, rock and a couple of pop/folk tunes in there as well.
New Song and Interview, Monday Nov. 26th 2012
Here's a solo/acoustic version of a new song, "Weapons Of Emotion (Open)" that will be on my next album, "Howl At The Moon", due for release in January, 2013. There is also a short interview after the song. The video was produced for VCAU by David Martinez.
Nice Surprise From SAC, Thursday Nov. 8th 2012
I just got word that I'm the winner in a contest to participate in a three-day songwriting camp, sponsored by the Songwriters Association of Canada (SAC). Here's the link to the announcement at SAC's website. Looking forward to writing and demo'ing some new songs.
And you can read detailed accounts of all three days on my "stories about songwriting and recording page" if you want a blow by blow account. For hardcore songwriting enthusiasts only!
Big Thanks to Shore 104.3 FM, Monday Oct. 29th, 2012
Most weeks, Vancouver radio station SHORE 104.3 FM has been playing tracks from my last two albums, "Wrapped Up In The Blues" and "Born A Genius". Check out the recent plays here. Four times last week, and four plays the week before, and all the way back to the fall of last year when the blues album came out. Getting validated (via commercial airplay, in this case) is particularly rewarding.
Home From Los Angeles, Sunday Oct. 28th, 2012
I got back last night from a road trip to L.A. with my producer Adam Bailie. Los Angeles is spread out (understatement),exhilarating, fast-paced, and a lot of people chasing their dreams. I found it to be friendly and welcoming. Talent is king. Many opportunities for those willing to give it a go. We drove down, staying in Portland, Eureka CA., San Francisco, and Santa Maria (about a three hour drive north of LA). Most mornings we went for a run, a great way to get a quick read of a new place. We stayed at a budget motel a few blocks from Hollywood and Vine, only $75/nt. I'm going to write an article called "Getting Started In L.A." and submit it to Music BC magazine.
Meanwhile, here's a new song recorded on the trip. "Half A World Away". We recorded it four or five times but ended up going with the first take. In spite of the bum notes, and half-forgotten last verse, it had the most honest feel to it.
Notes From the Recording Session, Monday, October 1st, 2012
I spent the past weekend at The Warehouse Studio with Adam Bailie (producer of my last two albums, "Wrapped Up In The Blues" and "Born A Genius"). Along with my son Jake Pippus on drums, and Tony Kerr on bass, we tracked a grand total of sixteen songs. Aynsley Leonard added some sweet harmonies on half a dozen of the tunes. Not bad for two days work. Considering that when Death Cab For Cutie was in there a couple of years ago they only managed to record three songs in three weeks! But who's counting.
A dozen or so of the finished tunes will end up on my fourth album, tentatively titled "This Is (Not) A Blues Album". It's due for release late in 2012 or early 2013, depending on how the mixing, mastering, and album design comes together. The remaining songs will be released as a limited edition bonus EP.
"This Is (Not) A Blues Album", like the title suggests, draws on a mix of genres. From classic and genre-pushing blues tunes, to rock, soul, and even acoustic folk. All songs are original except for a slow burning cover of Muddy Waters' "Same Thing".
The last song we recorded, a catchy, straight ahead country tune called "Two Sides To Every Lie" was written using crowd sourcing. Here's what happened: Last Monday I posted on Facebook that I had a catchy title but no words. Within hours, I had a dozen or so comments with lyric suggestions based on the "Two Sides To Every Lie" title . By Friday, I had the song written using a combination of lyrics I came up with and lyrics from the FB comment thread. I told my "co-writers" that if the song hits, I'll throw a big party and invite them all.
Since this is The Age of YouTube, I'll be having a video made to preview one or two tracks from the album. Stay tuned.
Friday 'This and That', September 28th, 2012
Prepping mentally and materially for the weekend recording session (see post below for details). Feeling confident because we're rehearsed. Feeling excited too... The third album "Wrapped Up In The Blues" continues getting airplay worldwide. Today, for example, radio promoter Bryon Tosoff tells me a station in Adelaide Australia downloaded all the tracks plus a few more for airplay in Oz... I saw Buckman Coe play last night at The Kozmic Zoo. His songs, voice, spirit, and overall musicianship are first class. As well, his drummer with a light touch and angelic harmonies, was equally riveting. A real pleasure....An insightful article was posted today at Blues Rock Review. From an interview they did with me a few weeks ago, they explain the story behind the making of my version of the Son House song, "Preachin' Blues. I like how the author of the post, Tyler Quiring links to the Son House original recording as well as my take on it. Here is the link . Have a read and a listen... Besides my solo and trio projects, I've started working with Aynsley Leonard on back up vocals. Besides doing some duo gigs, Aynsley will be heard singing harmonies on the upcoming album... Finally, check my "Shows" page for upcoming gigs. Looking forward to a full band show at Malone's Bar and Grill on Saturday, October 13th. I hope to see you there.
New Album Coming, September 4th, 2012
I'm getting ready to record album #4 at the end of the month. The plan is to spend two days at The Warehouse (Bryan Adams' studio in Gastown) recording sixteen (!) or so songs live, off-the-floor. We'll overdub b.g. vocals, harmonica and lead guitar later. Jake Pippus on drums and Tony Kerr on bass. The working title is "This Is (Not) A Blues Album".
Got A Great Singing Teacher, August 7th, 2012
Just had my third singing lesson with Laura Lang. She has been a freakin' godsend. I was losing my voice at almost every band gig but now I'm not. Highly reccommended if you are in the Vancouver area or if you're not, you could do a lesson on Skype.
Booking Lots Of Shows, August 2nd, 2012
Check the "Shows" page. Lots coming up. Both with the band and solo/acoustic.
The Record Store Called...., July 6th, 2012
Success! A dream come true! Ok, it's modest success, but whatever. Here's the thing. I get a phone message from Red Cat Records on Main St. Turns out they're selling my CDs! People have seen me on Cable TV recently and gone in to buy my music! How cool is this? This is like The Beatles in Hamburg cool! Here's the phone message.
A YouTube Cover, A Nashville Session, and More Airplay, June 10th 2012
Well this is a first for me. A fellow by the name of Mark Manrique found my song,"Follow The River" on YouTube and did a cover version. Here's me doing it and here's Mark's version. And another fellow who found me on YouTube, John Leon, has just written to ask if he can post a version as well. Nice!
This week, a new song (co-written with Lucy LeBlanc and Ivan Boudreau) called "Dreams That Never Die" is being recorded down in Nashville, using the services of some top players. Besides drums, bass, and guitars, we'll have dobro, banjo, and piano on the track. Lucy will be there to oversee the session, part of a week-long trip where she'll also be pitching my catalogue to half a dozen publishers.
Airplay coming up this Tuesday on EnSchede FM Radio in Holland. Two of the new blues singles (which will be on my next album, due for release later in the year) are being played by radio host Jan Van Eck. Also NPR-affiliate KTEP in El Paso, Texas will be playing: "One World", "House of Cards", "Comin' Home Blues" and "Preachin' Blues" in the near future. And radio host Irene Barrett in Cairns, Australia has just downloaded the latest singles, "I Need A Whole Lot Of Your Love" and "You Don't Love Me", for airplay too.
Video from Delft Show in Holland, June 8th 2012
The first show in Holland was in the historic city of Delft at a coffee house located right next to the canal. It was a Sunday afternoon and this would be the first of many shows where the audience was attentive from start to finish. Radio host Jan Van Eck drove two hours to be there. He taped an interview with me before the show and shot and edited this video of a few songs from the performance.
Maastricht Performance Montage, May 30th 2012
On Thursday, May 9th, Pim Bouwens and I drove down to Maastricht in the south of Holland to do a show there. This very old city has an international feel, being so close to Germany, France, and Belgium. The venue was located in a squat that has been going for 10 years now. Currently about 18 people live in this former grain storage facility next to the canal. We were playing downstairs in the bar. The upstairs warehouse space is used for large events and routinely draws audiences of 500 or more.
During the performance, I invited a few of the local musicians to join us. This video clip (shot by Maastricht videographer Lorenzo Dat Dus) includes: jamming on "Mean Hearted Woman", Pim and I doing "Man Of Constant Sorrow", and "Secret World" with a talented violin player.
Live Performance on Meer Radio, May 22nd 2012
About a week after arriving in Holland, I was booked to do an interview and play a few songs on Gerrit Casper's blues show on Meer Radio in Hoofddorp. This is a relatively recent town (click on the link for details) created in the mid-1800s when the land was reclaimed by draining the water away. A common practice in a country that is mostly below sea level.
One of the three songs I performed - with Pim Bouwens on percussion - was "Man Of Constant Sorrow". This is my version of a traditional song that I first recorded on my 2006 EP, "Song Tourist".
Back Home, May 21st 2012
I got back today from the 21-day Holland tour. Besides feeling wiped out from the combination of a nine-hour plane trip, plus the time zone changes, I'm also feeling grateful. To the Dutch audiences who are a singer/songwriter's dream. And to Pim Bouwens who arranged the tour, housed me, drove me, and provided back up. And to the venue providers who were friendly and supportive and genuinely interested in the music.
In the next day or two, I'll post one of the radio interviews that includes live performances of three songs. Also, you can find me on Facebook where you'll see some performance pictures and see some of my new Dutch friends.
Holland Today and More Airplay, May 3rd 2012
Like the song says, my bags are packed and I'm ready to go. Flying out this afternoon and getting in to Amsterdam mid morning tomorrow. No stopovers. Two days to get over the jet lag, then a radio interview on Sunday afternoon, followed by an early show in Delft and an evening show in Rotterdam. Sounds good to me. Check out the "shows" page for tour details.
Meanwhile three new blues singles and cuts from "Wrapped Up In The Blues" are getting played this week on stations in the UK, France, Germany, Australia and more. Very gratifying to know people like what I'm putting out there. Visit my "music" page for a listen. And get on my mailing list on my "connect" page and I'll let you know where to hear the new blues singles.
In Good Company, April 28th 2012
Radio station Shore 104.3FM in Vancouver has been a big supporter of my third album, "Wrapped Up In The Blues". Saturday night, just after 10PM, for example, they played Eric Clapton with Wynton Marsalis doing "Layla", followed by "I Dreamed About Muddy Waters Last Night" (track six on my album), and that was followed by B.B. King with Bonnie Raitt doing "Baby I Love You". In good company or what? Thanks Shore radio!
Hear and download "I Dreamed about Muddy Waters Last Night" on iTunes.
Holland Tour Coming Up, Apr. 17, 2012
Getting close now. I leave on May 3rd for Holland. Nine shows, three radio interviews (and in-studio performances)are lined up. More gigs are in the works. Looking forward to seeing some tulip fields too.
I've been recording a slew of new songs. Some will end up on my fourth album, due out in late summer. Some are being pitched for tv/film placement and to other artists to cover. My publisher, Lucy LeBlanc of Midnight Mama Music is just back from Toronto and Nashville and leaves tomorrow for the ASCAP Conference in Los Angeles. She continues to work hard on my behalf.
Last night, Lucy and I were at a Music BC event. Lucy was one of ten lucky winners to snag a spot in a one-hour sort of 'speed dating' event where we had five minutes with each of ten music industry folks. We scored a a few gigs out of it, and got some valuable face time that may lead to some interesting collaborations.
Juno-Nominees "The Once", Mar. 14, 2012
The next show is with the band at The Railway Club. (See "shows" page for details). We're sharing the bill with a Newfoundland-based trio called The Once. They recently performed on Canada AM and their manager is a member of Great Big Sea. They're up for a Juno award next month. Pretty good credentials. Plus the harmonies (see their website) are sweet as can be. Should be a fun night. I've asked Geraldine to join my band on a song (or two).
The Airwaves Are Magic Feb. 21, 2012
It's very cool (to me) knowing that Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" was played on Australian radio a few days ago, followed by.. ahem... me and Evelyn Yngveson doing "One World Blues" from my blues album. The airwaves are magic. But then, I'm a child of the 50s. One of my earliest memories is sitting in front of the big radio in the living room back in Winnipeg listening to "Uncle Dudley" on Saturday morning on CJOB.
Wednesday Round Up O' News Feb. 8, 2012
Pleased to see the blues album made another "Best of 2011" list. CFBX's Vince Almond put "Wrapped Up In The Blues" in his Top 10 list. I'll add this to my bio, along with being on VANMUSIC.CA's "Top 10 Indie Acts in Vancouver for 2011".
More airplay this week including "Walk Away" getting played on "Rockin' The Blues From Canada" on Ottawa's CKCU. Also on Montreal station CKUT and on Johnny Max's show in Toronto.
I was on "Melodies In Mind" last night at CJSF studio on the Simon Fraser University campus. I performed seven songs, along with two other acts, Windborn and Heather Meori. My sometimes musical partner, Ev, joined me on back up vocals. Here we are doing "No Mercy" and "Those Five Days".
"Wrapped Up" In Portland, Oregon Feb. 5 2012
Tom Addis has a weekly Friday night show on KMHD radio in Portland, Oregon. Since "Wrapped Up In The Blues" was released in the fall, he's played 7 of the 10 tracks on his show, plus a single, "House Of Cards". That's a whole lot of support from this very fine NPR-affiliated station and I'm grateful for that. By the way, over 65 stations around the world - from Norway to Tasmania, from Vancouver to Croatia - have played, or are playing cuts from the album. Check it out on my "music" page.
"No Mercy" Jan. 22, 2012
Here's a co-write I did with my friend EV. We did this live recording on Thursday over at Adam Bailie's studio. Adam produced my last two albums and a slew of singles, including "Those Five Days" (which, I'm delighted to say, is currently getting tons of airplay around the world).
Anyway, I had the first verse for "No Mercy" for a few years but just couldn't come up with a second verse that was equally good. But during a writing session with EV she suggested having it as a duet and instead of making the second verse more intense than the first, go the opposite way and make it simmer. Have a listen, you'll see what I mean.
Good Start to the Week Jan. 16, 2012
Pim Bouwens is lining up my 21-day tour in Holland in May. The latest gig sounds interesting. Dutch guitar legend, Jan Akkerman is headlining at a club in Pim's hometown of Dortrecht on Friday May 18th. After his set, I'll be playing in the adjacent bar area. I go on at 11PM. Jan Akkerman was the shred-style guitar player for a 70s prog/rock band called Focus. Their big hit was called "Hocus Pocus". Check it out on Youtube. It's got over 1.6 million plays on this one video I was watching. Details on the Dutch tour on my "Shows" page. You'll know this song once you hear it, if you're of a certain age. It's the one with the yodelling!
Airplay for my blues album this past weekend on Portland, Oregon NPR-affiliate KMHD radio. Tom Addis has played five tracks from the album on his weekly show. And KMUD's Blues Bob played "I Dreamed About Muddy Waters" and is playing three more tracks on his show in the coming weeks. KMUD serves many Northern California communities. Also STAR FM's Dave Barker played "I Dreamed About Muddy Waters" on his Sunday evening blues show. Star FM broadcasts from the East Coast of Tasmania.
I was in the studio on Sunday recording a song called "The Way You Say Goodbye". This is a folk/rock duet. The producer on this tune is Ryan Hauschild. Just tweaking the mix, getting it mastered, and then I'll have it on my "Music" page for downloading. And tomorrow, I start the recording process on two songs with Mike Weterings. Mike and I were on tour together in October and talked about working together in the studio. "Sooner Or Later" is a pop/reggae tune. And "Just Another Guy" is - to my mind - a Lou Reed/Blue Rodeo/Neal Young mash up.
And finally, the Vancouver Province newspaper's music critic, Tom Harrison has kindly given me yet another plug in his weekly BC Music Round Up. The Holland tour, the international airplay, and being selected for VanMusic's Top 10 of Vancouver's Indie Bands of last year all get a mention. Like I say, a good start to the week.
This Is a Real Honour Jan. 10, 2012
I just found out I made it onto a "Best Of" list. Wow. There I am right alongside some fantastic Vancouver talent including The Pack A.D. and The Matinee. Have a look at Vanmusic.ca's "Best Vancouver Indie Bands of 2011" and tell me I'm not hallucinating..
New Recordings Jan. 10, 2012
I'm spending time in the studio this month. Recording seven songs in a range of styles. Three different co-writers, three producers, three studios. One of the tracks, "Sooner Or Later" is a co-write with Karina Morin. She takes the lead vocal on this one. It's a pop tune that has a violin part that some unexpected colour. Another song, "Those Five Days" is a Tom Waits-style blues tune. The other tunes cover the spectrum from balls-to-the-wall Country Rock ("Party On") to gentle ballad ("I Would Buy You Anything"). Along with my publisher, Lucy LeBlanc, I'll be promoting these songs for tv/film licensing deals.